Archive for the ‘Periodicals–Haikai’ Category

This post consists of a listing that will eventually include all the issues of The Haiku Society of America Newsletter, to give it its formal title, in my collection, most recent at the top. For a post that describes a particular issue, please see my review of issue 22:4. Links to other individual issues will be added to the table as they appear in the blog.


Issue Number Date Notes
23:1 February 2008 Includes a separate pamphlet, A Guide to Haiku Publications, 2008, by Charles Trumbull, listing some 50 or so print and online periodicals and annuals.
22:4 November 2007 Reviewed.
22:3 August 2007 Contains Laura Davidson Tanna’s moving memorial to her mother, L. A. Davidson.
Issue Number Date Notes

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This post consists of a listing that will eventually include all the issues of Haiku Canada Review in my collection, most recent at the top. For a post that describes a particular issue, please see my review of issue 2:1. Links to other individual issues will be added to the table as they appear in the blog.


Issue Number Date Notes
2:1 February 2008 Includes name and address listing of some 200 members, plus Haiku Canada Sheet by Naomi Beth Wakan. Reviewed.
1:2 October 2007 Includes Haiku Canada Sheets by Marianne Bluger and members of Haiku Deer Park.
Issue Number Date Notes

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Edited by LeRoy Gorman.

Comes with membership in Haiku Canada (details below).

Well, thing pile up while you’re distracted, as I have been for the past several months, with work (that brings in the wherewithal to keep going) doing one of the things I most enjoy, working with students and teachers to improve their writing and teaching of writing. Some details about that on Penny’s and my “Events” web site: http://www.2hweb.net/events/.

One of the things piling up is haikai periodicals, of which there are now more than a score to report on—that’s a score of different titles, a lot more than a score of individual issues. So, I’ll take up the most recent issue in a minireview, and create lists of additional issues, so that we can get—I can get—an overview of what’s happening as quickly as possible.

In this context, it’s a delight to report on one of the latest entries in the haiku magazine business, Haiku Canada Review. Not entirely new, HCR is a follow-on from the Haiku Canada Newsletter, which has been issued in pamphlet form for many years. However, last year (2007), editor LeRoy Gorman noted that the newsletter had been going in the direction of becoming a magazine, a “review” (that is, a magazine with not only literary content, i.e., poems, but includes reviews and articles on topics related to its literary content). He asked if he could not move it all the way over into the review style of publication it was becoming, and the Haiku Canada membership agreed at last May’s HC Weekend in Ottawa. At the same time, Marco Fraticelli became the editor of an e-mailed HC newsletter, which goes out to members as he accumulates things to report, which has turned out to be every few weeks. Marco’s done a great job with the newly dubbed Haiku Canada Newsflash, turning it into one of the best ways to stay abreast of developments in English- and French-language haiku worldwide. (Hint, hint, you might find it useful to be a member of Haiku Canada just for this e-mail newsletter! Check out the Haiku Canada web site, here: http://www.haikucanada.org/.)

So, to the matter at hand: Haiku Canada Review, 2:1, contains a great mix of poems, mainly haiku/senryu and tanka, haibun, and linked verse, along with a note from the editor on current developments in Haiku Canada, a couple of fine essays (more on them below), pithy book and magazine reviews, and other commentary. (E.g., here again is one of Tom Noyes’s essays on “Two Favorite Haiku”.)

The short poems in English, offered under the heading “Haiku Plus . . .”, include the following, almost at random (I usually strive to include authors’ whose names I’m less familiar with in these quick compilations):

city cab—
at each intersection
the full moon

izak bouwer (p. 3)

Li Po’s moon
I go to the window
to see for myself

Renée Luria Leopold (6)

back from Paris
at the suitcase rollers
leaves from the boulevard
retour de Paris
aux roulettes de la valise
feuilles du boulevard

Klaus-Dieter Wirth (10)

