Saturday, October 29, 2011

Charlotte Digregorio - Three Questions (Tanka)

Charlotte Digregorio
Charlotte Digregorio is the author of four non-fiction books: “You Can Be A Columnist” and “Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features,” both Writer’s Digest Book Club Featured Selections; “Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes;” and “Your Original Personal Ad.” She has been a faculty member at universities, teaching graduate and undergraduate writing, a writer-in-residence at colleges, and a speaker at writer’s conferences throughout the country. Since 1995, she has published Japanese-style poetry.

1) Why do you write tanka?

I seem to think in haiku first. I sometimes turn to tanka when I can’t get a haiku that I have in mind to work. That is, I can’t condense the number of syllables, and I feel a need to be lyrical.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I’ve been widely published and won awards in free verse and formal verse, including sestina and acrostic forms. However, I read all kinds of poetry.

3) Of the many wonderful tanka you’ve written, what do you consider to be your top three?

I think one person’s lyricism, might not be another person’s cup of tea, but three that I like are:

selling the home
of my childhood,
i walk into her closet
finding the shoes
i wobbled in

--East On Central, 2011-2012

selling the home
of my childhood,
cleaning every speck
of dust
before i disappear

--Modern English Tanka, Vol. 3, No.2, Winter 2008

moving from the coast
to the heartland
i wake in the morning
to the calm of the lake
seeking the pounding waves

--bottle rockets, Issue #20

If you've been enjoying this series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response - whether it be for haiku or tanka - to the three little questions that Charlotte answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Weekend update

 Howard Lee Kilby sent this:

The Arkansas Haiku Society will host the 15th annual haiku conference in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas at the library of National Park Community College on November 4th and 5th. Haiku poets from New Mexico to Maryland will be joining together with many southern states to enjoy haiku. There is no registration fee. The public is cordially invited to attend. For information email (use Haiku Conference in the subject line) or telephone 501-767-6096.


Ed Baker sent this:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One update and a Tobacco Road redo

Richard Krawiec sent this:

Reminder, there is a November 7 deadline for submissions to Notes from the Gean. Richard Krawiec is encouraging haibun writers to submit. Already have some work going in by established haibun writers, as well as two well-known free verse poets, including a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Check out my websites!

I posted the video below two years ago. I've since received a number of new readers and thought that they might enjoy a Basho reenactment. This short film is done really well. An Interview With Babak Gray, the Director of Bashō and the Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones can be located here.

Here is Gary Warner's response to the video.

Here is Bruce Ross's response to the video.

And finally, here are a few more responses to the video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday updates

Gabriel Rosenstock sent this:

Sasa Vazic sent this:



And finally, let's start the day off with a haiku reading:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brendan Slater - Three Questions (Tanka)

Brendan Slater
Brendan Slater is a father and software developer from Stoke-on-Trent, England. He has been writing Japanese short form poetry since 2009. Brendan's work has been published in Ribbons, The Heron's Nest, Notes from the Gean, Presence, Acorn, Pirene's Fountain, DailyHaiga, Tinywords and Lynx.

1) Why do you write tanka?

Tanka gives me the freedom to use emotion overtly that haiku does not. Even though I started with haiku I found it too constrained and was not able to express my ideas fully, tanka allows me to do this.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I enjoy all Japanese short forms, free-verse, and I am partial to English romantic verse.

3) Of the many wonderful tanka you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

under the stars
with nothing
but whispered insults
from the wind

Ribbons 6.2

face to face
in a world of sound bites
I listen
to what you read
between my lines

Ribbons 6.3

the tender moon
is waning
I mould myself around you
breathe when you breathe

Notes from the Gean 2.2

If you've been enjoying this series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response - whether it be for haiku or tanka - to the three little questions that Brendan answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Sunday updates

New Haiku Collection by Allan Burns

Dear Haiku Friend,

Red Moon Press has just published my first collection of haiku, distant virga.

The book is available online from RMP for $12 + S&H. It features cover and interior art by Ron Moss.

All the haiku have been published previously in a wide array of journals. The book brings them together in a convenient, sequenced bundle. Here are the back cover blurbs:

“Allan Burns’ haiku transport the reader into the sacred ground of life found in landscapes where earth is holy and wildlife thrives. Wit, heart, and intelligence color each carefully wrought poem with keen and sensitive observations. The poems in distant virga belong in every nature lover’s hand, backpack, or library. This collection is a gem.”—Marian Olson

“That Allan Burns values a healthy balance between humanity and the rest of nature is abundantly evident in this, his first collection of haiku. He is finely attuned to subtle interactions, especially those found at play in wilderness settings. Moreover, Burns exhibits an excellent feel for disjunction. As a result, I readily intuit the associations he makes and enjoy the emotions evoked before my mind can intervene. The revelations presented in this fine collection are often as surprising as they are delightful.”—Christopher Herold

This link will lead you to the order page:

If you do snag a copy and have any thoughts about it, I'd of course be most interested to hear them.

