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homeland: Précis and invitation for submitted works

Started by Scott Metz, January 06, 2013, 06:00:00 AM

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Scott Metz

R'r Haiku Journal is pleased to announce a new section of the journal for issue 13.1. A full explanation and all other info for submissions is in the text that follows.

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Our impetus for creating this section is related to the explorations of a number of haiku poets through the years, and more specifically is a response to the critical challenge offered by Kaneko Tohta, via a recently published four-volume series (search "Kaneko Tohta" at <>). In brief, we are intrigued by the concept of an author's stance, as a poet, vis-a-vis self and society, as well as the topic or arena of self and society—(social consciousness/awareness, shakaisei in Japanese)—regarding contemporary haiku. We see homeland as a space that both publishes new work, and one which also acts as a compendium for each theme that's been offered. We are open to any and all schools of haiku, and would like to showcase a large range of haiku on the theme below (and each subsequent theme).


We are creating homeland to provide a space and platform for works, as well as discussion. Our title, homeland, is chosen in part because the term is freighted with social connotations, from "homeland security" to nationalistic and other political concepts. Yet homeland is also a matter of heart for ourselves as individuals and citizens. The land which (like it or not) is "home"— does this exist for you? What might be your own stance, in this regard? How is "homeland" related with human rights, ecological concerns, the challenges, voices and spirit of our times? The term itself seems in doubt these days, yet one that we feel is a relevant jumping off point, in exploring the matter of social consciousness vis-à-vis haiku.

The homeland blog, in the timeframe leading up to each volume, will be offering a theme—meant to be taken in as wide a context as possible—and posting "stimuli" connected to the volume's theme: quotes, poems, video clips, imagery, and anything else that seems pertinent. We invite you to visit and partake, helping us create a community that explores and addresses the question: Is haiku in English a socially relevant poetics in the 21st century? We encourage you to visit the blog we have created for this new section of R'r:

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Invitation for submitted works

volume 1 : Transformation

Transformation, metamorphosis: something that can be discovered in, and created from, nearly any facet of existence. A quick glance at any media generated worldwide will reveal instances in which transformation is taking place: environmentally, technologically, artistically, politically, spiritually, economically, culturally, domestically, and symbolically. 

Transformations are capable of plying various planes of life and consciousness: the universal, the deliciously local, as well as the deeply personal. To quote Jack Kerouac, "I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down."

"Transformation" can connect at any level, and also relate to nearly any topic or concern.

The history of haiku can be viewed as a microcosm of transformation. The act of writing a poem, a transformation in itself: the poem's substance—images, feelings—being cut/pulled from "the totality of reality," extracted from within us, and transformed into language, then presented as a "shared crime" with an audience, wherein another transformation takes place.

Evolving and expanding, the literature of haiku styles, schools, approaches, directions and philosophies connects to this theme as well: haiku is constantly in a state of flux, continuously transforming and renewing itself. Further, the form's most traditionally identifiable characteristics (such as seasonal changes) and technique, that of cutting (kire)—those disjunctive and irruptive techniques within the poem—also connect to sudden shifts and transformation.

We invite you to submit anywhere from 1 to 20 previously unpublished haiku whose theme you feel is in some way connected with "transformation," accompanied by a short prose comment or statement, at your option. Also, feel free to send along any previously published haiku by any poet that you feel exemplifies a facet of this topic (please include publication information, if possible).

The submission deadline for volume 1 of homeland is April 1, 2013.

Please send us your submission to the following address:

In the subject line include your name, followed by "homeland submission," so that we can keep things organized, like so: Timothy Heron, homeland submission

homeland is a part of Roadrunner (R'r) Haiku Journal and will be published therein. Hence, "Volume 1: Transformation" will appear in R'r 13.1 (2013).

In addition to submitting your work, once again, please take a look at the blog related to this new section of R'r:

Richard Gilbert & Scott Metz

The Kaneko Tohta series (four pocket-sized volumes) is available through Red Moon Press (search "Kaneko Tohta" at '').

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