Spring 2020

cover image, Spring 2020 issue
Bristol, England by Helen Tann

Our guest poet is Lee Gurga. Most of our readers will be familiar with his poetry and other activities in the English language haiku community. He is now in his fifth decade of that. He’s a former president of the Haiku Society of America, former editor of Modern Haiku, with work appearing in nearly every major anthology of English-language haiku published in the past forty years. He is currently editor of Modern Haiku Press, which has published Paul Muldoon and Billy Collins. His recent editorial collaborations with Scott Metz have produced some of the most influential anthologies of our new century. And his Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (2003) remains one of the very best introductions to haiku in English.

Lee’s appearance as our guest poet carries a story with it. His stature as a poet, editor and theorist warranted, along with our admiration for his work, an invitation to appear in these pages years ago. And, in fact, such an invitation
was proffered and declined by him because, at the time, Lee was writing relatively little new work. We now know that this was a period of creative reconsideration for him, of experimentation and synthesis, the result of which is apparent in his recent poetry, including, we are glad to say, the work presented here.

The next issue of Upstate Dim Sum will mark our twentieth anniversary. Stay tuned for something new, different and colorful!

Our lives, like yours, are being affected by a pandemic. At this writing, we are still in the thick of it and unable to imagine what more may have transpired by the time these poems reach you. This, of course, is always the reality. But we are seldom so acutely aware of it. We can only do our best to savor the current gifts of fellowship and profound connection that we experience as part of the haiku community and wish you all the best joys of living.

Sample Poems

high tide
balancing loneliness
with the moon
Lee Gurga

a tunnel-maze
across the open field

the scent
of a room
to rent

bird call
at the water’s edge
I add my own

milkweed seeds
all the places
i could go