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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Bob Lucky

Observations on Submissions

This issue of CHO brings to mind the 'old days' of vinyl LPs. It's a double, perhaps triple, set. I try to keep track of the number of submissions rolling in each issue and use that information to plan my reading and selection schedule. It seems they just kept rolling in this time. I gave in and went with the flow.

I suggest that writers, especially those new to CHO, always send a full complement of three haibun in their submissions. It gives me a sense of a writer's style, thematic tendencies, grasp of haibun, and familiarity with haiku.

The one thing that is obvious issue after issue is how many writers newly attracted to haibun are on shaky ground with haiku. One may be a master at prose poetry, flash fiction, or mini-memoir. However if the haiku is a merely a line of prose broken into three lines or a list of disconnected images or a philosophical dictum or a cliché that hasn't been put through a semantic meat grinder, then it's probably a bit wonky. And, it’s fair to say that we all write a lot of run-of-the-mill haiku, but even a great haiku that doesn't do the link-and-shift from the prose in a haibun, may not be enough to save the haibun from mediocrity. Study the form. Study haiku. Send me your best.

Having unloaded my curmudgeonly views on you, I can now tell you that this was a bumper crop, in the positive sense. A lot of writers new to CHO appear here, as well as many familiar names. I hope you enjoy the variety and diversity of voices, and I hope you are inspired to write haibun if you're reading but haven't yet dared to submit your work.

~ Bob Lucky


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