If I Met Basho, edited by W.F. Owen (San
Francisco, Calif.: Two Autumns
Press, 2005). 29 pages, 5.25 x 8.5 saddle-stapled.
No ISBN. $8.00 plus $1.00 in stamps for postage
from HPNC at 303 Holly St, Mill Valley, CA 94941.
The chapbook commemorating the sixteenth installment
of the Haiku
Poets of Northern Californias annual reading
series features four talented
poets: Patrick Gallagher, Pamela Miller Ness, Laurie
W. Stoelting, and Karma
Tenzing Wangchuk. The editor has done a fi ne job
of selecting varied work
from each poet, so the reader gets a full taste
of the poets range. This is a consistently
strong series. A selection from each of the four
garden pond after
about their legs to come
all these years
in the other ocean
if I met Basho
I would be older than he
how long this road home
beads of water
on the manzanita leaf
Red Rock Yellow Stone, by Edwin Firmage
(Salt Lake City, Utah: Firmageditions, 2005).
108 pages, 10.75 x 13.5, perfectbound. ISBN
0-9765693-1-0. $34.95 from Amazon.com
This coffee table book is remarkable for its
stunning color photographs
of Americas western national parks
Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Zion,
Grand Canyon but those, in combination
with more than fifty haiku from
Japanese masters (most translations care of
R.H. Blyth, Makoto Ueda, or David Lanoue) and
twenty-five haiku from Firmage himself, make
a rare and exciting combination. The photographs
themselves vary from the
majestic to the intimate. The relationship between
the poems and photographs
is more often than not similar to linking in
renku, where each piece stands on
its own, the two disciplines not crowding each
other, yet the combination expands beyond the
limits of each. Firmages own poems fit
well, and the reader
can easily sense the awe he feels in our greatest
boulder and sand bar
to the river
Turn to the Earth, by Peter Yovu. ISBN
Crumb Moves the Ant, by Geri Barton. ISBN
Seaside Moon, by Deborah P. Kolodji. ISBN
Natural Haiku, by Joseph P. McCauley.
All Normal, Ill.: Saki Press, 2005. 5.25 x 4.5,
saddle-stapled. Available for $5.00 each (plus
postage each $0.60 U.S., $0.98 Canada/Mexico,
or $2.55 overseas) from Saki Press (checks payable
to Lenore Hutton), 1021 West Gregory,
Normal, IL 61761.
The four winners of the 200405 Virgil Hutton
Chapbook Contest vary in style as well as poetic
maturity. Grand Prize winner Peter Yovu is a mature
poet with an experienced sense of line. The seasonal
references in Turn to the Earth work well
to bring together the poets inner and outer
rain all morning
Likewise, Crumb Moves the Ant, by Geri
Barton, contains a number of strong
poems that speak to our collective daily lives:
in strange places
The poems in Seaside Moon, by Deborah
Kolodji, are for the most part local
to the Southern California area. Her style is
more shasei than the previous two
poets, and many work well.
red-faced by the location
of her sunburn
The fourth book, Natural Haiku, by Joseph
McCauley, is from someone still
new to writing haiku. Many of the poems explain
too much and the syntax
often feels forced. The capitalization of all
letters is also distracting. I suspect
what made this book move up in the pile are the
WHEN THE BRANCH GAVE WAY
THE HAWK AWAKENED TO
THE STRENGTH OF HER WINGS
Feel of the Handrail, edited by Yvonne
Cabalona and W.F. Owen (Modesto,
Calif.: Leaning Bamboo Press, 2005). 32 pages,
5.25 x 8.5, saddle-stapled. No
ISBN. $7.00 postpaid from Yvonne Cabalona, 709
Auburn Street, Modesto,
The second collection from Californias
Central Valley Haiku Club. Poets include Yvonne
Cabalona, Mark Hollingsworth, Claris Moore, W.F.
Owen, Lane Parker, Leslie Rose, and June Shook.
