Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday updates

Helen Losse has a new book of poems available entitled Mansion of Memory. Please buy a copy. The profits go to Bright Futures Joplin Tornado Fund. The cost is $11 (plus $2 postage). Visit Helen's blog or the Mansion of Memory Facebook page for ordering information. Here is a poem from the book:

In the Days Of the Pinkest Shades Of Clover

We climbed the lookout tower,
hugged a branch of the Mulberry Tree,
ate purple berries,
sat barefoot stringing beads

on a blanket in the yard
under watchful nose of Mrs. Ross’s
maid, then dripped chocolaty
pudding pops, cooled our-
selves in the water from the hose
or the wading pool,
where Michael leaned to swim—

knit together, purled to a daisy chain,
living our days in the pinkest shades of clover—

so that later roaming the hills
near the Cabin next to Spring River,
we clambered over
sloping limestone rocks and
small, blue cedars, and we knew

why Mummy said, “One can, all can”
is the only fair way, among siblings.

Scott Owens has a new book of poems entitled For One Who Knows How to Own Land. Scott writes:

Future Cycle Press has just released my new book of poems, For One Who Knows How to Own Land.  These 98 pages of poetry focus on the experience of growing up in the disappearing rural South.  They include some of my favorite oldest poems as well as a lot of new ones.  I am including a brief description of the book as well as comments from Ron Rash, Tim Peeler, John Lane, and  below.  You can order copies from me or on Amazon.  There will be a book launch on March 20 at 6:00 at Taste Full Beans in Hickory, NC, and on March 23 at 7:00 at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC.  I hope you can attend one of those events.

For One Who Knows How to Own Land
Copyright 2012 Scott Owens
Published by FutureCycle Press
Mineral Bluff, Georgia
ISBN:  978-0-9839985-3-2

I grew up in two worlds: my father’s parents’ world of brick homes, city streets, shopping, and playgrounds; and my mother’s parents’ world of dirt roads, livestock, growing our own food, and endless woods.  That second world was undeniably harder than the first.  The work was dirtier, and there was more of it.  The homes had fewer luxuries: no cable, no AC, never more than one bathroom.  Even death was different. In town, death was a polished event that took place elsewhere, hospitals, nursing homes, slaughter houses, funeral parlors.  On the farm, animals were killed every week, and most people died at home, and their bodies stayed there until they were buried.

Somehow, however, that second world still seemed much more alive, much more real and vital.  Despite that vitality, I was aware that most people knew almost nothing about that second world.  It was then, and is increasingly now, an undiscovered country where life and death exist side by side with a natural intensity missing from the artificial world of the city.

This book, dedicated to my grandfather (one who knew how to own land), is a record of my undiscovered country and the people who lived there.

Landscape and memory are seamlessly merged in this excellent volume. Like all the best writers of place, Scott Owens finds the heart's universal concerns in his vivid rendering of piedmont Carolina.
--Ron Rash, author of Raising the Dead

There's not a speck of sentimentality in the rural poetic Americana framed by Scott Owens in FOR ONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO OWN LAND. There are dead crows, red dirt earth, barking dogs, burning coal, fox traps, and flooding rivers. These stories matter. The poems all rattle and sing. This is a jolt of strong coffee for a watery time.
--John Lane, author of The Woods Stretched for Miles: Contemporary Nature Writing from the South

In For One Who Knows How to Own Land, poet, Scott Owens creates with a mature voice, childhood reminiscences of pastoral summers in the red dirt rural Piedmont of upstate South Carolina.  This, his most affecting collection to date, is a remarkable sensory journey that registers narrative moments along the entire emotional scale from harsh to tender, from the threatening to the anodyne.  Through the magical nature of memory, these poems of mystery and loss prove again and again that “The boy who left this country/never stopped hearing its names/echo in his ear.”
 --Tim Peeler, author of Checking Out

“Why should this be home?” Scott Owens asks us in “Homeplace,” his question as much about leaving as going back. We walk his train tracks and ridges as if they were our own, as though home were “something you held tight before you, /your back bending against its going away.”  In this both visceral and meditative rendering of place, decay and rebirth are part of the same landscape. I applaud the skill that directs us down a path of experience and familiarity to “stone steps/ that dead-end in mid-air.” His poetry is wise in knowing the weight of its own footsteps.
-- Linda Annas Ferguson, author of Dirt Sandwich

Read more about For One Who Knows How to Own Land on Scott's Musings Blog.

Charlotte Digregorio sent this update:

Hello Haikuists,

Some of you might be interested in the announcement below.

Dear Charlotte,

I am a friend of Charlie Rossiter's and he has referred me to your organization.

