Haiku of the Day for April 2023 features Guest Editor Scott Wiggerman’s collection on the theme of the LGBTQIA+ experience. This is what Scott has to say by way of introduction to this theme:
For the month of April, National Poetry Month, I chose the subject of LGBTQIA+ haiku and senryu, a topic near and dear to me, which I’d not seen before on the Haiku of the Day site. It turned out there was a reason for that: unlike the more common nature-themed subjects or even mood-based ones, there simply aren’t a lot of haiku in the world that touch on LGBTQIA+ experiences. In fact, the majority of the haiku I was able to find was in the last decade, as such topics have become more open (though no less controversial, given the 50+ bills that conservative U.S. politicians have brought forth so far in 2023). All of these reasons indicated to me that this was a most important subject to cover in this column.
The topic was also difficult because the haiku isn’t necessarily indicative of the gender or sexuality or preferences of those who wrote it. I personally have little knowledge of the personal lives of the majority of poets represented here (and I tried to represent a broad cross-section). I had to be delicate in approaching poets for permission to use their poems under the label of the LGBTQ+ umbrella. I could only judge the haiku in how I –as a gay man—read and interpreted them; and all of these haiku, in my opinion, have a strong queer sensibility, whether or not the poet has had those experiences. I am overjoyed to report that all the poets contacted were enthusiastic about giving permission, and several carried on about the subject I chose, “a terrific topic to highlight which has been a long time coming.”
I want to add that Alan Summers, Charlie Trumbull, and Lynne Jambor were invaluable in suggesting both haiku and poets that I would not have discovered otherwise. My hope is that the next time this theme appears as the Haiku of the Day subject, the editor of that month will have an easy time finding and choosing a month’s worth of worthy and published LGBTQIA+ haiku and senryu.