Many of the poems do what the best haiku should,
provide a direct sensory experience that reaches
beyond itself as in the title poem:
of the handrail
No Clues, by S.B. Friedman (Greenfi eld,
Mass.: Tribe Press, 2005). 2 pages,
15 x 4, letterpress-printed, hand-bound, accordion-folded.
No ISBN. $4.00
postpaid from the author at 119 Nevada St., San
Francisco, CA 94110.
Number 9 in the Pinch Book Series. Ten poems
that cover a wide spectrum of events and emotions.
the herbalist gets a taste
of her own medicine
Letters In Time, by Michael McClintock
(South Pasadena, Calif.: Hermitage West, 2005).
78 pages, 5.25 x 6.75, perfectbound. ISBN 0-9770259-0-X.
$10.00 postpaid from Hermitage West, PO Box
124, South Pasadena, CA 91031.
Subtitled Sixty Short Poems, this
collection has more tanka than haiku, but, as
can be expected from McClintock, both are of
the fi nest quality.
for the other
moon and pine
Double Rainbow, by Maeve OSullivan
and Kim Richardson (Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing,
2005). 48 pages, 5.75 x 8.25, perfectbound. ISBN
0-9551254-0-5. £8.70 postpaid by International
Money Order from the U.S. from Alba Publishing,
PO Box 266, Uxbridge, UB9 5NX, U.K.
The two authors divide the books ninety-two
haiku and senryu into thematic sections. A nice
variety of style throughout.
snails on the wet stone steps
A Shower of Blossoms, by Elehna de Sousa
(Salt Spring Island, B.C.: Rainshadow Books, 2005).
40 pages, 4.25 x 5.5, saddle-stapled. ISBN 0-9738238-0-1.
US$11.00 postpaid from the author at 401 Reynolds
Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1Y3.
A charming hand-produced book with small, pasted-in
photos that tells in haiku the seasonal changes
at the poets Salt Spring Island.
another log on the fire
my fingers fragrant
with balsam sap
Små silhuetter: Haiku antologi,
edited by Sys Matthiesen ([Vordingborg,] Denmark:
Attika, 2005). 88 pages. 147 x 207 mm, perfectbound.
ISBN 87-7528-615-7. No price information; contact
Hanne Hansen, Ringstedgade, 1, 3. ter, 2100 Copenhagen
This omnibus volume adds a handful of haiku by
each of eight authors to a collection of historical
and how-to essays. Included, for example, are
a translation of the (old) Haiku Society of America
definitions of haiku and senryu; Global
Haiku, Hanne Hansens talk at the World
Haiku Association Conference in Tenri, Japan,
in 2003; and the editors survey of the Internet
En orörd sträng: Dag Hammarskjölds
liv i haiku och fotografier, by Kaj Falkman
(Stockholm: Ordfront förlag, 2005). 160
pages. 145 x 175 mm, casebound with x 175 mm,
casebound with x wrappers. ISBN 91-7037-182-2.
SKr 218, from the publisher at Ordfront
förlag, POB 17506, 118 91 Stockholm, Sweden,
Ambassador Falkman has compiled a stunning
book of the haiku and photographs of his countryman
(and forerunner in the Swedish diplomatic service)
Dag Hammarskjöld. Falkman digs deep into
the childhood memories and professional travels
of the polymath Hammarskjöld, and his explanations
of the roots of the haiku are indispensable
for an understanding of the writings of one
of the first Westerners to use haiku as a journaling
Phantasm of Flowers, by Toshio Kimura
(London: Stylograph, 2002). 48 pages, 5.75
x 8.5, perfectbound. No ISBN. $12.00 in bills
or International Postal Money Order postpaid
from the author at 4-31-8 Seijo Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo, 157-0066, Japan.
An interesting collection of fifty haiku
in English by one of the rising stars of the
Gendai Haiku Kyokai (Modern Haiku Association).
Many of the haiku use keywords in place of
the traditional kigo. An interesting new voice.
Meow meow the violin
kicking the moon
and there goes moo
© 2006 Modern Haiku • PO Box 930 • Portsmouth, RI 02871-0930