Greetings! Got myself a bit busy this week, but moooove on along to our wonderful Kat Apel's place, where she's gathering the herd for the Poetry Friday Roundup and sharing her new book!
Life on the Deckle Edge
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Lots of haiku goings-on this past week, which is great with me.
First, on Tuesday and Thursday, I presented an online two-part haiku workshop for the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF - near Athens, Ga.), and I loved meeting the most interesting people who participated! Our own Carol Varsalona was there, as well as other accomplished, fascinating, curious, and generous individuals. David Oates, who lives in Athens, made the first workshop - tuck that name into your hat for later as you scroll down.
Second, I've been letting a commitment simmer for a while and am now ready to stir it into something. A long-distance friend and accomplished haiku poet asked me last year if I would write the foreword for a sparkling collection of her work. It's the first time I've written such! I hope to do the fine quality of her poetry justice. Such an honor! I'll share more when she publishes her book.
Third, I'm way beyond thrilled to have a poem in jar of rain, the brand new Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku (edited by Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Editorial Staff). It's the 25th volume in this annual series, and a standard for excellence in haiku circles.
From the back cover copy:
The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku each year assembles the finest haiku and related forms published around the world into a single book. This volume, twenty-fifth in the most honored series in the history of English-Language Haiku, comprises 163 poems (haiku and senryu), 20 linked forms (haibun, renku, rengay and sequences), and 6 critical pieces on the reading, writing and study of the genre.
Jim Kacian writes in the introduction that it's the "unofficial yearbook" of English-Language Haiku - a great description.
Over the course of 2020, more than 3,000 haiku (and related works) by more than 2,000 authors from around the world were nominated for inclusion. Eleven editors read these. Then the works were placed anonymously on a roster sent to each judge, and five of ten had to vote to include each piece. (The editor-in-chief sat out this last part.)
About five years ago I had a poem included in the RMA by default, because it won honorable mention in a Haiku Society of America contest. But this is the first time a poem of mine got plucked right out of the haiku universe, so to speak.
The reason I told you to tuck David's name under your hat is that he has a poem in this volume as well, as do some other poets whose work has graced the pages of this blog over time. David granted me permission to share his poem, so here are both of ours:
two dates by every name
Originally appeared in Kokako #32 (New Zealand), eds. Patricia Prime and Margaret Beverland.
the children in the pictures
divide the pictures
©Robyn Hood Black.
Originally appeared in bottle rockets #42, ed. Stanford M. Forrester.
I love these Red Moon anthologies, because not only do they offer a sampling of fine haiku from across the globe, they hint at what was going on the world any particular year as well. Most entries in jar of rain are pretty timeless/universal (as I suppose David's and mine are), but there are also pandemic-themed poems and linked verses.
The gorgeous cover, by the way, is a detail of a woodblock print by Hiroshige, Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Ataki (1857).
You can peruse the many offerings of Red Moon Press here, specifically jar of rain here, and learn more about David and his various creative adventures (including Wordland, his streaming show on UGA's public radio station) here.
Karen Edmisten kindly hosts our Poetry Friday Roundup this week - Enjoy!
Oops - It's happened again. Here I was just making my way through the days of the week when, ouit of nowhere, Friday up and nipped me on the heels! I've got my fingers in a few too many pies this week - one of which is preparing for the free online haiku workshop I'm leading, coming up Tuesday and Thursday through the Oconee (Ga.) Cultural Arts Foundation. Looking forward to seeing some of you there! But today, make your way over to There Is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town, where the amazing Ruth has our Roundup, and an opportunity to contribute to a poem she's orchestrating, too.
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
I had something else planned for this week, but, alas - glitches and car issues and such, so it can emerge later.
And speaking of plans yet to come to fruition, I had many more Valentine-y items I was going to make for my artsyletters shop this year, but they'll keep, too. I did get some new things in the shop and posted on Instagram, including the freshly baked necklace above with vintage letter charms I couldn't resist working with. (Listing coming this eve.)
On a heavier note, I've tuned in to a fair bit of the impeachment trial this week. I can't imagine the trauma felt by those who were there, as they relive the events of the insurrection and perhaps learn new things themselves about it. I generally keep politics out of my blog posts, but I do not agree with one my state's (SC) vocal US Senators, who recently stated he is "ready to move on." Regardless of the trial's outcome, as a country we need to acknowledge what happened, give voice to lives lost and others forever altered, with gratitude for the amazing courage and bravery shown on Jan. 6 by those who faced the mob. Oh, and make the effort to preserve our democratic republic.
So now that I've changed the tone, I'll share a somber haiku just published in bottle rockets.
one blue feather
then the pile
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
bottle rockets Vol. 22, No. 2 (Issue #44)
I was hoping to make this the year I jumped back into Cornell's Great Backyard Bird Count, but that might have to wait another year, too. Or maybe I can participate a little bit?! Anyone can join in and help keep track of our amazing feathered earthly comanions. (I did learn to identify a new visitor to my new bird feeder this week, using The Cornell Lab's wonderful phone app- a pine warbler!)
