In Memoriam: Angelee Deodhar
On a sad note, we acknowledge the untimely death of Angelee Deodhar. "Untimely" is often the word people use in these circumstances. Its meaning encompasses both the unpleasant surprise the living experience, as well, perhaps, as a reminder of mortality, and the feeling that the deceased had more to give us.
Among the submissions for this issue, there was a haibun dedicated to Angelee that honestly capturesd the relationship many of us had with her: Matthew Caretti's "Love and Light." When you read it, I think you'll fondly remember Angelee and also recognize yourself.
Undoubtedly you've seen and enjoyed Angelee Deodhar's writing in many of our haiku and tanka genre journals. She's also a made a significant contribution in one very important area, the critical literature of haibun. Many have learned about haiku through English classes and other forums, but very few have ever heard of haibun. In order to take its place in mainstream poetry and even in the world haiku community, haibun needs to grow in the number of writers, journals offering it, and readership. As editors, we're aware that the number of practicing writers are very few.
Equally important is the critical literature of haibun, which at this point is rather sparse, being found mostly in CHO's and HT’s resources sections. But this is like the informed speaking to the already committed, small cadre of writers.
Criticism helps to shape this newly emergent genre. It enables new writers to find their way into haibun's uniqueness from other forms like prose poetry, memoirs, travel journals and personal essays. It also guides the thinking and decisions of the editors of the existing journals that carry haibun.
Deodhar laboured for 5 years creating and editing the three volume Journeys Anthology series which offers the work of more than one hundred different contemporary writers, and which also includes the work of Japanese Masters (many relatively unknown, and many of the known difficult to find online or in print), and what might be called the almost completely unknown early adaptors of an English-language prose plus haiku style of writing. Along with other great anthologies such as the Red Moon and Contemporary Haibun Anthologies edited by Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross and Ken Jones, the several yearly contest anthologies like the Genjuan, Tanka Prose Anthologies edited by Jeffrey Woodward, there are almost no other collections that provide readers with such a variety of writers and styles within the genre.
Thank you, Angelee, for your dedicated work in service to the haibun genre and community.
~ Bob Lucky and Ray Rasmussen
Love and Light
Her emails come always in waves. Like some experiment in observation. The particle of a new journal. The swell of great joy in the sharing of her own musings. Yet sometimes I failed to respond. To offer my gratitude. To send along my own wishes for her continued inspiration. Happiness. Good health.
sound of a winter gate
Haibun by Angelee Deodhar appearing in recent issues of CHO