Jacar Press Anthology of Best Living English-Language Haiku Writers

In August of 2013, Jacar Press in Durham, North Carolina published an anthology titled 7 (just the number seven). The book is also available on Amazon. I’m one of the fourteen poets included. It contains seven haiku each by the following poets (in order): Fay Aoyagi, Tom Clausen, Garry Gay, Ferris Gilli, Lee Gurga, Carolyn Hall, paul m., Marlene Mountain, John Stevenson, George Swede, Michael Dylan Welch, Ruth Yarrow, and the two editors, Roberta Beary and Lenard D. Moore. In the words of publisher Richard Krawiec, who wrote the introduction, the book presents poems by “the best living English-language haiku writers” as nominated by “several dozen haiku writers and editors, most of them well-known in international circles.” Nearly 100 poets were nominated, and the poets included were those who were the “top vote getters.” It’s an honour to be included, and also intriguing to think about who is not included. The book says that each poet who was asked to participate (one of them apparently declined) had been asked to submit ten haiku (I was actually asked to submit fifteen), of which seven were chosen. The following are my seven poems selected by the editors, followed by the eight additional poems I also submitted.

after the quake

the weathervane

pointing to earth +

meteor shower . . .

a gentle wave

wets our sandals + +

crackling beach fire—

we hum in place of words

we can’t recall

spring breeze—

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store

tulip festival—

the colours of all the cars

in the parking lot

first snow . . .

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet

toll booth lit for Christmas—

from my hand to hers

warm change + +

On request, I had submitted fifteen poems for this anthology, including the previous seven, but the following eight poems were not selected. I include them here as a representation of my top poems, at least as of the date I submitted them, 2 June 2011. The one that I most wish had been selected from the following poems is “home for Christmas.”

first star—

a seashell held

to my baby’s ear +

summer moonlight

the potter’s wheel


reading in bed

my pulse flickering

the lightly held bookmark

Valentine’s Day—

she reminds me

to fasten my seatbelt + +

home for Christmas:

my childhood desk drawer

empty + + + + +

scattered petals . . .

the thud of my books

in the book drop +

an old woolen sweater

taken yarn by yarn

from the snowbank