My name is William J. Higginson, often referred to as Wordfield on the Internet. I have been reading, translating, writing, and presenting haiku and related Japanese forms all my adult life. (I am also a poet, non-fiction author, workshop leader, and lecturer—the activities that take up most of my time.)
For four decades or more, I have been accumulating haiku-related publications at a prodigious rate. Recently, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, in New York City, agreed to acquire, catalogue, and store my books and papers. I’m starting this blog to make a good list of all the materials in print and other media included in my collection.
I also hope that people familiar with these works will join in a discussion of them. In the case of a book or magazine of poems, citing a single “favorite poem” would be most appropriate. (I will discourage quotation of whole poems, however, as the purpose here is not to violate anyone’s copyright, and certainly not to provide an alternative “read” to the book or magazine in question!)
If a commentator wishes to quote a haiku or other short verse in full in the process of saying something specific and useful about it—something beyond “I like it” or “I don’t like it”—that may be appropriate.
Please remember that translations from other languages are new works, copyrighted by the translator, and hence come under the same rules as poems. If the translation appeared in print or anywhere else in public during the last century, it may not be quoted in full here unless something specific and useful about the translation is being said. And no translation may be quoted here without credit to the translator. For example, Bashô never said anything in English, so any statement that “Bashô said” anything must be immediately preceded or followed by the translator’s name.
Another, important purpose here is to acknowledge the many gifts of books, magazines, and other items that come my way, which will be part of the collection. Over the years, I’ve not been as good as I’d like at letting people know I received materials they’ve sent, and some may think I’m ungrateful because of it. Not so! But I am often overwhelmed with commitments that interfere with what should be normal social duty. Mea culpa!
Henceforth, I will try to add items received in any given week here, with enough of a description to help others understand the significance of the items. For gifts, I will be expressing my appreciation here, too. I will also try to maintain a good list of categories, so, after a while, it should be possible for both visitors and I to see if I already have a given publication.
This blog will not be limited to things I receive as gifts, however, but will include items found in many other places, including bookstores, schools, online, and so on. (Only physical objects will be listed, however. For what’s out there in cyberspace, please see the section I edit on the Open Directory, “Haiku and Related Forms”, at <http://www.dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Poetry/Forms/Haiku_and_Related_Forms/>, where some 350 plus online resources are listed.)
If you’d like to contribute a publication for listing here, please see my “Contribute” page.
Thanks for checking me out!