Modern Haiku has released its first issue of 2017, volume 48.1, and I am excited to have a new haiku in it. Many thanks to editor Paul Miller!
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.
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
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:
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:
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).
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 . . .
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!
Just a quick update to say that the website for Modern Haiku has updated to include Randy Brooks’ well-written review of The Deep End of the Sky. It’s well worth your time. Read the review here. Thanks!
Five new haiku of mine have been released recently. Here they are for your reading pleasure:
little leaguers line up
to shake hands
river snags in my lineage
originally published in Modern Haiku 46.3, Autumn 2015.
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!
A review of The Deep End of the Sky recently appeared in the autumn issue of Modern Haiku. Randy Brooks has written two reviews in one, discussing my book alongside Marilyn Appl Walker’s new book Listening to the Sky since they are both about the plains.
It’s an excellent review of both books, but here are a few quotes about mine:
“I am glad to report that Chad Lee Robinson and Marilyn Appl Walker have both succeeded at expressing the unique nature of living on the high plains and done so with carefully crafted American haiku that will be enjoyed by natives as well as those who imaginatively travel to the prairie as readers.”
“Several of Chad Lee Robinson’s haiku excel at expressing a sense of solitude and acceptance of things beyond the self. In these haiku he captures that sense of wonder–that deep end of the sky[.]”
“In a final haiku by Robinson:
a farmer sets
the curve of his cap
we see the farmer adjusting his view to match the curve of the horizon. He is looking out into the distance of the prairie, aware of its grand reach. He sees the skyline, its darkness, its promise, its history, and he is ready to be part of it. He is in tune with the heavens and earth of the great plains.”
Across the pond, Matthew Paul has reviewed The Deep End of the Sky for Presence 53 (published this October), Britain’s leading journal of haiku and related forms. Here are a couple quotes:
“Awareness of the land and what it can yield, and of the haiku tradition, is rooted throughout the collection but not to the extent where it would become wearying to read. The book is very well edited so it is thematically grouped without becoming repetitive. It’s also much the better for not being over-stuffed with haiku and gives reins to Robinson’s deceptively simple style, which is easy on the eye and the ear, particularly the latter: his poems almost always sound perfectly balanced[.]”
“In all, the book confirms the promise Robinson showed in his 2012 Snapshot Press e-chapbook Rope Marks and puts him among the best English-language haiku poets writing today.”
Many thanks to the reviewers and to the journals for publishing these reviews. I am grateful for all the good press surrounding The Deep End of the Sky. Good stuff, indeed!
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—
of summer’s last days
The Heron’s Nest Volume X, Number 4: December, 2008
haiku by Chad Lee Robinson
Check out my new haiku in the just-released Wild Plum 1:2, Fall & Winter 2015. Many thanks to the editor for selecting my work.
In other news I have answered some interview questions for Rick Black at Turtle Light Press, the publisher of my book of haiku The Deep End of the Sky. Look for those to appear one or two at a time on Turtle Light Press’s Facebook page in the near future.
Other than that all’s quiet on the haiku front. I’ve been writing, but I haven’t been happy with hardly any of it lately. But I may have enough other good ones for a submission or two in September. In the meantime, I’m waiting to hear back on a couple other haiku submissions, so fingers crossed for good news from both.
This morning I heard from the editor of Modern Haiku who has accepted two haiku from my recent submission. This means I have reached all my writing goals for the year, and it’s only July! This is very unusual as I tend to pace myself in order to make my goals more manageable and to not put too much pressure on myself to write more than I am able or have time for. Not only that, I also do it to try to eliminate unnecessary disappointment. Writing, and finding time for it, is hard enough as it is. I don’t need to make it harder. Anyway, this year my writing has been a bit more like it was when I I first started publishing haiku. This year I’ve written enough material to allow me to submit widely, and often. I have placed haiku in all the usual, top-notch journals plus a couple new ones. I’ve had work published in Acorn, Akitsu Quarterly, Frogpond, Mariposa, The Heron’s Nest, A Hundred Gourds, and more work is forthcoming in bottle rockets, Modern Haiku, muttering thunder and Wild Plum. All of this on top of seeing my contest-winning collection The Deep End of the Sky published by Turtle Light Press. Any new work that’s accepted now through the end of 2015 is just icing on the cake, and will bring me closer to a major milestone (for me, anyway). I won’t say what that is until it happens. I don’t want to jinx it. But for now it seems I’m on a roll.