Beginning:
British Haiku Society Members’ Anthology 2016

First published in the “Briefly Reviewed” section of Frogpond 40:1, Winter 2017, page 104.       +

Beginning: British Haiku Society Members’ Anthology 2016, edited by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy (2016, British Haiku Society, Ramsgate, UK). 128 pages, 5¾×4˝, perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-9063305-8. £4.00 from blithespirit.editor@gmail.com or membership@britishhaikusociety.org.uk.

With Beginning, edited by the incoming editor of Blithe Spirit, the British Haiku Society celebrates twenty-five years of publishing its annual members’ anthologies. Unlike most members’ anthologies from the Haiku Society of America and Haiku Canada, each BHS anthology has a theme inspired by a single word, and that word gives each anthology its title. The 2016 collection is the largest yet, with 150 poems. Two poems appear on each horizontal page in a pleasing hand-size book (although it would have been more helpful for the index to list names by last name rather than first name). After twenty-five years, it’s refreshing to see all these poems that return to “beginning.” A favourite, by Claire Knight: “a bough / heavy with snow— / her baby’s first kick.”