Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kate MacQueen - Three Questions

Kate MacQueen
Kate MacQueen writes most of her poetry along New Hope Creek in North Carolina and the rest of it on airplanes and in hotels. She was a founding member of pinecone: the North Georgia Haiku Society and is a happy adoptee of the North Carolina Haiku Society. Her work has sporadically appeared in a variety of publications including Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Frogpond, Acorn, Contemporary Haibun & Haiga and big sky: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku. She was a runner-up in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Competition in 2000 and 2008.

Hi Curtis,

After yet another wonderful evening hanging out with some North Carolina Haiku Society poets, I feel like I might be getting a handle on why I care about these little poems. I enjoy reading the responses to your three questions each week; thanks for keeping this feature going. All the best, Kate

1. Why do you write haiku?

Because the full moon shines above the last dark road to my house when I’m driving home from work in the winter and the next day I may need to drink from that light as from a pool of still water. Because each poem is as complete in itself as a butterfly rising to alight on a branch yet the poetry is egg, caterpillar, leaf, chrysalis, butterfly and once again egg. Because one-breath poetry demands that I breathe slow and deep. Because spending time with haijin clears my eyes when they are cloudy, my ears when they are ringing from the din, my heart when it is gritty with frustration. And because these haiku poets make me laugh.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

My love of poetry is eclectic. More than anything else, it is concise imagery and a sense of presence that draws me into a poem. At 15 it was Emily Dickenson’s “I’ll tell you how the sun rose, a ribbon at a time…” At 50 it was Mary Oliver’s “Raven with Crows.” In between it was Ntozake Shange, Fanny Howe, Frank O’Hara, Derek Walcott, Lawrence Ferlenghetti, among many others. It’s not surprising haiku appeals to me, it is surprising it took me four decades to pay it any serious attention.

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

spring morning
last year’s new neighbor
introduces himself

The Heron’s Nest, Vol VIII, Number 3, Sept 2006

big sky: The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2006 (Red Moon Press, 2007)

his song
where she said he would be
indigo bunting

Beneath the Willow Tree: Poems from the North Carolina Haiku Society (Rosenberry Books, 2007)

The Haiku Calendar 2009 (Snapshot Press, 2008)

wingbeats of blackbirds
deep in the thicket

The Heron’s Nest, Vol III, Number 3, March 2001

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 Kate answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Neal Whitman will be our guest next week.

The Garden

Here's a tour of our small garden. Hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoy growing things. (Click HQ near the bottom of the video for better quality.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Competition Results and Call for Submissions

This just in from Billie Wilson:

Modern Haiku has announced the winners of the 2009 Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award Competition. The first three prizes were awarded to:

First Prize: Anne LB Davidson

spring floods —
I move the sink spider
to a safer spot

Second Prize: Nola Borrell

adult walk
a skip
in the child’s step

Third Prize: Bruce Ross

a sudden tinkling
of the wind bell
winter stars

Honorable Mentions were won by Stephen Gould, Michael McClintock, Scott Mason, Bill Pauly, and Marilyn Appl Walker.

The winning haiku and the judges’ comments appear in Modern Haiku issue 40.2 (summer 2009), which was mailed May 11 and 12th, and on the Modern Haiku web site.

Saša Važić sent these results:

The Results of Kaji Aso Studio’s International Haiku Contest 2009

This program is supported by the Consul General of Japan in Boston

Kaji Aso Studio has been happy to see such an international participation in our annual haiku contest. This means that Japanese cultural is being understood by more and more people. We are encouraged by your participation and hope that you will continue to write haiku and think of Kaji Aso Studio as your supporter.

