Further Reading on Haiku

From Richard Gilbert


Haiku Research

Haiku in English has become a diverse genre of contemporary poetry. Listed first on this page are some of the Japanese poets in English translation, and topics, referred to in the conversation. Subtitled video interviews (in English and German), and selected haiku by Hoshinaga Fumio, Yagi Mikajo, Uda Kiyoko, Tsubouchi Nenten, Hasegawa Kai, Ônishi Yasuyo, and others can be found at the Gendai Haiku Website. A selection of my published articles are here.

The poetry and selected critical writings of Kaneko Tohta is in book form, available from Red Moon Press. A selection of haiku from the book are online.

Some interesting observations made by Gary Snyder about haiku within and outside of Japan: “News of the Day, News of the Moment: Gary Snyder talks with Udo Wenzel” (Haiku Heute, June 2007). And also, “From the Path to Matsuyama: On Receiving the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Grand Prize from the Ehime Cultural Foundation,” Modern Haiku 36.2 (Summer 2005). A response and comments: “The Morning After: Haiku Faces a New Century” (R. Gilbert, The Haiku Foundation blog, June 2006).

My colleague and co-translator Itō Yūki has published a brilliant piece on the New Rising Haiku anti-war poets of Japan: New Rising Haiku: The Evolution of Modern Japanese Haiku and the Haiku Persecution Incidents, and in a subsequent interview adds, Forgive, But Do Not Forget: Modern Haiku and Totalitarianism (Itô Yûki talks with Udo Wenzel, Haiku Heute, December 2007).

Our next major project is—a haiku pilgrimage, circumnavigating Japan; a non-profit, educational venture. SHAO NPO “Sailing for Haiku Across Oceans.”


Selected Online Journals

Some online journals presenting “new style” a.k.a, “21st Century (H21)” haiku.

is/let: Edited by Scott Metz, is a continuation of the first online journal of this type, Roadrunner Haiku Journal. All issues of Roadrunner are free to download/view (2004-2013).

NOON: journal of the short poem: Edited by Philip Rowland, and “published in hand-sewn, limited editions between 2004 and 2009, the journal aimed to put some of the most interesting English-language haiku in conversation with other innovative short poetry. Each issue was designed to be read as a sequence of poems, with one per page and the authors’ names given only in an index.”

Bones: Journal for Contemporary Haiku: “Contemporary haiku written from, within, for the 21st century and based in/sprung from the haijin’s cultural, linguistic and historic reality. Haiku that takes the language seriously enough to be willing to blow it apart from the inside in order to show/discover/reveal new meanings and echoes. Haiku that stands on the firm ground of tradition but has internalized it and is now written for today and the future. Exploitative haiku. Connective haiku.” Published its 5th online issue, November, 2014.

Moongarlic:  “An E-zine for short verse, art, word sculptures, photographs, propaganda, for the unwanted, the crazy, the lonely, the good, the bad, the psycho-tropically challenged, the loaded, the clean, the dirty, the hair washers, the head shavers, the fakers, the shakers, the laminated takers . . .” In its 4th issue.

Living Haiku Anthology


Educational Resources

The Haiku Foundation is vast resource for all things haiku. The THF Mission Statement is here, and there are links to other haiku organizations. The poet and critic Peter Yovu recently led an eight-part series of invited online discussions at The Haiku Foundation Forum, titled “Field Notes,” presented here.

Grandmaster Don Baird recently led a series of “Haiku Ponderings” on Facebook, and the first three parts of this 23-part invited-discussion series are available at the online haiku journal, Under the Basho (and here).


Recent Selected Anthologies, Criticism

Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (Kacian et al., eds., Norton, 2013).

The Disjunctive Dragonfly, a New Approach to English-Language Haiku (R. Gilbert, Red Moon Press, 2013).

Haiku 21: An Anthology of Contemporary English-Language Haiku (Gurga & Metz, eds., Modern Haiku Press, 2011) http://amzn.to/13byC8v. Also see the supplement, Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press, 2014).

Here are some Wikipedia links connected to Japanese cultural history and terms mentioned in the Interview:

Mono no aware
WWII bombing of Japan


Haiku Quoted in the Conversation

never, atomic bomb never –
—Kaneko Tohta
Gilbert, R., et al. Kaneko Tohta: Selected Haiku, with Notes and Commentary, Part 1, 1937-1960. Red Moon Press, 2012, page 82. (ISBN: 978-1-936848-11-9)

full bloom
—Yagi Mikajo
(haiku #3)

cherry blossoms fall—
—Tsubouchi Nenten
(haiku #4)

from behind
—Ônishi Yasuyo
(haiku #6)

into the jump rope’s spinning ring
—Hoshinaga Fumio
(haiku #4)

realizing death as one color
—Uda Kiyoko
(haiku #1)

athlete’s foot itches
—Hoshinaga Fumio
(haiku #10)

spring tree
—Hoshinaga Fumio
(haiku #13)

as an and you and you
—Richard Gilbert
Kacian, et al. Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years. Norton, 2013, page 240. (ISBN-13: 978-0393239478)

pretty sure my red is your red
—John Stevenson
Roadrunner Haiku Journal, 9:1 (2009); R. Gilbert, The Disjunctive Dragonfly. Red Moon Press, 2013, page 69.

old pond—
(trans. Richard Gilbert, unpublished)

war dead
exit out of a blue mathematics
—Sumimura Seirinshi
(trans. Richard Gilbert and Ito Yuki)
Noon: Journal of the Short Poem, Issue 4, Philip Rowland, ed. (September 2006) page 17.

Just enough of rain
—Richard Wright
Wright, Richard; Hakutani, Yoshinobu; Tener, Robert L. Haiku: This Other World. Anchor Books, 2000.  (ISBN-13: 978-0385720243)