R’r’s back up and running

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R’r is now up and running once again, thanks to the amazing and generous help of Mike Rehling.

The site does have a new URL however: http://www.roadrunnerjournal.com/

The last issue is not yet uploaded, but will be soon enough (that issue and all issues from 2012 and 2013 can be accessed thru this blog; see “Issues” at the top). Also, I plan on creating a single archive document of all Roadrunner/R’r issues in the near future and posting it on the main website and here as well.

 

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Haiku 2014

Haiku2014-cover

Now available:
Haiku 2014

Edited by Lee Gurga & Scott Metz
Modern Haiku Press, 2014

100 notable ku from 2013, with an introduction by the editors.

Perfectbound, 110 pages.
$8 plus $3 shipping for orders to U. S. addresses.
For Canadian addresses, $8 plus $9 shipping.
Outside the U.S. and Canada, $8 per copy plus $13 shipping.

To order online, click HERE.

Or order your copy by sending cash or a check drawn on a U.S. bank to:

Modern Haiku Press
Box 68
Lincoln, IL 62656 USA

R’r website is down

lock_patent_drawing

Unfortunately, the R’r website is currently out of commission, and therefore many of the back issues can not be accessed at this time. Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon. A number of the more recent issues, however, are accessible through this blog (see the Issues section above). When the issue has been resolved, I will post again here. If the website is terminally “lost” then more than likely I will gather the back issues with help from others and republish them through this blog. Sorry for any inconvenience.

hiatus

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After issue 13.2 is published (sometime in August), R’r will be going on a hiatus for at least a year; we will be sure to send out a notice and also post info here when were are accepting submissions once again. 

Submissions for 13.2 are still, of course, most welcome. The deadline is August 1st. Send your best to Paul or i at:

scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

or

mrflooger@yahoo.com

R’r submission details

(U. of Minnesota) image source

Otoliths number twenty-nine

shades of rectangles

The new issue of Otoliths (a magazine of many e-things) is out, issue number twenty-nine, and both Paul Pfleuger, Jr. and myself have some new poems inside it:

pfleuger villain subjectPaul Pfleuger, Jr.

metz dronesScott Metz

Also of interest to R’r readers in the issue: Jack Galmitz has 8 visuals (one of which is the untitled piece up above), Camille Martin has 12 short poems, and Johannes S. H. Bjerg has two sequences and a visual.

some new little ones from john martone

martone

 

john martone recently sent me links to 4 new small collections of his, intended to surround his longer collection, perleromeq, all of which is up for everyone over on his Scribd. page. They are skylight, night journey, daypack, and barometer.

 

Here are a few favorites selected by R’r coeditor, Paul Pfleuger, Jr.:

Martone 2013

Martone 2013

Martone 2013Martone 2013

And if you haven’t already, do check out another one of his many collections, skeleton key (embedded below via his Scribd. page), which recently received an Honorable Mention for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Books Awards for 2012. Also, Don Wentworth recently wrote a nice write up on it for his blog series, Small Press Friday.

martone opens

martone all this

Touchstone Awards 2012

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A few books linked to R’r got some recent kudos from The Haiku Foundation via their annual Touchstone Awards for best books of 2012.

Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku (Modern Haiku Press, 2011), edited by Lee Gurga and myself, shared the Distinguished Book award for 2012 with 3 other books.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

Haiku 21 is a unique and startling anthology of twenty-first-century English-language haiku. Editors Lee Gurga and Scott Metz took upon themselves the daunting task of reading every single haiku published in journals from 2000-2010. They selected what they considered the most excellent work, attempting also to showcase the full range of contemporary English-language haiku, from traditional to experimental, exploring the question, “What can haiku be?” The poets answer, in alphabetical order, sans bio or notes, most represented by a single poem. Although the collection may trend more towards the experimental than the taste of some, the anthology renders a fascinating image of where English-language haiku is in this new millennium, and points the way toward its future

In addition to the award, we received these stones:

gurga2metz2

Reviews of Haiku 21 by Ron Silliman, and Michael Dylan Welch (Modern Haiku 43.2);

additional kudos:

“Haiku 21 is a collection of the same old, same old unmemorable haiku-like poetry. [It] omits many well known poets, has many abysmal poems, and helps to further discredit haiku.”  —Robert D. Wilson, editor of Simply Haiku: The International Journal of English Language Traditional Japanese Short Form Poetry