I am the President for the National Association for Poetry Therapy and I would like to invite you and your membership to attend our national conference, "Writing the Winds of Change," to be held in Chicago April 26-29, 2012.  We have an extraordinary opening ceremony, featuring local musicians and poets well-known throughout Chicago, as well as, the internationally known key-note poet/educator/essayist and publisher, Haki Madhubuti.  We have a variety of workshops which integrate poetry, journaling and the expressive arts in the arenas of mental health, self-growth, wellness and education.

If you would like more information about our conference and registration process, please refer to our web-page at

Should you have any questions in regard to our organization or our conference, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I do look forward to hearing from you.


Catherine Conway, President
The National Association for Poetry Therapy
P - 630-220-8682

Ellen Compton sent this update:

Good Morning Curtis,

Here's a note I hope you can include with your announcements and updates.

Cheers, and thanks,

Volunteer at 100th D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival

The Haiku Society of America will have a booth at the upcoming 100th National Cherry Blossom Street Festival and is looking for folks to help out. It could be a great time to visit the nation’s capital, enjoy the cherry blossoms, socialize with fellow haiku poets and tell a broader audience about haiku.

The festival, which will be held on Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, runs from 11 – 6 p.m. You are welcome to sign up for an hour or longer. In particular, we could use help with set up and break down before/after the official festival times.

If you love haiku, have always wanted to see Washington DC's cherry blossoms, like working with people, and want to pitch in, please get in touch with Rick Black: or call him at
703-241-4127 for more details. Hope to see you there!

A new issue of Haibun Today is available which includes Penny Harter's haibun, "The Great Blue."

Also, Penny's essay "Writing From the Present, Past, and Future," is the featured essay in the "Revelations: Unedited" feature in Frogpond: the Journal of the Haiku Society of America, pp. 28-44. The essay covers writing haiku, haibun, and free verse.

Sasa Vazic sent the Fujisan Haiku Results.

M. Kei sent this:, the old printer for Keibooks, is offering 30% off Heron Sea by M. Kei and other Keibooks backlist titles, such as Catzilla, and previous issues of Atlas Poetica. This offer is good through February.

Ed Baker sent this update:

just a moment ago I saw that Barney Rosset had died !
a Major, Major 'player' in my life.
neat happening a few years ago  he picked this piece to go into his review:

here is the Post's obituary :

hang in, Ed

Haiku Death Match: No Words Barred

Join Press 53 and Piedmont S.L.A.M. for “Haiku Death Match: No Words Barred” on Tuesday, February 28, 7 p.m., at the Community Arts Cafe, Fourth & Spruce in downtown Winston-Salem. This special adults-only event is open to anyone 18 and over who wants to sling Haiku like an assassin. $3 cover and prizes for our winners. For more information, call Kevin at 336-770-5353.

Colin Stewart Jones sent this:

Dear Readers and Friends,

NFTG has recently undergone a process of streamlining and simplification of its website. You can now access either the flip magazine or the static information pages separately by clicking on the relevant cherry on the entry page.

The flip magazine now has a module which can enlarge to full screen, add annotations and has a search facility. NFTG is now available on all browsers, Mac or PC and all mobile devices, including i-Pad and Android. We have also updated our static information pages and have a new bespoke form filler for submissions which can be accessed at the top left or very bottom of the Submissions’ Page and you can also get in contact by through the Editors’ Page.

Thank you all for you continued support.

Colin Stewart Jones
Notes from the Gean

Richard Krawiec sent this:

Hope you can come see my first staged full-length play, CREEDS.  It's inspired by the true story of Bonnie and Robert Hanssen.  Arch conservative, Opus Dei Catholics, sexually bizarre - and Bob was a  double-agent for the Russians, called the greatest spy in U.S. history.

We have an excellent cast including Lori Mahl (Actors Equity) who had a career in NYC, working on the stage with, among others, Carol Channing and Tyne Daly, Jeff Alguire, who won a Best Actor Award from the Independent, and an ensemble cast that has performed on every major stage in the Triangle - from Playmakers, to REP, to Burning Coal, to Common Ground to the Arts Center in Carrboro.

It will be staged March 22 - April 1 at Common Ground Theater in Durham, NC.

Here's some more info on the show.  Tickets range from $7 - $15

I've had one-acts produced across the U.S. and Canada, but this is my first full length, and it's as exciting as publishing a first novel.

The play is produced by PlayGround, a Theater Co-operative which has been in operation for 2 years.  It's a group of local actresses and actors and NC playwrights who meet once a month to develop scenes by local writers and opportunities for local actors.

If you're interested in supporting PlayGround we are selling a few tickets to the Sunday, April 1, 4 pm cast party. These tickets, which cost $40, will include a free meal, a ticket to your choice of performance (you don't have to go April 1), and a chance to mingle with the cast.

