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

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International Haiku Poetry Day

Today is International Haiku Poetry Day, and to celebrate I have participated in The Haiku Foundation’s Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration, the world’s largest collaborative poem. This year’s theme is foodcrop haiku, so I contributed this verse:

the Big Dipper–
rows of corn connect
farm to farm

Runner-up, Contemporary Category, HaikuNow! International Haiku Contest 2010 and The Deep End of the Sky (Turtle Light Press, 2015)

The following haiku of mine was shortlisted for a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems but didn’t ultimately win. I know how selective these awards are, so it’s an honor just to be shortlisted.

in a rush to reach stillness whitewater

The Heron’s Nest XVII:4, December 2015

And since the results of the Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards were announced today, that marks the end of my three-year term as a judge. The Haiku Foundation put its trust in me to use my knowledge of haiku and my experience as a haiku poet to choose the very best books, and for that I am grateful. I also had the opportunity to interact with a number of the best poets writing and thinking about haiku today, the best part of the whole process aside from reading lots of books.

If you’re interested in reading more of the haiku from the Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration or watching haiku videos or reading the complete results of the Touchstone Awards, The Haiku Foundation has all you need to celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day here. Happy Haiku Poetry Day!

Haiku Shortlisted for The Touchstone Awards

The committee for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems has announced its shortlist for 2015, and I am excited to say that one of my haiku is on the list! The Touchstone Awards recognize excellence and innovation in English-language haiku and senryu. It is quite an honor, one that I don’t take lightly, to have a poem on the shortlist. Here is a link to read the announcement and all of the shortlisted poems. Many thanks to The Haiku Foundation and to the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems committee, and to the editorial team at The Heron’s Nest for publishing this poem.

in a rush to reach stillness whitewater

haiku by Chad Lee Robinson, originally published in The Heron’s Nest XVII:4, December 2015

Featured Haiku

Take a gander at the featured haiku over at Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog today. I guarantee you’ll like it. Many thanks to Charlotte for featuring another one of my haiku.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of the haiku carved into stone.

migrating geese Touchstone

“migrating geese” won a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems from The Haiku Foundation in 2011. And so the Foundation had the haiku carved into this rather heavy stone. It currently sits on this corner shelf in my dining room.

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

Farm Lights

This is the third in a four-part series exploring the seasonal sections of my forthcoming haiku collection The Deep End of the Sky.

“Farm Lights” is the title of the autumn section of The Deep End of the Sky, my forthcoming collection of haiku from Turtle Light Press. “Farm Lights” contains 11 haiku and takes the reader into the work of harvest and chores before the onset of winter.

apple scent . . .
flecks of harvest dust
float in the wine

farm lights
halo the horizon
autumn dusk

“Farm Lights” also includes haiku about hunting. The opening of pheasant season in October in South Dakota is a huge attraction for hunters of all kinds from all over the world.

pink sky
a pheasant falls through
the gunshot’s echo

sunset clouds
the decoy’s touch-ups
in a different hue

This section also boasts the inclusion of one of my most recognized haiku:

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

Some of this haiku’s awards and honors include The Heron’s Nest Award, a Touchstone Award for Individual Haiku from The Haiku Foundation, and inclusion in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton, 2013).

As in previous sections, there are a few haiku about family but not as many. There is one that I would like to end with that was not part of the original manuscript, but was later added in place of another haiku.

trail of leaves
the child’s plastic rake
missing teeth

If you have enjoyed the haiku in this post, and in my previous posts “The Tractor’s Radio” and “Rows of Corn”, then you should think about getting a copy of my forthcoming collection The Deep End of the Sky. You can pre-order it from Turtle Light Press for $12.50 with free shipping in the US. It is scheduled for release in late spring/summer 2015.