“We find here a mania for running smugly free in hallucinations. It’s a public nuisance.”  —Klaus-Dieter Wirth (Chrysanthemum 13)

Metz-collection-cover

In addition, my own first collection, lakes & now wolves (Modern Haiku Press, 2012) received an Honorable Mention, sharing that distinction with 3 other books. Here’s what the judges had to say:

lakes & now wolves is the long-awaited, first full collection by a poet justly described as “one of the most innovative and challenging younger poets at work in haiku” (Montage). Few collections of haiku by a single author are as exploratory and wide-ranging. The book progresses from excellent, relatively normative examples of the genre:

end of summer
pressing her body against
the sea wall

to more boldly imaginative one-liners such as:

meadow speaking the language she dreams in

Indeed, many of the poems exemplify the 21st Century trend towards writing haiku in one line, coincident with a linguistically playful turn, at its best. The following, which may be seen as a vertical one-liner, touches tenderly on romantic relationship through a subtle, unexpected line-break:

drop

lakes & now wolves also offers some of the most striking haiku on the topic of war in English, alongside distinctive takes on classical and modern Japanese haiku. While some of the “ku” may disconcert traditionalists, this is a collection that inspires and provokes more than most.

Reviews by Eve Luckring (Modern Haiku 44.1; p16 in the PDF),

and Francine Banwarth (frogpond 36.1);

additional kudos:

“[N]ot worth reading.”  —Robert D. Wilson, editor of Simply Haiku: The International Journal of English Language Traditional Japanese Short Form Poetry

Of the 30 poems I submitted, as editor, from the 2012 issues of R’r (and also 10 more from MASKS), one was shortlisted for a Touchstone, but ultimately did not receive an award:

lilly

BEFORE MUSIC by Philip Rowland

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Philip Rowland has a new, and deeply moving, collection out, entitled BEFORE MUSIC (Red Moon Press, 2012). It contains, i think, some of the very best and most intriguing haiku in English published over the last decade.

Rowland’s first collection, Together / Still (HUB Editions, 2004), was rousing in that it presented a mix of both haiku and short poetry; not unlike the journal he edits (and hopefully resurrects soon), NOON: journal of the short poemTogether / Still was awarded the 2005 Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award for Best First Book of Haiku.

BEFORE MUSIC, however, is all haiku, in all its free-wheeling forms and contemporary directions. Many of its poems, i’m proud to say, first appeared in R’r and MASKS. Rowland’s poetry very much encapsulates and connects to so much of what he has written about in essay-form over the last decade: haiku as poetry, the avant-garde, western poetics, Language poetry, surrealism, the Black Mountain poets, “the opacity of language,” and experimental Japanese haiku; all in all, the playfulness (or, for some, troublesome blurring) of short-form and minimalist poetries with haiku poetics, all, however, sincerely connected to, rooted in, and informed by our collective normative English-language haiku and traditional Japanese past. At times, Rowland makes terrific use of naked seasonal phrases and words; in the context of the more experimental flourishes, they are refreshing rather than cliche, especially so in the sense that what follows and/or is juxtaposed with them is always different than expected—flashes of a kind of Neoclassicism, if you will. So, to say the least, BEFORE MUSIC has tremendous range, but also exquisite balance, making it, for this reader, all the more satisfying and noteworthy.

Here are some ku from the collection, followed by the back cover, and links to some of Rowland’s excellent and inspiring essays which have had a definite influence on English-language haiku composition since their publication, and are always worth revisiting.

pondmorning after

bright autumn noon  

  night drawing incrowdabsence rowlandcoverblurbs And, finally, some essays by Philip Rowland:

“Avant-Garde Haiku: A New Outlook” (Frogpond 25.2, 2002)

“From Haiku to the Short Poem: Bridging the Divide” (Modern Haiku 39.3, 2008)

“Surrealism & Contemporary Haiku -or- Surreal Haiku?” (R’r 9.3, 2009)

R’r 12.3

way mark harris R'r cover copy– click on the cover to read the issue as a flipbook –

– R’r 12.3 (downloadable PDF) –

. . .

scorpion prize 27 by Craig Dworkin

70+ new poems

Part I of an interview with translator Makoto Ueda

MASKS 4

3 essays by Jack Galmitz on the work of Robert Boldman, Richard Gilbert, & Mark Harris

& the announcement of a new section in R’r: homeland

submission deadline for 13.1 is April 1, 2013: scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

One-Line Haiku Anthology

“Following two years of editorial research, Snapshot Press now invites open submissions of one-line haiku (also known as “monostich haiku,” “monoku” or simply “one-liners”) for the first tradition-spanning anthology of one-line haiku in English. Edited by John Barlow, the anthology will consider the conventions and history of one-line haiku in English, tracing the tradition from its beginnings in the 1960s and 1970s and celebrating the popularity of the form in the 1980s and its resurgence in the early years of the twenty-first century.

