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Slavko Sedlar

Slavko Sedlar

July 7, 1932 - October 24, 2010

Slavko Sedlar was one of the first poets from the former Yugoslavia who began to write, publish, and teach haiku, thus persistently spreading the knowledge about this poetic genre in Serbian language. He was born in Jezersko near Krupa in Bosanska Krajina. During WWII he found himself, like other young Serbs who survived the war, in Vojvodina war orphanages, and afterwards in boarding schools in Vršac, Rijeka, and Belgrade, where he completed his education. In 1980, with a haiku seminar held by Aleksandar Nejgebauer, he adopted haiku with Zen and discovered a new world, a world where he was to forget the Christian teachings and principles he had adopted until that time. Тhe seminar developed into the so-called “Haiku class”, that is, a haiku school organized at the Vršac Literary Community, where Sedlar instructed haiku beginners. In 1982, he started the Yugoslav poetry/haiku marathon of Vršac, to which a haiku contest was added in 1985, the first and, for several years, the only one in the country. His haiku have been published in a number of literary journals, in his country and abroad, in Serbian and other languages.

Awards and Other Honors: In 1996, Slavko was commended and awarded an honorary membership by The Novi Sad Haiku Club “Аleksandar Nejgebauer” for his exceptional contribution to Yugoslav haiku. His haiku "During milking" [see below] has received many recognitions. For example, in 1987, he was granted the title of “Haiku King of the Week” by Kasuo Sato for that haiku, which was translated into Japanese and published in Mainichi Shimbun, then in Sunday Mainichi and Ko. In 1998, it was included in the Canadian International anthology Haïku sans frontières (Orleans, Ontario), and in 1991 in the Japanese anthology of world haiku poetry Four Seasons edited by Koko Kako. Slavko is also the recipient of many other commendations, recognitions, and awards, domestic and foreign, such as, more recently: Selected, Basho Haiku Festival (2007); Selected, City of Perth Library Haiku Competition (2007); Honorable Mention, Mainichi Haiku Contest (2007); a Prize, Genkissu! Spirits Up! (2009) and others. As the judge of haiku contests, he has awarded many haijin.

Books Published: Takvost (Suchness) [ISBN 974-86-84449-26-1] (Gradska biblioteka: Vrsac, 2008).

Selected Work
 
During milking,
the cow’s tail chases away flies
from the milkmaid, too
 
Every drop
green in the grass
drizzling ...
 
 
 
Rain  and snow. . . 
How somber this village
without stars
 
Moorland –
in a flash a march tit
brushes the mist
 
 
 
spring noon
the construction crane
lifts a crow
 
My childhood oak
blasted by the war: now birds
make nests beneath the stars
 
 

Credits: "During milking" - Mainichi Shimbun (1987); Sunday Mainichi (1987) and Ko (1987). Haïku sans frontières (Orleans, Ontario, Canada, 1988); Four Seasons [edited by Koko Kato] (1991); "Rain and snow" - Three Lights Gallery/snowdays [online]; "spring noon" - The Heron's Nest X:2 (2008); "Every drop" - Asahi Haikuist Network (April 4, 2008); "Moorland" - World Haiku Review 6:5 (2008); "My childhood oak" – Sketchbook (Nov/Dec 2009).

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