This last forms a neat segue into the section of haïku en français, under the heading Haïkus du fleuve, réunis par Micheline Beaudry. Some samples:

première neige
une mouette s’envole
dans le gris du ciel

Hélène Leclerc (14)

Tout chaud, enrobé
Les cristaux nous effleurant
Barbe à glaçons
Czeply, okryt
Krysztaly nas muskaja
Broda z lisieta

Robert Bilinski (17)

Soir d’Avril
derrière la haie
des rires d’enfants

Martine Hautot (18 )

The second poem above illustrates the fact that while English and French may be the dominant languages of global haiku, many other languages are also involved, and I salute HCR and its editors for sharing poems in several languages with its readers. (Another illustration of the fact that, for all its internal political difficulties, Canada may be more truly welcoming of cosmopolitan influences than some other countries we could name.)

Between the sections of short poems in English and French, we have three quite fine haibun, each with a light touch, though two of them deal with quite serious matters.

And, what makes this a “review” rather than just another haiku magazine: following the poems, a major article by Janick Belleau, translated into English by Dorothy Howard. (The article first appeared in the magazine Haïkaï, in French, December 2006.) In English the title reads “Canadian Haiku Women Pioneers from Sea to Sea (1928–1985)”. The article provides its own overview in the first paragraph, noting that it concludes its survey concurrently with the landmark book Haïku: Anthologie canadienne/Canadian Haiku Anthology, edited by Dorothy Howard and André Duhaime, published in 1985. (I’ll note here my gratitude to the editors for sharing proofs with me as I was putting the finishing touches on my Haiku Handbook, published the same year.) Belleau continues:

We shall see among these women, women who have devoted a good part of their creativity to the writing and publication of haiku, and women who spent great creative energy in haiku promotion through critical studies, journal publications, mentoring and leadership in haiku associations. (20)

The article goes on to feature:

  • a poet who published haiku in an award-winning poems in French, including haiku in 1928 (Simone Routier)
  • “the first author in English Canada to put out a collection of haiku”, in 1965, a book I remember well for its striking wood-engraving illustrations (Claire Pratt)
  • a “haiku theorist” who published The Haiku Form in 1974 (Joan Giroux)
  • three poets from Saskatchewan (Catherine M. Buckaway, Mildred A. Rose, and L. Pearl Schuck)
  • and poet, essayist, illustrator, and co-founder of the Haiku Society of Canada—now Haiku Canada (Betty Drevniok)

Toward the end of her article, Belleau mentions a number of women whose major activity and influence reach far beyond 1985, right up to a couple of living folks that I might liken to “national treasures” of Canadian haiku, Anna Vakar and Dorothy Howard. For each of these and others unnamed here, Belleau provides brief biographical info and a synopsis of their contributions to the haiku community, in many cases embellished with poems.

As elsewhere today, haiku in Canada is neither a women’s nor a men’s world, but a world richly intertwining the work of both. Perhaps someone else will undertake a similarly instructive survey of men’s contributions to the genre in Canada, but in the meantime, it is very good to be reminded of these leading ladies and their contributions.

But the feast of this issue of HCR does not end here. Next up is an article by Angela Leuck, part II of her essay “Approaching Beauty: Writing Haiku About Flowers”—begun in the previous issue. This piece, subtitled “The Human Connection”, includes examples of her poems making that connection, as here:

watering the daylilies
a woman like my mother—
summer dusk (31)

How gesture, form in motion, can bring us back to the memory-artifacts of our personal history. (Angela’s article is based on a talk she gave at the Haiku Canada Weekend, Ottawa, May 2007. You can read my review of that event here: http://haikai.home.att.net/haiku/haikucanada07/.)

The issue moves forward with three linked poems in a variety of forms, one a solo piece we might call “cut prose”, another classically moving kasen in 36 stanzas, and a rengay, the latter in an experimental format that I’ll leave for HCR readers to discover.

