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I came to this book of haiku as a recently retired academic. Publishing was where I got my strokes. So, why not with haiku? My inspiration for this book came about due to an accidental encounter. I knew next to nothing about haiku, though I had been trying my hand at short verses I called ‘haiku’ for some half-dozen years. One day I saw an ad for the 1993 Haiku North America Conference being held in Chicago.
I drove down to the city with my companion. Knowing no one there we sat at the back of a large auditorium. On the way out after all was over I overheard a guy talking about looking for the best way to get to Evanston. Since we were going there we offered him a ride. This chance encounter evolved into a lasting friendship. He was Charlie Trumbull, an editor at Britannica. He also happened to run a small press that published books on haiku. He wound up publishing mine.
As I look over these early haiku I find myself tempted to revise. Shades of the academic! Most of my haiku were short poems containing two images, a la the ‘rules’ of haiku. Of course I counted syllables when I drafted these early haiku. This was before I had ever read the haiku of others, much less any essays on the subject. The process seemed simple enough. All I needed was seventeen syllables and two images, along with a season word. This made a verse haiku. Now all I needed was to give the book a theme by finding related haiku and voila! a book. I also knew the images pairs had to differ enough to generate some tension. I wound up choosing two—image haiku that had an edgy quality.