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Martin Lucas

Martin Lucas

1962 - 2014

Martin Lucas—poet, essayist, critic, editor, mentor, avid birdwatcher, consummate nature lover, and dedicated outdoorsman—was born in Middlesbrough, England. He held a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Kent, a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Lancaster University, and a PhD from Cardiff University in Wales for his thesis, Haiku in Britain: Theory, Practice, Context. He was a moving force in the haiku community. Some of his accomplishments include founding the prestigious British haiku journal Presence in 1996, serving as President of the British Haiku Society, and co-editing The Iron Book of British Haiku and The New Haiku. His acclaimed essay “Haiku as Poetic Spell” was first delivered at the Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Terrigal, Australia in 2009 and is considered by many to be required reading for haiku poets. That essay, as well as his thesis and several books are available in The Haiku Foundation's Digital Library. His brother (and children's author) David wrote the following for Martin's funeral service: "Haiku, for Martin, were little moments of perfection, of glimpsing heaven on earth. In haiku the very small and the very big are one, the particular moment itself becomes an image of all of life: Everything-All-At-Once revealed in the tiniest details of God’s creation, details a lot of us wouldn’t even notice."

Awards and Other Honors: Some of his awards and other honors include but are not limited to: Winner of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award for the best haiku/senryu of the issue, Blithe Spirit 4:1 (February 1994); Honorable Mention, Haiku Poets of Northern California San Francisco International Haiku Contest (1995); President, British Haiku Society (2003 to 2006); Honorable Mention, Betty Drevniok Award (2004); Winner, Katikati Haiku Contest (2010). In addition, his work was selected for various respected anthologies, including but not limited to William J. Higginson's Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodansha International, 1996); The Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press, 1998) [edited by David Cobb and Martin Lucas]; The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002) [edited by John Barlow and Martin Lucas); Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2008) [edited by John Barlow and Matthew Paul]; Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years [edited by Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns] (W.W. Norton and Company, 2013); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); and several editions of the annual "best of haiku" series published by Red Moon Press as The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku. In 2015, the Presence Award was designated the Martin Lucas Haiku Award.

Books Published: bluegrey (Hub Editions, 1994); Darkness and Light (Hub Editions, 1996); .. Click .. (Hub Editions, 1998); Violin (Bare Bones Press, 1998); Moonrock (Ram Publications, 2002); Earthjazz (Ram Publications, 2003); and his edited anthology with commentaries, Stepping Stones: a way into haiku (The British Haiku Society, 2007; 2015). In addition, he co-edited the anthologies: The Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press, 1998) [with David Cobb] and The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002) with John Barlow).

Selected Work
 
sunlit mist
     a sudden brightness
     in the lamb's eye
 
greener than autumn light
  on wind-bent reeds
    the teal's wing
 
 
 
a quiet stretch of river
the gull's little kick
into flight
 
all the departure times
have faded--
a thin autumn rain
 
 
 
morning mist
a workman whistles
no particular tune
 
from leafless trees
crow follows crow
into a cold wind
 
 
 
summer grasses
    leaning into
       larksong
 
a night of stars
          the footpath
                    sparkles with frost
 
 
 
a winding path
from the banks of the beck
into bracken scent
 
shore of the loch —
wavelets lapping
the fallen larch
 
 

Credits: [incomplete] "sunlit mist" - Frogpond 25:2 (2002); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); Funeral Service Booklet (May 2, 2014); "a quiet stretch of river" - Frogpond 26:2 (2003); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); "morning mist" - Second Honorable Mention, Haiku Poets of Northern California San Francisco International Haiku Contest (1995); Woodnotes 27 (winter 1995); The Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press, 1998) [edited by David Cobb and Martin Lucas]; Haïku sans frontières (Web); snow on the water: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 1998 (Red Moon Press, 1999); "summer grasses" - Acorn 7 (fall 2001); "a winding path" - Blithe Spirit 13:4 (December 2003); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); "greener than autumn light" – Earthjazz (Ram Publications, 2003); Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years [edited by Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns] (W.W. Norton and Company, 2013); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); "all the departure times" - Honorable Mention, Betty Drevniok Award (2004); Haiku Canada Sheet 2004-05; inside the mirror: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2005 (Red Moon Press, 2006); "from leafless trees" - The Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press, 1998) [with David Cobb]; Haïku sans frontières (Web); "a night of stars" - Haiku Presence 9 and Web site; The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002) [edited by John Barlow and Martin Lucas); "shore of the loch" - Snapshots 6 (October 1999); The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002) [edited by John Barlow and Martin Lucas); Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); Funeral Service Booklet (May 2, 2014).

Additional Reading: Matthew Paul's tribute published in A Hundred Gourds 3:4 (2014) is available at: http://ahundredgourds.com/ahg34/index_feature.html

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