After H. F. Noyes’s brief “Two Favorite Haiku” the issue draws toward a close with book and magazine reviews. After one by yours truly (perhaps to appear here later), we have a review of Abigail Friedman’s The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan, written by Angela Leuck; she likes it. And, finally, a section titled “Books in Brief”, which actually covers as many magazines as books, and gives a good thumbnail sketch of its subjects. Each provides full physical descriptions and ordering info, then a very brief synopsis. Here’s what the editor—we must assume, these are unsigned—has to say about Roberta Beary’s The Unworn Necklace:

These are haiku of the heart that quietly catch and draw the reader in. It is no surprise, after reading the credits, to learn many of the poems are award winners.

Haiku Canada Review frequently comes with extras. With this issue we have a Haiku Canada Sheet (a simple trifold brochure) with poems by Naomi Beth Wakan, a long-time poet and advocate for haiku, plus a list of the organization’s 200 or so members. If you’re not one of them, click on the “Join Haiku Canada” link on Haiku Canada’s home page, and find out more of what’s going on in the world of haiku, northern perspective: http://www.haikucanada.org/.


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Aurora Antonovič, Editor-in-Chief.

With thanks to the editors/publishers.

This first issue of what promises to be a semiannual journal contains an interview with recent-past U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (held office 1997–2000); a brief review of Pinsky’s most recent poetry collection by Antonovič; six pages of poems headed “Free Verse and Form” (22 poems); ten pages of short stories, including a “Special Feature” (5 stories); two pages of haiku and senryu (15) and three of tanka (18); a brief essay on writing; and four pages of contributors’ bios. A table of contents at the front is followed by a brief letter from Antonovič that speaks of the magazine’s beginnings and its related web site, and submission guidelines take up the final page.

The covers, outside and inside, feature the same single photograph, a striking snowscape from Mont Blanc, and the 8.5×11″ format allows for ample room on the pages for the content. One could wish that the designer understood how to number pages—the first numbered page, called “1”, is actually page 2, making for confusion as odd numbers appear on left-hand pages—but that is a small gaff for the first issue of a seriously intended journal that begins as the child of a web site, an environment where one doesn’t have to worry about page numbers.

A few poems, more or less at random:

Mission to Schleswig-Holstein

by Taylor Graham

“The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third, and I have forgotten all about it.” Lord Palmerston.

Politics is always local. These two duchies—stuck
between Germany and Denmark, North Sea and Baltic—
share a history that could drive anyone crazy.

It’s 1850, after two years of uprising, border skirmishes,
unsatisfactory truces, and beyond, real powers
with their arguable legitimacies, positioned to take

sides. And you, Mr. Burritt, delegate from the
World Peace Congress, think to make reason of it all?
Show the Danish Minister tha[t] an American can grasp

the intentions of Bismarck and even more distant Austria?
Slow-train diplomacy, Copenhagen to Kiel, and back
again, then on to Hamburg. After months of this,

at night in your hotel room, does Schleswig-Holstein
slip into an easy sleep? Or do you dream battle cries
in dialects you can’t quite understand?

In a deadened night, do you wake to quick boots
marching below your window? By the glare of dawn
on helmets, do you see that all your diplomacy

is as lost as Lord Palmerston’s memory
and the good professor’s mind?

I selected this from among a number of contenders, not because it is typical—I’d be hard pressed to identify a “typical” poetic mode in this issue’s non-Japanese-related poems—but both this poem’s subject and treatment interest me. (I’m a bit of a history buff, though European history is far from my strong suit.) The short stories, also, provide a range of approach to what makes a story.

snow in the city
nobody home
in the cardboard box

Bill Kenney

from the top
of the Space Needle
he phones me
the connection
still clear, after years

Janet Lynn Davis

These two, a haiku and a tanka, respectively, are by writers new to me, but among many names very recognizable in the English-language haiku and tanka communities, such as An’ya, Curtis Dunlap, Peggy Willis Lyles, John Barlow, Cathy Drinkwater Better, Sanford Goldstein, etc.

