Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bruce England - Three Questions

Bruce England is our guest today for a round of Haiku - Three Questions. He writes:

I live in Santa Clara and work as a Librarian in San Jose, California. My embrace of (and commitment to) haiku has been a long, drawn-out affair. I became aware of haiku in 1962 through one of those Peter Pauper books. I started writing haiku seriously in 1984. I published a chapbook, Shorelines, with my friend Tony Mariano in 1998. My publishing career otherwise remained at a low-level until 2008. Other interests include haiku theory and haiku practice. In the last few years I also began writing and publishing tanka. My fever for these forms might cool within the next sixteen years.

1) Why do you write haiku?

A haiku is like a short diary entry. Accumulate hundreds and possibly thousands over the years, and you have your life and your world, as lived and imagined, in telegram form.

There is a certain satisfying work and surprise in writing haiku. You can wrestle an initial raw haiku into a worthy form. Sometimes, you can literally yank a haiku out of your head and onto a piece of paper through your hand.

On paper
a startled haiku
still wet

My goal is to write haiku that covers the ground around and between realism and magical realism. I want to remain somewhere in the public realm, even if minimally. I don’t want to veer off into the too, too private abyss of surrealism and abstract symbolism. Beyond a certain point, words and meanings become blank, white stones.

My stones
and your stones don’t speak
to each other

One extreme position tends to lead to its extreme opposite position. A certain amount of novelty and risk over time is always wanted and needed. Some English haiku writers are heading off into a long infatuation with gendai haiku. They are following after the Japanese again, and the Japanese have probably moved on elsewhere. So what. There's a momentum to this desire to do something different, so it sort of has to happen. But be prepared; it will get weird.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I can best answer this by naming some poets and books I enjoy: Juan Ramón Jiménez; Theodore Roethke; Technicians of the Sacred; Eskimo Poems from Canada and Greenland; News of the Universe; Rumi; Han-Shan; and various translations of the Tao Te Ching. Also, there are individual Zen and non-Zen poems in books and anthologies too numerous to mention.

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

As I walk
stones leap into butterflies
land back into stones

Frogpond, 33.1, Winter 2010

How quietly
the roses wither –
no screaming here

Mu, Online Issue 1, February 2011

Standing naked
in a blizzard and thankful
for my cup of tea

Haiku Now!, 2011 Noteworthy Mention in Innovative Category

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 Bruce answered. You must be a published poet to participate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sad news - Hortensia Anderson

The poetry world lost an amazingly gifted poet and lady yesterday. After decades of pain, Hortensia Anderson has transitioned to a better place. No, I will not say that she died. Her poems live on and I firmly believe that our souls do survive and move to another place or realm.

Hortensia is free of pain this morning. She has a new body. And we are far better people for having known her and her work.

I invite followers of this blog to read her response to Haiku - Three Questions.

And to her family and friends, I offer this poem I penned a few years ago, inspired by my father's transition. The content of the poems is true, which is why I believe Hortensia is alive today.


Daddy's not there,
that's just his body
lying on that hospital bed,
a vessel he vacated.
He's gone to be with
his mother, told me
that she called to him
at night when he drifted
between this world and sleep.
He told me that he
floats above his bed
like a feather down
when she calls but,
when he's awakened
by a nurse, he drops
back onto the bed.
"It's the best feeling in the world!",
he said of this floating...
Last night he answered his mother,
sifted right through those white sheets,
floated up through the ceiling,
left his fragile, spent, body

Magnapoets - Butterfly Away Anthology Spring 2011

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A quick Saturday update

Okay poets, let's support Garry. I received the following message from Renee Owen:

Hi Curtis:

Don't know if anyone mentioned to you already, but Garry Gay is looking for some votes from his haiku friends for a chance to have one of his photos used in a commercial for the fine art site that sells his work, Fine Art America.

Below there are three links to his photos. Vote for all three, if you have time (just click on the image, set-up a free account as collector and then go back and click on his image to vote). You should notice his vote tally going up by 1 after you vote.

Go Garry!! Thanks, xo Renee Owen

P.S. Could you post this on your wonderful blog, Tobacco Road??

