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Showing posts from November, 2013

It’s haiku, Jim, but not as we know it

First published in 'The Brief', Newsletter of the British Haiku Society, November 2013
It was delightfully appropriate that an email request in August this year to comment on inter-planetary haiku was preceded by the word, ‘Greetings!’ The only bit missing was, ‘Earthlings’.
November 18th 2013 is the scheduled launch date of NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission), a spacecraft that will explore the red planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. It will also deliver thousands of space and mars-inspired haiku to whatever audience might be lurking there. Or at least that was NASA’s intention when they announced their online haiku contest in March this year. Public voting took place during May and June.
There were over 12,000 entries and over 39,000 votes. An enthusiasm for poetry writing that was only eclipsed by the staggering absence of any poetry. Or at least that was my reaction to the few dozen I read through wh…