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


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.

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

National Poetry Month, Publication News, and Acceptances

Today, Saturday, April 1st, kicks off National Poetry Month, 30 days dedicated to celebrating poetry. I hope you will participate at some point during the month, even if only in a small way. You can celebrate in a number of ways, such as by reading a poem a day, or by writing one, or by buying a book of poetry which you could do at your local book shop (the book could even be by a local poet), or by celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27 when you can carry a favorite poem with you and share it with family and friends and coworkers. Head over to the website for the Academy of American Poets to read 30 ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month. But let’s not forget the most important day during National Poetry month: International Haiku Poetry Day on April 17th. Click the link to read about ways you can participate in haiku activities near you, courtesy of The Haiku Foundation.

What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than by announcing the publication of brand new poems. I am pleased to share that I have three new tanka published in the spring/summer issue (#25) of Gusts, the official publication of Tanka Canada. This is my first appearance in Gusts. Many thanks to the editors. Here are two of those tanka:

a song from my youth . . .
on the strength
of old feelings
I bench press
a personal best

in my son’s dream
I am the monster . . .
for everyone else
the day’s darkness
is rain clouds

And if that isn’t exciting enough, I am pleased to announce that Chris Patchel, editor of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America, recently accepted two haiku for issue 40.2, Summer 2017. Also, the spring issue of Acorn: a journal of contemporary haiku should be released in April which will include a haiku by yours truly. Many thanks to the editors of these journals.

Let’s get celebrating!

Rewind: Haiku Highlights from 2016

I’ve been having a hard time saying what I want to say about 2016. I accomplished some great things with my haiku writing, but the echo of certain failures from year to year are starting to get to me. So I will do my best to keep any negative feelings I’m holding right now out of this highlight reel and keep this as straight forward as I can.

I published 38 new poems (37 haiku and senryu, and 1 tanka) in the following places: Acorn, Akitsu Quarterly, bottle rockets, Failed Haiku, Frogpond, Haikuniverse, hedgerow, The Heron’s Nest, A Hundred Gourds, Mariposa, Otata, Sonic Boom, Under the Basho, and Upstate Dim Sum.  Six of these places I published in for the first time in 2016: Failed Haiku, Haikuniverse, hedgerow, Otata, Sonic Boom, and Upstate Dim Sum.

I republished some poems this year in the following places: galaxy of dust: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2015 (Red Moon Press, 2016); naad anunaad: an anthology of contemporary world haiku (Vishwakarma Publications, 2016); Full of Moonlight: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2016 (Haiku Society of America, 2016), The Haiku Calendar 2017 (Snapshot Press, 2016); Charlotte Digregorio’s Writers’ Blog; and in two columns at The Haiku Foundation: Haiku in the Workplace and reVirals.

I did receive some awards in 2016. I had one winner and one runner-up in Snapshot Press’s Haiku Calendar Competition. It’s always an honor to be included in that one. Also I was one of the “other popular poets” in The Heron’s Nest Readers’ Choice Awards, and I had a poem in the “other popular poems” part of those same awards. And this one-liner of mine

in a rush to reach stillness whitewater

was shortlisted for a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems from The Haiku Foundation.

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On top of that, my book The Deep End of the Sky (Turtle Light Press, 2015) received second place in the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 2016. Not too shabby.



Placing in the Merit Book Awards is definitely one I can cross off the haiku bucket list. But so is being the Route 9 Haiku Group’s guest poet in Upstate Dim Sum. When I scan the list of previous guest poets, I don’t really feel like I should be among such an outstanding group of haiku poets, but I am honored and grateful and excited to be there.

Looking forward to 2017, I have one haiku accepted for publication in Modern Haiku. And I have yet to find out if any of my work has been voted into the next Red Moon Anthology, so fingers crossed I will have work voted in.

I am grateful to (still) be writing and publishing. I appreciate every opportunity I had in 2016, and hope 2017 will bring many more haiku moments to share.

Happy New Year

Haiku Books Make Great Gifts

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00006]It’s inevitable that between mouthfuls of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie that someone asks for Christmas lists. If you’ll be buying for a lover of books, poetry, or haiku, The Deep End of the Sky may be of interest to you.

Winner of the 2014 Turtle Light Press Haiku Chapbook Competition, and published by Turtle Light Press in 2015, The Deep End of the Sky is a wonderfully rich collection of haiku about the landscape of the American prairie and what it means to live there. Upon its release, The Deep End of the Sky received a number of outstanding reviews (to read those, please click on the BOOKS tab above and scroll down to The Deep End of the Sky) written by masters of haiku: Randy Brooks, Michelle Root-Bernstein, an’ya, Sandra Simpson, Alan Summers, and others. And just this November, The Deep End of the Sky took second place in the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for books published in 2015, easily one of the most prestigious awards/honors my haiku writing has received in my nearly 15 years of publishing.

The Deep End of the Sky is available to order from multiple venues. Right now, you can take advantage of 10% off the cover price of $12.50 plus free shipping in the USA from Turtle Light Press’s store. You can also find it on Amazon, The Book Depository (this is especially helpful for those in other countries), and directly from me. If you are interested in ordering directly from me, you can reach me at jedirobinson (at) yahoo (dot) com or through this blog or on Facebook. If you are in Pierre, signed copies can be found at Korner Grocery, Prairie Pages Bookseller, and South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center’s Heritage Store.

Reviews and awards aside, The Deep End of the Sky really is a great book. The haiku were written over a ten-year period, and so the haiku I selected for this collection can be counted among my best pieces. Much of what the haiku are about are based on my family’s heritage and experiences in South Dakota, and so the collection is, at times, telling a personal story. Whether or not you’ve read my work before, you’ll more than likely find much to like, maybe even love, about The Deep End of the Sky.

Happy Holidays

The Deep End of the Sky On Sale Now!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00006]To celebrate The Deep End of the Sky‘s second place showing in the Haiku Society of America Merit Books Awards 2016, Turtle Light Press is running a limited-time only sale on the book – only $10.00 a copy! Plus Turtle Light Press offers free shipping in the US, so if you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy or you want to get some Christmas shopping done early, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this offer. If you find yourself in Turtle Light Press’s store, I hope you’ll take the time to check out their other books as well.

This offer is only available from Turtle Light Press.

Many thanks to Rick Black for running this promotion!

The Deep End of the Sky Recognized in HSA Merit Book Awards

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00006]The results of the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 2016 were announced this morning in Ripples, the HSA’s monthly newsletter. I am more than pleased to say that The Deep End of the Sky, my contest-winning book of haiku published by Turtle Light Press in 2015, has been awarded second place. This is quite an honor, easily one of the biggest and most important awards my work has received in my nearly fifteen years in haiku. I am thankful and grateful to the Haiku Society of America, the contest judges (Joe McKeon and Naia), Rick Black and Turtle Light Press, and Penny Harter, but most importantly to my family for the inspiration and encouragement. More details for this year’s results, including commentary from the judges, are forthcoming online at the HSA website, and in a future issue of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America.

Frogpond and More

I am delighted to announce that I will have a haiku in the next issue of Frogpond 39:3, with thanks to interim editor Christopher Patchel and interim co-editor Joyce Clement.

Here are the places to watch for my work over the next couple months: Frogpond, Mariposa, The Heron’s Nest, the Haiku Society of America’s members’ anthology, and The Haiku Calendar 2017 from Snapshot Press.

More haiku news coming soon!