Fresh Puddles

In honor of summer, I’ve decided to organize my blog, my writings, and my life  in general, in that order. I started with the publications pages of my blog. If someone had asked me how many rengay I’ve written, I probably would have guessed 8-10. On listing them, I discovered that I have written an astounding 20 rengay, all since last August, and of these, 13 are published, and another 4 are in the queue to be published. Writing rengay with others often nudges my haiku and couplets in different directions than if I had just set out to write solo. I love that aspect of it! And it’s fun to get to know other haiku poets better, as we collaborate.

I have been writing with Angela Terry and Julie Warther since the three of us met last fall at Haiku North America.We’ve just had our first set of (seven!) rengay published in Notes from the Gean 4:1, June 2012 (pp 119-123): “Fresh Puddles”, “Opening the Locks”, “The Chrome Lure”, “Pink Punch”, “The Steady Drip”, “Sudden Silence”, and “Rolled Up Pants”. The most fun part of writing these rengay, was that they were all written simultaneously, and a report about how that came to be is included as well in the current issue of NFTG. We also have a rengay scheduled to appear in the summer issue of Frogpond.

Kirsten Cliff and I began writing rengay together in February of this year, and have since gone on to publish “The Scent of Pine” and “Turning a Corner” in A Hundred Gourds 1:3, June 2012; “Dream Catcher” in fox dreams, April, 2012; and “Into the Night” in Winged Moon, June 2012. Additionally, our most ambitious project to date, “All the Words that Mean Cancer”, a sequence of four rengay, will be published this October in LYNX. It was the toughest rengay to write, dealing with our experiences with leukemia (Kirsten) and breast cancer (me), but also definitely the most heartfelt, and hopefully inspirational to others as well.

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April Acceptances

It is always a red letter day to receive news that one of my poems has been accepted for publication. I currently have haiku, senryu, short form poetry, tanka, haibun, and rengay that was selected to appear in upcoming issues of the following publications:

  • Moonbathing
  • Four and Twenty
  • The Heron’s Nest
  • Mariposa
  • Haibun Today
  • A Hundred Gourds
  • Modern Haiku
  • The Haiku Foundation Haiku App Database 2012
  • Notes from the Gean
  • Multiverses
  • Prune Juice

Plum Blossom Rain

A new issue of Notes from the Gean was just released. I love seeing the mix of haiku, tanka, linked verse, haiga,  haibun, and feature articles,  and recognizing an increasing number of familiar names, and well as spotting new (at least to me) ones. I am proud to have three haiku, and one tanka included in this issue. There is also a great feature article on NaHaiWriMo, in which participants (including me) were recently asked to answer five questions about what they gained from the experience. My haiku are on page 43, the NaHaiWriMo feature starts on page 44, and my tanka appears on page 90. I do recommend taking the time, though, to read entire issue at your leisure. It’s chockful of good stuff!

he asks if it’s
the end of the line
winter moon

plum blossom rain-
matching my step
to his

frost footprints
my memory of her
fading

riding backwards
on a well-lit train
through a dark tunnel
only my window reflection
and the hum of the rails

More December Journal Releases

December seems to be the month for new journal releases! First there was A Hundred Gourds, then The Heron’s Nest, Sketchbook, and now Notes from the Gean. The latter has been completely overhauled, and is full of essays and interviews, as well as haiku, tanka, haiga, and haibun. I know what I will be doing this weekend (and probably next weekend, and the weekend after that too!)

Two of my haiku appear (on page 33) in this issue:

winter garden
my father’s books
mixed in with mine

snowshoe hare
his footsteps
too big to fill

Haiku Registry Listing

The Haiku Foundation says that to request a listing in their Haiku Registry, you only need to be a poet who has “”published English-language haiku in an edited journal, either in print or online.” My first haiku publication (if you don’t count my early 5-7-5 attempts, and I don’t!) was in 2010, when a sequence of three Mother’s Day haiku I wrote appeared in a special section of the March/ April Sketchbook, followed later that year by my first non-kukai contest placement in World Haiku Review (August 2010), and publication in my first print journal in Riverwind 30 (October 2010).

But that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to feel like I “earned” my listing, and consequently set a personal goal for myself. To make sure it wasn’t just beginner’s luck, I decided that I would wait to apply to be listed until I was published twice in each of  three of my favorite journals: Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, and Notes from the Gean, and also placed well in at least two international contests.

“starting over” appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of Frogpond, and two haibun will appear in the Fall 2011 Frogpond; “muted sunlight” appeared in the June 2011 issue of The Heron’s Nest and “fine mist” in their September 2011 issue; “daydreaming” and “flickering stars”  both appeared in the June issue of Notes from the Gean; I received a Sakura award in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational in September of this year for “honor guard”, and in the same month, took third place in the International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition for “morning mist”. My quest completed, and with twelve haiku contest or journal submissions currently pending, I finally felt ready to apply for my listing.

