Dear Haiku Maven, I was excited to see a call for submissions from a new publisher of haiku. That is, until I read some of their published work. The poems they are calling haiku are merely three line free verse. Is there any way to stop them? They have at least ten new “haiku” compilations planned. I feel like they are just further diluting English-language haiku. I have a hard enough time explaining haiku to my friends as it is.
Dear Dismayed, In a workshop given by a celebrated poet laureate, these words were said to those attending, instead of a farewell, “Do not sent your work to every Baker, Candlestick Maker and other-in-a-tub publication; always consider the journal’s reputation for excellence.” In choosing where to submit your work, Haiku Maven advises you to be similarly discerning. Concentrate on submitting your best work to the most selective publications and publishers. In this climate in which new e-zines sprout like dandelions, a good new haiku publication can be hard to find. The litmus test is that the most selective publications will continue to thrive, while the lesser ones will disappear after a few issues. At the end of the day, haiku journals which feature three lines masquerading as haiku will not have a long shelf life. As to how to explain haiku to your friends, Haiku Maven invites responses from readers of this column. Please post your answer in the comment section.
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