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Bookstories 31: Mankh’s Haiku One-Breaths

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!


One by one I got into reading haiku books, some at the suggestion of a local haiku poet. Eventually people started gifting me more books. A combination of Basho’s “learn about pines from the pine and about bamboos from the bamboo,” my spiritual path and affinity for meditation & Eastern ways, and the in-depth approach of Kenneth Yasuda’s The Japanese Haiku all helped provide a balance of book-ness and direct experience. Noticing that there weren’t too many how-to write haiku books, I decided that was the thing, plus to have half the book be an anthology, mostly from local poets plus a good amount of my haiku. A friend suggested the pocket-size, which afterwards seemed so obvious I wondered why I didn’t think of it.

—Mankh (Walter E. Harris)

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