rising sun—
the sunflowers’
dark heads

First prize -
Verica Zivkovic

youngest daughter
passing through
the willow shoots

Second Prize -
Desiree McMurry

vernal pool—
the hardy lily cradles
a young sun

Third Prize -

Special additional prize: “The Elizabeth Searle Lamb Award donated by Carolyn Lamb”

a shovel leans
in the snow

Roland Packer

Senryu Award

smokers’ lounge
everyone leaves behind
a bit of ash

Tanu Deo Sharma

Honorable Mentions

lifting fog
the cormorant
on his rock

John Bird

sunlit steps
a church elder prods
the sleeping dog

John Bird

midday heat—
milk cows chew their cuds
under the oak trees

Darold D. Braida

morning moon
the soap bar floating
just barely there

Barry Goodman

day moon
the girls next door
spin hula hoops

Catherine Lee

the surrounding city...
slate headstones tilted
every which way

Scott Mason

overgrown thicket
the intersection
of old stone walls

Paul Miller

first spring day
the same little nest
of faded twigs

Bruce Ross

a wave
passing waves
full moon

Natalia L. Rudycher

chasing pigeons
a little girl releases
her father’s hand

Wendy Smith

And this from Sketchbook:

Please consider participating in these 2 haiku activities for the May / June 30, 2009 issue of Sketchbook:

May / June 2009 “sunflower(s)” Kukai

May - June 2009 "wedding" Haiku Thread

Link to the current issue of Sketchbook

General submissions for the May / June 30, 2009 issue close on June 20 at midnight.

The Sketchbook Editors

Karina Klesko and John Daleiden

kk, jd

Krawiec book Indie Book Awards Finalist

Breakdown: A Father's Journey, a chapbook of poems by North Carolina Haiku Society member, Richard Krawiec, was a finalist for the prestigious 2009 Indie Book Awards. Breakdown is a powerful book of poems; it reads (in some ways) as a survival guide for anyone going through a difficult relationship. Within its pages you will discover how a father's love for his sons can strengthen and steady him when all seems bleak. I highly recommend this book.

Here is an excerpt:

Spirit Guide

soon after the rain
my son piles sticks on dirt—
an insect nursery
God teaches you how
to be good he whispers
eyes open like insistent fruit
then he kills you
and gives your body

to the people factory

they make you into a new person

and you get born

his fingers balance
another twig atop the pile
his smiles asks do you see
are you listening

— Richard Krawiec

Breakdown is published through Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Monday, May 25, 2009

PoetTea Reading - Kate MacQueen

Here is another video clip of the PoetTea Reading held in Winston-Salem, NC on May 23, 2009. In this segment, Kate MacQueen reads a few poems:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Connie Donleycott - Three Questions

Connie Donleycott has been writing haiku since mid-2000. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals as well as the Red Moon Anthology and A New Resonance 4: Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku. She lives in Bremerton, Washington with her husband Ken. They have two grown children (a daughter and a son) and are currently adjusting to the "empty nest".

1) Why do you write haiku?

The practice of writing haiku enriches my life and has awakened that child-like wonder within myself.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I enjoy writing rengay, haibun and I've recently taken part in the Port Townsend Renku group.

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

Three special ones, for me--

creak of the swing . . .
my feet still reach
the sky

The Heron's Nest, Vol V:9
Readers' Choice Poem of the Year, The Heron's Nest 2003
Red Moon Anthology, "Tug of the Current"

woodland path —
a small flower
bends our knees

The Heron's Nest, Vol. V:3

beach stones
the sun's warmth
fills my hand

The Heron's Nest, Vol. VI:7
"Haiku Journey"--Hot Lava Games

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 Connie answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Kate MacQueen will be our guest next week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

PoetTea Reading - rengay

Members of the North Carolina Haiku Society participated in the PoetTea Haiku Reading held at the Golden Flower Tai Chi Center in Winston-Salem today. Kate MacQueen, Bob Moyer, Dave Russo, Richard Straw, Stan Siceloff, and Curtis Dunlap read poems in front of a very kind and receptive audience. The format of reading poems and sampling exquisite teas works exceedingly well.This was the third PoetTea Reading in less than a year.

I will post video excerpts of this event on Tobacco Road. The first video is below:

Haiku Page

Hopefully, I'll be on a more routine schedule over the next few days.

