Rewind: Haiku Highlights from 2017

It’s hard to believe 2017 is over. Each year seems to go by faster than the one before. It’s harder to believe that this is the third Rewind post I’ve written.

notebooks used in 2017

2017 was another successful year for my writing. I met all my writing goals by July, and even met my extended goals. I published 36 new poems in 2017 (31 haiku and senryu, and 5 tanka) in the following places: Acorn (1), Akitsu Quarterly (3), Frogpond (2), Golden Haiku Contest (1), Gusts (3), Haiku in the Workplace (9), Haikuniverse (1), hedgerow (3), The Heron’s Nest (5), Mariposa (2), Modern Haiku (1), Shamrock (4), and Stardust (1).

A good portion of my new material appeared in Jim Kacian’s column Haiku in the Workplace, which just recently ended. While I’m sad to see the column go, I hope the new one, Haiku Windows, edited by poet kjmunro, will be as inspiring.

One of my goals every year is to publish in one venue I’ve never published in before. In 2017, I had work published in two such places, Gusts, a tanka journal, and Stardust. I submitted to a couple of other journals I’ve not previously published in, but both of those submissions were rejected in their entirety.

In February I learned, much to my surprise, that a haiku I submitted to the Golden Haiku Contest received a runner-up award. In this contest, the winners and runners-up are printed on signs and placed in flowerbeds in certain neighborhoods of Washington D.C.. Due to one reason or another I can’t recall, I don’t think all of the chosen haiku made it out to the streets. If the pics of the haiku signs on the Golden Triangle website are any indication, then it seems my haiku did not make it to a flower bed. Despite this, I am still happy to have had a haiku chosen for a contest. In April, I was honored to have a haiku shortlisted for a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems. I am most certainly grateful.

I republished work in four different anthologies in 2017. The first was in dust devils: the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2016 (Red Moon Press, 2017), followed by on down the road: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2017 (edited by LeRoy Gorman), then The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes (Girasole Press, 2017, edited by Scott Mason), and finally They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku (Middle Island Press, 2017, edited by Robert Epstein).

Looking ahead to 2018, I will have a poem published in the year’s first issue of Frogpond. I have submitted the necessary info and poems to be a part of the Echoes 2 project, which will be a sort of update on all the haiku poets who have appeared in a volume of Red Moon Press’s A New Resonance series. Last July I began work on my fourth collection of haiku which carries the working title of The White Buffalo. I’m hoping this one won’t take ten years to put together like The Deep End of the Sky did! No matter what, it will be a long process, and I’ve only just begun.

Last September, it had been 15 years since I sat in that windowless classroom at South Dakota State University where David Allan Evans (then poet laureate of SD) wrote a haiku by Basho on the eraser board. I will always be grateful to Professor Evans for including haiku in his creative writing class. I was in the right place that day.

So this New Year’s Eve, where ever you are, raise a glass with me

to fifteen more . . .

Just a few favorites from 2017:

prairie storm
the darkness disperses
as buffalo

The Heron’s Nest XIX:3, September 2017
*

straightness of the bean rows–
a simple nod
from my father

Haiku in the Workplace: A Job Well Done (The Haiku Foundation, June 2017)
*

rustle of corn leaves–
fitting my son
for a new ball glove

The Heron’s Nest XIX:4, December 2017

All poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson

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November Haiku News

Another year is almost at an end, and I’m starting to think about what I accomplished this year. But before I write my year in review I have to fill you in on what’s happened since the end of October.

Haikuniverse published another Halloween haiku of mine on Halloween. This is the second year I’ve submitted to their call for Halloween poems. I enjoy writing Halloween poems, and I hope to be able to submit again next year.

Mariposa #37, the journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, was published earlier this fall, and I had two new haiku appear in that issue. Thanks to Cherie Hunter Day for publishing my work. Here are both of my poems:

dark rift of the Milky Way–
a prospector sifts
through cloudy water

frog song . . .
my son wades in the shallows
of sleep

I recently received a copy of a brand new anthology edited by Scott Mason called The Wonder Code. Scott Mason has written the essays in a way that is welcoming to those new to haiku. So far I have read only the parts of the book where my work appears (I have four poems included). My favorite of these sections is chapter 2, “Come to Your Senses.” This chapter is about how cell phones and other handheld devices are a distraction from real life sensory experiences. I especially liked the Nick Virgilio quote, who said that he wrote haiku “to get in touch with the real.” It’s true what Mason says about people spending too much time in front of a screen. It’s also true that the Internet provides information and access. I live in a small town, hundred of miles from the nearest shopping centers, and I know firsthand how much access the Internet provides. The Internet has always been the place I got my information about the haiku world. And lately I have been questioning my comfort level with how much of me is on the Internet and on social media. Definitely though-provoking material, and I look forward to reading the rest of the anthology. The haiku in this anthology were all pulled from The Heron’s Nest where Mason is an associate editor. The Wonder Code makes for a great companion volume to Nest Feathers, a retrospective anthology of the first 15 years of The Heron’s Nest. The fact that there are now two anthologies available where all the haiku come from the same journal is a testament to the quality of work published in The Heron’s Nest. Many thanks to Scott Mason for including some of my work in such a great anthology.

Speaking of The Heron’s Nest, the December issue was just published today, and I have one haiku included:

rustle of corn leaves–
fitting my son
for a new ball glove

Many thanks to Fay Aoyagi and the rest of the editorial team for publishing my work.

All poems above by Chad Lee Robinson