FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
World Haiku 2008, No. 4: a multilingual collection of contemporary haiku from around the world.
(Published by Schichigatsudo Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, ISBN 978-4-87944-117-1, $15, €13, 2008, 230 pages, softcover, edited by Ban’ya Natsuishi for the World Haiku Association)
This year’s edition of World Haiku (the fourth annual) does not disappoint. It is a first-rate collection of haiku from around the world, written in both Japanese, English, French, Portuguese and a myriad of other languages – all proudly representing contemporary haiku from diverse cultural perspectives. The contributors to this collection of short works and essays on haiku include such noted authors as: Casimiro de Brito (Portugal), Mohammed Bennis (Morocco), Ban'ya Natsuishi (Japan), Sayumi Kamkura (Japan), Leons Briedis (Latvia), Jim Kacian (USA), Grant Caldwell (Australia), Marius Chelaru (Romania), Santosh Kumar (India), R. Siqinchogt (Inner Mongolia) and Orlando Gonzalez Esteva (Cuba). However, in the true spirit of the editor Ban’ya Natsuishi and the World Haiku Association, many other lesser known haiku artists are also featured in this multilingual anthology – from Japan and the rest of the world, and of all ages (including a special section dedicated to haiku by children and young persons). The intention of this book is therefore to present the breadth of haiku writing from around the world, to both Japanese and non-Japanese poets and lovers of haiku in a multilingual publication, thus featuring some of the more esteemed contemporary haiku artists alongside aspiring haiku poets.
In addition, this book features several essays on haiku writing, most notably haiku literary critical essays by Ban’ya Natsuishi (Japan) and Orlando Gonzalez Esteva (Cuba), but also including fine essays written by Leons Briedis (Latvia) and Vasile Moldovan (Romania). In his remarkable essay entitled “Future of World Haiku”, Ban’ya Natsuishi not only puts haiku writing in an historical and intercultural perspective, but also explains to readers the difference between haiku and short poems as well as successful and less successful haiku. Like myself, Mr. Natsuishi questions the concept and practice of the so-called “haiku moment”. For Ban’ya Natsuishi and myself, true haiku is more poetic, more concerned with multiple meanings and dimensions, and intrinsically representative of the “essence” of all poetry. As I have written elsewhere, haiku is not so much about “limitations” as it is concerned with creating expressions of artistic, cognitive and experiential expansion within a format characterized (among other things) by reduced size.
A few of my own personal favorites include:
O lago não sabe
até que chegue o vento
quantas ondas tem
by David Rodrigues (Portugal)
Une colline de parfum
naît en face du lac
nuée jamais je ne peux l’atteindre
by Mohammed Bennis (Morocco)
O teu corpo nu
Ao lado do meu corpo nu:
Música ou silêncio?
By Casimiro de Brito (Portugal)
as well as
The blue sky—
becomes a castle of ants
by Ban’ya Natsuishi (Japan)
The deep color of girlhood
by Toshiko Kobayashi (Japan)
For more information about the World Haiku Association, its publication, or to schedule an interview, please contact Ban’ya Natsuishi at www.worldhaiku.net,
ABOUT THE editor:
Ban'ya Natsuishi (JAPAN) which is the pen name of Masayuki Inui, was born in Aioi City, Hyôgo Prefecture, Japan. He studied at Tokyo University where he received a Masters of Arts in Comparative Literature and Culture in 1981. In 1992 he was appointed Professor at Meiji University where he continues to teach. In 1993, he gave lectures at Jilin University in China, and was invited to a haiku meeting in Germany in 1994, and also in Italy in 1995. From 1996 to 1998, he was a guest research fellow at Paris 7th University. In 1998, and together with Sayumi Kamakura, he founded the international haiku quarterly "Ginyu", functioning as its publisher and editor-in-chief. In 2000, after attending the Global Haiku Festival in USA, he co-founded the World Haiku Association, based in Slovenia. He currently works as the association’s director. In 2001 Natsuishi attended the Vilenica Poetry Festival in Slovenia, in 2003 the Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, and in the same year he worked as the Chairman of The Steering Committee for the 2nd World Haiku Association Conference, which was held in Japan. In 2004 he was invited to the poetry festival at Porto Santo in Portugal. In 2005 he attended the 3rd World Haiku Association Conference in Bulgaria, the 3rd Wellington International Poetry Festival, and presided over the international haiku session of Euro-Japan Poetry Festival in Tokyo. In 2006 he was invited to Poetry Spring in Vilnius, Lithuania and the Ohrid P.E.N. Conference in Macedonia. In 2007 he visited Inner Mongolia and promoted haiku writing there, and also in that year he held the 4th World Haiku Association Conference in Tokyo, functioning as its chairperson. In 2008 he will preside over the Tokyo Poetry Festival 2008 (functioning as the director of the festival).
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ADAM DONALDSON POWELL (Norway) is a literary critic and a multilingual author, writing in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian; and a professional visual artist. He has published seven books (including collections of poetry, short stories and literary criticism) in the USA, Norway and India, as well as several short and longer works in international literary publications on several continents. He has previously authored theatrical works performed onstage, and he has (to-date) read his poetry at venues in New York City, Oslo (Norway), Buenos Aires and Kathmandu (Nepal).