The latest issue of Haiku Page is available. JQ Zheng has kindly given me permission to allow readers to download it directly from Tobacco Road.

Click Haiku Page to download the latest issue.

Friday, May 22, 2009

PoetTea on Saturday

I've had, well, one of "those" weeks. In fact, I've worked 12 hours today and counting. . .

I'm still at work, but I thought I'd take a 10 minute break to tell you about a haiku reading in Winston-Salem tomorrow. From Dave Russo:

PoetTea This Saturday

PoetTea from 1:00 to 2:00 on Sat May 23 in Winston-Salem.

From Bob's postcard: Teas from around the world, poets from around North Carolina—join us while we brew up the best tea and haiku for our spring reading and tasting at:

1:00 to 2:00
Golden Flower Center
612 N. Trade Street
Winston-Salem, NC

So far, poets planning to read are:

Kate MacQueen

Bob Moyer

Dave Russo

Stanley Siceloff

Richard Straw

...and me, well, I hope I can make it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Djurdja Vukelic Rozic - Three Questions

Djurdja Vukelic RozicDjurdja Vukelic Rozic was born in 1956 and lives in Ivanic Grad, Croatia. She writes and translates haiku and is the editor-in-chief of IRIS, a bilingual haiku magazine. She is founder of The International Haiku Meeting and the English haiku contest in Klostar Ivanic, Croatia. Besides haiku, she publishes poetry and humorous sketches. Rozic feels that her kuyus (haiku friends) enrich her life.

1) Why do you write haiku?

After I met haiku poetry, not only can I not imagine my life without it, but so many things in my life before formally knowing it, was the way of haiku.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I enjoy lyrics very much and do some writing, as well.

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

through the harpsichord
of a bare weeping willow
fingers of the wind

Kusamakura, award 2004

in the shop
a moth and I selecting
a wool sweater

WHA, Kukai September 2005

Kigo word: moth, 1st place

dolls and teddy bears
on the sidewalk awaiting
the garbage truck

Chasing the Clouds, haiku collection by Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic, 2005

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 Djurdja answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Connie Donleycott will be our guest next week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Haiku of Master Basho: Jane Reichhold

Jane Reichhold recently spoke about Basho and haiku at the Commonwealth Club. Here is a video of the event.

Rossiter, Kodojin, Addiss, Lanoue & Simply Haiku

I stumbled upon an interesting audio file at last night. In an area called the PoetryPoetry Workshop, Charlie Rossiter uses Kodojin's Things Seen poem to illustrate how to write a poem each day. Rossiter gives an example of how he was inspired to write his own poem after taking Kodojin's poem to heart.

Rossiter also mentions Stephen Addiss's book about Kodojin entitled Old Taoist: The Life, Art, and Poetry of Kodojin (1865-1944).

To learn more about Kodojin, read this essay by Addiss featured in the September-October 2004 issue of Simply Haiku.

David G. Lanoue is traveling to Japan to promote the Japanese publication of Haiku Guy. There will be readings and signings in Tokyo and Kyoto. The Kyoto reading is scheduled for May 23rd.

Here is an advertisement for the Tokyo reading:

Haiku Guy is a wonderful novel. Lanoue is a natural storyteller who weaves an intriguing tale (interspersed with haiku) utilizing characters from modern New Orleans and 17th century Japan.

I highly recommend this delightful novel. Read the comments on the review page.

The summer issue of Simply Haiku is online.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Peter Vernon Quenter

More HNA news:

