Rewind: Haiku Highlights from 2015

Notebooks used in 2015. The five small Moleskine's contain nothing but haiku and drafts of haiku. The six Field Notes notebooks contain some haiku and other writing.

Notebooks used in 2015. The five small Moleskine notebooks contain nothing but haiku and drafts of haiku. The six Field Notes notebooks contain some haiku and other jottings.

As each year comes to a close, I like to look back at what I accomplished with my haiku writing. This helps to settle any doubt as to what I got done over the last twelve months, and it helps me figure out where the writing is going, if anywhere, in the coming year.

I like facts and figures and lists. I like to arrange things in front of me. So I found it fun to make a list of the places I published work in 2015. But I didn’t stop there. I broke the list into more detailed lists: places where my work appeared for the very first time, places where work was reprinted. And then the figures: how many new poems did I publish this year, how many poems were reprinted, how many did I publish in this journal or that, how many poems are still awaiting publication, how many haiku and related poems have I published since I started writing them in 2002?

Information like this doesn’t really do me any good. I think it’s a mistake to try to compare one year’s figures to the next in an attempt to glean any useful information. I just find it fun to look at the numbers.

Despite the fact that 2015 is book-ended by droughts in my writing, I still managed to publish 40 new haiku. It’s been many years since I pulled off a number like that. So what does this mean to me? When I found myself writing, I was writing some good stuff, and a lot of it. I’m not sure it should mean anything more than that. As for the droughts, I can say with certainty the causes were/are busyness and laziness. I really shouldn’t call these intervals of little writing droughts because to me they’re more like a field left fallow for a season. These are intervals of renewal.

So let’s talk lists and numbers. I published 40 new haiku in 2015. I published those haiku in the following places: Acorn (1), Akitsu Quarterly (3), Beyond the Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku (Middle Island Press) (4), bottle rockets (1 sequence of 5 haiku), cattails (2), The Deep End of the Sky (Turtle Light Press) (1), Frogpond (2), Frozen Butterfly (1), The Heron’s Nest (4), A Hundred Gourds (5), Mariposa (1), Modern Haiku (2), muttering thunder (2), Presence (2), Under the Basho (4), Wild Plum (1). Of these, the journals publishing my work for the very first time are: Akitsu Quarterly, cattails, Frozen Butterfly, Under the Basho, and Wild Plum.

I’m a big fan of getting my work reprinted. It’s a great way to get my writing in front of readers who may not have seen it the first time. 2015 was no exception. I had work reprinted in the following places: Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (6), Nest Feathers: Selected Haiku from the First Fifteen Years of The Heron’s Nest (The Heron’s Nest) (5), A Vast Sky: An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku (Tancho Press) (1), Haiku 2015 (Modern Haiku Press) (1), big data: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2014 (Red Moon Press) (1), Like the Pumpkins (The Befuddled Press) (1), A Splash of Water: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology (Haiku Society of America) (1), EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration (The Haiku Foundation) (1), With Words Summer Haiku Competition (joint 1st place plus other highly commended and commended haiku).

On top of having 40 new poems find their way into the world (that’s the nuts and bolts of this whole operation), the most exciting publication of 2015 was The Deep End of the Sky, my third collection of haiku. With the help of Rick Black at Turtle Light Press, my third contest-winning collection was released last May and has received numerous positive reviews. Because of the publication of my book, I started this blog in January 2015 as a way to promote the book and my writing in general. I also joined Facebook with personal and writer profiles. Later in the year, I joined Twitter, but I have yet to pen my first tweet. A number of interviews with the Pierre Capital Journal resulted from the publication of The Deep End of the Sky as well as a reading I gave to the South Dakota Arts Council’s Tales on the River series in August. Yet another interview with Rick Black appeared a question or two at a time on Facebook in the fall.

And in addition to the writing and publishing, I completed my second year as a panelist for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards.

Fast Forward to 2016

In January, this blog will celebrate its first birthday. I am looking forward to my third and final year as a panelist for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards. On the publishing front, I have one new haiku awaiting publication in bottle rockets. And on Christmas Eve I received word from Jim Kacian that I will have a haiku reprinted in galaxy of dust: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2015 (Red Moon Press, 2016). Also, I plan on submitting The Deep End of the Sky to the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards.

I guess the only other thing will be to WRITE MY ASS OFF. Oh, and reach that major milestone I mentioned a couple times before. I am this close . . .

Thanks

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who bought a copy or copies of The Deep End of the Sky, and also to the local shops who helped me sell copies: Korner Grocery, The Heritage Store at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center and Museum, and Prairie Pages Bookseller. And thanks to those who took the time to check out this blog or one of my Facebook pages. I hope you keep coming back!

New Haiku Released

Five new haiku of mine have been released recently. Here they are for your reading pleasure:

evening glow—
little leaguers line up
to shake hands

river snags in my lineage

originally published in Modern Haiku 46.3, Autumn 2015.

Valentine’s Day—
she orders a salad
then eats my fries

old blue car—
I search the glovebox
for my father

originally published in Presence 53, October 2015.

rain comes slow to learn my place

originally published in Frozen Butterfly, issue 3, October 2015 (click on the link to hear me read my haiku which is the first one in the issue).

All five haiku above are written by Chad Lee Robinson.

Many thanks to the editors for publishing my work!

Looking Ahead

Originally I started this post by looking back over my writing activity for 2015, but decided that that post will be better suited for the end of the year. So I’m looking ahead at what the rest of 2015 may bring.

I recently submitted new haiku to two of the best haiku journals around, and am optimistic that I will have some of that work accepted for publication. I am also currently waiting to hear back about yet another submission that’s been floating around my submissions folder for three and a half months! I typically don’t submit to publications or contests that take so long to respond as I don’t like waiting such a long time for a decision. I like quicker turnaround. If the work is good I want it published or at least accepted for publication as soon as possible. Anyway, I am hoping to hear back on that one by the end of this week. Of course, all of this is leading up to a major milestone, at least for me. The milestone won’t mean much to anyone else but me. I’ll explain what I mean when it happens.

Aside from hearing the results of recent submissions, I will have work in a couple forthcoming anthologies: Nest Feathers (from The Heron’s Nest, scheduled for release in October) and an anthology of haiku about the afterlife (edited by Robert Epstein, no release info available yet). As for journals, I have haiku forthcoming in Modern Haiku, muttering thunder, Presence, and Frozen Butterfly.  I will probably put together one or two more submissions which will go out in October and/or November. I get busy at work for the holidays, so the writing slows down. December is usually too busy to worry about submissions.

I’m also looking forward to The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards. I have been on the panel of judges for two years, so this year will be my last. I am looking forward to reading many haiku books I may not otherwise get to read.

Since summer is almost at an end, I’d like to leave you with this:

old blue car—
the ease
of summer’s last days

The Heron’s Nest Volume X, Number 4: December, 2008

haiku by Chad Lee Robinson

Interview and Frozen Butterfly

My interview with Turtle Light Press started yesterday on Facebook.  I hope you’ll follow along as it unfolds . . .

First email in my inbox this morning was from fellow haiku poet John McManus who has selected a haiku of mine to appear in the third issue of Frozen Butterfly due out this fall. This will mark my first appearance in this journal. Frozen Butterfly is the first English-language video haiku journal. Each issue can be viewed on YouTube (I don’t have any work in issue one or two). Since it’s a video journal, that means that readers get to hear many of the poets reading their own haiku, which is always fun and insightful. Many thanks to John for selecting my work!