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Ben Moeller-Gaa — Touchstone Distinguished Books Award Winner 2018

Ben Moeller-Gaa is a recipient of a Touchstone Distinguished Books Honorable Mention for 2018 for his volume Wishbones: Haiku & Senyru (Meredith NH: Folded Word Press. 144 pages, 5″ by 7″. Two-color card covers, saddle-stitched. ISBN 978-1610191166. $12.00).

Commentary from the Panel:

Wishbones by Ben Moeller-Gaa is a beautifully produced collection of evocative haiku. Folded Word Press is to be commended for the calligraphy by JS Graustein presenting each haiku on a cream-colored page. Her calligraphy provides a human touch to the haiku, as if we are reading them from someone’s journal. The book starts with the title poem:

wishbones
the way we split
in two

I especially like how this haiku moves from the physical connection of splitting a wishbone to the more symbolic expression. It invokes this childish ritual with the deeper realizations about serious wishes and differences. The haiku in Moeller-Gaa’s book continually play with ordinary events and their mystical underlying significance, for instance:

clip on tie
the unseen order
of things

Sometimes the tension between the immediate and the unseen is the passage of time:

an old argument —
untangling
the christmas lights

The author writes from a variety of circumstances and emotions. I appreciate the togetherness in this one:

morning calm
the pacing of pages
between us

Consider this more ominous one:

talk of war
sugar cubes dissolve
into darkness

This is an outstanding collection of haiku because the author engages in deep thinking, close wondering, and heartfelt caring. Like most of our best writers, Ben Moeller-Gaa takes the time to notice significance in life and captures that significance in the literary art of haiku.”

See the complete list of winners of both Individual Poem Awards and Distinguished Books Awards in the Touchstone Archives.

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Thanks Alan for the link. To read the haiku in its calligraphy form, made it appear more special.

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