Peter Vernon Quenter has studied with and had exposure to various teachers and Brush Calligraphy Masters: Tomoko Kodama Sensei, Ottawa; Kobun Chino Roshi and Kanjuro Shibata Sensei (Kyudo Master and Calligrapher) from Japan; Barbara Basch in the Lineage of Tibetan Buddhist Master Choegyam Trungpa Rinpoche; and Fumiko Uyenaka Sensei. He has conducted courses at the Visual Arts Centre Orleans; the studio of au Papier Japonais, Montreal; Yamada Art Studio, Montreal; Shambhala Centre, Montreal; St. Moritz Public Art School, Switzerland; Stepping Stones Art Gallery, Ottawa; Art Lending of Ottawa. His group shows include The Japanese Embassy, and arts festivals in Ottawa and Montreal. In 2007 he won a first place award of excellence in the Commemorative Haiga Contest for the World Haiku association. Peter is also certified in classical Homoeopathy, Herbology, Nutrition, Iridology, Reflexology; in 1993 he passed the board examination for the National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in the USA. He has been practicing and teaching classical Homoeopathy and Natural Health in Ottawa and across Canada from 1990 to 2005. He currently provides Natural Health guidance to customers at Mother Earth Natural Health in Ottawa, while focusing on the practice and creation of Arts as a skillful means for Mindful Living.

Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image.

HNA Pre and Post Conference Information

This just in from Terry Carter:

Pre and Post Conference

The local committee of the HNA conference would like to invite you to consider some of the following websites.

For get away packages, local attractions and events:

For self guided tours of the Parliament Buildings (including the Peace Tower in the Central Block)

By power of sail or motor or a paddle, the Rideau Canal is an amazing boating destination. Having 47 locks at 24 lock stations, the Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes running 202 kilometres from Lake Ontario in Kingston to the Ottawa River in Ottawa. The canal is a mecca for boaters and is well marked with buoys, making it very easy to navigate. The Riduea Canal’s 24 lockstations are all accessible by road, and can therefore be reached by vehicle, bicycle or on foot. Most lock stations have parking spaces, bicycle racks, public washrooms, picnic areas.

For more information:

Sparkling waters, rocky shorelines, towering treescapes, and pristine beaches – these are just a few of the ingredients in the recipe for making memories, Ontario Parks style.

Check out

Charleston Lake Provincial Park
Frontenac Provincial Park
Murphy’s Point provincial Park
Rideau River Provincial Park

Rideau Flatwater Paddling Routes: access is very easy at any of the over 30 launch ramps and most lockstations. Those travelling the length of the canal have the option of “locking through” the locks or portaging past them. With over 1,091 kilometres (675 miles) of shoreline on the Rideau, there is much to explore. Contact Frontenac Outfitters Canoe and Kayak Centre for more detailed Eastern Ontario “paddle routes” information

For more information on cycling in the region please visit

The two longest hiking trails are the Rideau Trail ( )and the Cataraqui Trail ( )part of the Trans-Canada trail system.

During the conference:

Festival Karsh Ottawa/2009/ is a collaboration between the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a program sponsored by the Library and Archives. Festival Karsh is a city-wide celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of Canada’s greatest portraitists. The exhibition which will be ongoing at the Library and Archives Canada (the home of our conference) from June- Sept. The exhibition is titled “Sound and Vision: Portraits of Musicians and Composers by Yousef Karsh. More information at

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kuniharu Shimizu - haiga & Basho

This just in from Kuniharu Shimizu:

I am starting a project in which I make haiga for all the haiku that appear in Basho's 'Narrow Road to Oku'. Dr. Donald Keene has given me his permission to use his translation for my haiga. The haiga will appear one by one on my blog so if you and your friends are interested, please visit my blog.( The first one is already uploaded. Thank you.

Elvis In Black Leather

Alexis Rotella has a new book:

Elvis In Black Leather

by Alexis Rotella

Price: $9.95 USD.
ISBN 978-1-935398-09-7
Pocket paperback. 48 pages.

