Tracing the Fern collects 122 haiku and senryu by 61 poets who were among those attending the 2005 Haiku North America conference held September 21 to 25 at Fort Worden Conference Center in Port Townsend, Washington. The conference theme was “authenticity,” and the book’s introduction discusses questions of authenticity in haiku and how “the carefully chosen words of a memorable haiku are often like tracings of nature—so real that the reader is compelled to participate in the experience that inspired or informed the poem.”
she traces the ferns
in the window’s frost
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2005, saddle-stapled, 40 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches, ISBN 978-1-878798-28-6
“What is or isn’t authentic in the haiku poem relative to actual experience? Is the actual experience even necessary, or can an authentic haiku be made up? What is the role of the imagination and memory in haiku? Is immediate experience somehow more authentic than long past but still-vivid memory? These were some of the questions that helped energize the 2005 Haiku North America conference in Port Townsend, Washington. Whatever the answers may be, the poems in this anthology by conference attendees all seek after authenticity, for it may be this one characteristic, more than any other, that makes haiku shine.” —from the back cover