I’ve just updated my Appearances page to feature 2017 activities, and have moved 2016 Appearances to a new archived page. Sure did get up to a lot of mischief this past year. And speaking of appearances, Steve Hodge just made a short video of my haiku, called “Seasoning,” which now appears on the Seasoning and Haiku Journey Poems pages, since these pages contain most of the video’s poems (you can find both pages through Haiku and Senryu). Please have a look to enjoy the poems as well as the music—Steve played the Schumann piano piece used in the video.
New to my Essays page is “Spiritual Freedom: Learning from Wassily Kandinsky,” recently published in Frogpond. This essays explores Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art and its surprising application to haiku poetry.
It’s been cold out lately, and we have rare lingering snow in the Seattle area. New to the Interviews page (or should I call it Winterviews?) is a brief set of questions my son asked me for a recent class assignment. I thought you might like to read my answers. And speaking of interviews, I recently interviewed all six winners of the 2016 Haiku Invitational contest sponsored by the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. These interviews are now up on the VCBF site, and I’ve added a link to “Meet the 2016 VCBF Haiku Invitational Winners” on the Interviews page. And don’t forget the lagniappes I have scattered here and there around this website. Here’s a new one: +
Happy new year! The beginning of a new trip around the sun is as good a time as any to think about future plans. I have many ideas for Graceguts. Some of them will take a lot of work, so we’ll see how many of them I can get to in 2017. In addition to posting all my usual new essays, reviews, rengay, individual poems, and miscellaneous items as they are published, here are five of the biggest new possibilities:
I recently noticed that an essay of mine, published in 2006, hadn’t yet appeared on my website. But I’ve just corrected that oversight (although I suspect there are a few others). You can now read “Choosing Your Target: Process and Product in Haiku” on the Essays page. Meanwhile, I’ve also added postscript #7 to my essay, “Little Catastrophes: The Topological Structure of Humor and Haiku.”
When my two kids were born in 2003 and 2005, and on all their birthdays since then, I’ve saved complete copies of the Seattle Times newspaper. This decade-plus accumulation of news, sports, and advertising has become an annual time-capsule of their lives, and one day they’ll get them as a gift. Read about these “Birthday Newspapers,” just added to the Digressions page.
I don’t often add to the Stories page of this site, but it now has a new addition, previously unpublished: “Beware of M. C. Escher’s ‘Waterfall.’” And speaking of recursiveness, I’ve added the Digressions digression to the Digressions page. And one more addition, on the Haibun page, is “Blind Camp,” a memory from my teenage years as a summer camp lifeguard.
Okay, you really needed to know this. Since 1997 I’ve been keeping track of how many days of use I get out of each stick of Mennen Speed Stick deodorant I use until I have to replace it. There’s a surprising variance per stick, ranging from 195 days to 568, all with the same brand and size. Check out the data at “Speed Stick Deodorant,” just added to the Digressions page. Try to contain your excitement.
The Speeches page now sports “Smooth Sailing—2013 HNA Welcome Speech,” to go with other welcome speeches I’ve given at Haiku North America conferences (not all of which have been preserved). I delivered this speech on 14 August 2013 for the twelfth HNA conference, aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. What a great weekend that was!
A few new tweaks to these pages include the addition of Pet Peeve #11 on the Pet Peeves page, available through Digressions, and a new poem and Chinese translation by Yiwei Huang at the end of the Haiku in Chinese page, available through Haiku and Senryu. And on the Translations page, I've added a link to “The 13th World Children's Haiku Contest ‘Dreams’ Results, JAL Foundation, 2014.” You’ll also find updates to the Appearances page, and an announcement of the 15 July 2017 festival date on the Poets in the Park page (it just received funding and facilities confirmation). I’ve also posted poems by the editors after the introductions to three Haiku North America conference anthologies, to make those pages match the pages for all other HNA introductions. Read these newly posted poems at the ends of the introductions for Into Our Words, Standing Still, and Close to the Wind.