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Bookstories 28: Philomene Kocher’s Singing in the Silo

libraryofbabelEvery book tells its story, but what of the other story, the story behind the book? Bookstories offers an opportunity to tell that story. If you have a story about a book or poem you would like to share, contact us and we’ll help you make it happen. Thanks for letting us know the rest of the story!


Although my poetry has appeared previously in several chapbooks, as well as anthologies and journals, this is my first book. I passionately believe in the accessibility of haiku, and wanted my book to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. To that end, I shared my draft manuscript with three friends for review before submitting it to my publisher: a haiku buddy, a friend who wrote lyric poetry but was familiar with haiku, and a personal friend who had known me a long time but didn’t write poetry at all. Their collective feedback was incorporated, the most significant being to reduce the number of poems I was trying to shoehorn into the book. One unique aspect of the collection is that I chose to leave the poems (haiku, tanka, and haibun) in chronological order, covering a period of 22 years. I felt this would be the most telling way to show how my poetry has changed over the years, as well as how I have changed. Some of the early poems are admittedly “short poems in the haiku spirit” rather than haiku; however, I felt it was important to share that evolution as well. I had selected three titles for consideration, and we decided to use Singing in the Silo because it is unusual. It also relates to my rural heritage, which fostered my connection to nature.

—Philomene Kocher

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Always nice to get opinions on your work from others. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. What is the point of featuring a book that is not available as others are? Seems a waste of time to me. Most have examples of the author’s work.

    1. Pat, again, this is not a Book of the Week feature, where we offer digital books for downloading. Bookstories allows authors to tell the stories behind their books, not to offer the books themselves. It’s an additional way to appreciate the whole enterprise of haiku—not just the finished products, but the human elements that go into the finished products. And of course there are plenty other books available in the THF Digital Library, if more is what you crave.


    1. Pat, this book is not available through the THF DIgital Library. This is the Bookstories feature, where poets talk about the backstories of their books, not the Book of the Week feature, where we highlight our holding in the Digital Library, and (almost always) make that book available for download.

      Jim Kacian

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