All schools of haiku will be considered.”

For what, when, how, and where on submissions, click here.

 

lakes & now wolves

Pleased to say that my first collection is now available from Modern Haiku Press.

Perfectbound, 64 pages

with an introduction by Philip Rowland

“In his haiku (one wants to say “in these creatures”) Scott Metz is both shaman and surrealist, evoking both an archaic time-before and our contemporary end-time. Word by word, these poems carry a primal charge, and one takes them up like so many amulets. He is a master of Dichten = condensare, making leaps that can remind me of Philip Soupault, Michaux and Kitasono Katue, and still these radical poems always go literally to the roots of haiku—each an embodiment of unapproachable sabi.”

john martone

“Over the last decade, Scott Metz has become one of a handful of innovators leading the way towards a new form and style for haiku in English. The poems within represent the fruits of that labor, their depth of emotion, range of expression and creative freshness articulate landscapes of rare intimacy. Here is haiku at its best, offering a nobility of spirit and a passion for poetry—for love itself.”

Richard Gilbert

Mark Harris’s *burl*

I’ll admit that over the last decade there have not been too many haiku collections by individuals that have really excited me. A few now and then (Fay Aoyagi’s Chrysanthemum Love [Blue Willow Press, 2003], john martone’s dogwood & honeysuckle [Red Moon Press, 2004], and Philip Rowland’s together still [Hub Editions, 2004] come to mind) but not many, and not many, i mean, that have had a strong impact on me, or have sustained my interest.

Over the last couple years or so, however, there has been a nice cluster of haiku collections by individual poets that i think are outstanding (mostly at the hands of Jim Kacian’s Red Moon Press), collections i really enjoy returning to, find inspiration in, and seek out pretty regularly: Jim Kacian’s long after (Albalibri Editore, 2008), john martone’s ksana (Red Moon Press, 2009; out of print; but here’s a review), William M. Ramsey’s more wine (Red Moon Press, 2010), Fay Aoyagi’s Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks (Blue Willow Press, 2011), and also her In Borrowed Shoes (Blue Willow Press, 2006), paul m.’s few days north days few (Red Moon Press, 2011) as well as his called home from 2006, and Peter Yovu’s Sunrise (Red Moon Press, 2010; out of print)—pretty much my favorite of these for its range of content, form, and techniques, and sucessful experimentalism (its melding of “tradition” with the “avant-garde”). The latest issues of Chris Gordon’s journal ant ant ant ant ant have been chapbooks of an individual’s work (Chris Gordon, Jack Galmitz, and Jim Westenhaver, respectively), and each has been well worth the waiting time between issues, and are nice to have close by. Two excellent, and important, retrospectives have also been published, Martin Shea’s waking on the bridge (Red Moon Press, 2008) and Robert Boldman’s everything i touch (Red Moon Press, 2011).

Mark Harris’s new collection, burl (Red Moon Press, 2012) is now among that group for me. It is outstanding in pretty much every way: the personal, oftentimes deeply intimate, emotive, and sometimes imaginative, poems; the range of poetic techniques and forms employed (the poems’ “internal energies”); the sequencing; and the excellent cover (utilizing Mark’s own artwork) which employs some of the “simplicity” haiku is supposed to be known for with a strong touch of modern complexity in execution (mirroring, in many ways, the poems within, and, i think, especially some of the content matter). Out of all the collections mentioned above, i think Mark’s work perhaps best displays the range of what is being done in English-language haiku today.

It all comes together amazingly. It’s a collection i’ve found myself going back to again over the last many months since it arrived, the poems offering new readings and new insights (and new inspiration) each time, always with something new to pick up on.

A powerful collection, and highly recommended.

