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Volume 37.3
Autumn 2006

haiku book notes


Just a Stone’s Throw, by Johnny Baranski (Greenfield, Mass.: Tribe Press, 2006). 2 pages, 15?  x  4?, letterpress-printed, hand-bound, accordion-folded. No ISBN. $5 postpaid from the author at 3308 N. Terry St., Portland, OR 97217.

The latest in editor Vincent Tripi’s Pinch Book Series. 10 haiku on prison-related themes. road to freedom / just a stone’s throw beyond / the prison graveyard

Water Shining Beyond the Fields, by John Brandi (El Rito, N.M.: Tres Chicas Books, 2006). 190 pages, 7  x  5, perfectbound. ISBN 1-893003-09-4. $14 from most online retailers.

Travel haibun on Cambodia, China, and Thailand. A particularly good genre for Brandi, who is a strong poet with an artist’s eye for detail. He immediately places the reader in the scene. a distant river shines— / that same blue light / of her earrings

Old Soldiers Fading Away, by John J. Dunphy (Columbus, Ohio: Pudding House Publications, 2006). 34 pages, 8  x  5, side-stapled. ISBN 1-58998-409-9. $9.95 postpaid from the author at 16 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002.

A collection of haiku and haibun on Vietnam veterans’ experiences. Dunphy wisely lets the moments speak for themselves without resorting to false sentimentality or heavy-handedness. VA hospital / a tree in the courtyard / scarred by lighting

Stellar Possibilities, by John J. Dunphy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2006). 28 pages, 8  x  5, side-stapled. No ISBN. $7 postpaid from the author at 16 E. Broadway, Alton, IL 62002.

A collection of scifaiku (senryu with a science fiction twist). my face on a wanted poster— / I cringe upon reading / my clone’s latest crimes

Mortal Coil, by Judson Evans (North Falmouth, Mass.: Leap Press, 2005). 24 pages, 8  x  5, side-stapled. ISBN 0-9747229-2-8. $10 from Leap Press c/o Rich Youmans, PO Box 527, North Falmouth, MA 02556.

Haibun on how memory affects the present. Evans successfully challenges the line between prose and poetry so that as the introduction suggests, the haiku is more than merely a moon in orbit. a last held note / snow sliding / from the roof

The Heron’s Nest—Vol. VII, edited by Christopher Herold (Port Townsend, Wash.: 2006). 182 pages, 8 x  5, perfectbound. ISSN 1538-7747. $15 postpaid in the U.S., $16 in Canada or Mexico, $17 elsewhere from Christopher Herold, 816 Taft St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.

The newest incarnation of The Heron’s Nest speaks to the high regard the public has for the journal. The to-be-yearly bound volume contains everything published on the Web site in 2005 plus the winners of the yearly contest and additional commentaries on the winning poems. The winner of the 2005 contest: so suddenly winter / baby teeth at the bottom / of the button jar — Carolyn Hall

Ultra Violet Haiku De-lights, by Michael Levy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Point of Life, 2005). 91 pages, 8?  x  5?, perfectbound. ISBN 0-9668069-7-2. $12.95 from most online retailers.

A book that illustrates the dark side of self-publishing by someone who didn’t bother to learn the first thing about haiku. Over the counter drugs / just like candy / no sweeties in the coffin

Haiku Series 2005, edited by Slavica Vavli (Ljubljana, Slovenia: Druvtvo Apokalipsa, 2005). 6?  x  3 I?, perfectbound. Inquire of Druvtvo Apokalipsa, Lili Novy 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija.

Mushi Mushi, by Milan Dekleva. 63 pages. ISBN 961-6314-78-5.

Asphalt, Yet Sky, by Nikola Madzirov. 51 pages. ISBN 961-6314-79-3.

In the Cottonwood Tops, by Lee Gurga. 53 pages. ISBN 961-6314-80-7.

From the Forsaken Shore, by Duvan Vidakovic. 85 pages. ISBN 961-6314-81-5.

The four small volumes of the Haiku Series 2005 come in a nice slipcase, each volume containing poems in Slovene and English. As in previous years the work of four authors is presented. Milan Dekleva’s haiku, written more than twenty-five years ago, share the qualities of many Western haiku of that time and are often more short poems than haiku. There is often beauty in them. Madzirov’s poetry is more grounded in reality. His poems are clear observations about his urban surroundings. Lee Gurga’s poems are all from his larger work Fresh Scent. His voice, always a poetry of America, is ever so much here. Duvan Vidakovic’s book includes haiku, tanka, and haibun going back to 1992.

Open the door.
Come evening, I have no eyes
so I come through the wall

Milan Dekleva

The gold fish
in the gold fish bowl has
one wish only

Nikola Madzirov

blackberry picking—
the first breath of morning
in the cottonwood tops

Lee Gurga

For summer flies
a garbage can is the center
of the world

Duvan Vidakovic

Haiku Guide to the Inside Passage, by Sally Stiles (Williamsburg, Va.: PeaCoat Press, 2006). 113 pages, 8 H?  x  5 H?, perfectbound. $21.54 postpaid from PeaCoat Press, 236 Tutter’s Neck, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Poems detailing a summer’s trip on a powerboat named Haiku through the Northwest Passage. The majority of the poems are haiku sketches and don’t offer much emotional discovery. approach the roar / of Chatterbox Falls / small boat shrinking

Temple Marigold, by Vincent Tripi and Stanford M. Forrester (Wethersfield, Conn.: Bottle Rockets Press, 2006). 36 pages, 5 I?  x  4?, hand-bound. No ISBN. $6 postpaid in the U.S., $6.50 in Canada or Mexico, $7 elsewhere from Stanford M. Forrester, PO Box 290691, Wethersfield, CT 06129.

Much to like in this small collection of Buddhist-related haiku by two experienced poets. Tripi’s poems take delightfully surprising turns, while Forrester’s are playful and deceptively simple-seeming. my hut / & outhouse— / the same size—Forrester.




© 2006 Modern Haiku • PO Box 930 • Portsmouth, RI 02871-0930