On My Mind

On My Mind

Anita Virgil, interviewed by vincent tripi

Garry Gay, introduction

An interview with Anita Virgil, past president of the Haiku Society of America, by vincent tripi on the art and craft of haiku poetry. Introduced by Garry Gay. Winner of a 1990 Merit Book Award honorable mention (for books published in 1989) from the Haiku Society of America. The first book published by Press Here. +

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1989 (third printing, 1993), saddle-stapled, 28 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches, ISBN 978-1-878798-00-6

  • “The feeling of being in the same room with these two poets prevails from the very first word. Vincent asks just the right questions and leads us on an odyssey. Anitas sincere answers both educate and stimulate our curiosity about the evolution writers go through in forming their own special philosophies.” —from the introduction by Garry Gay

  • “Art is a selfish mistress. . . . But, if you can apportion her some time in which to bloom, if you can afford this luxury, the results of life lived with eyes open to the world about you will show in the work you produce.” —Anita Virgil, in answer to the interview’s final question

  • “This handsomely printed softcover booklet of twenty-eight pages consists of an epistolary interview of long-time American haikuist Anita Virgil, a charter member of HSA [Haiku Society of America], by San Francisco-based poet Vincent Tripi, as well as a one-page introduction by Garry Gay. Like most interviews this one touches on a number of subjects. Tripi’s questions are very knowledgeable and deferential. Virgil’s answers are well-informed, engaging, refreshingly sensible, and free of pretense. She would never call haiku poets troubadours. Her brief discussions of the experience of the early New York haikuists whet one’s appetite for the upcoming HSA retrospective volume [A Haiku Path, published in 1994]. And they make one wish for more comprehensive discussions by Virgil of such matters as the nature of senryu and haiku punctuation. Altogether this is a pleasant booklet.” —Paul O. Williams, Woodnotes #6, Summer 1990, page 18 (review of the books first edition)

  • See a PDF version of the interview from On My Mind on the authors website.

  • See the Global Haiku Traditions reader response essay.

The first edition of this book was published in 1989. The third edition, with a new cover design and different paper choices, was published in 1993, with the new design matching a companion book, Raking Sand, vincent tripi’s interview with Virginia Brady Young.