The Haijin’s Tweed Coat

The Haijin’s Tweed Coat

Michael Dylan Welch

An engaging sequence of haiku celebrating various English-language haiku journals by incorporating their names into the lines of each poem.

temple bell

the haijin’s tweed coat

sprinkled with pine needles

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2000 (second, expanded edition), saddle-stapled, 12 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches, ISBN 978-1-878798-02-2

The sequence that makes up this book was first published in a shorter form in Modern Haiku 21:3, Autumn 1990, and then in chapbook form in 1990 and in a second, expanded edition in 2000. Most of these verses also appeared in Raw Nervz 5:2, Summer 1998, and Raw Nervz 5:3, Autumn 1998. 

The following brief review was first published in Frogpond 14:1, Spring 1991, page 41.


The Haijin’s Tweed Coat has been justly praised for its cleverness in mentioning the names of haiku magazines in haiku that does not seem contrived. This is an interesting feat. More interesting to this reviewer is the assumed persona of an old monk “perhaps in Kyoto” recording his day. While a feature of haiku is usually the immediate experiencing of observed moments, these haiku work well. Surely the writer has observed such moments in his native California and transferred them to Kyoto! There is a universality about them. For instance, “temple bell / the haijin’s tweed coat / sprinkled with pine needles” could be seen almost anywhere in the world. The temple bell resonates in the hominess of tweed, the deceptive simplicity of pine needles. One really does feel the aura of a sly old monk!

—Geraldine C. Little

The first edition of this little book was published in 1990, with just eight poems, and this original edition won a Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America.