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Updates

Hello Sketchbook Readers:

The new Sketchbook Issue 41 is now on-line. The March / April 2012 Sketchbook contains poems, art and features by one hundred-four writers from twenty-one Countries.

March/April 2012: Cover:

March/April 2012: Contents Page:

March/April 2012: SHH2--spring Kigo results:

March/April 2012: "swing" Kukai results:

March/April 2012: "pond life" Haiku Thread:

March/April 2012: PTP results:

From the Editor's Chairs:

Announcement: May/June 2012: SHH 3--summer Kigo:

Announcement: May/June 2012: "wedding / bride" haiku Thread:

Announcement: May/June 2012: "cloud(s)" Kukai:

Announcement: May/June 2012: PTP Contest:

The editors are now accepting submissions until June 20, 2012 for the next issue:

Karina Klesko, US and John Daleiden, US
jd Klesko/Director Sketchbook
Karina Klesko, Senior Editor
John Daleiden, Editor/Webmaster

Charles Trumbull sent this:

Hiroaki Sato sent this to me — it might be of interest to you for your haiku services.



Charles Trumbull

From: Hiroaki Sato
Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:39 AM
To: Charles Trumbull

Subject: Another haiku contest

Dear Charlie,

Would you send this to those who might be interested? I am the judge of the English division、

Yours, Hiro

Deborah P Kolodji sent this:

Hi Curtis,

Could you put out a reminder about the 2012 Tokutomi Haiku Contest.  The deadline is coming up - it's May 31st, and I really haven't received a lot of entries so far.

Here's the link:

This is a 5-7-5 contest, using only one kigo.  These rules were set in honor of the founders of the Yuki Teikei Society, Kiyoshi and Kyoko Tokutomi.

The Tokutomis founded the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society in San Jose, California, in 1975. Their vision was to nourish and foster the art of writing haiku in English using the traditional guidelines developed by haiku poets in Japan. As explained by Mrs. Tokutomi, in Japanese "Yu" means "having", "Ki" means "season", "Tei" means formal", and "Kei" means "pattern".

Therefore in the founders' view, "yuki teikei" haiku contains a season word and utilizes a three-line 5-7-5 pattern of syllables. In today's world, literary English language haiku is usually shorter than 5-7-5 syllables, even by members of the Yuki Teikei Society, however this contest continues to honor the vision of the founders of the society.

M. Kei sent this:

Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4 Published by Keibooks

Perryville, Maryland – May 14, 2012 – Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume Four Published

Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, the anthology series founded by tanka poet and editor, M. Kei, has announced the publication of Volume Four. Now on sale, it features 260 pages with the largest selection yet of tanka poetry and related forms, making it the single largest volume in the series. It retails for $18.00, and can be bought direct from the printer at, or through and other online retailers.

Buy link: -- also available from and other retailers.

Sasa Vazic sent this:

A gift haiku book from Damir Janjalija sent to you by his permission.

Hope you will like.
A paper edition will be printed soon.

Best regards,

Call for Submissions: An Atlas Poetica Special Feature: 

Chiaroscuro - LGBT Tanka

Editor: Janick BELLEAU

Poets are invited to submit their work to a new Atlas Poetica Special Feature on LGBT Tanka.

The title Chiaroscuro is a veiled reference to Torikaebaya Monogatari (literal translation: ‘If only I could exchange them’ story) written around the 12th century in Japan by Anonymous (man or woman, to this day, we do not know). The story, graced with approximately 80 tanka (in the French version), has been translated into English by Rosette F. Willig in 1983 as The Changelings; into German by Michael Stein in 1994 as Die vertauschten Geschwister (lit. ‘The exchanged siblings’) and into French by Renée Garde in 2009 as Si on les échangeait. Le Genji travesti.

Torikaebaya is the tale of a sister and a brother whose mannerisms are those of the opposite sex. Their father, exasperated, decides to present them to the Imperial Court in the sexual identity of their choice; both siblings pursue fabulous careers. The Author touches many themes in this novel: not only are Lesbianism, Gayness, Bisexuality, Transgender tackled but Androgyny as well. The notion of ‘gender’ is played with humour and psychological insight: one might ask, did writers such as Balzac with Séraphîta and Virginia Woolf with Orlando know about Torikaebaya?

