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

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

Haiku21-cover

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

R’r 13.1

HE_EX_cover_1

– click on the cover to read the issue as a flipbook –

R’r 13.1 (downloadable PDF) –

. . .

2 sections of new poems

Part 2 of an interview with Makoto Ueda

cover: “HE EX” by Cherie Hunter Day (2013)

. . .

submission deadline for 13.2 is August 1, 2013: 

Send submissions to Scott Metz <scott@roadrunnerjournal.net>

or Paul Pfleuger, Jr. <mrflooger@yahoo.com>

up to 20 poems per submission, 2 submissions per reading period please

13.1 will appear on the R’r website in the next few weeks

body this

transitive/ Sappho’s Gymnasium (a collaborative collection of poems by Olga Broumas and T Begley [Copper Canyon Press, 2000])

“Written as if by two students of Sappho in ancient times, fragments of whose work have survived, these poems offer brief, mysterious glimpses of a world beyond our ordinary reach. That world is not, however, the Lesbos of late 7th-early-6th-century B.C., but the contemporary mind, littered with broken pieces of information and language, and attenuated connections between sexuality, spirituality, poetry, feminism, metaphysics and the stones, birds, flowers, leaves, herbs and light of the actual, elusive here and now.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Marlene Mountain

sol12 copy

A couple weeks back, The Haiku Foundation began a new feature entitled Book of the Week, highlighting haiku collections of the past and shedding new light on them. A digging up and a re-introduction of sorts. Cool idea.

In honor of their first selection, Marlene Mountain’s groundbreaking collection, the old tin roof (1976), I thought it fitting to share here Jack Galmitz’s in depth essay on Mountain’s oeuvre, “then I must go to the Mountain: (space reserved) for Marlene Mountain,” which appeared in R’r 12.2.

To read a PDF of Jack Galmitz’s essay, click on the title here: then I must go to the Mountain.

To read Mountain’s the old tin roof in it’s entirety, part of The Haiku Foundation’s Digital Library, click here.

xist

George Oppen from Twenty-six Fragments in FACTURES George Oppen / “Twenty-Six Fragments” from Facture #2 (2001)

Entitled by archivists, in collaboration with Mary Oppen, “The Last Words of George Oppen,” “Twenty-Six Fragments” consists of a series of notes scrawled by Oppen on envelopes and other small pieces of paper found, after his death, on or near his desk or posted to the wall of his study. Some of the fragments were numbered by Oppen, others were not. [. . . ] Although these are among the last writings Oppen is known to have produced, there is no way of determining their exact date of composition, nor does their content suggest any conscious desire on Oppen’s part to mark them as conclusive or final. —Stephen Cope / George Oppen: Selected Poems (p183) ed. by Robert Creeley [New Directions, 2003]

BEFORE MUSIC by Philip Rowland

rowlandcover

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

a thousand years

/ Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women (An Anthology) by Makoto Ueda

Sutejo Den (1633-1698)

*Ueda notes that “a pine mushroom (matsutake) is so named because it sprouts under pine trees. In Japan, pine trees were once believed to live for a thousand years. Buddhism emphasizes that each living thing possesses a different sense of time.”

john martone / molecular lament

Always a zephyr to find a new portfolio from john martone in the mailbox. His latest installment is molecular lament, and i thought i’d throw together some favorites. (In the course of doing a quick search for the cover image, i came across a nice suite of entirely different poems from this collection made by Jerome Rothenberg for his blog “Poems and poetics” thru Jacket2; do check it out.)

lettuce
seed

tastes
of dust

.

(the small
waves

too
dragon
flies)

.

now he’s dead
they tear out
all those walls

.

so many cells
but he can’t name
that bird song

.

bird-note
sails off
earth’s edge

.

everything
people have

given me
bird-note

.

box of photos
spilled on the floor

it’s all water

.

falling from
heights of that
molecule —

.

any
thing

single’s
a thorn

.

white hair
fluorescent
lights

.

what clock
ticking
so fast

.

say that word
feel the void’s
ligament

.

long
before

cunei
form

throat
carti
lage

.

those molecules
raise their eyes
it’s raining

.

john martone

/ molecular lament
sumaddo / ocean
2012

johnmartone@gmail.com

[an on-line version is available on jm’s scribd page]

of the new

Ban’ya Natsuishi

/ Rhythm in the Vacuum (1986)

“[A]n example demonstrating how haiku bring the reader toward the phenomenology of the hard problem via adumbrations of the paradoxical and hypothetical can be found in this haiku by Natsuishi Ban’ya.

“Put a period” begins with what seems a trivial action: put a period somewhere. Usually we put them on paper; yet the second line represents a left turn with “into the desert,” reversing semantic expectation. Putting a period into the desert evokes a different line of image, action and form, from what might conceivably be done with a literal, textual period. And so, realism is subverted. The sense of paradox is heightened by the imperative grammatical tone. The poem is so short that while thinking this part out I’ve scanned the whole several times. Though having read this poem some years ago, I continue to formulate possible worlds: the aspect of explaining, in fact, the “explainer” of intellect rides behind the propulsive process of reading/misreading.

Some of my hypothetical speculations: the period implies “end of an era,” death, finality, a flag (of some sort); the desert is real and inhabits the new world, or a speculative new world; is an actual place (e.g. Death Valley, the high desert of Nasca); the haiku is political, “center of the desert” represents America’s current government and its war in Iraq; the period is a wounding; the haiku is historical, relating to Columbus’s “discovery” and eurocentrism; so, the haiku is revisionist and ironic, accessing “new world” in a post-colonial manner; the haiku landscape is that of another planet awaiting discovery; an alternative universe where putting a period exactly thus makes good sense; the haiku is a surreal remembrance, a novel myth. Alternativity spawns alternativities. The period is wherever my attention is.”

Richard Gilbert / “Plausible deniability: Nature as hypothesis in English‑language haiku” & in Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese and English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspective (Red Moon Press, 2008)

R’r 12.2

 —click on the image above to read the issue as a flipbook via issuu

OR

—DOWNLOAD A PDF DOCUMENT OF R’r 12.2 : 2012

cover: Masako Metz (2012)

scorpion prize 26 by Mark Wallace

* 78 ku *

two essays by Jack Galmitz:

then I must go to the Mountain: (space reserved) for Marlene Mountain

&

Descant: Dimitar Anakiev’s Rustic

*

submissions for 12.3 due by December 1st / send to: scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

space

Kitasono Katue 

/ “Semiotic Theory” / White Album (Shiru no arubamu, 1929) [tr. John Solt]

Excerpts from and extensions of                                                                                  Oceans Beyond Monotonous Space: Selected poems of Kitasono Katue

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