All the best,

Do you have a collection of haiku/senryu that you would like to have published in a finely bound, handmade edition? Turtle Light Press is now accepting manuscripts for its third biennial haiku contest. The 2008 winner, Michael McClintock, has been writing, editing and publishing haiku for many years; our 2010 winner, Catherine J.S. Lee, is a relative newcomer who also just recently won the 2011 Robert Spiess Memorial Award sponsored by "Modern Haiku."

You can check out past winning books, Sketches From the San Joaquin by McClintock, All That Remains by Lee, or a full copy of the guidelines at The contest will be judged by Kwame Dawes and Rick Black. All manuscripts must be postmarked by December 1, 2011. Any questions, please email

We look forward to receiving and reading your entries!


Dear Haiku-Friends;

Chrysanthemum 10 is now online and ready to be viewed at:

beste Grüße/best wishes,

Dietmar Tauchner

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday updates

Haiku in the Garden: A Haiku Walk and Writing Workshop

The North Carolina Haiku Society (NCHS)

Saturday, October 22nd 2:30 – 4:30

To many people, a haiku is a short poem of 17 syllables, written in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. In the Japanese haiku tradition, however, the 5-7-5 sound pattern is not sufficient to make a poem a haiku. There are other conventions of form and content that are more important. For example, traditional Japanese haiku include a “season word,” and they often try to convey a connection between Nature and human nature. They are often divided into 2 asymmetrical parts that do not make a complete sentence. They typically use simple language and present images with little or no commentary.

Not only that, but haiku conventions have become more complex since the early years of the 20th century, when many poets in Japan and elsewhere deemphasized the strict 5-7-5 pattern in order to focus on other elements of haiku form and tradition. Other poets have broken with tradition in order to seek new possibilities in haiku.

This workshop will begin with an introduction of simple approaches to writing haiku. Participants will take a “haiku walk” in the Gardens and Nature Trail with NCHS members and follow-up with a discussion of the poems written by participants.

Fee:  $15 ($10 NCBG members)

Pris Campbell sent this:

I'm sending this to those of you who may be interested in my latest chapbook out: Postscripts to the Dead.

The ordering site that prints MiPo's chapbook series is offering a sales cut on all of their items until October 30, so now is the time to get a print copy if you want one. You have to register at the site to order but it's no big deal. I registered a year ago to buy a couple of chaps I wanted and they've sent me no spam.

6.71 sale price , plus shipping  (UNTIL OCT 30)  7.99  regular price , after Oct 30,  plus shipping. The book is 32 pages long. Color cover by Didi Menendez since this book is part of the MiPo series.

digital download is free. We just want people to read the book, not spend a fortune.

The first review is out and he quotes two poems from the book in their entirety which may help you make a decision. I'm excited about the book. (review by Grady Harp)


Notes from the Gean: press release

Dear Readers and Subscribers,

Our submissions page contains all the relevant information on how to submit. To be considered for any particular issue submissions must be in hand one month before the listed publication dates.

The next issue is due out December 1st but we have extended the submission period for an extra week to November 7th for our December 1st issue only.

Please also check our Gean News tab for any updates.

If you are experiencing any problems with the new web forms them please simply send your submissions by email to the relevant editors:





Linked forms:


thank you

Colin Stewart Jones

Richard Krawiec sent this:

I'm really excited that Lola Haskins is going to be the featured poet at the January 21 meeting of the NCPS.  I'm sure you all know her work, but in case you need to refresh yourself.

On Sunday, January 22, the day after the NCPS meeting, Jacar Press will be hosting her for a Master Class.  There will be limited seating, to insure everyone who attends gets direct feedback on their work.  We still need to work out the details of location and cost - which will be under $50, but how much under is dependent on where we hold the workshop.

Since all of you have been supportive of my work, and Jacar's work, in the past I wanted to give you the chance to reserve a spot before I go public with the announcement.

I do NOT want any money now, and I understand this is a tentative commitment.  But don't say you think you'd like to go if you're only 50/50.  If you're pretty confident you want to attend, barring unforeseen difficulties, let me know.