The whole book is ‘chiaroscuro’: whether it shows, at times, the emotional distress of the heroine as a divine nobleman; whether it portrays the shy brother as a lady confidant or ultimately, the lover of the Emperor’s naïve daughter; whether it relates to meetings of lovers between dusk and dawn. To learn more about this novel (characters, themes, authorship, translations), please click the links below: in English (; in French ( One might also wish to enjoy M. Kei' s review of the book:

You are invited to enter 3-5 tanka. Your five-line poems (no capitalisation, little punctuation) are to be included in the body of the email, without attachments. The tanka, submission open to everyone, should have a positive outlook on LGBT. Poems submitted must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere. The Editor will accept a pseudonym for poets who prefer to remain anonymous. Complete ATPO guidelines and previous Special Features may be viewed at

Your name, country, email address should be included in the email. Please, do include a bio sketch (75 words max.). Contributions should be emailed to Editor Janick BELLEAU at janick_belleauATyahooDOTca (there is an underbar between the first and last names), the Subject line being “ATPO Special Feature submission - LGBT Tanka”.

Due date for submissions: August 3rd, 2012.

25 successful contributors will have a single poem published OR 25 selected tanka will be included when Chiaroscuro - LGBT Tanka appears as an Atlas Poetica Special Feature in September 2012.

Thank you in advance for your submission.

M. Kei
Editor, Atlas Poetica
A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka

an'ya sent this poster about the Second Friday Art Walk Exhibit. Click the image for a better view.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday updates

A new issue of Lynx is available. You can find Lynx at:

Scott Owens writes:

Great news!  Something Knows the Moment has been named 1 of 5 finalists for the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Thanks for ordering, reading, and supporting Something Knows the Moment

Charlotte Digregorio recently posed this question:

Does haiku keep you sane?

Read what a number of poets had to say here.

Scott Metz had this to say about Roadrunner:

R'r 12.1 is now up on the website.

It feature three sections of new poetry (glass wombs, a collage of scissors, and not quite ice cream), an interview with john martone by Jack Galmitz, an article on the one-line poetry of Grant Hackett (also by Jack Galmitz), and Scorpion Prize 25 by Bob Perelman.

The submission deadline for 12.2 is August 1st, 2012.

Scott Metz
R'r Blog

Roberta Beary was recently featured on Basho's Road:

Pris Campbell was recenlty featured on The Outlaw Poetry Network:

Charlotte Digregorio passed this along:

The Cradle of American Haiku Festival in Wisconsin Open to the Public

If you can make it, The Cradle of American Haiku Festival in Mineral Point, WI, Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22 is a jam-packed weekend of learning and fun! This is the third time the Festival is being offered. Please read the information below:

Gayle Bull invites HSA members to The Cradle of American Haiku 3, a festival in Mineral Point, WI, Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22. The Cradle Festivals celebrate the importance of the Midwest in the development of English language Haiku. The first Cradle Festival honored Raymond Roseliep of Dubuque, IA, one of the best early American haiku poets. The second Cradle honored Robert Spiess of Madison, WI, one of the best early poets and editors of English language haiku journals.

This year's Cradle Festival will honor the development of “American Haiku Journal," the first publication devoted exclusively to English haiku. It was founded in Platteville, WI. Don Eulert, one of its founders, will be among honored guests and presenters.

The three days will feature readings, presentations, food and fun. Some of the presenters and panelists are Charles Trumbull, Jerome Cushman, Gayle Bull, Marjorie Buettner, Charlotte Digregorio, Francine Banwarth, Melissa Allen, Bill Pauly, Aubrie Cox, Mike Montreuil and Lidia Rozmus.

The fee for the three-day festival is $45. This will include all presentations, workshops, readings and the reception and Saturday night picnic.

We encourage pre-registration to make it easier to determine the amount of food and facilities needed.

