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Messages - S.M. Abeles

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In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Favourite tanka journals
« on: January 03, 2014, 08:23:14 AM »
Hi Stewart:

There are probably more than you think.  Mixed genre journals that accept tanka include A Hundred Gourds, Presence, Cattails, and Moongarlic.  And there are tanka (and related)-only journals like Atlas Poetica, Skylark, Red Lights, and Ribbons.  I recommend each of these for both reading and writing pleasure.  Good luck.


Contests and Awards / Re: Chen-ou's double take!
« on: September 30, 2013, 11:30:59 AM »
Yes, kudos to Chen-ou :)

Contests and Awards / Re: HNA Haiku Contest - THE WINNERS
« on: August 20, 2013, 11:56:00 AM »
An excellent group of poems.  Kudos to the winners and judges.

Polona Oblak, Chen-ou Liu, John Hawk, Peter Newton. Many others of course.

Wow, a tour-de-force by Alan here (thank you for mentioning my poem as well).  Delighted to have PJ back.  It has always been bizarre to me that senryu is used sometimes as a perjorative term, and a journal dedicated to this high art is most appreciated.

As the invitation was extended to offer a favorite senryu, here is one:  April rains / I touch the face / in "The Scream" -- Chen-ou Liu (from memory, hopefully got it right).

My! Among other things, the senryu form allows one to freely operate between reality and fantasy, past, present, future, dimensions, etc., without fear of veering too far from the "haiku trail." Here Chen-ou moves between two worlds -- inside and outside the famous painting.  It is one of my favorite poems, once inspiring this attempt at homage: black city / I fog the glass / in "Nighthawks"

Given that pale imitation I'm compelled to offer a favorite of my own: icy breaths / half my life spent / reliving the past (World Haiku Review -- Dec. 2012)



Journal Announcements / Re: Dark Pens issue 1 is up
« on: March 15, 2013, 01:45:34 PM »
Congratulations on the first issue -- SMA

Journal Announcements / Re: Prune Juice?
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:43:09 PM »
I exchanged emails with Curtis a couple of weeks ago. He's putting together the January issue, and was confident it would indeed be published, and that PJ will continue.

Naturally the question turns on how one defines "socially relevant."  That said, there is almost no definition of that phrase that would result in the answer to the question being "no."

Haiku is socially relevant in the 21st century because it is the leading form of poetry in social media, foremost on Twitter, and to a lesser degree on Facebook.  Twitter wins because one can much more easily avoid poor haiku and curate lists of haiku poets who know the genre, versus Facebook. My own Twitter stream brims with daily haiku (and Tanka, and other short forms) from many well-known maestros of the form, along with, perhaps more importantly, many more unknown but outstanding short-form poets.

Indeed, I believe that my daily Twitter stream constitutes the best poetry "journal" in the world.  I do not believe there is a close second.

For these reasons, and because (i) the genre is able to reach so many more people than ever before, (ii) so many new people have begun writing haiku, and, as a result, (iii) more people than ever before have been brought joy by the form, to me it is self-evident that haiku is socially-relevant in the 21st century.

While it is also likely true that there is more bad haiku out there than ever before, such trifling makes the outstanding the enemy of the perfect.  Were one to believe this undercuts the above points, then one would also necessarily believe that the addition of bad haiku outweighs the additional good to great haiku generated via social media, exposure, and practice. Yet consider the positive impact a great haiku has on you (e.g., a permanently imprinted memory, inspiration for your own poem, etc.) versus the negative impact of a bad one (e.g., shrug).  There is not comparison.


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