Thanks for reading along and making safe spaces for the gamut of human (and bird) experiences. Be sure to visit the lovely Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for this week's Roundup. (She happens to include a Mary Oliver poem about one of my favorite birds, the Carolina Wren.)
Greetings, and - Oops! How'd it get to be February already? I've been busy with Etsy orders and making a bunch of last-minute Valentine items to list in my Etsy shop this weekend, and Friday has snuck up on me.
Someone who IS ready for Poetry Friday is Jone MacCulloch, our lovely and talented host for the Roundup. Enjoy the offerings! I 'll see you next Friday with a *love*-themed post... ;0)
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
First, HUGE Congrats to some of our hometown poetic heroes... Monday was a big awards day in kidlit-land. THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO, written by our own Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha & illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, was named a Caldecott Honor Book! And A PLACE AT THE TABLE, by Saadia Faruqi and our own Laura Shovan, published by Clarion Books, was a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book. CONGRATS, you two, and to all who were recognized across all the categories.
Speaking of nice surprises, I received another New Year Poem Postcard this week! Rebecca Herzog sent this energetic collage/haiku combination above. I was humming along to the excerpted lyrics floating in the art on the front (love those layers!!) before reading her own musical poem on the back.
A QUIET MORNING
REFLECTIONS ON A NEW YEAR
MUSIC TO MY EARS
Image and poem ©Rebecca Herzog.
Thanks for the uplifting mailbox gift, Becky!
And, speaking of haiku, I'm excited to share that I'll be leading a free online two-part haiku workshop for the Oconee County Arts Foundation (Watkinsville, Georgia) at the end of next month, February 23rd and 25th, from 1-2:30 p.m. each day. It's part of a wonderful month-long program, "Small Works Inspired by Poetry."
Click here for more info, and here for the description and registration page. The foundation director says local and non-local folks are welcome to register. (These free workshops will not be recorded by OCAF since participants will be potentially on the screen and permissions would be required, etc.)
Now, tap your toes and warm up your voice - our beautiful Jan at Bookseedstudio has the Roundup today on a theme that Becky's poem and art complement perfectly!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Two more New Year Poem Postcard swap goodies came my way this week. These haiku are a PERFECT way to express and celebrate our country's turning the page to a new chapter this week.
First up, Margaret gifted the beyond-glorious photo of a blue heron in flight, with these words:
On wingbeats of blue
heron rises unstatued
heralding the new
Image and poem ©Margaret Simon
Heralding the new, indeed!
And then came Mary Lee's wonderful offering. I have to add that it was postmarked the day after Christmas, and it JUST got to my mailbox on Thursday. [I'd say I can't believe it took that long, but after many headaches worrying about Etsy orders getting to recipients on time in December (a few just plain didn't), I do believe it. The USPS was stretched far too thin. Here's hoping we all might be finished with quarantining and such by the time the holidays arrive THIS year.]
Mary Lee's words were worth the wait, and just right for this week in history:
shiny coin of here and now
ready to be spent
(and who doesn't live Rembrandt?!)
Image and poem ©Mary Lee Hahn
For more of Margaret's writing, click here; for more of Mary Lee's writing, click here; and to learn more about the creative pursuits of Jone Rush MacCulloch, who dreamed up the New Year's Postcard exchange, click here!
Thanks to each of these amazing women.
By the way, I noticed Margaret added a handwritten note to her card, and Mary Lee's poem was handwritten, as was the poem I sent out on my cards this month. Did you know tomorrow, Jan. 23, is National Handwriting Day? I'll be celebrating at artsyletters with earrings featuring sterling silver fountain pen charms that I fell in love with. I made a pair to 'test drive' and have been wearing them all week. (Also, earrings with vintage pen nibs coming soon....) ;0)
Tomorrow is also the birthday of an amazing teacher who regularly brings poetry to life in the classroom - my daughter, Morgan! Happy Birthday to our Super Hero!
Now, one more click to check out this week's Roundup - you'll find it at Laura Shovan's place, where there is always something new and wonderful going on.
Greetings, Poetry Lovers! With all the grave news and concerns of the day, I've been grateful for more gifts of poems in my mailbox, thanks to Jone Rush MacCulloch's annual New Year's Poem Postcard Project.
Here are three more gems. Enjoy!
From Linda Baie, a gorgeous piece of visual and verbal art related to one of her favorite subjects, trees. She captured the end of fall in such a beautiful way:
a yellow aspen.
Sweetgum's orange joins in.
Odd that a green leaf appears,
lands the middle - spring memory
refuses to be one left alone.
they create a wreath of us, together.
Poem and Image ©Linda Baie.
Kimberly Hutmacher sent a gorgeous photo of a celestial treat that I immediately recognized, having made my family go outside and crane necks forever waiting for its appearance: last month's visual "convergence" of Jupiter and Saturn at dusk. Kimberly's poem on the back reads:
Watching the great conjunction
Poem and Image ©Kimberly Hutmacher.
(Thanks for that much-needed glimpse beyond ourselves, Kimberly, and promise of hope!)
And Diane Mayr's name on a poetic/visual project is always a welcome sight. She embraced the "Year of the Ox" theme with her usual clever take in this haiku:
A NEW YEAR...