Throughout the Festival, there will be coffee, tea, iced tea, water and goodies on the front porch of Foundry Books for those who just want to sit, relax, talk and write. We look forward to seeing you at the Festival.

Check for accommodations. If you have any questions, please contact Gayle Bull at She will be happy to send you a registration form.

The Cradle Schedule

Friday, July 20

3 to 7 p.m.–Registration (Foundry Books)

7 – 8 p.m.– Opening Reception and Welcome

8 p.m. – until closing–Open Reading

Saturday, July 21

8 a.m.– Registration (Foundry Books) and Farmers Market at Water Tower Park. (A lot of good inspiration for haiku came from the latter last summer.)

9 a.m.– Welcome

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.– Charlie Trumbull: “Black Haiku: The Uses of Haiku by African-American Poets.”
From the earliest years that haiku has been written in the U.S., African-American poets have been among the foremost experimenters in the genre. The result has been, for the most part, a tradition of haiku writing that runs parallel to what we might call the haiku mainstream. This presentation will trace the history of “black haiku” in America, from the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s and 30s, to the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 70s, to today’s “blues haiku” of Sonia Sanchez and the jazz haiku of Kalamu ya Salaam.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.–America Haiku Panel – Don Eulert, who founded “American Haiku” with the late Jim Bull, Gayle Bull, and Charlie Trumbull. Jerome Cushman will moderate the panel.

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.– Lunch on your own

1- 2 p.m.– Marjorie Buettner – “There is a Season.” A Memorial Reading, 2011. (First presented at Haiku North America conference, Seattle).
“Whatever circles comes from the center. We circle what we love.” — Rumi.
The memorial reading will have a combination of power point presentation, music and a memorial flyer. It will be an hour-long presentation reviewing the lives and haiku of 22 poets who have died in the past couple of years.

2:30 – 5:30 p.m.– Breakout Sessions

2:30 – 4 p.m.– Charlotte Digregorio, “Polish Your Haiku for Publication.” This workshop will include lecture, analysis of great haiku, and critique of participants’ work. Participants will receive training on the finer points of writing haiku to ensure that their submissions are first-rate. Handouts will include samples of haiku, along with an extensive bibliography and list of resource tools for haikuists to take their writing to publication level. Highly recommended for beginning and intermediate haikuists.

2:30 – 4 p.m. Aubrie Cox — “Why Did My Teachers Lie to Me? Teaching Haiku in and out of the Classroom.” Teaching haiku can be both challenging and rewarding. We will discuss the fundamentals, benefits, and possibilities of teaching how to read and write contemporary English language haiku in classes, workshops, and on a one-on-one basis.

2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Lidia Rozmus — “One brush stroke: sumi-e and traditional haiga” workshop. There will be two back-to-back sessions with each session lasting 1.5 hours. (Limit 10 per session).

4 – 5:30 p.m.– Haiku Workshop. Francine Banwarth, Melissa Allen, Bill Pauly, Charlie Trumbull, and Jerome Cushman. This is a critique session. Bring your haiku or just come and listen to some top poets and editors talk about haiku.

4– 5:30 p.m. Mike Montreuil, Haibun Editor, “One Hundred Gourds – Tell Me a Story”: Writing Haibun. The first half of this 90-minute workshop will present two Japanese Masters of haibun, Basho, the originator of the form, and Issa. A short discussion will follow on why haibun lost its appeal until its resurgence in the late 20th century.
We will also look at a longer haibun from Robert Spiess, who was one of the first writers of English North-American haibun.
Next, modern and shorter haibun: work by Roberta Beary and Jeff Winke. Finally, very short haibun by Larry Kimmel.
The last half of the workshop will focus on writing haibun. Attendees will be asked to either complete a haibun from a partially completed text that Mike will supply or write a haibun using their own ideas. Mike will ask those attending the workshop to rework them and then email them to him, if they wish, so they may be considered for a future issue of “A Hundred Gourds.”

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.– Free time

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.– Midwest Picnic

7:30 – 8:30 p.m.– Open Reading

9- until closing– Public Reading at Wine Bar.