Haiku North America- Day 2

Starting on Day 2, I realized that what I really needed was a strategy not only to keep from overload, but also to maximize my experience. I have to admit that sleeping in was a huge temptation, but  I didn’t make all the effort to come to the conference just to catch up on my sleep! So with that in mind, I attended the 8 a.m. session of “Tai Chi Ch’uan– Waking Your Haiku Mind”, led by Don Baird. Now I’ve been doing Tai Chi for awhile, but I picked up two major tips that may seem totally obvious, but no one had ever told them to me before. The first was not to lock my knees while doing Tai Chi, something I discovered I do automatically, because I am thinking so hard about my breathing, and what my hands should be doing. The second was to start all movements with the legs; outwardly, that probably wouldn’t even be noticeable to someone looking on, but it makes a big difference in ease of movement. Afterwards, we wrote haiku, inspired by lovely photos taken by Don that were spread around the room.

slow exhale
at the tip of my finger
a butterfly

The conference officially began with opening remarks by Michael Dylan Welch, and a round robin reading of the HNA conference anthology Standing Still. You can read the intro to the anthology here, and a sampling of haiku from it (mine is the 3rd down) here.

Then the hard choices really began in earnest. With three choices for the first session, I opted to attend “Monophilia: The History and Practice of One-Line Haiku in English”, where Jim Kacian did an excellent session on “the two-handed backhand of haiku”, to use his tennis analogy. I have yet to write a monoku myself– my next challenge, I guess– but have been enjoying reading them.

With no break, the next session I attended was “Celebrating 20 Years: Rengay Workshop”, presented by Garry Gay, where we got an intro to writing rengay, and received worksheets for writing 2 and 3 person rengay. We learned that while a rengay required adherence to a particular theme, it also needed to progress through space and time, with shifting points of view. Afterward, over lunch, five of us began attempting our first ever rengay (using the 3 person form), and got a respectable start on it.

After lunch, there was the first panel discussion, of “What Makes Canadian Haiku Canadian”, chaired by Terry Ann Carter, and with panelists Bruce Ross, Jessica Tremblay, and Michael Dylan Welch, where we learned more about haiku on the other side of the border.

We then proceeded to the Monorail station, and rode downtown, where we split into groups to see the sights. I saw Pike Place Market first, followed by the Seattle Art Museum, and had lunch with three others at the Copacabana, a Bolivian restaurant by the Market. We had to do a bit of power walking to catch the last monorail back so we could attend a haibun reading, featuring (among many others) Cor van den Heuvel reading from A Boy’s Seasons: Haibun Memoirs, and Eve Luckring’s video renku. I’ve been playing around with the haibun form a bit, and have five haibun that will shortly appear in Frogpond (2), Notes From the Gean (1), A Hundred Gourds (1), and VoiceCatcher6 (1).

I rounded out my evening with a panel discussion about “Developing Haiku Book Manuscripts”, chaired by Michael Dylan Welch, and with panelists: Jim Kacian, Ce Rosenow, Charles Trumball, and Don Wentworth. This left me with lots of food for thought, as I hope to put a chapbook together someday. This is not so much because I think the world needs another haiku book, but because I have so many haiku kicking around in my various spiral notebooks, and on my computer, that I feel a compelling need to organize them in some cohesive way.

To be continued…


June 2011 Recap

Somehow my monthly recaps got lost in the shuffle. Here’s my recap for June:

– Attended my first haiku conference ever. The Haiku Society of America held their second quarterly meeting June 3-5,  in Bend, Oregon. I took  and posted a handful of photos on Facebook, but the most comprehensive set of photos were posted by Michael Dylan Welch in Picasa Web Albums.

My first haibun was accepted for publication in VoiceCatcher6 this fall.

“muted sunlight” appeared in The Heron’s Nest, Volume XIII, Number 2, June 2011.

“daydreaming” and “flickering stars” appeared in Notes from the Gean, Volume 3, Issue 1, June 2011.

– I had a haiku and a haibun accepted to the September issue of Notes from the Gean.

– A haiku of mine was accepted to the September issue of The Heron’s Nest.

– Took 1st place in the Sketchbook Kukai with my “after the rainbow” haiku. Also 5th place for “getting acquainted”, and 9th place for  “Monday morning” .

– Had five haiku appear in the November/December Sketchbook “vegetable(s)” haiku thread (#3, #32, #34, #36, #38). “open house”, “secrets”, and “hot peppers” were named “Editor’s Choice” by John Daleiden, and “secrets”, “open house”, “hot peppers”, “harvest moon”, and “afternoon siesta” were named “Guest Editor’s Choice” by Bernard Gieske.

– Took 2nd place in the June Shiki Kukai (kigo section)with “flea market”, and received  6 points in the free form section with “other galaxies”.

” a new boutonnière” garnered 9 points in the Caribbean Kigo Kukai #25.

Received word from Aubrie Cox that 5 of my haiku are under consideration for the Anthology of English-Language Haiku by Women anthology that she is editing.

One of my haiku will appear in the Haiku North America Conference anthology in August, and one haiku will appear in the Haiku Society of America’s member anthology this fall.

– And I continued to write daily haiku for NaHaiWriMo!