8 poems from the collection:

Issue 12.3 of R’r will contain a substantial essay on Mark Harris’s burl by Jack Galmitz

interviews by Jack Galmitz with Chris Gordon & Peter Yovu

“While I’ve been very conscious over the years of using such poetic tools as juxtaposition, indeterminacy, sampling, and randomness to create haiku, I’ve been thinking in terms of images, feelings, senses, the matter of the poem. That the difference lay in the comparison of elements, not so much in the valence of meaning or the shifting of themes or focus.

In other words, I haven’t thought of it as an overlay of two different worlds, only an overlay of experiences. The mystical world and the mundane world are the same to me. Or so I strive to make them so. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it takes a great knack.”

—Chris Gordon

The Superlative Quotidian: An Interview with Chris Gordon

A Hundred Gourds 1.1 (2011)

“Yes, and though I stay away from calling myself a haiku poet, I will admit that there is something in me that is attracted to the 5/7/5 blueprint and likes to play off and with it. Maybe it’s like agreeing to have four limbs (I’m a quadropus) and not the eight of an octopus. The body has limits which the dance, for one, plays off and with. There is no exceeding (and maybe no excelling) without limits. Seeds and cells.”

—Peter Yovu

 Artisan of the Imagination: An Interview with Peter Yovu

A Hundred Gourds 1.2 (2012)

2 new books by Jack Galmitz

Contributing editor of R’r, Jack Galmitz, has two new books out: Views (Cyberwit), and The Word ‘Dog’ Does Not Bark (Lulu Press).

Beth Vieira, a former professor at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote the introduction for Views. Here’s a small excerpt to give you an idea:

“[Jack Galmitz’s] Views (. . .) shows the power of allowing perspectival seeing, the layering of views, to accumulate on a topic that might be a bit like an elephant in miniature—contemporary haiku. Like the blind men in the [famous Buddhist] parable, people cling to their own views of haiku even though they have grasped just a part. Galmitz, in tandem with fourteen poets, follows Nietzsche’s lead to allow “more affects . . . more eyes” to the matter.

Through interviews, book reviews, and critical pieces, Galmitz covers the poetry and larger concerns of a broad range of writers: paul m., Peter Yovu, Chris Gordon, john martone, Ban’ya Natsuishi, Tateo Fukutomi, Tohta Kaneko, Robert Boldman, Marlene Mountain, Grant Hackett, Richard Gilbert, Dimitar Anakiev, Mark Truscott, and Fay Aoyagi. Each writer appears in exquisite specificity, as if Galmitz can disappear into each’s shadow and yet at the same time be so active that he pulls them into the spotlight to take a fine-tuned look at the work each does.”

The Word ‘Dog’ Does Not Bark is a new collection of recent work by Jack. The poems in the collection are each given a title. Here are two examples that appeared in slightly different forms in R’r 12.1:

Ancestry

Descendant

of a star

that coexisting

Ancestry II

Impose do not

on the blank space

that pinioned the burial

new issue 12.1 now on the website

Many of you may have already checked out the new issue, 12.1.

It is now up on the website.

It features three sections of new ku (glass wombs, a collage of scissors, and not quite ice cream), Gathering Stones: An Interview with john martone by Jack Galmitz, Sunlight on a Different World: The Poetics of Grant Hackett, also by Jack, and Scorpion Prize 25 by Bob Perelman.


The submission deadline for 12.2 is August 1st, 2012.

MASKS 4: Send Submissions

We are pleased to announce that submissions are once again being considered for MASKS, now for issue 4.

MASKS is a journal that publishes haiku written by poets under the guises of pseudonyms (haigō, in the Japanese haiku tradition)—personae, mirages, alter egos, hallucinations, and/or tricksters.

Like the transformation masks carved by the Kwakwaka’wakw people, where, for example, the raven mask is opened and a human face is revealed (surrounded by two serpents), MASKS is a journal within a journal (R’r).

Send as many poems as you like to: haikumasks@gmail.com

Multiple masks may be used in a single submission, but all submissions must be accompanied by at least one.

For a look at what we’ve done so far, please see:

MASKS ONE    /    MASKS 2    /    MASKS III

We’ll be accepting submissions until August 1, 2012, and will respond to them as soon as possible.

Scott Metz & Chris Gordon, editors

The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2011

On National Haiku Poetry Day (April 17th; 17 syllables, get it?), The Haiku Foundation announced the winners for their Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems in 2011, as well as for their Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards for 2011, and also the winners of their 2012 HaikuNow! contest.

Lots going down.