If you want to make a night of it when you come to the play, less than a mile away there are 2 good restaurant choices right on Hillsborough - Bennett Point Grill (quality Southern, no calabash) and Durham House of Pizza (decent pizza and Italian in Sicilian style).  Within 4 miles on HIllsborough you have Chinese, Greek, and fast food.  Only 10 minutes from the theater are Meelo's and Nana's and Parizade, three excellent local choices.

Hope to see you,
richard krawiec

Check out my websites!

And finally, Frugal Poet, Susan Nelson Myers, will have a new recipe and poem to share with you later today.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

David Jacobs - Three Questions

David Jacobs was born in London in 1949 and has lived there since.  He has published several collections of mainstream poetry, the most recent of which "The Gardens of Onkel Arnold" (Peterloo) appeared in 2004.   In the last two years he has concentrated exclusively on haiku. His work has appeared in many of the english language haiku journals including Modern Haiku, Acorn, Haiku Presence, Bottle Rockets, Paper Wasp and The Mainichi Daily News.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Why not?  It might be something to do with the fascination of what's difficult.  I have an interest in Zen, and it may be that haiku is akin to the unravelling of a koan - not that I have ever unravelled one. I read somewhere that you have to write 100 bad haiku in order to write one good one - I sometimes think you have to write 100 bad drafts in order to arrive at one average one.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I like senryu,  although like many others, I find this barely distinguishable from haiku.  And of mainstream poetry I tend to like specific poems rather than forms. If the poem works it has found its form. Kipling's "If" which is pretty well one sentence, just about says it all.

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

I haven't written any wonderful haiku (yet!),  but I'm still hoping for the one that will survive the next 500 years.  The following will not, but my thanks to the editors who took them up.

bomb shelter -
my old belongings
huddle in the dark

(Heron's Nest vol.13.04 December 2011)

coming ashore
at their own pace -
oarsmen's ripples

(Paper Wasp 17(4) Spring 2011 and "Carving Darkness" (Red Moon Press, February 2012)

new dementia wing
Mum insists
on the guided tour

(Modern Haiku vol 43(1) winter/spring 2012)

If you are 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 David answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Updates

Japanese Arts Fusion 

 Dear Poet Friends and Friends of Poets,

 I would like to share information with you about a Japanese Performing Arts Event with commissioned art installation which I have organized for the Pacific Asia Museum in the Los Angeles CA area, one of only four American institutions to exhibit Pan-Asia arts. The museum has been wonderfully supportive, and will use this event as their "kick off event" for this year's focus on Japanese Arts.

 I wish you all could be there!

 Linda Galloway

Click the image for more information

Saša Važić sent this:

Dear haiku friends,

We invite you to participate in our international haiku contest. You can read about it here

We would be grateful to you if you will spread the news. Thank you very much.


Eduard Tara

Kaji Aso Studio Haiku Contest


I'd like to invite you to participate in this year's Kaji Aso Studio Haiku Contest.

You may send as many haiku or senryu as you like at $2 each: type or neatly print your submissions (you may put them all on a single sheet of paper if you wish).  If you send senryu, please mark them as such.  Be sure to include your email address and/or an SASE so that we can notify you of the results!

Our first prize is $250; second $100; third $50; senryu $50.

Please send all entries to:

Kaji Aso Studio
40 Saint Stephen Street
Boston, MA  02115

You can see the winning entries from 2011 and previous years at

All entries must be mailed by APRIL 15, 2012.  All rights revert to the authors after June, 2012 when the winners will be announced. 

The Kaji Aso Studio is a center for the arts in Boston founded by Japanese painter, poet, and musician Kaji Aso to promote a positive, nature-centered philosophy and practice of art.  We have held classes and hosted hundreds of exhibitions, concerts, and readings reading for over thirty years. The Studio is also the home of the Boston Haiku Society, which meets here every third Saturday of the month.

Please join us!
John Ziemba

Submissions for the The Frugal Poet: Recipes and Poems for Lean Times anthology are arriving in our inboxes. Susan and I would like to thank everyone who has sent a recipe and poem. We've enjoyed reading your poems and the stories behind each recipe.

For those of you who have not submitted a recipe, please browse over to The Frugal Poet submissions page to read our guidelines.

