This blog focuses mostly on what’s new on the Graceguts site, but may have other occasional quiddities. Enjoy! And if you have any comments, please let me know
Haiku North America celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. Along with Garry Gay and others, I cofounded this conference in 1991, and it has been held every two years all over North America since then and is also a nonprofit corporation, of which I’m one of three directors. Newly added to the Digressions
page is an overview of the Haiku North America conference
, a place for great poetic and academic inspiration relating to haiku and related poetry. This new site addition lists all past conferences with dates and locations, conference directors, and conference anthology information, together with links to the introductions and sample poems for each anthology. The next HNA conference is coming up in October of 2015, in Schenectady, New York, and I look forward to attending once again.
I’ve just added two new “Featured Titles” to the Press Here
page, highlighting the two latest Haiku North America conference anthologies, Close to the Wind
(2013) and Standing Still
(2011), and have also updated the Press Here Catalog
page. Orders welcome! A few other updates have included relinking content on the Interviews
page (several links had gone stale), adding new links to the Translations
and Katikati Haiku Pathway
pages, adding a photo of the poet to “On the Other Side: In Memory of Bob Major,”
and miscellaneous other refinements hither and yon, including fixing a typo. Speaking of typos, if you ever spot one, or a broken link, please let me know.
I give interviews, often about haiku, with some regularity. A recent one, conducted by Amanda Dcosta, focused mostly on Haiku Northwest’s 25th anniversary anthology, No Longer Strangers
, just published in April 2014. This interview
appeared on her Mandy’s Pages website on 10 April 2014, and I’ve just added it to my Interviews
pages. Please take a look!
It was on this date, May 12, in 1990 that I gave my first-ever poetry reading as a featured poet. The reading was sponsored by Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation and Monterey Peninsula College, and took place at Sunset Center in Monterey, California. I read haiku and senryu with Garry Gay, LeQuita Vance-Watkins, and the late Paul O. Williams. Read more about it
(where I've also just added two photos from the event). A recording was made of the reading, but I never got a copy, and wish I had. I wonder what poems I read!
A new addition to the Essays
page is “Beat Haiku and My Discussion with Jack Foley.”
It presents an overview by Jack on “Beat Haiku” from a 2003 Haiku Society of America meeting, followed by an extensive email discussion he and I had about his essay, particularly Allen Ginsberg’s (mis)understanding of haiku poetry and the nature of haiku itself.
In 1997 and 1998, Catherine J. Kordich and I conducted an extensive interview with Imagist poet and novelist, Janet Lewis. The wife of Yvor Winters was famous herself for the short novel The Wife of Martin Guerre
, which Evan S. Connell, in the Atlantic Monthly
, called “One of the most significant short novels in English.” He also said, “I cannot think of another writer whose stature so far exceeds her public recognition.” Our interview, which we believe to be Janet Lewis’s last, appeared in the first issue of my journal Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem
in July 1999. I’ve just added the complete interview, “Enduring Imagist: An Interview with Janet Lewis (1899–1998),”
to the Interviews
page, and hope that it might inspire more readers to discover, or rediscover, this fine novelist and surefooted poet, indeed an enduring Imagist.
Two recent additions to this site are a little unusual. They are Postscripts
, additional text I’ve added as appendages to existing essays or reviews. They appear at the end of Two Books for Children
(an encounter with the original Japanese book that begat the English-language one I reviewed) and at the end of Getting Started with Haiku
(adding a fitting quotation from a Martin Lucas essay about the ability to notice and the ability to express). Pick either one—or both!
This summer, as part of my Redmond poet laureate duties, I’m leading four poetry walks, once each month on the second Wednesday of the month, starting May 14, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. Each walk is free, and will include a writing exercise and sharing time. We’ll explore four different parks in Redmond, and I hope it will be an inspiring experience each time. Read more about it.