Lola is a well-connected poet, and a great person.  When I got Betty Adcock to critique poems at Quail Ridge Books, one of the poets who showed up ended up being published by a magazine where Betty knew the editor and recommended him.

That's one of the reasons why we go to these things. To develop those contacts.

But the main reason is, we just want to make our work better.

Let me know if you think you'd like to reserve a spot.

Check out my websites!

S E E  T H E  V O I C E !

Fri, Nov 4 and Sat. Nov 5
Pacific Cinémathèque
1131 Howe St

Vancouver, BC, Fri Nov 4 and Sat Nov 5‹Curator and host Heather Haley and Pacific Cinémathèque enter their second decade of the Visible Verse Festival, an annual celebration that has become the sustaining venue for artistically significant poetry video and film in North America. It has always featured a strong component of B.C. and Canadian work; now Visible Verse attracts more international submissions than ever before.

Friday evening¹s far-reaching program is a showcase of more than 35 short films and videos from Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

 On Saturday afternoon at 4 pm, the festival presents an Artist Talk and Q&A with pioneering videopoet Tom Konyves, author of the newly released VIDEOPOETY: A Manifesto. Signed hard copies will be available for sale.

Immediately following at 5 pm, Heather Haley hosts a Visiting Poets Reading with esteemed visual poet Alexander Jorgensen from Pennsylvania and California¹s dynamic performance poet Rich Ferguson. Admission is by donation for both events.

For further information, including high def images, contact:

Heather Haley
Pacific Cinémathèque
778 861-4050

Roberta Beary's work will be featured in A Companion to Poetic Genre (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture).

The hardcover edition of Roberta's book entitled The Unworn Necklace can be purchased at The Unworn Necklace received a Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America and was a finalist in the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award – the first book of haiku to receive such recognition.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Susan Nelson Myers - Three Questions

Susan Nelson Myers
Susan Nelson Myers is a poet, artist, beekeeper, and small business entrepreneur who resides in Mayodan, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Contemporary Haibun Online (online and print edition), The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Frogpond, and Prune Juice and is forthcoming in a number of other publications.  Susan was one of four poets to write the first renray entitled Ephemera, a collaborative genre of poetry for two to four people that emphasizes jazz-like improvisational verse. Susan also provided a Spanish translation of Ephemera.

Susan received an editor’s commentary for her haibun entitled a pot of beans and a Best of the Net 2011 Nomination for her free verse poem entitled Fourteen Days. Susan also received a Denny’s Award for her "removing sandals" haiku.

1) Why do you write haiku?

i enjoy the focus required by haiku.  focus on a moment...focus on the richness of the right word in the right place...focus on resonance.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

i enjoy haibun and tanka, but my first love will always be haiku.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

autumn’s palette —
a flash
of crow’s wing blue

Frogpond - Volume 34, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2011

swell’s cusp —
i stand on top
of rain

Frogpond - Volume 34, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2011

removing sandals
i breathe deep
the horse’s mane

Denny’s Award - XIII Calico Cat International Bilingual Haiku Contest - Origa Kankodori Press -

If you've been enjoying this series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Susan answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Sunday updates

 A Hundred Gourds

A Hundred Gourds now has a temporary webpage where you will find the basic submission guidelines and information.

There is also an opt-in facility for those who would like to receive news and updates.

We welcome your submissions of haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga and articles/ essays relevant to the haikai genre for the March 2012 issue until the submissions closing date of December 15th, 2011.

Though the url for the inaugural issue in December will change slightly, the site will remain available via this link as well.

A big thank-you to Mike Rehling, who is generously hosting A Hundred Gourds.

- Lorin Ford, haiku editor
 for the editorial team
A Hundred Gourds

Journal of Renga & Renku 

Many thanks to all who entered this year's JRR Renku Contest. In total we received 52 poems from 29 sabaki (lead poets) in 11 countries on four continents, which I believe is a record number of entries for any non-Japanese renku contest. Our judge, the renowned renku poet and editor Eiko Yachimoto, is now reading the entries. The winning poem will be published, together with a detailed critique, in the next issue of Journal of Renga & Renku, to appear at the end of 2011. All entries will be considered as content for inclusion in the journal.

The editors
Journal of Renga & Renku

Follow us on Facebook at

Ed Baker sent the following URL:

J. Zimmerman sent this:
Wild Violets

The just-published Wild Violets (the 2011 Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Annual Haiku Anthology) is a labor of love, full of haiku, haibun, and essays about modern haiku practice: a great gift book.