“Alexis Rotella, with an expected mastery of insight and craft, opens a window into a young girl’s heart in these 28 kinetic portraits of revisited longing, desire and dream inspired by the Pied Piper of an era gone, yet permanently etched on the American mind-scape. Skeptical of celebrity inspired literature, all I can say is: I read it. I loved it. Elvis in Black Leather —nothing like it before in tanka. You’ll be surprised. Trust me.” —Larry Kimmel, Editor of Winfred Press

In these poetic encounters Alexis Rotella brings legend and reason together, showing us the emotional logic from which “gods” are made. These poems are not elegies. They are deliciously alive. —Grace Cavalieri, Producer/host “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

“This is the most enjoyable collection of tanka I’ve read in a long time. What I like about it (along with, it shouldn’t need saying, the quality of this poet’s writing) is the way Alexis Rotella is pushing the boundaries of the genre, so they are not only linked to a common theme —a remembrance of Elvis —but also breaking into the realms of reportage and biography and away from the frequently genteel constraints of traditional tanka.” —Charles Christian, editor Ink, Sweat & Tears

“I have read Alexis Rotella’s Elvis in Black Leather five times with increasing pleasure, a number of the tanka having her brand of direct, down-to-earth humor. Mostly tanka, her poems resound with allusions to Presley’s textured clothing, to his songs, to his fast-food delights, and to her own dreams about him. One poem satirizes her father who objected to continually hearing Elvis on the radio—her father said he himself was King in his own home. Among the most moving of the poems is one on Presley’s death: ‘Mourning doves / how sweet / the sound — / vigil over / at Graceland.’ Alexis’s chapbook is a black-leather gem.” —Sanford Goldstein, renowned poet, translator, and author of Four Decades on My Tanka Road

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Colin Stewart Jones - Three Questions

Colin Stewart Jones
Colin Stewart Jones lives and writes in Aberdeen, Scotland. He studied Gaelic language and literature at the University of Aberdeen. His final dissertation for his MA was on points of contact between Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean and the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Colin went on to study an MLitt in Irish and Scottish Studies under Professor Tom Devine at the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

Colin first started writing haiku in 2005 when he realised that it was not just about counting syllables. He has had some success with publishing haiku, tanka, haiga, renku and haibun; appearing in many online and print journals. His work has also appeared in white lies: The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2008, contemporary haibun Vol 10 and he placed joint first in the 2008 Haiku Poets of Northern California International Rengay Competition. Colin has been experimenting with one-word haiga which were published by The World Haiku Review. In a recent review of Colin’s book A Seal Snorts out the Moon, published by Cauliay, Robert Wilson, managing editor of Simply Haiku, described his writing as a cross between Bukowski and Kerouac.

Colin is also one of the editors for Notes From the Gean: A Journal of Japanese Short Forms.

Samples of Colin's published work can be read at:

1) Why do you write haiku?

I write haiku because I have a short attention span. Seriously, this is true but not for the reasons you may think. I have a mental health problem and I sometimes find it hard to concentrate. Haiku makes me stop and think and actually take in what is around me. I find the concentration on image and the distillation of thought to be very beneficial to me. Therefore, I do not believe in the “haiku moment”, I think they are there all the time, one just has to notice them.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I wrote my university dissertation on a Gaelic poet, Sorley MacLean, which sparked my interest in poetry of other cultures. Unfortunately university killed my love of reading for a long time but I got over it. I like haiga, haibun and tanka. I am currently experimenting with one-word haiga and minimal haibun but I really do struggle with tanka, though I can appreciate it when it is done well. I regard the Book of Job to be a masterpiece on the human condition and I enjoy reading the Psalms. All art is poetic, however, especially dance – I love to dance.

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

I am still learning my craft and will probably never get there but I hope the next one will be better than the previous one. I have chosen three for very different reasons:

at birdsong
a horse clears
his throat

featured on the front page of Simply Haiku, Spring 2006, vol 4 no 1

Robert Wilson said this one was reminiscent of Buson and this made me feel proud – who says haiku does not contain ego?

varicose sky
now for another
glass of Shiraz

paper wasp, Spring 2008

I have chosen this because I believe the fragment to be unique.

crescent moon –
tonight the man
is beheaded

Haibun Today, January 7th 2009

This is part of a very political haibun that I thought would never get published but I was very pleased when Jeffrey Woodward published it.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

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 Colin answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Djurdja Vukelic Rozic will be our guest next week.

