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

May 28, 2008

baseball haiku recap and update

Filed under: haijin-haikai news,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 5:52 pm

It’s the second season for last year’s MVPoetry volume Baseball Haiku (Cor van den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura, eds., W.W. Norton Press, 2007). The book contains over 200 of the best haiku written about baseball, by 44 poets (both American and Japanese). In a starred review at its release, Library Journal said:

“Not one of those parody collections, this is a gathering of elegantly observed moments capturing the interplay between baseball and the other seasons . . . This collection will inspire some ball fans to be poets and some poets to be ballplayers.”

That reviewer was correct. This past year, I’ve often used the book as a gift for relatives and friends who love baseball, but were not yet haiku fans. They have been consistently pleased. Learn more about the book, and read or hear some of the poems, but checking out the segment of National Public Radio’s All Thing’s Considered titled “Spring Signals the Return of Baseball (Haiku)” (Debbie Elliott, March 31, 2007; Listen).

infielderG If you’d like to see or re-read more samples, f/k/a has frequently shared poems from Baseball Haiku written by our Honored Guest poets — e.g., here, there, and here. And see our post “npr spotlights Baseball Haiku” (March 31, 207)

What I wanted to tell you today is that Baseball Haiku has continued to get favorable attention this season. In addition to a review last Sunday in Poet’s Corner (Washington Post Book Review section, May 25, 2008), Sheila Lennon — “features & interactive producer of projo.com, the Web site of The Providence (R.I.) Journal” — featured the book this morning, in a Subterranean Homepage News weblog posting titled “Try your hand at baseball haiku” (May 28, 2008).

update (June 5, 2008): I discovered another favorable article on Baseball Haiku. It is the Japan Times review by David Burleigh, “Who says there’s no poetry in a game?” (May 11, 2008).

BaseballHaikuCover Meanwhile, haiku poet Curtis Dunlap reminded us over the weekend, at his Tobacco Road weblog, that Baseball Haiku will be featured at the Chautauqua Institution, on June 26, 2008, at 3:30 P.M. At the Chautauqua Roundtable, editor-poet Cor van den Heuvel, will be joined by two of the largest contributors to Baseball Haiku — “our” Ed Markowski, and Al Pizzarelli. After Cor discusses haiku, and baseball, all three will read their baseball haiku and senryu, and then answer questions.

We told you about the Chautauqua Roundtable event last November. But, it’s now only four weeks away, and the f/k/a Gang — which plans to be there, in the lovely Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York, on June 26 — would love to see a few of our readers and friends attend. The Chautauqua theme that week is Sport in America. Click that link to see the full schedule for week #1 of the Chautauqua season. Here’s how the week is described at the CI website:

• Week 1 June 21-28 – Sport in America

Roger Goodell, long-time Chautauquan and commissioner of the National Football League, will be among the featured lecturers in Week One. Sport looms large in the American culture, whether from an economic perspective or through the lens of its impact on our lifestyles and customs. Fun, competitive, entertaining? Yes. But big business too. Some estimates tag the sports business industry in the U.S. at over $300 billion annually. From youth and amateur athletics to college sports to the pros, we will examine the economics and the impact of sports on our cities, our youth, education, and culture. We will look at Title 9, the influence of television and escalating salaries, and the future of Olympic sports. And we will explore whether the interest of the general fan has been eclipsed by big money.

update (June 29, 2008): Read about the event in “Chautauqua grand slam” (June 28, 2008) .

BaseballHaikuCover Here are a few of the poems from Baseball Haiku that we posted last March, in a post about multitasking and distractions:

bases loaded
the rookie pitcher
blows a bubble

late innings infielderG
the shortstop backpedals
into fireflies

…………………………by ed markowski from Baseball Haiku (2007) “bases loaded” – orig. pub. Haiku Sun #10 (2004)

geese flying north
the pitcher stops his windup
to watch

hot day baseballDiamond
listening to the ball game
while washing the car

…………………………. by Cor van den Heuvel – Baseball Haiku (2007), orig pub. Play Ball (Red Moon Press 1999)

Speaking of distractions and non sequiturs: Tomorrow, May 29, 2008, marks the 5th Anniversary of our very first substantive posting at this website.

Back then, there was no haiku at f/k/a, which was originally known as ethicalEsq — see our URL for proof. That post dealt with the nation’s inadequate system of lawyer discipline (“D for Discipline“). The next few had to do with excessive lawyer fees. We’ve spread our topical wings since then.

Since wood is the traditional gift for one’s 5th Anniversary, please feel free to leave us haiku or senryu that include that subject (no woody jokes, please, this is usually a family website).

last day of school . . .
the crack of a bat
through an open window

…………by Randy Brooks – Baseball Haiku (2007)

tied in the ninth
pitcher and batter
cross themselves

…………. by dagosan


  1. david,
    nice post on the upcoming chautauqua event.

    again, laurice and i are getting excited about meeting you.

    our meeting is more dear to me than my part in the presentation.

    thank you for all the years of support and friendship.

    “steeeeerike threeeee!”
    the scent

    Comment by ed markowski — May 29, 2008 @ 12:48 am

  2. Many thanks, Ed, for your generous comments. Don’t tell Cor and Al, but the main reason I’m going is to finally meet you and Laurice in person.

    Comment by David Giacalone — May 29, 2008 @ 6:58 am

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