HONEST DAY'S WORK NO LONGER
Poem and Image ©Diane Mayr.
She also included these words of Japanese New Year's greetings: Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu.
Continued greetings all around, as we make our way through the begining of this new year. These friends remind us to look at the wonders at our feet, and the wonders far, far away in the night sky, and the wonders of being human!
A related bit: Re. poetry swaps, I had the good fortune to send a Winter Poem Swap poem (Thanks for organizing, Tabatha Yeatts!) to our dear friend Kathryn Apel in Australia. Kat was kind enough to share it today on her blog, but the cat photos take the cake. ;0) I did run my simple poem by our dear friend Michelle H. Barnes, who lived in Australia for several years. Her hubby, Peter, actually suggested the "buddy" line... and I liked it better than what I had there. (Shhh... he didn't want credit, so keep that a secret.) When you go visit the Roundup today, you'll see that Kat's Winter Poem Swap gift to Margaret was written along a similar theme - albeit her poem is flowing with lyrical language and gorgeous details. I do so love our Poetry Friday community, and our "doors" are open to new folks as well as old friends.
An unrelated bit: With Valentine's Day just a month away, on Instagram I'll be featuring "Heartsyletters" offerings from my artsyletters Etsy shop over the next few weeks - gifts for literary Valentines! You can find me at @artsylettersgifts . The first post stars an upcycled '80s metal choker base with an upcycled '50s question-mark-in-a-heart charm. (I made one to test drive and have been wearing it almost every day this week.) ;0)
As mentioned, the lovely Margaret has our Roundup this week at Reflections on the Teche. Row thee yonder.
Greetings, Poetry Lovers! I don't know about you, but I'm pretty spent after news events this week. (And the extremes - Personally, I was elated about the voting efforts of my former fellow Georgians when both Senate run-off races were in the "called" column Wednesday, only to plunge right afterwards into heartsickness about the breach of the Capitol.)
So I have been especially appreciative of the poetic gifts in my mailbox, as part of Jone Rush MacCulloch's annual New Year's Poem Postcard Project. Enjoy the respite of these first three I've received, one by Jone herself (I mentioned her foray into Scottish Gaelic last week), and one from Carol Varsalona, and one from Linda Mitchell. These are SO creative, and each so different.
Savor Jone's new language skills to accompany her formidable skills behind the camera, and Carol's jaunty imaginative words and her lovely lake image, and Linda's nod to the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Ox, with her artwork featuring a version of Paul Bunyan's "Babe" in art and collaged background words, and her quite original poem on the other side of the bookmark.
Also, you can listen to Jone read her poem in Scottish Gaelic in her post from last week here!
Many thanks, Ladies, for sending much needed light in these days.
first full moon
makes poetry wishes
happy new year
Poem and Photo ©Jone Rush MacCulloch
upon the lake
as a new year arises.
exhale earth's frostbitten bite.
Poem and Photo ©Carol Varsalona
Year of the Ox
Monday, Ox delivers brush and brooms
to sweep old year away
Tuesday, Ox brings uncles, aunties
hong bao and rice cakes
Wendesday, Ox shies at red banners
good luck poems they swish and sway
Thursday Ox shakes golden bells
hoping kitchen god will stay
Friday Ox easts and rest contentedly
firecrackers pop -
Happy New Year's Day!
Poem and Art ©Linda Mitchell
(PS - My poem postcards are still in the works; waiting on delivery from the printer.);0)
Our amazing Sylvia has the Roundup today over at Poetry for Children. Don't miss her annual New Year "Sneak Peek" list-- a gathering of all the titles of poetry books, anthologies, and novels in verse expected in 2021!
Wishing you, and all, a peaceful weekend.
and... WHEW - We MADE it!
I've been ever so grateful for the Poetry Friday community during such a tumultuous year, and I look forward to what 2021 might bring.
At the risk of "DUH - that's a cliche," the phrase that's been playing in my mind since our ritual family Christmas Eve viewing of It's a Wonderful Life has been the proverbial "cup of kindness." We all need to raise each other's spirits, whether we're raising alcholic spirits or not. So, my obvious poem choice today would be the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.
You'll remember these late 18th-Century lines are attrributed to Robert Burns, Scotland's National Poet. You can read about previous similar lines/themes/influences in this Encyclopedia Brittanica article. Did Rabbie Burns actually pen them, and exactly thus? Not totally sure. But they're always worth bringing out into the twinkling lights, to wrap ourselves up in like a new holiday robe:
Auld Lang Syne
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
And surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
And picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
Since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since auld lang syne.
And there's a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
For auld lang syne.
CHEERS to you and yours. Or as we learned to say in Scotland, Slàinte mhath (Pronounced slan-ge-var - here's a fun link with some background on meanings & pronunciation & such. OR - just ask Jone MacCulloch, who has had to postpone her trip to Scotland but, when she does go, will be armed with all the lovely Scottish Gaelic she's been learning!)
Warmest wishes all around, and here's to brighter days. Our wonderful Ruth has the Roundup today at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town. Thanks, Ruth!