It showcases selected haiku by 57 poets (including Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, Christopher Herold, Deborah P. Kolodji, Patricia J. Machmiller, Michael McClintock, Patricia Prime, Billie Wilson, and Teruo Yamagata) from the USA, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan.

Ten informative essays explore the practice of haiku in a wide sense, suggesting ways that readers might add to their haiku toolkit. The first three essays concern our core tools:

    "Kigo: A Poetic Device in English Too" by Patricia J. Machmiller;
    the saijiki, as in Anne M. Homan's "The Task of Writing a Sajiki;" and
    the ginko, adapted to the "Urban Ginko" by Deborah P. Kolodji.

Other essays include "Haiku with Very Few Verbs" by Jerry Ball, "Haiku … Zen—What's the Diff?" by Christopher Herold, and "Gendai Haiku: Why Should We Care?" by Patrick Gallagher.

Selected micro-haibun are for nine of the poets.

The anthology's title is from a haiku by Patricia J. Machmiller:

   the little child
   wanting only to be held—
   wild violets

Edited and introduced by Jerry Ball and J. Zimmerman, the anthology's poems and text are enhanced by Ann Bendixen's powerful yet elegant art. Judith Morrison Schallberger designed the anthology and Harry Lafnear designed the cover.

Wild Violets is available pre-paid by check made out to Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS) of $12 plus p&p ($5 USA; $10 for Canada, Mexico, or Europe; $12.00 for Asia, Australia, and New Zealand). Include your mailing address with your payment to: YTHS Treasurer, 6116 Dunn Avenue, San Jose, CA 95123, USA.

Printed at Patson's Press, Sunnyvale (September 2011) Wild Violets is 70 pages plus folding inserts; 6" x 9". Glossy art covers; perfect bound. ISBN 978-0-9745404-9-8.

Our editors' introduction can be read at:

Roberta Beary's The Unworn Necklace was recently reviewed on Basho's Road.

The Unworn Necklace is available at

Penny Harter sent this:

I was invited by the Unitarian Church to give the morning message on August 21st. My topic was using writing, specifically poetry, to move from loss and grief into healing and light. I spoke of my several journeys  through loss and grief (divorce, death of my parents, and loss of my husband) and incorporated a number of my poems. My talk was about 1/2 hour long, and they posted it on their web site. To see it, please go to: and scroll down to August 21st.

I'm moved to post this today because today, October 11th, is the third anniversary of my husband Bill Higginson's death.It was a privilege to share my journey with the congregation. I offer another message on November 21st, this one on honoring the planet. I'll share poetry that focuses on the natural world----poems that witness what we've done to harm the Earth, and poems that celebrate its beauties and gifts. I'll post a link to that one too if they video it.

[I've also embedded Penny's video here.]

Let's close this update with a little flute music this beautiful Sunday morning:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday updates

Good day to you all!

I have power issues with my laptop so please bear with me while I struggle with this new...bump in the road.

Here are a few news items:

A new issue of Notes from the Gean was recently published online.This issue is loaded with a lot of great stuff to read. Browse over to and check out the contents page.

BTW, my sincerest thanks to the editors for publishing two renray in the new issue.

Season's greetings - autumn is now fast coming on here in Kyoto. The crickets are beginning to quieten their cries.

Kindly spread the word about the Kikakuza International Haibun Contest's transmutation into next years's Genjuan International Haibun Contest if you possibly can. Nobuyuki Yuasa and I would much appreciate it being posted on any English/international haiku sites or in newsletters this autumn. The renaming is explained and guidelines outlined in the attachment (in two different Word formats). For good measure, however, I will copy them out below, too. We will look forward to another good entry from many countries around the world. Entry is free again. Deadline: late January.

The Hailstone Haiku Circle site, the Icebox, at also carries the guidelines, as well as last year's top four pieces to read (both items are accessed by links at top right). You can also see there (scroll down a little on the top page) the book we have produced of the first three years' Decorated Works and order it if you like. There are some new translations of haibun by Basho, Buson, and Issa at the back. There will be a few review/gift copies available shortly, but only a few!

Thank you in advance for any help you can give our Contest. If ever in the Kyoto-Osaka area, please drop by.

Best wishes,
Stephen Gill (Tito)

(and on behalf of Nobuyuki (Sosui), too)

Turtle Light Press sent this update.

 The 14th International Apokalipsa Haiku Contest

 Deadline: March 15, 2012 

No of entries: up to 6 original unpublished haiku (in one of the former Yugoslavian languages and/or in English) not under consideration elsewhere.