Sunday, July 22

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.– Ginko

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Melissa Allen – “Become A Motorcycle: Understanding and Writing Gendai Haiku.” In Japanese, gendai means modern. When applied to haiku, this word signifies that a poem has moved away from traditional haiku poetics, whether in subject matter, structure, or language use. Bring a gendai haiku you have written, if you have one. Please feel free to attend if you don’t, and attend even if you know little or nothing about gendai. We will briefly discuss the nature of gendai and read some well-known examples, such as the motorcycle haiku by Kaneko Tohta, quoted in the workshop’s title. Next, we will discuss our own haiku, and in the process, try to better understand what is meant by gendai.
Noon–until the end. Lunch, ginko readings, and closing remarks at the Gray Dog Deli.

Norman Darlington sent this update:

Darlington Richards are pleased to announce the launch of the Little Book of Yotsumonos.


John Carley’s recently-designed four-verse renku format is represented by 60 poems, wherein Carley collaborates with such well-known haikai poets as Hortensia Anderson, Lorin Ford, Carole MacRury, Sandra Simpson, William Sorlien and Sheila Windsor, together with an introduction to the form.

“I have always been impressed by John Carley’s knowledge of Japanese linked verse… It is my sincere hope that this new form of linked verse will take root.” —Nobuyuki Yuasa, Professor Emeritus, Hiroshima University, and translator of Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics, 1966).

the Little Book of Yotsumonos opens up a world of poetic possibility, sourced by the old, both the Chinese and Japanese poetic traditions, yet fresh and original… I suspect few will be able to read this book without wanting to try and compose a yotsumono themselves.” —Sonja Arntzen, Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, and translator of The Kagero Diary and Ikkyu and the Crazy Cloud Anthology.


Norman & Moira
Darlington Richards Press

Ramesh Anand has a new book of poems entitled Newborn Smiles, Press, 2012. Newborn Smiles is a 72 pages anthology that contains 100 high quality published haiku and 30 published free verses. Preface is done by Patricia Prime and Kala Ramesh.

He would like to distribute his author’s copy for free excluding the postal charges. Those interested can contact him at

Newborn Smiles
Copyright 2012 Ramesh Anand
Published by Press
Allahabad, India
ISBN:  978-8182532786

Excerpts from Preface Section:

Kala Ramesh

A haiku from this collection has been in my mind ever since I read it.

winter deepens
... lungi shivering on
the beggar's face

Lungi is a piece of cloth that is worn / tied around the waist [something like a sarong], by men. In a hot humid country like India, something that is loosely wrapped around the waist is a more practical way of handling this scorching heat. Since a poor man’s wardrobe would be limited, what he wears in winter might be the same lungi that would have kept him cool in summer too.

Here I clearly see a poor man, in extreme cold weather, hunched and huddled-up, The impact this image creates is note worthy. The poem is rewarding if readers know a bit about lungi, else it could easily pass off as a pedestrian attempt.

Patricia Prime

The main themes of Anand’s haiku concentrate on the seasons, flowers, the weather, and the poet’s family. Anand’s double allegiances to both his Indian background and the world of European haiku emerge through particular motifs. Here, for example, we have references to the monsoon, the mosque, elephants and the wallah, alongside haiku that refer to the more traditional themes of the natural world: spring’s end, winter twilight, autumn dawn, maple leaves and cloud pause.

In a haiku climate which is choc-a-bloc with innovative work, this collection assumes the need for haiku to move the human heart, to confront the everyday, but not to be imprisoned by them, and to hearten the reader to continue his or her own journey through the reading and writing of haiku. And throughout, the image recur, both natural and of the heart, out of which Anand invites his readers to make a journey with him.

Read more about Newborn Smiles on Scribd.

A new issue of Rusty Truck is online:

My pal, Susan Nelson Myers, and I continue to work on The Frugal Poet cookbook/anthology. For those of you who have not submitted, guidelines are located on this page:

The Frugal Poets will have the honor of cooking for a good friend and poet who will be traveling through our state next month. We look forward to entertaining our guest. :)