And finally, I have some sad news:

Hatsue Kawamura passed away on February 11th.  Hatsue Kawamura and Jane Reichhold worked on many important books together including:

Nakajo, Fumiko. Breasts of Snow.
Trans. Hatsue Kawamura and Jane Reichhold. Tokyo:The Japan Times Press, 2004

Baba, Akiko. Heavenly Maiden Tanka.
Trans. Hatsue Kawamura and Jane Reichhold. Gualala CA:AHA Books, 1999

Saito, Fumi, White Letter Poems.
Trans. Hatsue Kawamura and Jane Reichhold. Gualala CA: AHA Books, 1998

Please join me in extending our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Hatsue Kawamura.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

H. Gene Murtha - Three Questions (Tanka)

H. Gene Murtha, a naturalist and poet, was born on October 19, 1955 under the sign of Libra in Philadelphia, Pa. He has won or placed high in a number of haikai contest around the world. Gene sponsored and judged the first haiku contest for the inner city children of Camden, NJ., for the Virgilio Group, of which he is an lifetime member. With renku partners Bill (Wm. J.) Higginson and Paul MacNeil, he is co-inventor of the single-words shisan renku entitled, Cobweb. His memberships include the Pennsylvania Poetry Society, Mad Poets Society, The Haiku Society of America, and the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association.

1) Why do you write tanka?

Good question Curtis.  I have no idea.  Once I sit down and the ball of my pen hits a piece of paper until the moment my right hand stops, I have know idea what form or genre that I have written.  Normally, I wait for a poem to come to me, then, it is up to the poet gods what form my words unfold.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Spoken word, free form and every Japanese genre.

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

I do not have three favorite poems, every poem that I written is important to me for one reason or another.  I've enclosed more than 3 poems, so you can select whatever poems you wish.

in my pickup
I look thru the rearview
snagged by a pin oak
the same garbage that
Hilary Tann writes about

Hermitage 3:1

brushing off sand
I walk what's left of
the pine dunes
my time here passes by
like the birds overhead

Ribbons 5:2

people change
like the color of
a bunting
I feel at peace
when I'm alone

Rusty Tea Kettle 1:1

Sunday morning
reading the obituaries
calling daddy
the same name
Sylvia Plath does

Rusty Tea Kettle 1:1

I sold everything
except my navajo cross
so precious
this god I hold dear
the same god I gave up

Ribbons 6:1

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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday updates

New Editors for Modern Haiku

Roberta Beary is the new haibun editor for Modern Haiku. Here's what was written in Modern Haiku:

Sharpe-eyed subscribers who compulsively read our masthead will have noticed a few changes there, notably the addition of Roberta Beary's name. We're delighted to announce that Roberta has agreed to join the editorial staff as haibun editor. She's starting right away and will choose from your work for the summer 2012 issue. Please continue to send your submissions to me, however, at

Roberta recently had one of her haibun nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Congratulations, Roberta!

Charlie Trumbull also had this announcement:

And finally, I realize that unfortunately all this fun cannot go on forever. I am planning to hand over the reins of Modern Haiku after the summer 2013 issue, which coincides with my 70th birthday. The really good news is that Paul Miller--newly dubbed Modern Haiku associate editor--will pick up these reins and ride this thoroughbred of ours into even wider horizons!

DailyHaiku call for submissions for Cycle 13

Dear Readers, Friends, and Past Contributors,

We are thrilled to announce that submissions are open for DailyHaiku's thirteenth publishing cycle!  This represents the start of our seventh year of publishing as an online daily periodical. 

We now invite you to submit some of your best work for consideration. Your submission, if selected, will grant you one of six spots on our roster of Cycle 13 contributors. It will also become your first set of haiku that will appear on the site. At the end of the 6 month publishing period, each contributor will have four weeks of published haiku, and will receive a copy of our yearly print addition that features their work.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please read our submission criteria detailed on this webpage:

Feel free to forward this call to any other haiku enthusiasts that may be interested in participating.

Thank you for helping to make DailyHaiku a lively and dynamic environment to showcase contemporary short form poetry!

All the best,

Patrick and Nicole

Charlotte Digregorio sent this recap of the February 2012 Critique Meeting Held in Chicago Metro Area

Charlie Smith sent this link to the 5th Annual Hexapod Haiku Challenge.

A Light Breakfast
 poems to start your day

Poetic License Press

Come see what all the fuss is about! 
 A Light Breakfast poets read and talk about their work.

Thursday, February 16, 2012
7:00 p.m.
The Book Stall
811 Elm Street, Winnetka, Il

Friday, March 9, 2012
8:00 p.m., followed by open mic
The Art Center
1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL
Hosted by Highland Park Poetry
and The Art Center

Copies of A Light Breakfast will be available for purchase.  Please also support our gracious hosts with you patronage: The Book Stall, Highland Park Poetry, and The Art Center.

PO Box 279, Glencoe, IL 60022

And finally, please browse over to The Frugal Poet web site and read the call for submissions page.

Susan Nelson Myers and I are working on an anthology that will include frugal recipes with poetry.

We look forward to reading your poems and sampling your recipes!