Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bouwe Brouwer - Three Questions

Bouwe Brouwer was born raised and is still living on reclaimed land in a small town in the Netherlands. He has been writing haiku since August 2008. Besides publications in magazines such as Whirligig, Simply Haiku, Shamrock, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Chrysanthemum, Blithe Spirit and Vuursteen he also enjoys sharing his haiku by means of small handmade haiku books. Trained as an illustrator/designer he later switched to working as a teacher at a primary school, which he still enjoys very much every day. At the end of this year his first solo book of haiku and haibun will be published by Max Verhart’s small press 't Schrijverke under the title: Messages from the past.

1) Why do you write haiku?

From an early age on I’ve always been interested in arts and creativity. So after high school I went to study fine arts and was trained as an illustrator/designer. But somehow painting, drawing and photography never seemed sufficient enough to express what I wanted to express. In 2008 I discovered haiku through Jack Kerouac’s writing and everything fell into place. Haiku just seems to suit me. I find haiku very challenging. Although restricted by limited space, the possibilities of haiku seem infinite. Not only concerning subject matter but also technique.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I still enjoy reading different kinds of poetry and actually started reading poetry when I was a teenager. But I guess the biggest influence on my writing is music. The songs of musicians like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone still influence me to this very day. Besides haiku I enjoy writing rengay. I’ve been writing rengay on and off for almost two years now. Mostly with Marleen Hulst, an excellent Dutch writer. And I started writing haibun at the beginning of 2011. This opened a whole new range of possibilities for me and I find it a great adventure.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits)

It’s hard to pick a top three, so I’ll chose three haiku that fit the season.

Christmas tree -
every year a little higher
her paper angel

Caribbean Kigo Kukai #30 - 1st place
Bouwe Brouwer: berichten uit het verleden / messages from te past. 't Schrijverke, Den Bosch (Netherlands) 2011

December fog . . .
taillights fade into
Christmas song

Simply Haiku January 2011
Bouwe Brouwer: berichten uit het verleden / messages from te past. 't Schrijverke, Den Bosch (Netherlands) 2011

winter light slides into
my slippers

Polish International Haiku Contest - 3rd place. November 2011
Bouwe Brouwer: berichten uit het verleden / messages from te past. 't Schrijverke, Den Bosch (Netherlands) 2011

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


snowbird said...

It always seems so marvelous that haiku can erase borders and reach across the world. It's great to put a face on the name under haiku I've come to enjoy for some time now. Thanks, Curtis.

Area 17 said...

Good to see you here Bouwe! ;-)

All three winter haiku are excellent, in fact, they are stunning.

all my best,

Alan, With Words

bouwebrouwer said...

Alan, thanks a lot for your positive comment, i appreciate it a lot! Ans it's true Merrill Ann, haiku can erase borders. That's one of the things i like about it, what i like about art in general, it's a universal way of expressing oneself. One of my favourite comments on haiku is William J. Higginson's remark: What is haiku for? it's for sharing. Curtis, thanks for this wonderful opportunity.