Spring 2006

cover image, Spring 2006 issue
Round Lake by Yu Chang

Guest Poet: Bill Higginson

Our last issue was the tenth of this series. We passed that marker without comment. But we don’t intend to let the occurrence of something quite new in the production of this, our eleventh issue, pass without mention. On February 11th, for the first time, our guest poet actually sat down with us at Tai Pan, presented his own poems, shared a meal with us, and engaged in the discussion of his and our new work. This is something we wish could happen more often. It was inspriring and thought provoking, creating ripples of energy within our group that will be felt well into the future.

Bill Higginson is probably the most influential living theorist and critic of English-language haiku and the related area of renku, a multiple poet form of linked verse from which haiku originated. His books and articles on these subjects, including The Haiku Handbook (1985, with Penny Harter), Haiku World (1996), and The Haiku Seasons (1996), are important sources for anyone interested in writing haiku and renku in English. He is a charter member of the Haiku Society of America and leads a multi-faceted life as a poet, translator, writer, speaker, teacher of writing, administrator, and literary press and Internet author and editor.

We were all at least a little nervous about having someone of Bill Higginson’s stature among us. But we quickly found him to be a warm companion and a practical collaborator, who gave and took suggestions with equal grace. We remember our time with him fondly and he will always be welome at our table.


Sample Poems

my father’s birthday
only the poppies
and I
William J. Higginson 

December 21
trying to regain
my equilibrium

first snow . . .
settling into
old feelings

first game
doing her best
to avoid the ball

January thaw
are you sure
this is the way