MEGA Update: Haiku News for April, May and June

I really didn’t mean to go so long without an update, but here I am, and I don’t know where to begin.

I had three new poems published in three different issues of the Haiku Windows column at The Haiku Foundation. The themes were outhouse window, train window, and spaceship window:

March mud
the outhouse window
stuck shut

prairie darkness–
what a child’s breath reveals
on the train window

cardboard spaceship–
making fish lips at my son
through the window

The spaceship window theme inspired me to write a number of senryu about a cardboard spaceship that I hope to publish individually and/or turn into some kind of sequence.

I published two new poems in Mariposa #38:

distant owl
a barn tipping
toward no return

the heartbeat
of a painted pony
winter prairie

Turns out this was the last issue with Cherie Hunter Day as editor. Many thanks to Cherie for publishing these as well as a handful more of my haiku during her editorship.

I recently published four new poems in a new haiku journal, Wales Haiku Journal, edited by Paul Chambers. Here are a couple of them:

from inside
this illness
waving at trains

rust on the tracks
the lonely landscape
of a harmonica

I’ve been writing lots of haiku about trains lately in response to a call for submissions to an anthology of haiku and related poetry about trains. I’ve sent my submission which consists of a few published poems and the rest brand new.

I’ve also had some poems republished recently. One appeared on Charlotte Digregorio’s Writers’ Blog, and the other appeared in the Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaborative 2018 (on the theme of birds) to celebrate Haiku Poetry Day on April 17 (the pdf is available for free from The Haiku Foundation). In addition, I had six poems republished in Echoes 2, an anthology from Red Moon Press with updates on the accomplishments of the poets who have appeared in Red Moon Press’s A New Resonance series. It’s available in print, but also free to read online. Lots of great haiku, and definitely worth your time.

In the works is an anthology of poetry about small towns, edited by Tom Montag and David Graham. I have three previously published haiku accepted for the anthology. Not sure about when the anthology will be available, but my guess is 2019. Definitely looking forward to it.

A Word about Rejections

Shortly after submitting to Wales Haiku Journal, I sent a submission to another journal that recently appeared on the haiku landscape. Unfortunately I didn’t have any work selected, but what was more unfortunate was the rejection letter I received. The editor is an accomplished and highly respected haikai poet which made the rejection letter all the more shocking to me. I suspect the editor wrote it as a form rejection letter. Still, I was insulted at the questioning of my connection to nature and my haiku sensibility. Count’em: I have published 485 poems since 2003, all of which are haiku, senryu and tanka; I have published three contest/award winning haiku chapbooks; and I’ve even given a little back to the haiku community by being a contest judge and regional coordinator (not to mention all the money I’ve spent subscribing and buying books from the small haiku presses and individual authors). I don’t consider myself an expert in anything, but it seems to me that my haiku sensibility is just fine. I hope no one takes offense to what I’m about to say next, but it’s how I feel. I don’t care who you are or where you think you rank on the haiku hierarchy, I will not change the way I write or what I write about to match an editor’s or a journal’s haiku sensibility. You either like what I submit or you don’t. I will eagerly consider suggested revisions as long as it’s done in the spirit of kindness and generosity and I get the feeling that the editor genuinely wants to help make my work better. Furthermore the rejection letter didn’t even say thank you for submitting. It made me feel like my submission was irritating and a hardship. My suggestions to the editor: 1. scrap the letter and re-write it; 2. say thank you. You might even go so far as to say that, even though you didn’t select anything this time, it was an honor to read their submission. After all, without ANY submissions you wouldn’t have a journal to publish; 3. allow poets to submit 5-10 poems instead of only 3. Some poets just need a little more room to stretch out. Anyway, maybe I shouldn’t even say anything about it. I’ve been doing this long enough to know better, but what about that poet just starting on the publishing path? A rejection letter like this may make them turn away from haiku. I’d hate to see that happen.

Moving on.

And so it goes in publishing. About a month after receiving such a crappy rejection letter I learn that a haiku of mine won The Heron’s Nest Award in the June issue of The Heron’s Nest!

tornado siren
the wind lifts a sneaker print
from home plate

And on top of that my other haiku in the June issue was selected as an Editor’s Choice haiku!

snow starting to stick
the carriage horse
clears its nostrils

I’ve said it before: It’s an honor just to be published in The Heron’s Nest. To receive either of these awards is really exciting and fulfilling. Many thanks to the editors and to Fay Aoyagi for writing the commentary for the “tornado siren” haiku. I am grateful for both honors.

Many thanks to the editors of all the publications mentioned above.

And the work continues. I’ve got a couple submissions under consideration at the moment, and I’m planning more submissions as I write this. Stay tuned!

