On the Essays page, look for the newly posted essay, “The Difference Between Haiku and Senryu,” originally published in Haijinx in the spring of 2001. I had a link to this content on Haijinx until now, but the site has lately been unavailable, and I wanted to point out that I largely disagree with my earlier point of view. I’ve written an updated essay to explain my change of opinion (which changed at least a dozen years ago), and I hope to get that published soon, at which time I’ll add it here too. Until then, take a look at the original essay and tell me what you think.
A significant new addition has just appeared (imagine that, all by itself) here on Graceguts. On the Interviews page, please find “The Seabeck Haiku Getaway: An Interview,” conducted with me earlier in 2015 by Aubrie Cox, and published in A Hundred Gourds. If you’ve ever thought of coming to the annual Seabeck haiku retreat, perhaps this interview will give you a sense of what to expect.
Some new additions to Graceguts include a couple of poems added to the Parodies, Homages, Allusions page, available through the Haiku and Senryu page, where you can also find “The Mended Shōji,” an extended sequence of haiku I wrote on my first trip to Japan, recently published in Clover: A Literary Rag. The latter is also available through the Sequences page. The Interviews page now includes “Issa Explored,” a short commentary by Donna Fuchsluger on my study of the poet Issa, plus a brief appreciation by Laurie W. Stoelting of one of my poems. As always, you’ll also find various updates to links, events, and more on other pages throughout the site. Pull up a chair and sit a spell!
New to the Essays page is “Go-Shichi-Go: How Japanese and English Syllables Differ,” recently published in A Hundred Gourds. This essay delves into how syllables work in both languages, and underscores the need to abandon the notion of 5-7-5 syllables as a target for haiku in English. And new to the Poems By Others page, in the “Poems About Haiku” section (or at least, I interpret it as deeply applicable to haiku), is Mary Oliver’s exquisite short poem, “Praying.”
New additions to this website include “All the News,” a rengay I wrote with late Paul O. Williams five years before he died, new on the Rengay page. And in the “Poems About Haiku” section of the Poems by Others page are Sengai’s “On Bashō’s Frog” and an untitled poem by John Vieira. Please spend a moment with each of these pieces.
One of the most satisfying essays I’ve written in a decade is now on the Essays page. “This Perfect Rose: The Lasting Legacy of William J. Higginson” first appeared in the Haiku Foundation journal Juxta in May 2015. I’ve slightly updated and corrected it here. William J. Higginson was a writer and mentor whose influence extended to many thousands of poets writing haiku—not just in English-speaking countries but around the world. My tribute explores the poems, essays, translations, criticism, and personal influences of one of the most important commentators on English-language haiku writing in the twentieth century. I was honoured to count him as a friend.
Just added to the Reports page are the 2015 Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award Winners, a contest I judged for the North Carolina Poetry Society. The results appeared in Pinesong Awards 2015 (Southern Pines, North Carolina: North Carolina Poetry Society, 2015). My commentary on the winners was not included in the book, and thus are first published here.
I’ve just updated the Poets in the Park page with the complete schedule for this year's festival, plus lists of all the groups and organizations involved, and the names of more than 110 poets and other performers who will be sharing their poetry. Here’s an announcement about the event, which I’m putting on as part of my poet laureate activities for the city of Redmond, Washington.
Poets in the Park: June 20, 2015, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm—FREE
Anderson Park, 7802 168th Ave NE, Redmond, Washington
Join us for a free day of poetry! More than 110 scheduled readers, plus workshops, exhibitors, the King County Metro poetry bus, poetry installations, chalk poetry, art activities, mini-golf, hula-hoops, open-mics, free ice cream, and more. Contribute to the lunchtime potluck (participants receive a free poetry book), and bring poetry books to sell in our book fair (no commission taken). See complete schedule, parking info, and other details at Poets in the Park. Questions? Email Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com. Bring friends! See you there!
Sponsored by the Redmond Arts & Culture Commission and the Redmond Association of Spokenword, with support from 4Culture and Poets & Writers, Inc., directed by Michael Dylan Welch, Redmond poet laureate. Additional thanks to Parkplace Books, Kiwanis, and all our volunteers.
A new addition on the Essays page is “Laughing with Karumi,” published in the British Haiku Society journal Blithe Spirit in May of 2015. It explores the notion of “lightness” in haiku, which was one of Bashō’s highest aims with his poetry. For me, writing a haiku with karumi is like catching a soap bubble without popping it. Learn more about this challenging haiku technique.
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