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!