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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Haiku News for March

Today marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. I hope at some point in April you enjoy a little poetry, be it haiku or otherwise. If it’s haiku you want, I got you covered.

March didn’t seem like a very active month for me, but looking at my list of things to mention, I didn’t do too bad at all. The month began with the publication of a haiku in The Heron’s Nest:

heat ripples . . .
the horse’s tongue scrapes
bottom

Publication of a one-liner followed in Frogpond:

taking me down a gravel road the blues man’s voice

From there I got two haiku accepted for publication in Mariposa #38, and two more accepted for publication in the June issue of The Heron’s Nest.

And yesterday, Snapshot Press released the results of The Haiku Calendar Competition 2018, and two of my previously published haiku received runner-up awards, and they will appear in the Haiku Calendar 2019. It is always a pleasure to be included in something from Snapshot Press. The content is always high quality, as is the production.

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

January and February Haiku News

A month and a half into 2018 already. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been writing my ass off. Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing much. Submission deadlines are coming and going, and I’ve got nothing.¬†Despite the drought, I do have some news to share.

In early January the editors of The Heron’s Nest accepted a haiku of mine for the March issue.

kjmunro, editor of the new haiku column at The Haiku Foundation called windows, accepted and published a one-liner of mine for the very first installment of the column. The theme for that installment was the kitchen window.  Here is my contribution:

my mother in every kitchen window

I’ve also had two haiku reprinted. Late in 2017 a haiku of mine that appears in the essay 100 Years of Haiku in the United States: An Overview by Jim Kacian was published in a book of essays on the development of English-language haiku called American Haiku: New Readings (Lexington Books, 2017), edited by Toru Kiuchi.

one of the wolves
shows its face
firelight

The other reprint is a haiku from last year that appears in old song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017 (Red Moon Press, 2018). This haiku originally appeared in The Heron’s Nest:

prairie storm
the darkness disperses
as buffalo

On Valentine’s Day, The Heron’s Nest announced its Readers’ Choice Awards. The haiku I published in The Heron’s Nest in 2017 received enough votes to place me among “other popular poets”. Many thanks to those who gave my haiku some votes.

And finally, my very first chapbook of haiku, Pop Bottles, is now sold out. I will probably reprint it in some way in the future, but I haven’t yet made any decisions on that yet.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I can kickstart the writing and have some acceptances soon.

All poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson

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

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

October Haiku News

Since my last post at the end of September, I had a haiku accepted for the December issue of The Heron’s Nest. Many thanks to the editors for selecting my work.

I have also had a couple poems published in the Haiku in the Workplace column written and edited by Jim Kacian for The Haiku Foundation. One appeared under the theme of “dawn in the office”:

dawn
the tractor’s seat
warms up to me

And just today, this one was published under the theme “in the stationery cupboard”:

in the stationery closet
the stacked
receptionist

Many thanks to Jim Kacian for selecting my work for his column.

And an old poem of mine appeared on Chen-ou Liu’s NeverEnding Story blog as part of a Canadian Thanksgiving special feature. I only wish he had asked my permission before using my work. This one first appeared many years ago in Simply Haiku:

Thanksgiving alone
a turkey pot pie
in the microwave

All poems above are by Chad Lee Robinson

The Heron’s Nest and Other Forthcoming Work

It’s always a good day when you have new work accepted for publication in The Heron’s Nest. I will have two new haiku published in the September issue. Many thanks to the editors for selecting my work.

I also have new work forthcoming in the following places: Frogpond (two haiku), hedgerow (one haiku, one tanka), and Jim Kacian’s Haiku in the Workplace column (one haiku). Many thanks to all the editors!