Greetings, Poetry Lovers! This past Saturday, I enjoyed attending the "Almost Winter" Open Mic Zoom Event of the Southeast Region of the Haiku Society of America, organized by our fearless leader & poet extraordinaire, Michael Henry Lee.
Our featured speaker was the generous and gifted Antionette ("Toni") Libro, who shared her experiences with internationally known haiku poet Nick Virgilio (1928-1989), considered "a founder of haiku written in the American idiom." (More here.) Libro invited Virgilio to speak to her classes at Rowan University when she taught there, and she published some of his haiku in Asphodel, the literary journal she founded and edited.
Stanford M. Forrester also shared a short presentation about Jerry Kilbride, including one of his haibun about Virgilio. Forrester founded bottle rockets press 25 years ago and is a former president of the HSA.
Also at the virtual meeting, winners of our kukai were announced. A kukai is a contest in which participants submit a poem on a theme, and then all of them judge the submissions (presented anonymously). For our contest, the three haiku receiving the most votes were the winners, with their authors receiving a copy of Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku, edited by Raffael de Gruttola (Turtle Light Press, 2012).
Happy to report that my haiku was one of these three! The other winners were Terri L. French and Cody Huddleston. Fine company. The aforementioned theme was "almost winter," and my contribution was a spare one:
almost winter as the crow flies
©Robyn Hood Black
Thank you, HSA SE!
Speaking of birds (and there will likely be a raven post coming soon, after our seeing them on our Blue Ridge Parkway trip), I'm happy to highlight the latest anthology from bottle rockets press, Bird Whistle - A Contemporary Anthology of Bird Haiku, Senryu, & Short Poems, edited by Stanford M Forrester/sekiro and Johnette Downing. The collection features bird-themed poems by more than 100 poets, including terrific haiku by the two wonderful editors.
The poems in the collection are by turns wistful, profound, surprising and humorous.
One of my favorites was penned by the above-mentioned Michael Henry Lee:
swallow tail kites
making more of the wind
than there is
©Michael Henry Lee
I have some previously published poems included as well:
one blue feather
then the pile
our different truths
the rusty underside
of a bluebird
robin's egg blue
how my father would have loved
©Robyn Hood Black
I have already bought an extra copy of Bird Whistle for someone special on my Christmas list. Maybe you have bird-lovers on your holiday list as well? Here's the link.
If you have a lot of them, I have some bird-y items in my Etsy shop, too! ;0) (Click here to peruse.)
By the way, I wasn't able to stay for the open mic part of our get-together on Saturday, because we had to get back on the road with our new Keeshond puppy we had just picked up in Georgia that morning (pictured above). His name is Rookie, but that's another story… ;0)
Flap your way on over to see Karen Edmisten, who is kindly rounding up Poetry Friday this week. Thanks, Karen!