The intent to produce a cleanly designed magazine of quality writing clearly emerges from these 32 (not 31) pages, and as the magazine progresses I’m sure we’ll see improvements in detail, like losing the unneeded word “by” in front of an author’s name—a carryover from journalistic style that’s not needed in a lit. mag. (I wonder why they didn’t treat all poems the same, with authorship indicated at the ends of poems, as they did with haiku/senryu and tanka. And I hope they’ll study up on the proper presentation of dashes, etc.) The relative freedom of the large page-size and modest type (10 point) has been put to good use, allowing for two columns or more on the poetry pages and accommodating long-line poems as well as those with more typical short lines as above, while still allowing for enough white space to make reading pleasant.

So, an interesting and well-conceived debut. See their web site, http://www.magnapoets.com, for more information on the magazine as well as the many other activities of the Magnapoets, essentially a poetry publishing cooperative.


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Edited by Randy and Shirley Brooks.

Thanks to Brooks Books.

Published twice yearly, Mayfly typically has 16 numbered pages, one haiku each except for pages 1 and 2. As the highest-paying market explicitly for single haiku that I know of in English, it certainly gets my attention, and I have to say that over the years, pound for pound, Mayfly is the top haiku magazine around in English.

For delicate nuance and utter (apparent) simplicity it’s hard to beat the haiku that opens this issue:

sunlit pond—
the echo
of each tadpole

Stanford M. Forrester (3)

It’s one of the more amusing facts of our present haiku community in North America that this poet also edits a very, very different sort of haiku magazine, Bottle Rockets, which will soon be written up in one of these posts. (Somehow, I seriously doubt that the Brooks’s took Forrester’s editorial work into consideration when selecting this haiku to open their issue. The poem has plenty of legs to stand on by itself, no pun intended, much!)

As with all haiku magazines, there are occasional poems in Mayfly that I don’t “get”—in this particular issue there is one:

helping her to clear
our daughter’s party—
stay for tea, she says

John Kinory (9)

I suppose this may speak about a divorced couple, but the grammatical confusion trumps my willingness to prolong a visit with this poem. I have to believe that the poet does not intend “she” as the subject of the verb “helping”—but I cannot help hearing it that way, which reduces the poem to nonsense. Or does the poet refer in the opening line to an unnamed fourth party, as either the “helping” person (otherwise invisible) or the one being helped? Maybe the implied “I” of “our” is the one “helping”?—this is what suggests a divorced couple to me—a solution to the puzzle I might not have thought of had I not experienced what may have been a similar situation myself, many years ago. But, grammatically speaking, I can’t tell, and give up. Ambiguity in haiku may be useful, but this kind of grammatical confusion is usually not.

Anyway, there are more really good, unconfusing haiku here, as in every issue of Mayfly I’ve perused. Try this one:

at the beauty shop
snip, snip

Del Todey Turner (11)

Hard to beat for economy of language and sharpness of wit. (A senryu, not a haiku, of course, but that’s another story.)

Each poet in Mayfly is identified as to home city and state or country, a feature I’ve omitted here, but the reader soon discovers that poets from a wide geography get into its pages, which invariably contain work by people whose names are new to me.

At my age, the issues of Mayfly seem to come up pretty quickly one after another. But even so, I eagerly await the next, to see what crème de la crème of our haiku world the Brooks’s have found in their mailbox over the preceding several months. As with any magazine, I do not suggest sending submissions without reading an issue, and certainly following the submission guidelines they publish there.

If you’d like to get a complete issue—two of them, actually—subscribe:

“One year subscription is $8 [US].”

Brooks Books
3720 N. Woodridge Dr.
Decatur, IL 62526

More on their web site: http://brooksbookshaiku.com/.


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This post consists of a listing that will eventually include all the issues of Kaitei in my collection, most recent at the top. For a post that describes a particular issue, please see Kaitei (海程), no. 437 (2007:11). Links to other individual issues will be added to the table as they appear in the blog.