The Haiku Foundation

This just in from Jim Kacian:

Dear Friends:

The Haiku Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to archive the accomplishments of the first century of haiku in English and to create greater opportunities for its second, was chartered in the state of Virginia, USA, on 6 January 2009. It is a volunteer organization primarily designed to create and implement projects centered around haiku. Most haiku organizations have privileged the poet's needs: education, publication, socialization. The Haiku Foundation instead seeks to foster the growth of haiku itself. This is where poets come when they want to give back.

We are pleased to announce the public unveiling of our website. We hope you will visit it often and with pleasure. Please tell us how it serves you, and how it might serve you in the future. And most of all, we welcome your participation. Please join us to help us realize our goals.

Jim Kacian
The Haiku Foundation

I browsed The Haiku Foundation web site this morning. I was delighted to see several publications in the Digital Library and a special Mother's Day issue of Montage.

Interview, Publication, & Contest Information

Magnapoet, Eliaz Cohen, was featured recently on PBS's poetry series. Poems, audio files and a transcript are available on PBS's web site.

The March/April issue of Sketchbook is available.

Aesthetica Magazine is having its Annual Creative Works Competition. Submit your best artwork & photography, fiction and/or poetry before August 31, 2009.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lenard D. Moore Students Featured on NC Poet Laureate's Blog

Lenard D. Moore photo by Curtis Dunlap
A number of Lenard D. Moore's students were featured this week on North Carolina Poet Laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer's blog. After reading Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, students were instructed to write kwansaba poems. Kwansaba consist of seven lines, with seven words per line and no more than seven letters per word.

Read more about Lenard, his students, and several wonderful kwansaba on the blog's May 6th post.

Thanks for sharing this exciting news with Tobacco Road readers, Lenard. And thank you for all you do to promote poetry throughout our region and beyond.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NCHS news

Dave Russo has put together a gallery of photos from the recent Haiku Holiday held at beautiful Bolin Brook Farm near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A special heartfelt thank you to Jean Earnhardt for hosting this annual North Carolina Haiku Society event for an incredible 30 years!
Richard Straw at the recent Haiku Holiday
Richard Straw has self-published The Longest Time, a 40 page chapbook of haibun. The title is from a haibun (on page three) that was originally published in the spring 2007 issue of Simply Haiku. The cost is $5 per chapbook for orders within the United States (includes mailing). International orders are $8.

If you are interested in purchasing The Longest Time, let me know via this form, and I will forward your contact information to Richard.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Natalia L. Rudychev - Three Questions

Natalia L. Rudychev has two graduate degrees in comparative literature and linguistics. At present she is working on her PhD in Philosophy at Duquesne University . Natalia has taught literature and philosophy at various universities in the United States and abroad. Additionally, Natalia is an award-winning poet (Sakura Award 2007, White Lotus Editor’s Choice Award 2008, Robert Spiess Award 2008, the Winner of the 2008 San Francisco International Haiku Competition, the Winner of The First International Erotic Tanka Contest 2008) and artist (WHA Master Haiga Artist, Winner of the Heron’s Nest Illustration Contest 2007 and 2008, The Winner of the LEXICON Cover Art Contest 2008). Natalia’s works are published and displayed in the USA , Russia , UK , Italy , Canada , Australia , and Japan . In August of 2008, Natalia was featured on the TV program Poetry Today – HAIKU. Natalia has also published two tanka books: The Willow (HaigArt Press, 2007), favorably reviewed in Gusts # 8, 2008 and between the lines (HaigArt Press, 2008).

1) Why do you write haiku?

Sometimes I am lucky to receive a gift in the form of a miraculous encounter with an object or an event. Often this gift is too big to keep it inside (just for myself) so I share it with others in a haiku hoping that they can have their own experience of the miracle that touched my soul.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Any kind of poetry that resonates. I write and publish formal and free verse in Russian and in English. I also enjoy writing tanka.

