f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 3, 2008

a peek inside dust of summers: RMA 2007

Filed under: haijin-haikai news,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 5:23 pm

We previewed the 12th and newest edition of the annual Red Moon Anthology, dust of summers, three days ago. Since then, my copy of RMA 2007 arrived, allowing me to tell you a lot more about dust of summers and — more important — share many of the “best of 2007” poems written by members of the f/k/a family of Honored Guest Poets, whose work made it through the rigorous RMA selection process.

reversible jacket
the side
I always show

Colonel Mustard
in the library . . .
winter night

my hands at rest
in dishwater . . .
first hummingbird

………………………. by john stevenson in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
“reversible jacket” – orig. pub. Upstate Dim Sum 2007/1
“Colonel Mustard” – orig. pub. Modern Haiku 38:2
“my hands at rest” – orig. pub. The Heron’s Nest IX:3

dust of summers: The 2007 Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku,” edited by Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Editorial Staff, Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, USA, 172 pages, ISBN: 1-978-893959-68-2, $16.95; see cover)

Congratulations to the 152 haijin [meaning writers of haiku-related literature, not obsessive video gamers] whose works have been included in “dust of summers: RMA 2007.” Although we’ve often noted that no “best of” list can please everyone or avoid under- and over-inclusiveness, no publication does a better job than RMA in “assembl[ing] the finest haiku and related forms published around the world in English in a single book.” This year’s volume contains 154 haiku and senryu, 29 linked poems (haibun, renku and rengay), and 5 essays “on the reading, writing and study of the genre.”

gathering dusk
my son bowls me out
for the first time

a colleague’s sigh
arrives before he does
monday morning

february dawn
a tub of washing
all run blue

………… by matt morden in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
– all from Stumbles in Clover (Snapshot Press 2007)

Of the 127 poets whose haiku or senryu appear in RMA 2007, a mere seventeen achieved the coveted RMA hat-trick in 2007 — having three of their poems selected for inclusion in the anthology. In addition to hat-trickers Collin Barber, John Barlow, Ernest J. Berry, Ferris Gilli, Marcus Larsson, Daniel Liebert, Chad Lee Robinson, and Harriot West, nine members of our f/k/a family were so honored:

checkRed Roberta Beary, Yu Chang, Carolyn Hall, Jim Kacian, Peggy Willis Lyles, paul m., Matt Morden, Tom Painting, John Stevenson

In addition, out of that distinguished group, Carolyn Hall also had a rengay chosen for dust in summers (authored with our Billie Wilson); Roberta Beary had two of her haibun selected (short prose pieces with a linked haiku, one of which we posted on Jan. 30th); and Red Moon editor Jim Kacian also had a haibun and an essay chosen by the Editorial Staff for RMA 2007.

All told, 22 of the 27 living poets whose haiku and senryu appear at this weblog, are represented in “dust of summers.” In addition to those listed above, you’ll find the following f/k/a haijin in RMA 2007: Tom Clausen, DeVar Dahl, Alice Frampton, Barry George, David Giacalone, Lee Gurga, David Lanoue, paul m., ed markowski, w.f. owen, Andrew Riutta, George Swede, Hilary Tann, and Billie Wilson.

Because our Honored Guests generously allow f/k/a to re-publish their poems, I’ll be sharing items from RMA 2007 with you over the next week (which, like those in our preview, will be permanently available in our archives). Here, for your pleasure, edification, and evaluation are a dozen or so:

blind date
I ask the waitress
for a candle

autumn colors
we paddle closer
to the mountain
………………………. by yu chang in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
“blind date” – orig. pub. Modern Haiku 38:3
“autumn colors” – orig. pub. Frogpond XXX: 1

old friends talk
each holding
car keys

………….. by tom clausen in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
orig. pub. Frogpond XXX:1

autumn light —
the smell of tomato vines
on my fingers

…………………….. by devar dahl in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
orig. pub. 5th Shiki Poets’ Choice Awards

cloudy water
in the bud vase —
children grown and gone

………………………… by alice frampton in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
orig. pub. Frogpond XXX:1

winter sunrise__
the night waitress slowly
buttons her coat

…………………………. by barry george in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
– orig. pub Greieri si crizanteme


followed home
by a dog I don’t know
autumn dusk

splitting wood–
for a moment the log
holds the axe

…………………… by jim kacian in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
“followed home” – orig. pub. Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest 2007
“splitting wood” – orig. pub. mayfly 42

Nearer the Mirage 

sun through dusty windows–
so many trinkets
with lost meaning

childhood. . .
my brother’s version

autumn rain
she leaves the weeds
on her father’s grave

the lines
all nodding in unison
last night’s dream

desert heat–
we move nearer the mirage

from the debts of the stream
a trail of bubbles

……………… a rengay by billie wilson and carolyn hall in “dust of summers: RMA 2007
– orig. pub. Frogpond XXXI: 1 [note: the title above is the correct, original title]

So far, I’ve only been able to focus on the poems written by f/k/a‘s Honored Guests, so I cannot give an overview on the “too many senryu” and “too many tell-ems” complaints that arose with RMA 2006. I can say that there were fewer tell-ems than I had feared among those written by our Honored Guests, but enough to give me a little case of agita.

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