Issue Number Date Notes
438 December 2007 Includes name and address listing of some 450 “fellows“.
437 November 2007 Reviewed.
Issue Number Date Notes


Fellow (in Japanese, 同人dôjin): I’m using “fellow” in English to designate the top or leading members of a haiku group or club, who may be either female or male. In such an organization, they take leadership roles in various club activities (such as organizing and leading kukai, helping to organize ginko, managing the day-to-day operation of the group, etc.), and pay more substantial dues, thus becoming financial as well as volunteer supporters. In most haiku clubs, the dôjin are invited into this role by the master on the basis of quality in both writing and service to the group. Typically, the dôjin of a haiku club form a small percentage of the membership. Hence, a group with 400+ dôjin normally has several thousand members.


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Edited by Johnye Strickland.

One of the great benefits of HSA membership, since Doris Heitmeyer started expanding her secretary’s report in the 1980s, has been this Newsletter, now a pamphlet of some 40 pages packed with news from all over the English-language haiku world. This issue contains:

p. 1. The “President’s Letter” in which Pamela Miller Ness reviews the year so far, comments on the election of next year’s officers, etc.

pp. 2-4. “National News” where we learn of HSA doings past and future.

pp. 4-25. “Regional News” which includes reports from the HSA’s various regional coordinators, and much info as well on smaller local groups within those regions, from Bangor, Maine, to Alaska and the Central Valley [California] Haiku Club. This is one of the best places to find out what’s happening in haiku at the grass roots!

The regional news also often includes poems written or presented at meetings by the members of the various groups reported on. So, rather than a dry recitation of meeting activities, these pages–the largest section of the Newsletter–provide a cross-section of haiku as they are being written all across America today.

p. 25-33. Contest info. Although this begins with HSA-sponsored contests, it goes way beyond that. Some 14 contests in this issue, if I counted correctly.

p. 33. Conferences, lists two, one an HSA quarterly meeting that will go for more than two days, and the other the 2008 Robert Frost Poetry Festival in Key West, Florida, which will include a number of haiku notables among its readers and presenters.

pp. 33-36 lists new books and journals, followed by announcements on pp. 36-37.

pp. 38-39. Here find an early announcement for the 2009 Haiku North America conference, an announcement of a new feature to appear in future issues of the Newsletter, a series of articles about teaching haiku by members who do that, plus revisions to membership lists and such.

If you like bang for your buck, it’s hard to imagine where you could spend the same amount as HSA dues and get as much solid and useful info on haiku activities as found in this publication. (The dues aren’t even listed here, but there’s information on how to join on the HSA website at: http://www.hsa-haiku.org/.) Note that members also receive copies of the tri-annual HSA journal, Frogpond, which I’ll take up in another post.


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Vol. 3, issue 1 (Spring/Summer 2007). Edited by An’ya.

With thanks to Carole MacRury.

The front page of this tabloid-newsprint publication lists the creators of “Over 300 Verses and Works of Art in this Issue!”–along with countries of origin. These are mostly people from the USA, but there is a good number of Canadians and Europeans, with the Balkans well represented, and a smattering of folks from Japan, Australia, and South Africa.

Personally, I’m not fond of newsprint, even for newspapers, but this issue of moonset has some things to recommend it. For one, a feature of haiku and tanka on cats. Pick of the litter, to my taste:

a feral cat slithers
out of the storm drain–
spring thaw

Ruth Holzer, USA

Another interesting section contains “signature haiku”–“being the poem that you have written which is your own personal favorite and/or has been published the most, or one that you consider best represents you and your writing style”–so says An’ya. In two pages, some 60 or so verses, my pick:

apple blossoms
my grandfather snaps
his suspenders

Andrew Riutta, USA

Tanka is less numerously represented than haiku, but holds up its end very well, nonetheless. My favorite of the issue is this translation by Amelia Fielden and Kozue Uzawa (names in Western order, given name first):

in a country
where fog coldly descends
like the darkness
of the Middle Ages
I cross a street-corner

Watanabe Koichi
(name in Japanese order, surname first)

This from the translators’ book Ferris Wheel: 101 Modern and Contemporary Tanka, from Cheng and Tsui, 2006 (available on Amazon.com). About 30 of the poems from Ferris Wheel are included here, along with a useful essay by Fielden about translating Japanese poems into English.

