Tag Archives: Lee Gurga

Books Acquired Recently: Haiku Edition

As I continue to indulge my newfound passion for haiku (incidentally, February is National Haiku Writing Month, which you can read more about here), I have continued to purchase books in and about the genre.

Gurga, Lee. Haiku: A Poet’s Guide. Rev. Ed. Lincoln: Modern Haiku, 2013.

As I have begun writing haiku I have been feeling the need for more formal instruction aside from what I can glean from simply reading a lot of them. From what I’ve read of Gurga’s work in journals and anthologies his innovative aesthetic is similar to mine, thus I think reading his guide will be helpful. I bought the book directly from Modern Haiku Press, and I am impressed with their customer service because it took less than a week for the book to get to me.

Janeczko, Paul B., ed. Stone Bench in an Empty Park. New York: Orchard, 2000.

This is an anthology of city haiku. While I have been enjoying the way that getting into haiku has helped me to think more about nature and my relationship with it, I consider myself a city person at heart, and thus I look forward to learning more about how urban space can be portrayed in the genre. I was able to find a copy of the book in good condition for a penny from one of amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Ketchek, Michael. Who I Am. Ed. Tom Clausen. Rochester: Free Food, 2015.

I read a review of this book, Ketchek’s greatest hits, in Modern Haiku and really liked the sample haiku reproduced there, so decided to buy it. I read through the collection last week and enjoyed it immensely. I especially appreciate the wide-ranging subject matter of Ketchek’s work. There are very traditional haiku about nature as well as more innovative poems about subjects such as baseball, chess, sex, and social activism. I bought the book directly from Free Food Press.

Ketchek, Michael, and David Tilley. Buzzard Haiku. Rochester: Free Food, 2013.

This small chapbook of haiku about vultures was sent to me free along with my order of Ketchek’s collection. I appreciate the slight, ephemeral nature of the volume–I almost threw it out with the large envelope that Who I Am came in, thinking it was a packing slip. The book’s form asserts that no poem is too insignificant to be immortalized in print.



Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Stragglers Edition

I have received a few more books in the last week that I purchased with holiday cash from amazon.com’s network of sellers.

Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Tr. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge: Belknap-Harvard, 1999.

I recently read about this work, Benjamin’s notes and clippings for a book about arcades in 1880s Paris that he was never able to write due to his untimely death during World War II, and was immediately intrigued by it because of its obsessive nature. I also love books that somehow stretch the codex form, as this one does as a reproduction of a number of excerpts rather than a longer, single text. It was less than $30.00, which feels like a steal for such a massive (over 1,000 pages) volume.

Gurga, Lee, and Scott Metz, eds. Haiku 21. Lincoln: Modern Haiku, 2011.

Van Den Heuvel, Cor, ed. The Haiku Anthology. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 1999.

As part of my continuing explorations of haiku I have been trying to read lots of anthologies to get a sense of the field. Van Den Heuvel’s is apparently the bastion of traditional haiku, whereas Gurga and Metz both advocate for a more innovative aesthetic. I lean toward the latter, but it is helpful to read examples of both, and Van Den Heuvel’s anthology of baseball haiku is what got me interested in the genre in the first place. From what I know so far, it seems like an essential aspect of the haiku spirit is to keep an open mind.


Leave a comment

Filed under Literature