Spring 2013

cover image, Spring 2013 issue
Ithaca, NY by Tom Clausen

Guest Poet: Marlene Mountain

Our guest poet in this issue is Marlene Mountain. Those readers familiar with the history of English-language haiku might be tempted to ask why it took so long for us to invite her. The answer to that question has a couple of dimensions. At a practical level, none of us had met Marlene or even corresponded with her at the time we began publishing Upstate Dim Sum. She lives in Tennessee and rarely attends any of the haiku events through which we have come to be acquainted with so many of the poets who have previously been our guests. Also, at least for my own part, there was the matter of being somewhat overawed by her poems and it took some time, once we began to correspond, before I felt up to extending the invitation. This relates to the other main reason why we are only now featuring Marlene’s poems. Her work, even after many years of involvement in English-language haiku, is very much “on the edge” and covers a wide range of approaches to the genre, some of which are very much what we have been attempting to bring you in these pages all along and some of which are clearly outside the range of work for which Upstate Dim Sum could be viewed as an adequate vehicle. We’re very pleased with what we are presenting here on behalf of Marlene Mountain but we feel that it must be acknowledged that what you’re seeing is partial, like the visible portion of a mountain among clouds.

We are currently anticipating some haiku-related events with great pleasure. Hilary will be featured in this year’s installment of the New Resonance series from Red Moon Press. These anthologies feature the work of the best English-language haiku writers who have not yet published a single author collection. In may instances this provides the impetus for that single author book (hint, hint).

This summer marks the publication by W.W. Norton of an anthology celebrating the first full century of English-language haiku, starting with Ezra Pound and culminating in the work of, among others, our entire roster of guest poets.

We are also looking forward to this year’s Haiku North America conference, which will be held in August on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The HNA events are always a great way to meet with and learn from poets from North America and the world.


Sample poems

        ripped from its home a tree to fake
                                              Marlene Mountain

                                                                             hummingbird feeder the stop & go

              somewhere in the soup the harvest moon

                                                              snowed over the sound of the creek

 black marble enough to wet my eyes