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Volume 34.3
Autumn 2003

new book notices
Autumn 2003 issue



Lit from Within: A Collection of Haiku by Spring Street Haiku Group (New York: Spring Street Haiku Group, 2003). 28 pages; 4" x 5.5"; paperback; saddle-stapled. No ISBN. $5.00 from Bruce Kennedy, 62 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

This is the eleventh in what has become the eagerly awaited Annual Report of the Spring Street Haiku Group. Lit from Within discloses that the health of this corporation is good. The quality of the haiku—one to five by each of twelve poets—is up to expected standards, and production values for the chapbook are better than ever. These books are—this book is—an indispensable record of one of America’s premier haiku groups.

a sky full of stars
the lone backpacker’s tent
lit from within

Bruce Kennedy

heading for Jersey
on a gull’s wings

Carl Patrick

• • •

blink, edited by Yvonne Cabalona, Jo Lea Parker, and W.F. Owen, (no publisher, 2002). 20 pages; 5.5" x 8.5"; saddle-stapled. No ISBN. $5.00 postpaid from Yvonne Cabalona, 709 Auburn St., Modesto, CA 95350.

The first chapbook from The Central Valley Haiku Club in California contains haiku, senryu, and haibun by some well-known voices in American haiku as well as some that deserve to be better known. Give it a look.

The cock crows out loud
With messages from his heart
But the flock scatters.

Kaz Ide Jo

the planting moon flirts
with Mars

Lea Parker

• • •

Vraçanje v ças/Returning in Time/Vracanje u vrijeme, haiku collection by Slavica Vavli. Edited and with an introduction by Edin Saraçevic; English translations by Andreja Grad (Ljubljana, Slovenia: self-published, 2003). 60 pages; 20.5 cm x 13 cm (8" x 5"); paperback; perfectbound. ISBN 961-236-434-2. Available from the author for a $10 bill and an addressed envelope at Slavica Vavli, Jakopivceva 21, 1000 Ljubljana, Slevenia/Slovenija.

Returning in Time is the third volume in the Haiku Balkan series and bears a family resemblance to Edin Saraçevic’s Candy in the Rain, reviewed in MH 33.2. The volume includes 40 haiku, each given in Slovene, English, and Croatian, arranged in groups by the locations where they were written, from Slovenia’s Adriatic coast to the Julian Alps to the capital, Ljubljana. Vavli’s haiku are intellectual and emotional, often close to serious senryu. The English translations are better than those in most books we have seen from southeastern Europe, but they still lack the grace and flow of the originals. Here are the English versions of the title haiku and another favorite:

Returning in time
with an umbrella open wide,
and wet shoes.

Paintings of saints.
Dust rolling
under gothic windows.

• • •

Full Circle, by Rebecca Reid. 48 pages; 5.5" x 3.5"; hand bound in boards. No ISBN. $18.00. Moment Poems, by Rebecca Reid, 12 pages; 3.5" x 8.5"; stapled. No ISBN. $5.00. Both published by the author, 2003, and available from her postpaid at 120 Pulpit Hill Rd., #13, Amherst, MA 01002.

These are two small, attractively produced volumes of haiku illustrated with color photographs by the author. The haiku present moments of experience of the natural world. Although not polished, they are not without promise. Here is one haiku from each chapbook:

dark rainy day
lit only by leaves . . .

the frozen waterfall
one black duck

• • •

Sierra Song, by Steve Sanfield, (Berkeley, Calif.: Tangram Press, 2003). 16 unnumbered pages, 6" x 10H", stringbound. No ISBN. $15.00 postpaid from the publisher at 1639 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94703.

A sequence of 32 gentle lyrics by the internationally renowned storyteller and poet shares the “sounds and silences of one place” in his Sierra Nevada mountains. Like the bird of his epigraph, Sanfield doesn’t sing because he has an answer, but because he has a song.

a cool breeze
sends my song
back to myself

• • •



©2002 Modern Haiku • PO Box 68 • Lincoln, IL 62656