“Stewardship” is the word Lee Gurga always used in reference to his editorship of Modern Haiku. This word embodies the notion that this journal has had a distinguished past and has an important future. “Stewardship” suggests that the editor has the obligation to pass on the institution in a condition at least as good as when it was received. To this goal I now dedicate myself.
Lee’s standards are higher than that, of course. As a result Modern Haiku has never been healthier, whether measured in terms of literary excellence, influence among the world haiku and poetry community, or financial well-being. For his four years of exemplary leadership we all — especially I — owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Thanks go also to Eva Hill, who is retiring too, for her buoyancy and good cheer in keeping the subscriptions straight and the readership happy.
My wife, Margret Trumbull, has agreed to take on Eva’s tasks henceforth. I am delighted that Lidia Rozmus, Randy Brooks, and Paul Miller will continue in their former roles, and that Lee will stay on as editor of Modern Haiku Press (and as a consulting editor for the journal). I have invited David Burleigh to join the creative staff as assistant editor to keep an eye on developments in the Japanese haiku world. As time goes on, I will be soliciting assistance in other quarters as well.
I don’t anticipate any radical changes in policy for the journal. As I said above, Modern Haiku is already in fine fettle. Nonetheless, observant readers will have noticed the slight change in dimensions of this issue (which will help keep the printing costs down) and the elegant new headers that Lidia designed for the sections. As for the content, we will continue to publish the best haiku, senryu, haibun, haiga, essays, and reviews we can find. We are especially keen to honor the “modern” in our title. While it is important that we never lose sight of the origins of haikai and the Japanese classics, it is critical that we also celebrate the vitality of haiku as an English-language genre.
In advance, thanks for your help and patience,
Charles Trumbull, editor