“A good haiku can show you the world through a pinhole…” _____Joe Llewellyn.
1. Please share a haiku you have written.
her husband’s ashes
mingle with the sand
2. Why did you pick this one?
This was my first non 5-7-5 haiku. It’s an early one, and it gave me confidence to carry on writing in free form. I like the way this haiku has some solemnity to it. It hints at the widow’s memories of her husband, as well as his passage onwards to the next life. A good haiku can show you the world through a pinhole, and I think this haiku gets close to that.
3. How many have you written? How often do you write? What inspires you?
I have about a hundred of my earlier haiku on my blog. I started writing by posting a haiku every day as exercise, but now I prefer to take it easy and mull over my haiku, revising them at different places and times. It’s probably fair to say I draft or think about haiku every day, it’s just that most won’t go any further than my notebook. I’m always reading haiku journals and anthologies for inspiration and new perspectives on writing.
4. Why do you write haiku? How did you get started?
I started writing haiku whilst on an introductory writing course in Spring 2013. I had wanted to write short stories and flash fiction, but one morning I woke up and thought I’d have a go at haiku (a thought out of nowhere, much like the arrival of a haiku itself) and since then I’ve been learning more and trying to get better. I feel lucky, really. I’ve enjoyed learning about and writing haiku, and now I want to get the publishable stage before trying my hand at bigger forms of poetry or prose writing.
5. Do you work with other forms related to haiku, like renga, senryu, haiga, tanka, etc?
I’ve had a go at some haibun, renga, and I enjoy reading tanka too, but I mostly write haiku at the moment. Regarding the whole senryu/haiku business, yeah, I understand there are technical differences between the two (the kigo, the kireji, the nature vs. human-nature idea) but English-language haiku these days are so varied and unpredictable that trying to dictate the differences would be like trying to cut water with a knife. Writers are going to do their thing, and as long as what they write has quality it’ll get noticed regardless of the category it’s given.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring haiku writers?
Read good haiku – simple. By that I don’t mean join an on-line community, I mean read an anthology of recognized haiku writers, read the print journal of your national haiku association, read the classics by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki. Do a quick bit of research about the Imagist school of poetry too. There are some good links to other haiku sites and resources on my website flatfroghaiku.wordpress.com.
7. Where can people read your haiku?
People can check my website (flatfroghaiku.wordpress.com). I’ll be making some submissions to journals in the next couple of months, so (fingers crossed) maybe people will see me on one of those soon too!