Edit. Allow me to clarify my comments about rejections. It is not my intention to speak negatively about anyone or any publication. That is the last thing I want to do. The haiku community has been kind and generous to me. As I have stated before, haiku has allowed me to be the published poet that I’ve wanted to be since I was 14 years old. I am not at all upset that my submission was rejected. That is something I prepare for each and every time I send a submission. But the rejection letter I received was poorly written to say the least. The purpose of this blog is for me to share my experiences as a haiku poet with a larger audience. To only share the successes is not an honest representation of my haiku path. I appreciate having a place where I can be honest and share my ups and downs as a poet. But being honest means I have to walk a fine line. My apologies to anyone who took offense to my comments above. Thank you for your understanding.

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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

End of Summer Haiku Roundup

September has shaped up to be a pretty good month for haiku. Cherie Hunter Day accepted two poems for this fall’s issue of Mariposa. Jim Kacian published another one of my poems written in response to the “sick day” prompt for his weekly column Haiku in the Workplace over at the Haiku Foundation.

found
at a rummage sale
the one who called in sick

The summer print issue (#120) of hedgerow: a journal of small poems has finally been published, and I am pleased to have this poem included (with thanks to editor Caroline Skanne for the selection):

the arch
of her back . . .
dune roses

And this week I received my copy of the Haiku Society of America’s members’ anthology on down the road edited by LeRoy Gorman. He selected this one of mine that was originally published in Mariposa:

restringing fence wire–
the meadowlark’s song one post
ahead of the wind

Many thanks to all the editors and publishers!

All poems above by Chad Lee Robinson

Acorn and Other News

I recently received the spring issue of Acorn that includes a new poem of mine. As always, I’m thrilled to be in another issue of Acorn. It’s such a fantastic haiku journal. With thanks to Susan Antolin, here is my contribution:

it’s cancer . . .
the tips of the tall grass
brush my palms

by Chad Lee Robinson, Acorn No. 38, Spring 2017

In other news, I feel kinda bad that I wasn’t able to participate in this year’s EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration for International Haiku Poetry Day, but the theme of reconciliation just didn’t spark anything for me. So hopefully next year’s theme will be more inspiring.

The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems were announced yesterday. I was honored to have a poem on the shortlist, this one which was originally published in Mariposa 35, 2016 (thanks to editor Cherie Hunter Day):

restringing fence wire–
the meadowlark’s song one post
ahead of the wind

by Chad Lee Robinson

Unfortunately, the Touchstone judges did not select my poem as a winner. Since the Touchstone Awards began, I have been fortunate enough to have had four poems shortlisted, one of which (this one) actually won:

migrating geese–
the things we thought we needed
darken the garage

by Chad Lee Robinson, first published in The Heron’s Nest Vol. XIII, Number 1: March, 2011.

This haiku can also be found in my award-winning collection from Turtle Light Press, The Deep End of the Sky.

Thanks to the Touchstone judges for shortlisting my poem.

Haiku Shortlisted for a Touchstone Award

The Haiku Foundation and The Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Committee have announced their shortlist this morning, and I am thrilled to have a poem included. The committee received 660 nominations, which appears to be the most it’s ever received in its seven-year history, and from those chose 29 for the shortlist. Here is mine:

restringing fence wire–
the meadowlark’s song one post
ahead of the wind

Chad Lee Robinson, originally published in Mariposa 35, 2016

Many thanks to the Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Committee and The Haiku Foundation, as well as to Cherie Hunter Day for this haiku’s original publication in Mariposa. And a big congrats to the other poets on the shortlist. The winners will be announced on April 17, International Haiku Poetry Day!

dust devils: The Red Moon Anthology Released

dustdevilsrma2016Red Moon Press has released dust devils: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2016 which collects the best haiku and related writing published in 2016. I am delighted and honored to have two haiku included. The annual Red Moon Anthology series began with the 1996 volume, and dust devils is the 21st edition. I am fortunate to have had work voted into thirteen volumes of this award-winning series. Many thanks to Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Editorial Team. I would also like to thank Cherie Hunter Day and the members of the Route 9 Haiku Group for publishing these poems first.

Here are my two contributions to dust devils:

Indian summer
a childhood nickname
catches up with me

Upstate Dim Sum 2016/II

 

restringing fence wire–
the meadowlark’s song one post
ahead of the wind

Mariposa 35, Autumn/Winter 2016

Haiku Spooktacular

My son Nathan's painted pumpkins.

My son Nathan’s painted pumpkins.

Lots of haiku news today.

First, Haikuniverse is celebrating Halloween with a selection of 25 themed haiku and other micro-poems culled from over 200 submissions. I am happy to say my submission was chosen for publication:

 

Halloween party–
squishing jello brains
between my teeth

Second, the newest issue of Mariposa hit my mailbox today, and I have two haiku and a tanka included. Here’s one of the haiku:

first light
the falcon leaps
into its wings

And finally, I am pleased to announce that I will have a haiku in Modern Haiku‘s first issue of 2017.

Many thanks to editors Rick Lupert (Haikuniverse), Cherie Hunter Day (Mariposa), and Paul Miller (Modern Haiku).

Happy Halloween!