Topic and form: any

Send four (4) copies of each haiku, or group of haiku, signed by a cipher, along with a separate sheet in another envelope with your cipher, name, age, profession, address, phone number and email address to:

Ulica Lili Novy 25
1000 Ljubljana

(subject: For haiku contest)

or to

In which case enclose two attachments, one with haiku and another with your personal data, both signed by your cipher.

Judges: Edin Saračević, Silva Trstenjak and Alenka Zorman.

Winners will receive some practical prizes. Contest results will be published in Apokalipsa Review.

Haiku Hot Springs, November 4th and 5th

Hi Curtis,

We may be adding people to the program.

This is our first working schedule.


9:00 AM  Welcome & Haiku Sharing....Howard Lee Kilby and R. Paul Tucker, MD, Arkansas Haiku Society
9:30 ......"Senryu"  by Patricia Laster, Poets Roundtable of Arkansas, Benton, AR,
10:30 ...."Liminality" by Susan Delphine Delaney, MD, Plano, TX
11:30 ...Lunch Break
1:00 PM... "Writing a Haiku Blog"  by Margaret Dornaus, Writer and Teacher
2:00    ... "Japanese Calligraphy Demonstration" by Mickey Hulsey
3:00 ... Ginko Walk and Kukai lead by Johnye Elizabeth Strickland, Professor Emeritis, UALR

Saturday: NOV 5, 2011

9:00 AM Announcements - Participants
9:30  Workshop ...Tom Painting, Teacher, Atlanta, GA
11:30  Lunch Break
1:00 "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" by Omar Almobarak, Hot Springs, AR
2:00 "Panel" Beginning Haiku Poets"  Rev. Gail Paul, Hot Springs, AR
3:00 Haiku Friends Autumnal Gift Exchange ... led by Susan Delphine Delaney, MD
        (Please bring a wrapped gift a haiku poet would enjoy, (about $10 or pre-loved.)

There are poets expected from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

The program is subject to change with the addition of confirmed haiku poets.

Please let me know if there is any information I can share with you.

Thank you very much,

Howard Lee Kilby
PO Box 1260
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 71902-1260
Tel: 501-767-6096


Your submissions (up to 6 unpublished haiku in English and your mother tongue, haiga, essays, interviews, book reviews) are welcome.
Please read the submission guidelines before submitting:

Beginning with the next issue English Haiku Editor and one of the two selectors (besides Jasminka Nadaskic Djordjevic) of the best haiku of the issue will be Robert D. Wilson, who will take an'ya's place, as she has to concentrate more on her many other obligations.
Thank you very much to an'ya for her excellent collaboration! 

Deadline: October 31, 2011.

Saša Važić

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gabriola Island

I apologize for the small hiatus. My daughter, Alana, and I moved recently. We're still located in the little old southern town of Mayodan, North Carolina. I know it may sound a bit cliché but there truly is no place like home.

I'd like to thank everyone, near and far, who have helped and supported me during this transition. Sometimes you have no idea just how large your family can be until you need someone to talk to or a shoulder to lean on. I am forever indebted to you all.

BTW, Alana recently contributed to Paw Prints, her school newspaper. Chapter one of Alana's story entitled Black, White, and Gold appears on page seven of the September issue of Paw Prints. Yes, I'm a proud father of a remarkable 12 year-old.

Okay, let's talk poetry!

I no longer do reviews on Tobacco Road. Frankly, I don't have time. However, occasionally I receive a book from someone that is so captivating that I am compelled to spread the news. Tidepools: Haiku on Gabriola is such a book. Edited by Michael Dylan Welch, Tidepools is is a splendid book of haiku, senryu, haibun, rengay (and more) by poets who gather annually at the home of Naomi Beth Wakan on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. This book is more than an anthology of spectacular poems: It is also a guideline as to how haiku gatherings should be conducted, in an air of mutual respect, teaching and learning. Participating poets pay tribute to Gabriola Island in Tidepools with their poems:

their discarded clothes
find the shade

Harvey Jenkins
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Silva Bay
watersplash from the tips
of a toddler's toes

Oceanside, California

pale and wet
drips the winter moon
from the painter's brush

Leanne McIntosh
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Naomi Beth Wakan's free verse poem,  How to Write a Haiku, on page 26 is instructional and fabulous!

I hope I can find my way to Gabriola Island someday. Until then, I'll read and reread this remarkable book.

I'll have another post for you soon.