No winners from R’r were selected for the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems this year, but two ku that appeared in R’r in 2011 made their Shortlist. One was the following by Chris Gordon, from R’r 11.1:

And one of my own, also from R’r 11.1:

These were two, from the 30, i submitted for the contest (having been invited by THF, as editor of R’r, to submit 10 from each issue we published in 2011). Hope to share all of those sometime soon.

Two ku that i’ve shared on this blog as favorites of mine from other journals in 2011 got top honors however (out of 6 total):

gunshot
every pine needle
pointing at something

Gregory Hopkins

/ The Heron’s Nest (Volume 13:2, June 2011)

&

back from the war   
all his doors
swollen shut

Bill Pauly

/ Modern Haiku (42.1)

Also, as an individual, i was able to submit two of my favorites from other journals for the contest.

One of the two i submitted was Bill Pauly’s ku above.

i like this one so much because it can be read in different ways, and those readings (from the hyper-literal to the symbolic/metaphorical), for me, can be held in the mind simultaneously, and have, i feel, great depth, and far-reaching implications about the human psyche, war, society/culture, Nature, and the world. The words chosen are perfect—nothing’s wasted—and the line breaks are steel-solid. All around, a great and highly memorable poem.

The other of the two i submitted was Lee Gurga’s

the scent of paradise a dead bird in my hand

from Modern Haiku 42.2.

Here the abstract and the concrete are oddly and jarringly grafted on to one another to create a world i never encountered before, yet somehow feel i should’ve (or, actually, that i have, but didn’t realize it until reading Lee’s poem). The balance of release and lifelessness, sadness/aloneness and magnificence, invisibility and concreteness (yet invitation: what kind of bird? what colors?, etc.), the implication of death equaling life/new life, and vice versa, and the intense intimacy and physicality of the bird in hand (flight ceased, flight caught, flight realized and felt)—it is all so mesmerizing. Here the taxonomical naming of the bird would only impede and ruin the entire poem, like it does so often in English-language haiku. The one line construction is perfect and heightens the reading experience.

In the weeks ahead here, Paul Pfleuger, Jr. will be sharing his favorites that appeared in R’r in 2011 with some commentary and lingering questions; & i’ll continue to throw up more of my favs from other journals in 2011. And amongst all of that, the new issue of R’r (12.1) will be completed and unveiled.

Contribute!: The Haiku Foundation Video Archive

The Haiku Foundation (THF) has an interesting, exciting & important new project/campaign on IndieGoGo that could greatly use your help: The Haiku Foundation Video Archive. Be sure to check out the video that introduces the project.

Some words on the project from THF:

“[Help] contribute to the first collection of in-depth interviews documenting the development of 20th century English-language haiku. Poets, translators, and scholars, who have been largely ignored by the literary community, will share their work and discuss their ideas. The resulting video and audio recordings will be available FREE of charge on the The Haiku Foundation website, providing easy access to poets, teachers, critics, researchers, & readers.

Haiku poet Eve Luckring, an accomplished photographer and video artist, will collaborate with The Haiku Foundation’s founder and president, Jim Kacian, on a series of interviews. They will record in-person interviews using professional audio and video equipment. Within one year, with your help, The Video Archive will launch its website at The Haiku Foundation. THF is a not for profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers. A handful of generous people have funded our project so far; we need your help to realize The Video Archive.”

So, head over to the IndieGoGo site and throw some money their way. They’re looking to raise $6,000 by the end of June.

Carving Darkness: The Red Moon Anthology 2011

A copy of Carving Darkness: The Red Moon Anthology of English-language Haiku 2011 (Red Moon Press, 2012) was received the other day.

One ku that appeared in R’r in 2011 was voted in:

This year’s editorial board consisted of: Roberta Beary, Ernest J. Berry, Randy M. Brooks, Dee Evetts, Leroy Gorman, Maureen Gorman, Matthew Paul, Kohjin Sakamoto, John Stevenson & Max Verhart.

Jim Kacian is the editor-in-chief.

“So it goes.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Ron Silliman on Haiku 21, Jim Kacian & john martone

::::

Ron Silliman wrote a post on English-language haiku and minimalist poetry yesterday (May 14, 2012), focusing on Haiku 21 (edited by Lee Gurga & myself), Jim Kacian’s long after, & john martone’s ksana collection.

Comments? Reactions? Thoughts?

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Castor & Pollux by Chris Gordon (mixed media, 2010)