Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - New Animal Rights Haiku Anthology

December 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, animals, animal rights, Robert Epstein, animal haiku

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

If youíre an animal lover too, this post is for you.

Hot off the Middle Island Press press is an anthology of animal rights haiku called Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku by Robert Epstein (author and editor) and Miriam Wald (editor). The book features poems from contributors across the globe.

Actually, the volume is so new I donít even have my own copy yet! Iíve just ordered one.

Here are the poems of mine that were accepted for the book:

plenty of room
for dessert

cruelty free
eye shadow weightless
on each lid

closet floor
the balance of
man-made materials

following me
eyes of the ones
I didnít stop for

spring dusk each crooning frog sentient

Poems ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Iím honored to have this work included. Iíve been a vegetarian for almost 29 years now, and have tried in that time, sometimes imperfectly, to make cruelty-free choices as much as possible. Iím happy there are far more options in the marketplace these days for makeup, toiletries and household products that donít test on animals than there were back in the day when I lived near Raleigh, NC, and first became aware of all these issues (even hearing animal rights author and pioneer Tom Regan speak at some meetings).

My ďadviceĒ to folks interested in a more humane approach to life continues to be: start where you are. If you are conflicted about gray areas (vaccinating children or obtaining medical care that is somehow tied to animal testing), well, most people are. But there are many daily choices which should be black and white.

Our own children received recommended vaccines growing up. But if my choice for laundry detergent is between a brand from a company which essentially forces bleach into the eyes of rabbits and causes suffering and senseless animal deaths, or a product from a company which makes safe, effective, and far more humane and eco-friendly options, Iím happy to pay a wee bit extra for the latter. (I always read labels!)

In the new year, Iíll be welcoming Robert Epstein to the blog to discuss this anthology as well as a recently-published collection of his own poems on this theme, Turkey Heaven. Robert is a San Francisco Bay Area licensed psychotherapist in addition to being a haiku poet and anthologist. Heís been a vegan since 1975.

Our upcoming interview will do double-duty, as I plan to share these two new books with attendees at our upcoming Haiku Society of America-Southeast Region meeting and workshop Earth Day weekend on the Georgia coast. (That informational post is two weeks back; for some reason it's not linking correctly.)

For more great poetry this week, strut, plod, swim, or hop over to The Opposite of Indifference where the amazing Tabatha has our Roundup, probably being supervised by her pets.


  1. December 16, 2016 7:38 AM EST
    Congratulations! Your haiku are wonderful, Robyn! I was thinking about all the room I had for dessert as avoided all the gluten-laden casseroles at Thanksgiving, even if I did have a slice of turkey. Thank you for reminding us to be vigilant in our choices. I had no idea about the animal testing for laundry detergent.
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  2. December 16, 2016 8:55 AM EST
    Hi, Dear Catherine! Dessert is the yummiest anyway, isn't it? There are some brands which have been consistently "cruelty-free" for decades - like Seventh Generation and Tom's of Maine. My new fave laundry detergent is "Mrs. Myer's Clean Day." Lots of big retailers carry these now, which is much better for the bunnies. And humans.
    - Robyn Black
  3. December 16, 2016 9:58 AM EST
    I read those labels too, Robyn, am also political in my choices of what brands I seek. But, I don't know Mrs. Myers. . ., will look for it. I use Seventh Generation, good products all. I enjoyed your haiku, and hearing of this new anthology, will look for it! Love "weightless/on each lid". Merry Christmas to all the family!
    - Linda Baie
  4. December 16, 2016 10:14 AM EST
    Hi, Linda! Not surprised you are a Seventh Generation fan. :0) And "Mrs. Myer's" has a good website... I just started noticing those items a couple of years ago, or maybe even more recent than that, on my side of the country. Merry Christmas to you and your precious family, too!
    - Robyn Black
  5. December 16, 2016 11:15 AM EST
    Congrats on having your poems included in this important anthology, Robyn. Looking forward to your interview with Robert. Been using 7th Gen products for years and am always looking for ways to be kinder to the planet and all living things on it. :)
    - jama
  6. December 16, 2016 12:57 PM EST
    Thank you, Jama - your kindness has a far reach! :0)
    - Robyn Black
  7. December 16, 2016 5:49 PM EST
    Wow! Congratulations. What a great idea for a book of haiku. I've been a vegetarian for about 3 years now. I totally agree. Start where you are and do what you can. Nice post. Have a great week.
    - Linda Mitchell
  8. December 17, 2016 12:23 AM EST
    Linda! High five with a plate of tofu. :0) Thanks for coming by - hope you have a great week, too!
    - Robyn Black
  9. December 17, 2016 6:44 AM EST
    Such important issues. I try to use vinegar to clean where possible. Bleach causes me asthma, so I rarely use it at all. And I think animals are as likely to have souls as we are.
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  10. December 17, 2016 7:56 AM EST
    Congrats on the new anthology, Robyn! I recently got Seventh Generation's laundry detergent in the funky cardboardy-looking container. Expensive, but not guilt-inducing.
    - Tabatha
  11. December 17, 2016 8:00 AM EST
    Congratulations and thanks for the call to action for a more humane lifestyle!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  12. December 17, 2016 4:40 PM EST
    Congratulations, Robyn! I think spring dusk each crooning frog sentient is simply lovely.
    - Diane Mayr
  13. December 18, 2016 9:27 AM EST
    Hi, Brenda - I am with you on the souls bit. I'm pretty sure some of those animal souls are more elevated than some human ones.... :0!

    Tabatha, glad you can launder with a "clean" conscious! ;0) Thanks so much for hosting this week.

    Hi, Mary Lee - not completely unrelated to your current "haiku for healing" project. Thanks for the light you shine in the world.

    Merci, Diane. I look forward to reading all of the poems.

    - Robyn Black
  14. December 18, 2016 1:03 PM EST
    Congratulation on your inclusion in this important anthology, Robyn. I love this one:
    cruelty free
    eye shadow weightless
    on each lid
    Brilliant! And I love your advice to "start where you are" - so important. Thank you for all you do, my friend. =)
    - Bridget Magee
  15. December 18, 2016 11:09 PM EST
    Thank you, Bridget - and thanks for all YOU do to spread some light in the world. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  16. December 19, 2016 2:12 AM EST
    Animal rights haiku - I super love the entire concept! The snippets are nice too! Happy holidays, dearest Robyn.
    - Myra from GatheringBooks
  17. December 19, 2016 7:15 PM EST
    Oh, and Happy Holidays across the seas to you, Dear Myra! Thanks. I hope you will have an inspiring and beautiful start to 2017. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  18. February 3, 2017 10:44 AM EST
    Thank You for sharing this! It's a fantastic book and I (Christina of Middle Island Press) find Robert Epstein and Miriam Wald to be as pleasant to work with as they are outstanding in their work as editors and poets!
    - Christina
  19. February 3, 2017 10:47 AM EST
    Your own poems, too, are a most worthy contribution; thank you!
    - Christina
  20. February 3, 2017 11:53 AM EST
    Christina, an honor to have you visit my blog! Thank you - for the kind comments and for your fine work.
    - Robyn Black

Quick Clicks

bio, photos, interview links, etc.
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Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
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In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!