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On the horizon: editing for CHO: Contemporary Haibun Online

If you're interested in haiku writing you're no doubt already aware of the web journal Contemporary Haibun Online. Jim Kacian, and his editorial team, published my first haibun here back in 2007 as well as in their sister print publication the annual anthology Contemporary Haibun (Red Moon Press), about to celebrate its 15th issue.

So I'm fizzing with new year delight to announce that I'll be one of three new editors at CHO after April 2014 alongside Bob Lucky (Editor in Chief) and Marjorie Buettner, both of whom are internationally successful haiku and haibun writers themselves. 

All my writing energy from the last two years was spent in the research and writing of Real Port Talbot, an upbeat and offbeat story of my hometown in South Wales, UK. Amongst the 70,000 words of history and commentary you will find some poems, some memoir and a few haiku, although they are in the minority. But editing other people's work always inspires my own and I am sure that my involvement in CHO will encourage me to get back to writing haibun, a form that brings together poetic epiphany and narrative, a form that enabled me to write about my life in a way that felt honest and precise and allowed me to produce my haibun collection, forgiving the rain in 2012.

So my new post with CHO feels particularly rewarding. I'm going back to where I started but, hopefully, with a deeper understanding and an appreciation of the form. And with a desire to encourage new and established haibun writers too.

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running haiku

run, expect nothing
after stretching the gate creaks on its hinges
worn tarmac I have forgotten where the joy lies
sand drifts across the pavement I pick up the pace
a wave of pebbles washed up along the shore laughter
the road rises at a blind corner expect nothing
half-way mark the way the sun and the sea dazzle each other
between traffic and the crash of surf the seeds of umbrella pines
in the shade at the water fountain there is nothing sweeter
down-hill the scent of a man who passes me uphill
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What happens when haiku happen

I'm delighted to post Paul Griffiths' account of a course held at Ty Newydd, near Criccieth, North Wales at the beginning of May. 'Haiku: Writing from Life and the Landscape' ran from 9th to 11th May, 2014 and it was a joy to lead. Please, join us, vicariously, for the weekend.
Haiku and haibun at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre
This is an account of my participation in a weekend of discussing and writing haiku and haibun in a course on the theme, Haiku: Writing from Life and Landscape, held at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre, Llanystumdwy, near Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales, in May 2014.
Tŷ Newydd (The New House) is an old, beautiful building, looking across fields to the sea, a short walk away. David Lloyd George (1863-1945) grew up in Llanystumdwy and returned to the village in his last years, where Tŷ Newydd was redesigned for him by Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978), creator of Portmeirion village. Lloyd George’s grave, also designed by Williams-Ellis, stands close to the house, i…

In Interview with Jeffrey Woodward at Haibun Today

The Hungry Writer: An Interview with Lynne Rees
Lynne Rees started working with haiku forms in 2006, was haibun editor at Simply Haiku in 2008 and 2009, and co-editor, with Jo Pacsoo, of the British Haiku Society's Haibun Anthology, The Unseen Wind (2010). In 2011, she jointly edited, along with Nigel Jenkins and Ken Jones, another country, haiku poetry from Wales. Lynne has also published Learning How to Fall (poetry, 2005), The Oven House (novel, 2008), Messages (flash fiction collaboration with Sarah Salway, 2008), forgiving the rain (haibun, 2012) and Real Port Talbot (travel guide, local history & memoir, 2013).
JW: Let me ask first, with your permission, about your personal background. You come from Wales and I wonder what influence, if any, this circumstance had on your literary development and interests. The population of Wales is small when measured on the world's scale and Welsh history and culture are unique. Was a Welsh sensibility or identity formative for you …