Big data

The latest edition of the Red Moon anthologies is out – 148 poets in the haiku section, plus “linked forms” (renku and haibun) and essays. The annuals purport to contain the best English-language haiku published in any given year and, speaking on my own behalf as the editor for the South Pacific region, editors read widely to source their nominations.

Big Data is $US17, plus postage, available through the Red Moon Press website.

Here’s a sampler from some of the male poets:

distant thunder
whatever else
he was my father

– Dave Russo, US

sky the stars haven’t used
a life longer
than Napoleon’s

– Gary Hotham, US

wondering
who my neighbour murdered
sickle moon

– Brendan Slater, England

Included in the book is a haiku by Ron Moss of Tasmania in Australia. Ron last night launched a new book of his work, the bone carver, at an event in Hobart. It has been published by Snapshot Press and you can find purchase details there. He’s an exceptional poet – and artist – so it would be money well spent.

Another exceptional poet with a book in the pipeline is Chad Lee Robinson of Pierre in South Dakota (also in Big Data). Chad has started a blog, The Deep End of the Sky, which is the name of his forthcoming collection.

The Heron’s Nest runs a reader vote competition each year to decide the favourite poem and favourite poet of the year – yours truly won both titles in 2014 (ahem) – with Ron C Moss (yep, the same fella) taking out both titles this year.

old horses
days of endless rain
in their eyes

– Ron C Moss

Go here to read a commentary on the haiku (scroll down). And go here to read the full list of winners. I made it into the Other Popular Poets list, hurrah. The Heron’s Nest produces a paper copy each April, a volume of all the work that has appeared online the year before. It’s well worth purchasing and you can find the ordering information here.

Junicho fun at THF

There’s a junicho (12-verse renku) starting at The Haiku Foundation – the call for a hokku (first verse) has just gone out. I’m leading the poem so do please come on over and join in!

There’s an introduction to the junicho form available on the site, so no need to feel shy. The Renku Sessions are designed to be a learning process. Be nice to see some familiar “faces” there.

Petals in the wind

One Wednesday earlier in January, the port at Mt Maunganui hosted three cruise ships at once – so I decided that it was a good day to carry out a few random acts of kindness and get rid of the final few of my 2015 Haiku Calendars.

Passengers from the cruise ships that call in to the Port of Tauranga have numerous options for filling in their day with tours of all sorts on offer. Some, however, choose to spend their time in Tauranga’s shopping area and so I decided to give away some calendars to say “thanks” for spending their cash here.

I handed calendars to people with Australian, American and English accents. Everyone  seemed delighted and/or bemused, but were pleasant about the offer. The ships were Voyager of the Seas, Seabourn Odyssey and Seven Seas Mariner. If any of you look into this website, please do leave a comment. I’d love to know how far afield the calendars got.

Two couples from Christchurch replied they weren’t off the ship, but could they have one anyway (of course) and another lady, also not from a cruise ship, was very excited to be offered one and asked for another for her friend, from Argentina and a poet!

The image for January 2015, NZ fur seals beside the Royal Albatross Centre, Taiaro, Otago Peninsula, South Island.