Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Heron's Nest Vol. IX

The Heron's Nest started off ten years ago as a monthly magazine available both in print and online. In 2005 it changed to a quarterly online publication with a single annual printed edition, of which this is the third.
circle of lamplight--
I complete the baby quilt
begun for me

Carolyn Hall
is the first haiku in this 200 page anthology. For me it sums up nicely the first decade of The Heron's Nest's achievements. Robert Gilliland analyses this haiku in great depth as it is an "editor's choice" but if you don't like to see haiku dissected in detail, don't worry, only four haiku are subjected this lengthy close inspection.

The book is, naturally, in four sections, one for each season (reproducing the quarterly online content). There is a fifth section which details the Readers' Choice Awards and includes general comments on the magazine and a few specific comments on individual haiku.

Founding editor, Christopher Herold is now stepping down and John Stevenson is taking over as Managing Editor. In his farewell message, Christopher writes how in the magazine's formative years he
entertained a wish to promote certain haiku qualities that I personally felt (and still feel) to be among the genre's most valuable gifts. One of these is what we in the West have come to refer to as "interpenetration." ... "At the moment of composition or appreciation, there is no distinction between inner and outer. Life runs so freely between them that we perceive things by introspection, and our experiences of the 'outer' world have the same immediacy, validity and certainty as have states of pure 'self' consciousness"

Another closely related quality of haiku I value is poet-transparency ... not an absence of the poet but rather the absence of egotism. ...

... I bring up these two aspects of haiku not in an attempt to persuade you to direct your efforts towards them but rather to give you examples of the sort of qualities that motivated me to begin a haiku magazine. ... I could clearly see that overly restrictive parameters for acceptance would not only fail, they would be undesirable. ... we must also allow for flexibility ... we seek ... an innate vibrance that's easily accessible by many readers -- a sense of unity with the rest of humanity -- people sharing the same spectrum of emotions through a wide variety of experiences.
We thank the retiring editor well for his work over the years and wish the new one well.
The Heron's Nest
816 Taft Street
Port Townsend
WA 98368
ISSN 1538-7747
$15 [Canada/Mexico $16; RoW $17]

visit the website of The Heron's Nest
Read reviews of earlier issues.

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