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Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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Comment on the Red River Book of Haibun

by Bob Lucky

Steve Hodge (USA) & Paresh Tiwari (India) (Editors), Red River Book of Haibun, Vol 1, Paperback: 200 pages, Publisher: Red River, November 12, 2019, Language: English, ISBN-10: 8194272653 ISBN-13: 978-8194272656, $US 14.

It’s a fitting tribute that the editors, Paresh Tiwari and Steve Hodge, decided to overlook the alphabetical order of contributors and put Angelee Deodhar's work at the top. (I’m sure Alan Summers doesn’t mind.) She championed Japanese short form poetry, and her 3 volume anthology, Journeys: An Anthology of International Haibun, was key to both promoting International English-language haibun and revisiting its early English-language practitioners.

Authors Hodge and Tiwari write:

Bashô’s Narrow Road to the Interior, a world literary classic and probably the most crucial early work of haibun (Basho called it "Haiku Writing," was written at the end of the seventeenth century. Today, more than three hundred years later, the form is experiencing a world-wide, multi-language renaissance . . .. The Red River Book of Haibun, with a collection of 102 haibun by 61 poets across the world, aims to help the form along this path of resurgence.

It is my hope, and that of many others, that the Red River Book of Haibun is indeed one of many to come. It's resembles Deodhar's Journeys in its breath – writers from several continents and countries – and it’s different in that it also includes writers new to the form and writers who haven't yet had their work published in the main English-language journals. In the collection I saw many writers whose work I've not previously read.

I have a sense that much of the innovation happening in haibun is a result of good writers finding the beauty in haibun, and perhaps seeing it in a new light.

I remember that Angelee Deodhar usually ended her letters with "love and light."

Love and Light,

Parish Tiwari's website with biography -> biography

Steve Hodge is the editor of Prune Juice, a Journal of Senryu, Kyoka, Haibun and Haiga, an Assisting Editor of the Living Senryu Anthology. He is an award winning, internationally published and anthologized poet, Steve's work has appeared in numerous publications, including Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest and others. His book of haiga, The Sparrow’s Dream, was published in 2014.