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

So far my favorites are:

letting go
the heart
of a sparrow

(The Winner of Robert Spiess Award 2008)

silence between us…
cherry petals
in flight

(Sakura Award 2007)

the heart
drawn in snow
still falling

(The Winner of the 2008 San Francisco International Haiku Competition)

Wishing you all the best,

Natalia L. Rudychev

[Natalia provided the lovely self-portrait and the wonderful haiga.]

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 Natalia answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Colin Stewart Jones will be our guest next week.

HSA Members’ Anthology 2009

Time to Submit Your Work to the HSA Members’ Anthology 2009

In 2009, for the 16th consecutive year, the HSA will publish a members’ anthology. You are cordially urged to participate!

This is a wonderful opportunity to examine the work of a cross-section of HSA poets—who are among the best writers of haiku in English—and to see your work in print. The HSA members’ anthology makes a great gift for family and friends! Please consider ordering several copies.

Anthology editors are Joseph Kirschner, Lidia Rozmus, and Charles Trumbull.

Theme: This year’s anthology will have a theme: geographical haiku.

Each haiku selected will name or pertain to a specific geographical location—that is, a place you could actually pinpoint on a map. This could be the poet’s home or workplace, a vacation spot, a historical monument—any geographical location as long as it’s specific. Any place in the world is fine. The place need not be actually named in the text of the haiku, but we do want to know the exact place you had in mind when you wrote the haiku. Here are some examples of the kind of haiku and specific geographical information we’re looking for:

yesterday’s incense
in the morning air

Kofuku Temple, Nara, Japan (Kathleen O’Toole)

from the air
Ohio as I remember it
endless clouds

over Hudson, Ohio (Kirsty Karkow)

prairie morning —
only bluebells
only sky

near Oakes, North Dakota (Billie Wilson)

As in these poems, in addition to submitting the text of the haiku, please be sure to tell us the exact place you had in mind for the haiku. (These haiku are from last year’s HSA members’ anthology, Dandelion Clocks, and are used here only as examples.)

Submissions: Each member in good standing of the Haiku Society of America may submit up to five haiku or senryu, from which at least one (and possibly more) will be selected for inclusion. No haiga, haibun, tanka, etc. please.

All submissions must be sent by snail mail. Please put all five poems on one sheet with your name, address, and e-mail address at the top.

For each haiku, indicate the specific location referred to in the text (as in the samples above).

New work is preferred, but previously published haiku/senryu are acceptable. If a haiku has been published previously, please provide the publication information (book or journal, volume and issue number, and date).

You will be notified by e-mail which of your haiku has/have been selected. If you do not have an e-mail address but wish to be notified, please include an SASE (non-US residents, an SAE and an IRC).

Deadline: In hand by May 15, 2009. Notifications of selection will be sent by June 15.

Purchasing copies: The number of copies printed will be determined by the number of copies advance-ordered. Thus, we strongly suggest that you order your copies when you submit your haiku. The cost is US$20.00/copy postpaid in North America (add $3.00 postage elsewhere). Remit in US-dollar checks made out to “Haiku Society of America” or cash.

Submission checklist:

[ ] one page, with name, address, and e-mail address at the top
[ ] up to five haiku/senryu
[ ] the specific geographical location of each haiku
[ ] previous publication information
[ ] number of copies of the anthology being ordered
[ ] US dollar check made out to “Haiku Society of America” or cash
[ ] SASE to receive selection information
[ ] all mailed to Charles Trumbull PO Box 7046 Evanston, IL 60204-7046 USA

Questions? If these instructions are not clear, or if you have other questions, contact Charles Trumbull by e-mail at <> or at the PO box address above.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Magnapoets & HNA 2009

Submissions are now being accepted for the next issue of Magnapoets. The selection process runs through the month of May in the following categories: free verse and form poetry, tanka, haiku, senryu, and short stories. Contributors receive a single copy of this beautiful journal.

Additional information is available at:

Terry Ann Carter sent this updated Haiku North America 2009 poster. She encourages readers to download the poster and share it via blogs, emails, etc. To view or download the poster (in pdf format), click the image below.