Another striking mood-piece of tanka, from the “Signature Tanka” section:

has been set free . . .
a gull
lazes past my window
bright white in the sun

Melissa Dixon, Canada

Given An’ya’s own high interest in tanka, we might expect it to advance in percentage-contents in future issues of moonset.

A single, excellent, nijuin (20-stanza) renku, “Adrift with Her Dreams” reads at least as well as, if not better than, the pages and pages of other verses here. Hortensia Anderson piloted this ship with Carole MacRury, Adelaide B. Shaw, Heather Madrone, and Bette Norcross Wappner in the crew.

Two book reviews and a bunch of contest information round out the issue. The paper is also full of illustrations, of varying quality, from quick sketches in pencil or pen to (deliberately) grainy photographs, many of these combined with hand-written poems into haiga.

Published twice a year. More information is available on their web site: http://moonsetnewspaper.blogspot.com/.


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Edited by Stephen Addiss, Angier Brock, Angela Detlev, Josh Hockensmith, Phil Rubin, Kelsey Rubin-Detlev; published by The Richmond Haiku Workshop.

With thanks to the editors.

A slender pamphlet (current is 36 pp.), each issue of SxSE invariably contains some fine haiku. One “Editor’s choice” from this issue:

stray dog
my tongue chases ice cream
around the cone

Lynne Steel

. . . who also has an elegantly simple haiga on p. 16. One more I particularly enjoyed:

Labor Day
the full cheeks
of chipmunks

Michele Root-Bernstein

This issue also contains an interesting interview of Tom Noyes, who says, speaking of today’s English-language haiku, “There is too much emphasis on juxtapostition, which requires a priori thought and anticipation, obviating spontaneity and immediacy.” Wow! I thought it was just the other way around, that too much grammatical tying down of the various parts of a haiku results in stodgy, statement-like things, not poems. In fact, juxtaposition, or “cutting” (J. kire) is one of the three non-negotiable features of classic haiku, all too often obscured by translators such as R. H. Blyth, who don’t seem to realize their importance to the original authors and poems, making too many of their translations seem like warmed-over prosaicisms. (Henderson, for all his unwanted riming, knew better!) Well, de gustibus non disputandum est, if I spelled that correctly. One man’s trash another’s treasure. I do agree with Tom that strictly applied the “sketch from life” approach yields too many “so-whats” for healthy haiku.

Most issues, like this one, include a sheet of anonymous haiku on themes, which subscribers may vote on. Top contenders appear, with authors identified, in a later issue.

An excellent read, SxSE is well worth any haiku fan’s attention:

3040 Middlewood Road
Midlothian, VA 23113 USA

Current subscription rates: $16 (in US), $25 (outside US).

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With thanks to Tohta-sensei for this contribution.

This is the Japanese haiku magazine of Master Tohta Kaneko’s group. Each monthly issue features new haiku by Tohta-sensei and members of his far-flung group that spans all of Japan and many overseas contributors. Here is one of Tohta-sensei’s haiku from this issue (tr. wjh):

seijika ga shaberitsukarete aogaeru

the politician
exhausted from talking–
the tree frogs

(With thanks to Kayoko Hashimoto for assistance with the selection and translation.)

(Note: If you see a line of question marks above the italics, your browser is not set up to read Japanese text. Not to worry! Anything given in Japanese here will also include romaji.)

For more information on Kaitei in Japanese, visit Tohta-sensei’s web site at: http://www.tohta.jp/kaiteiindex.htm.

I don’t have the time just now, but later on we’ll have a post here on the typical layout and content of the many hundreds of monthly haiku magazines in Japan.

Click here for the beginnings of a list of the Kaitei issues in my collection.


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