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Book of the Week: Barbed Wire Blossoms: The Museum of Haiku Literature Award Anthology, 1992-2011

The British Haiku Society published this Anthology of more than 80 haiku by 58 writers.  Graham High, the editor, states that “each of these haiku stood out in the mind of its selector as being most worthy to represent British haiku in the Museum in Japan. It is hoped that the variety, breadth and depth of haiku in the anthology as a whole will provide inspiration as well as enjoyment to haiku lovers.” Some examples and comments from the book are:

Still there
the hills of childhood
still unclimbed.

— W. D. Tidmarsh

Ernest Berry comments: The not-so-subtle metaphor of hills as goals and hurdles of life may challenge the haiku establishment, but this poem’s reverberations and layers of speculative meaning spoke to me.

Concave
against the baby’s head:
the mother’s cheek.

— John McDonald

David Cobb simply adds: John McDonald warns us with humanity.

behind the beach hut
my everlasting world
of pebbles

— Diana Webb

Martin Lucas expands: There is both innocence and wonder in this haiku. The overstatement in the second line might make this a poor model, but here it is just right: convincing original and deeply felt. At the same time, the beach hut and the pebbles “earth” the haiku, and the final effect is a delight.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2015 or earlier that you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details. Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

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