I came across Eric’s book on amazon when I randomly entered two of my favorite words: neuroscience haiku. On the cover is one of my favorite animals. So, I felt compelled to invite him for a Q&A.
1. Please share a haiku you have written.
Elephant on Brain
“You have a lot on your mind”
2. Why did you pick this one?
“Elephant on Brain” was the original title of my book, but the publisher thought a more descriptive title was better.
3. How many have you written? How often do you write? What inspires you?
I have written several hundred. I do not devote any special time to write haiku, but instead create the poems as I think of topics. My inspiration comes from reading scientific papers and listening to the researchers.
4. Why do you write haiku? How did you get started?
My haiku focus on a very specific topic: the nervous system. As a neuroscientist, I am interested in explaining my work to people who may not be experts. Poetry is one way to make the topic more approachable.
5. Do you work with other forms related to haiku, like renga, senryu, haiga, tanka, etc.?
Many of my poems are more closely related to senryu.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring haiku writers?
Write, revise; write, revise. And then write, revise again until you are happy with your work.
7. Where can people read your haiku?
In May, 2013, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. published my work in a book titled “The Little Book of Neuroscience Haiku.”