Welsh-born composer Hilary Tann lives in the foothills of the Adirondacks where she is a Professor of Music at Union College. She is a founding member of the Route 9 Haiku Group whose biannual anthology, Upstate Dim Sum, is entering its 10th year of publication. She treasures the monthly meetings with Yu Chang, Tom Clausen, and John Stevenson.
1) Why do you write haiku?
In my composing life I spend most of my time imagining future worlds. Writing haiku brings me back to the present, back to the moment ... and I am grateful.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
I enjoy reading many forms of poetry from many centuries. As for writing, for the past eight years I've had the pleasure of participating in the annual Onawa (Maine) renku retreat with Paul MacNeil, John Stevenson, and Yu Chang.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
Here are three, one from each of the places I love -- Wales, Japan, and N.E. USA.
of the old church
Frogpond XXVIII:1, Upstate Dim Sum 2005/I
noh play –
watching the throat
behind the mask
Frogpond XXVII:1, Upstate Dim Sum 2004/I
mountain stillness –
the loon call
held by the lake
Red Moon Anthology 2006, Heron's Nest VIII:4, Upstate Dim Sum 2007/I
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Hilary answered. You must be a published poet to participate.
Hilary, I am always so surprised by your haiku when I come to them. They certainly have a certain musicality about them and it seems to be connected in some way with your amazing connections of words and the psyche. Many thanks for the hours of enjoyment I've had with your haiku. Merrill
"of the old church" ...there's more truth than you know to that haiku and you'd really have to be steeped in the tradition to understand it... wonderful.
i love this interview series :)
getting to know so many great writers!
So glad to see Hilary Tann's work here. One can easily see/hear her musical ear and gift of storytelling. A multi-gifted poet. Thanks!
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