Thursday, March 06, 2008

World Haiku 2008

World Haiku 2008 is the fourth in a series of annunal anthologies edited by Ban'ya Natsuishi and published by the World Haiku Association.

If your language is English, you read the book forward for a total of 107pp - the haiku are all in English or the writer's native language (except for the Japanese) with a translation into English. If your language is Japanese, you start at the back and read forward for 114pp - this section contains the original haiku of the Japanese contributors and translations into Japanese of the others.

Between the two sections are six pages of haiga. All the images are grey-scaled which in some cases is possibly to the good, though a few would probably be better seen in colour.

As well as the haiku and haiga there are four essays. Ban'ya Natsuishi writes about the FUTURE OF WORLD HAIKU. I won't attempt to summarise his essay, but will give you some quotes which should give readers an idea of where he is coming from and going.
Why are we interested in haiku writing, not as a classical short poetry peculiar to Japan, but as a contemporary short poem which may be creative in any language, in any country? Why is haiku writing still creative in our own days?
One of the most typical misunderstandings [I have encountered] is that a person inspired by a trivial moment can write a good haiku.
Everybody knows that haiku is a short poem, but the fact that a verbal universe made by an excellent haiku is boundless is not so well known. ... Basho's haiku as a basis for our haiku is written from a moving and free viewpoint, and it can build up a dynamic and vast universe including contrasting elements. These charachters are extremely suitable to contemporary art and literature and explains why haiku is always avant-garde, why it always has a feeling of freshness to it.
Free form poems may be connected with modern democracy in the West, therefore fixed form is anachronistic in the West. ... What is the difference between free form haiku and free short poem in 3 lines? ... Nobody can give a perfect reply to this problem.
Haiku is shorter in line, more suggestive, tight, and intense in expression, and it contains more concrete images. In haiku, each word is filled with more potential power. ... haiku is always the essence of poetry.
we [would] rather promote haiku writing in any language, in any country, than make up a world-wide definition of haiku to narrow its possibilities.
Authors from Cuba, Latvia and Romania also provide astute essays on the history and present state of haiku in their respective countries.

The submission deadline for the 2009 anthology is 2nd May 2008. Only members of the WHA may submit work. Membership cost varies depending on where you live in the world. See the WHA website.

Read a review of World Haiku 2006.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great post and the links. I am thinking about submitting. What I love about haiku is that they "breathe."