Writing and reading Haiku is a perfect antidote for the stress of quarantine and Covid-19. Connecting with nature and the intuitive mind, the poet is released from the strain of the ego and intellect that clings to certainty.
Dipping into the unconscious and inner feelings, the poet is inspired authentically to create art.
Naturally, reading Haiku for pleasure is also relaxing. I am an obsessive book reader and collector, so, here are a few new Haiku books to get you inspired, writing and supporting other poets and publishers.
a bird…a bird haiku
My Haiku teacher Stephen Gill in Kyoto of the Hailstone Haiku Circle publishes the blog The Icebox, which has lovely haiku from its members you must check out.
He recommended a bird… a bird haiku – to raise funds for Indian labourers made redundant by Covid-19. Authored by K. Ramesh at the Krishnamurti Vasanta Vihar in Chennai, India, told Gill about his concern for the many labourers made redundant in Tamil Nandu by the Covid-19 epidemic
He and his daughter, Anita, made a book of haiku and photos of birds (all by Ramesh). It is only available in Kindle digital form and costs $3.49. Profits will be used to support local labourers with no income. Purchase it on Amazon: here.
Bilingual Complex – Essays & Notes featuring English Haiku
Hailstone Haiku Circle member, Kyoko Norma Nozaki, recently published Bilingual Complex – Essays & Notes featuring English Haiku. She writes about her grandparents who were Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, father a Nisei American, and her Japanese mother. The book is sprinkled with haiku from S.E. Asia, Japan, America, Germany and elsewhere.
“The process of writing this book”, Keiko divulges in her Afterword, “has made me aware once again that I am a product of two cultures …. and my thoughts naturally shift between the two very different languages: the ambiguity of Japanese and the preciseness of English.”
Bilingual Complex – Essays & Notes featuring English Haiku, Nakanisha Press, Kyoto. Cost is ￥2,000. and can be purchased here.
The Haiku Hecameron
The Haiku Hecameron features the haiku-related work of 100 haiku poets worldwide with each piece created in the spirit of gratitude for something that remains right (possibly even wondrous) in the world of the poet’s present-day experience. Associate Editor of The Heron’s Nest Haiku Journal Scott Mason speerheaded the work, Scott Mason, writes:
Many if not most of us have had to modify or curtail our out-of-home activities in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. These are prudent and essential measures.
But one consequence of our self-imposed or required isolation and “downtime” is that this time can indeed get us down—especially if we spend too much of it listening to all the news of the day. While we need useful tips and reliable information to keep physically safe, we would also do well to care for our emotional health.
We are all fortunate in at least one respect: along with its other virtues, haiku is a practice that helps us to recognize, appreciate and share the often-overlooked wonders that may be found at any time and in any place. In the current circumstances especially, haiku can offer us some measure of balance and allow us to connect with what remains right in the world.
The model that I have in mind is a literary one. In the mid-14th century the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio published The Decameron, a collection of one hundred stories told by a group of ten young women and men who had retreated to a villa in the Tuscan countryside to escape the plague.
What I’m proposing is a volume called The Haiku Hecameron, comprised of work by one hundred haiku poets worldwide and created not in the spirit of retreat or escapism but of return to and re-connection with the everyday wonders that continue to surround us. My hope is that this process and its published product will help lift spirits within the haiku community and, by our example, of those well beyond it.
The book is a 240-page, hardcover book that includes eight pages of full color haiga gallery. Purchase The Haiku Hecameron here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
LUZDELMES TRI-ANTHOLOGY 2020
LuzDelMes Tri-Anthology is a yearly publication to connect authors, poets, artist, photographers and professionals around the world in three languages: English, Spanish and Greek. Last year, it was a collection of Haiku with 30 collaborators around the globe.
This year, it is a short Narrative with 24 participants about the “Quarantine Experience 2020.” Writers from Greece, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, Japan and The United States write about their “Quarantine Experience 2020.”
I have a Haibun that will be published in the digital book that will be available August 31. Visit the LuzDelMes Publishing House Website for more information and to order.
Support the haiku independent publishing community! Purchase a book today! Arigato!
More Haiku Book News
As mentioned in earlier posts. The Liquid Sky: When Art, Haiku and Japanese Myth meet, available as E-book.
Also, an updated version of Lafcadio in Japan Code includes an index to Japanese philosophy and mythology.