The Haiku

Q What is a haiku?
The haiku originated in Japan and is the world's shortest poetic form.  For more, consult "Towards a Definition  of the English Haiku," a chapter by me in
Global Haiku, an anthology I edited with Randy Brooks (see this site's home page). For  those interested in a history of the haiku, go to A History of the English Haiku, another chapter by me from Global Haiku and put online, by Ray Rasmussen--poet, photographer and wilderness adventurer
Q Can haiku be funny?
Definitely! Consult the definition article above.
Q What is the difference between a haiku and a senryu?
The senryu is as short as the haiku, but has a slightly different focus. The distinction between them is discussed in the above articles and also by poet
Elizabeth St. Jacques in Haiku or Senryu? How to Tell the Difference. Go to Simply Haiku for some by me.

Q What is the difference between haiku and tanka?

The tanka is longer by at least two lines and thus allows more commentary by the poet. Go to : American Tanka (Laura Maffei, ed.); AHA Poetry (Jane Reichhold and Werner Reichhold, eds.); Tanka Canada & its journal Gusts (Kozue Ozawa, ed.) or to Modern English Tanka and Tanka Central, both run by Denis M. Garrison.

Q Are the Japanese interested in English-language haiku?

Many poets in Japan write haiku in English and several newspapers publish English haiku. See Mainichi Daily News and Asahi Shimbun.  
Q Are there any English-language haiku groups?

Yes, a number of them. Here are links to the three major ones in North America: Haiku Society of America, Haiku Canada & The Haiku Foundation plus one in Great Britain, The British Haiku Society. All offer excellent services.

Q What haiku magazines are there?
These have lasted ten or more years: Blithe Spirit (Journal of the British Haiku Society); Frogpond (Journal of the Haiku Society of America (starting Jan '08, yours truly, ed);  Haiku Canada Review  (LeRoyGorman, ed.); Modern Haiku, the oldest (Paul MIller ed.). Also, fine online periodicals are Lynx, (the Reichholds, eds.); Simply Haiku, (R.Wilson ed.); The Heron's Nest (John Stevenson, ed.); World Haiku Review (S. Takiguchi, ed.); Haiku Spirit (G. Fabre, ed.), is/let ( Scott Metz, ed.).
Q Are there haiku interactive sites?
Yes, and the best is the multilingual Versions (Vladimir Ishchenko/Wowwi, owner)
Q Is there interest in haiku among people who don't speak Japanese or English?
Haiku poets are active in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America.  Czeslaw Milosz, the Nobel Laureate for Poetry in 1980, actively promoted haiku in Poland before his death in 2004. One of his sites, Nowoczesn Haiku, still exists.
Q What are your favorite haiku blogs?
f/k/a . . .  (by David A. Giacalone) and Graceguts (by Michael Dylan Welch).
Q Which one book would you take to a desert island?
The Haiku Anthology (3rd Edition), Cor van den Heuvel (ed.), W.W. Norton, 1999.


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