International Haiku Poetry Day

Today is International Haiku Poetry Day, and I thought it would be a good day to share what I’ve been up to since the start of the year.

My writing has slowed a bit, more than a bit. Between illnesses, digging out of blizzards, work and family, I haven’t been able to find my flow yet this year. Despite the lack of new material, there has still been quite a bit of haiku activity.

In January, I published four senryu in Failed Haiku. Here is one:

the crunch of a pickle punctuates her point

I also republished a haiku on Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog in January:

prairie darkness–
what a child’s breath reveals
on the train window

One haiku that originally appeared in Wales Haiku Journal in 2018 was voted into a hole in the light: the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2018 (Red Moon Press, 2019):

paper snowflake . . .
my dead brother’s name
hangs in the air

In March, I published a haiku in The Heron’s Nest, and it was an editors’ choice:

moving through
a fog of breath . . .
snowy buffalo

The Heron’s Nest Readers’ Choice Awards were announced in February, and I was listed among other popular poets, and this haiku, which won The Heron’s Nest Award in June 2018, was listed among other popular poems:

tornado siren
the wind lifts a sneaker print
from home plate

Today, as part of the celebration for International Haiku Poetry Day, I participated in the Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration via The Haiku Foundation. The theme for this year’s Earthrise is indigenous languages, so I offered this haiku which was originally published in The Heron’s Nest in 2004:

summer grasses
the Lakota sings
of a white buffalo

Two of my haiku published in 2018 were shortlisted for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, the first in Mariposa and the second in Frogpond:

the heartbeat
of a painted pony
winter prairie

deep night sky
the dashboard lights too bright
for this loneliness

And today I learned that “deep night sky” was among the winners of the Touchstone Award for Individual Poems! This is my second Touchstone win in this category. My first was for a haiku published in The Heron’s Nest in 2011:

migrating geese
the things we thought we needed
darken the garage

Looking forward, I will have haiku republished in All the Way Home, an anthology of haiku about aging edited by Robert Epstein. An anthology of poetry about small towns is still forthcoming from editors Tom Montag and David Graham, and now has the title Local News: Poetry about Small Towns. I will also have a haiku republished in a forthcoming Per Diem on The Haiku Foundation’s website. I recently heard from Jacquie Pearce, editor of the forthcoming train anthology, and I will have three new haiku and five previously published haiku appear there. And I will have a new haiku in the forthcoming June issue of The Heron’s Nest.

Many thanks to the editors of the journals, anthologies and awards mentioned above. It’s been a pretty good year for haiku so far!

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Rewind: Haiku Highlights from 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time for one last glance in the rear view mirror.

25 notebooks filled in 2018

I published 46 new poems in 2018, up from 36 in 2017, 38 in 2016, and 40 in 2015. In terms of quantity, 2018 was one of my biggest years so far. They appeared in the following journals: Acorn (1), Akitsu Quarterly (4), The Cicada’s Cry (1), The Cicada’s Cry Halloween Digital Edition (1), Failed Haiku (14), Frogpond (2), Haikuniverse (1), Haiku Windows (4), The Heron’s Nest (5), Mariposa (2), A Sense of Place (3), Wales Haiku Journal (7), and Shamrock (1).

One of my biggest milestones in 2018 was that I reached, and surpassed, 500 published poems. That’s a number I’ve been eyeing for a while.

Other notable publications my work appeared in are: old song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017 (Red Moon Press, 2018); Echoes 2 (Red Moon Press, 2018); Four Hundred and Two Snails: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2018; The Haiku Calendar 2019 (Snapshot Press, 2018); Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaborative (The Haiku Foundation, 2018); Per Diem: Daily Haiku (The Haiku Foundation, September 2018, theme of sport), and Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (April 2018).

And hey, I even managed to win a few awards. One of my poems won The Heron’s Nest Award in the June issue of The Heron’s Nest, and another in that same issue received an Editor’s Choice. And a couple other poems received runner-up awards in Snapshot Press’s Haiku Calendar Competition.

As far as the writing itself, I published some poems that could potentially end up in my next collection, tentatively titled The White Buffalo. I also published some senryu about a clown motel, a bit outside of my normal subject matter.

Looking forward to 2019, a number of publications are already in the works. Four new poems will appear right off the bat in the January issue of Failed Haiku, and I have had a poem accepted for the March issue of The Heron’s Nest. I have also had a poem voted into a hole in the light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2018 (Red Moon Press, 2019). I will have three poems republished in an anthology currently known as Small Town Poetry Anthology, edited by Tom Montag and David Graham for MWPH Books. I’m not sure when it will finally appear, but I have received galley proofs of my poems. I’m very excited to be a part of this one. And I am eagerly waiting for a reply from the editor of an anthology of haiku about trains.

All in all, 2018 was a great year for my writing. My goals are set for 2019, and I’ve already hit the ground running. Many thanks to the editors who published my work in 2018 as well as to everyone to who took the time to check out my blog or Facebook profiles.

Happy New Year!

content copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

November Haiku News

It’s been a busy couple months since my last post. I’ve written lots of new material, and have been publishing widely. The writing has focused mostly on Halloween and related themes, and it’s really been a lot of fun. Out of that I’ve written some poems that are a bit of a surprise, even to me.

In September, three new haiku appeared in Wales Haiku Journal, including this one-liner:

hands all over our summer nights blur together

And this one appeared in the Fall issue of Frogpond:

deep night sky
the dashboard lights too bright
for this loneliness

I also had a poem republished in this year’s Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology titled Four Hundred and Two Snails.

October saw one new poem published in the Fall issue of Acorn:

night train
the slight lift of snow
in the snow globe

And the October issue of Failed Haiku featured five of my senryu, including these two Halloween-inspired ones:

fresh dirt the drag line of a zombie

 

grim
reaper
Wal-Mart
greeter

 

 

More Halloween poems appeared in Haikuniverse and a special digital Halloween edition of The Cicada’s Cry:

playing the record backwards swirling clouds

 

 

 

 

the tune
the embalmer whistles–
mixing drinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far in November I’ve had two haiku republished in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar 2019. I also published nine new senryu in the November issue of Failed Haiku. One of the nine is this Halloween one:

Halloween sack race–
the skeleton falls apart
at the finish line

 

The other eight from this batch are a bit unusual for me. While I was brainstorming ideas for more Halloween haiku, I thought about writing some about creepy clowns, and I remembered there had been reports of creepy clown sightings. So when I searched online for information about those sightings I stumbled across the phrase “clown motel”. I guess it triggered something, and I wrote a whole string of these goofy things. Here’s a couple:

clown motel–
for assistance
honk nose

clown motel–
a complimentary pie in the face
at checkout

Like I said, goofy. But what’s goofier is that I’ve written more of them!

Anyway, what’s in store for the remainder of 2018 includes one haiku in the December issue of The Heron’s Nest and four haiku in the winter issue of Akitsu Quarterly. I currently have submissions out for consideration at three publications, so fingers crossed for continued success.

Many thanks to the editors of the journals and publications mentioned above.

All poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

Photographs taken at the Grey Goose Halloween Display 2018. All Photographs copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

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.