is billed as the first in a series of annuals to be devoted
to the art of contemporary haiku painting. Ably introduced
by editor Jeanne Emrich, it contains the work of dozen artists
and an all too brief historical survey by Steven Addiss,
arguably North Americas leading expert on haiga.
a volume such as this, adequate color reproduction of the
artwork is essential, as other some other attempts to present
contemporary haiga have negatively demonstrated. Here the
presentation goes far beyond adequate to the ideal with
crisp, vibrant colors and legible text.
question for haiga, as for other associated haiku arts,
is what is haiga? The range of quality and posture
of the poems here suggests several answers are possible.
Is a tan renga or tanka with a painting haiga? Can any visual
poem be called haiga? Does a punned slogan like East
meats West approach the perceptual significance of
haiku? These are questions to ponder as one experiences
the aesthetic richness of this volume.
in all, an essential book for anyone with a breath left
in them. A bargain at twice the price.