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Book of the Week: Winnows: A Collection of Haiku by Canadian Poet Maxianne Berger

There is an article about Maxianne’s interesting literary career on Wolsak & Wynn. Winnows is haiku and senryu “plundered” from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. This form of creating poetry is called plunderverse which is a compositional method of producing poems from other texts. The process amounts to an extreme edit of a source text by striking out the vast majority of words. The product is a stand-alone poem — built from the (acknowledged) source text, but functionally standalone.

Angela Leuck writes – “Don’t be fooled. The words in these haiku may have been first penned by Herman Melville, but Maxianne Berger makes them uniquely hers, In her meticulously fashioned short poems, we hear the poet’s own inimitable voice as it shifts between joy and lament, humour and introspection. Having “plundered” Moby Dick, Berger serves up 136 rare and brilliant haiku gems.”

An additional book by Maxianne in the digital library is What’s Left Unsaid.

raw weather
in his face
the dying fire

howling gale
your question answered
miles off shore

shadows on the path
this sleepless night
a lost sheep

smoke
curling out of the fire
laughter in the dark

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library and please share your favorite poem from the book with us.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2016 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.

Maxianne Berger

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Oh happy day! Congratulations, Maxi.. Winnows is such a wonderful book; I am so glad others will now come to know it. And some, of course, who have already known it, will discover it again and again, as Moby Dick gives up its gems.

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