Born: March 1954 in Westport Connecticut, USA
Resides: Kumamoto, Japan
E-mail: gilbert (dot) japan (at) gmail (dot) com
Most of my education has come from independent study, including reading, travel, and scraping for a living. At Naropa University (Boulder, Colorado), I studied and hung out with beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Gary Snyder, and others; and became a Tibetan Buddhist meditator. I performed in and produced conceptual art multi-disciplinary presentations as poet, videographer, and electric guitarist. My undergraduate thesis was on Japanese classical haiku, and I received a BA in Poetics and Expressive Arts. I went to a Buddhist seminary in 1984, and returned to Naropa for an MA in Contemplative Psychology. I worked as a clinical adult outpatient psychotherapist at Boulder Community Mental Health Center. In 1988 I entered The Union Institute & University doctoral program, and received a Ph.D. in Poetics and Depth Psychology in 1990, studying Archetypal Psychology with James Hillman. Upon graduation, I became a post-production audio engineer in Los Angeles for two years, then returned to Denver, and trained and took a post as director/producer at Denver Community Television for five years, while composing poetry. I moved to Kumamoto, Japan, in 1997, and from 1998 began teaching at university, publishing academic articles on Japanese and English-language haiku, and designing EFL educational software. I received tenure as an Associate Professor of British and American Literature, Faculty of Letters, Kumamoto University in 2002.
Awards and Other Honors: (Haiku-related): Grants: Research grants awarded by the Japan
Ministry of Education (MEXT): 1) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific
Research, MEXT Kakenhi 18520439 (2006-08), supported the creation of
research materials found at the Gendai Haiku Website
(‘gendaihaiku.com’); 2) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research,
Kakenhi 21520579 (2009-12) supported documentary filming and book
publication of the works and life of Kaneko Tohta (see “Books,”
below); 3) MEXT Kakenhi 24520628 (2012-15) supports current
research, including the translation of new scholarship related to
Basho, additional poet interviews, and the publication of a
bilingual textbook presenting topics in Japanese and
English-language haiku for Japanese EFL university
Books Published: The first publication of the Kumamoto University-based Kon Nichi Haiku Translation Group was a bilingual edition of Presents of Mind, by Jim Kacian (2nd ed., Red Moon Press, 2006), awarded the Haiku Society of America's (HSA) Mildred Kanterman Award for
International Collaboration (2007). In March 2008, publication of Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese & English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspective (Red Moon Press, 2008, 306 pp.) was awarded the HSA 2009 Mildred Kanterman Award for Haiku Criticism and Theory. In mixed media publication, the
'gendaihaiku.com' website presents subtitled video interviews with notable gendaihaiku (modern Japanese haiku) poets, biographical information and haiku translations. In 2011, publication of Ikimonofûei: Poetic Composition on Living Things (a talk by Kaneko Tohta, with commentary and essays. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 92 pp.), and The Future of Haiku, an Interview with Kaneko Tohta (with commentary and essays. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 138 pp.). In 2012, publication of Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta, Part 1, 1937-1960 (with commentary, essays and chronology. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 256 pp.), and Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta, Part 2, 1961-2012 (with commentary, chronology and encyclopedic glossary. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 250 pp.). The two 2012 Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta volumes were awarded The Haiku Foundation 2012 Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. In August 2013, publication of The Disjunctive Dragonfly: A New Theory of English-language Haiku (R. Gilbert, Red Moon Press, 132 pp.): A revised and much-expanded update of the decade-old essay, which first appeared (in North America) in Modern Haiku Journal 35:2 (2004). The book contains 275 haiku by 185 authors, and several new sections, including a comparative discussion of strong and weak styles of disjunction in excellent haiku, and a presentation of seven newly coined "strong reader-resistance" disjunctive categories. A rationale is given for the elimination of the term "gendai" in English-language haiku criticism, and a new term, "H21 haiku" is proposed as a suitable replacement.
Credits: "as an and" - Roadrunner 11:2 (2011); "with you i the world" - Roadrunner 12.2 (2012); "the blood" - Roadrunner 11:3 (2011); "dedicated to the moon" - NOON: Journal of the Short Poem, vol. 1 (Philip Rowland, ed., Tokyo: 2004); "hungo ver – ignoble" - Roadrunner 8:2 (2008); "a drowning man" - NOON: Journal of the Short Poem, vol. 1 (Philip Rowland, ed., Tokyo: 2004).