If you are familiar with haiku, you’ve got a start on senryu. In fact, much of what we think of haiku in the West is, according to anthology’s editors, actually senryu. Do visit the page at the anthology that both describes senryu and distinguishes it from haiku.
I first discovered the Living Haiku Anthology and a couple of months ago I applied to be included. Editor Don Baird wrote back to say many of the poems struck him as senryu, though he did say that there is overlap in the two forms. I followed the link he provided to the Living Senryu Anthology and enjoyed browsing the poems collected there. Today I am happy to learn that my work has been included in it.
My thanks to Bryan Rickert and the rest of the editorial board.
—ah: anthology of American Haiku, edited by Jonathan Hayes and Richard Lopez, published by Poems-for-All Press, San Diego, California, was originally printed in 2016 in a very small format, that is, it was about the size of a matchbook.
I just received in the mail the second edition, the Mondo edition, so called because it is three or four times the size of the first, that is, about the dimensions of a postcard.
Fun that my haiku get the last page, the last words, as it were.
A release party for Julia Vinograd’s first posthumous collection, A Symphony for Broken Instruments, and an anthology celebrating her life and work, Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue, happened on 2pm, October 20th at Himalayan Flavors, 1585 University Ave. in Berkeley, California.
Zeigeist Press publisher Bruce Isaacson is responsible for putting together A Symphony for Broken Instruments, a selected works with a section of previously unpublished poems. The book is 384 pages total, including art by Deborah Vinograd and Chris Trian. At the same event, editor Deborah Fruchey presented Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue, full of tributes (poetry & prose) to, for, and about Julia Vinograd by a slew of friends and local writers.
The above is an edited version of what appears on the Zeitgeist Press website.
My poem, “Old Blues,” appears in Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue, p. 54 - 55. “Old Blues” uses one of Julia’s recurring characters, although he isn’t actually in the poem, rather other characters (Very Thick Blacks, Vicious Violet, etc.) wonder where he’s gotten off to.
I wanted to write something for Julia, and I thought it would be nice if it was included in the announced anthology. I considered reviewing my history with Julia, such as it was, meeting her first at a reading she gave at a Berkeley Senior Center the week I moved to Berkeley, buying each of her new books as it came out, selling her a chapbook which she praised. But that stuff wasn’t resolving into a poem. So I pulled out my personal anthology and reread poems of hers I had copied out. What did I like about her poems? One thing I liked was the way Julia Vinograd wrote about music, her wild metaphors creating a separate musical world instead of using music-related terms and concentrating on the instrument. It was a sort of grounded surrealism, grounded in that she was digging into the music to bring out feelings and images, rather than spinning words purely out of headspace. Maybe I could try something similar? I love using wild metaphors in my own poems.
Here’s a stanza from “Old Blues”:
Old Blues is on the bus! announces Vicious Violet.
She slaps a bus schedule on the table like a trump card.
He’s playing for the missing,
that horn of his calling out all the stops,
horning in on the dreams
travelers are trying to settle down in,
vibrating their thighs,
unzipping their duffel bags to air out
the musky little tales they keep in a curl.
Both books, Symphony for Broken Instruments and Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue: tributes to Julia Vinograd, are published by Zeitgeist Press and are available from their website.