Editorial Staff & Guidelines
Bob Lucky contributes regularly to haiku and tanka journals in the US, Europe, and Australia. His fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous international journals, including Flash, Rattle, Modern Haiku, KYSO Flash, The Prose-Poem Project, The Boston Literary Magazine, Haibun Today, and Contemporary Haibun Online. His work has been widely anthologized. He has a chapbook of haibun, tanka prose and prose poems, entitled Ethiopian Time, forthcoming. He currently lives and works in Saudi Arabia.
There are poets who write and publish what Brian Clements and James Dunham in An Introduction to the Prose Poem call hybrid poems. Some of these poems are even called haibun by the poets who write them. I enjoy hybrid poetry, but I think of haibun as a specific type of hybrid poem. I’m all eyes and ears in terms of genre influences and experimentation. Some haibun tell stories, some wax lyrical, and others go, excuse the cliché, where no haibun has gone before. If a writer knows his or her craft, it will show.
Here are some things I prefer to see and some I would rather not. First, there’s the prose (and sometimes the free verse or form poetry). If it reads like a translation, good or bad, from The Tale of Genji, it’s going to grab my attention in all the wrong ways. If it appears to have been ghost-written by Charles Dickens or Virginia Woolf, if it is more telling than showing (and didn’t your English teacher beat this into your brain?), then chances are I’m going to lose interest. The haiku are also important. I want to read haibun in which the haiku expand the prose, add layers to the haibun, deepen a theme or tone. There is much talk in the haibun world about the relationship between the prose and the haiku. But relationships change. Should the haiku be able to stand alone? Or can it be somewhat dependent on the prose? Yes is my unhelpful answer. (Can the prose stand alone, as narrative prose or a prose poem? No one asks this question as far as I know, but I find it interesting so thought I would throw it in here.) What the haiku cannot be, if the piece is to satisfy my idea of a haibun, and not simply a hybrid poem, is a continuation of the prose broken into three (or one or two or four) lines. In other words, it needs to be a haiku.
Technical Editor Ray Rasmussen is the person to contact if you have any difficulties with the website or the way CHO has presented your work. Ray lives in Edmonton, Canada. Along with Jim Kacian, he co-founded and designed the original CHO website. He's co-editor (with Melissa Allen) of the haibun section of Haibun Today and in the past he's served as an editor at Simply Haiku, World Haiku Review, Notes from the Gean and A Hundred Gourds which he co-founded with Lorin Ford. Ray’s haiku, haiga, haibun and articles appear regularly in haiku genre journals and his work has appeared in the anthologies: Contemporary Haibun, The Red Moon Anthology, and The British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology. He's edited three online collections: Canyonlands Journal, Day's End, and Romance under a Waning Moon. His web site is http://raysweb.net/haiku/
Ray's Guidelines for Submissions:
It is easiest for us to format CHO if you submit your work in simple paragraphs, without indenting either prose text or haiku/tanka poems.
We use a house style that is typical for webpage formatting and that works best for a number of reasons related to the complexity and limitations of the HTML computer code that is used to make webpages.
- en dash with spaces, e.g., best to use an en-dash – not a hyphen or double hyphen or em-dash – for breaking passages.
- ellipses with spaces: ". . ."
- we capitalize all titles on the main index page, but recognize that some writers prefer to use non-caps where their work is presented.
- we prefer regular capitalization and punctuation, but will abide the preferences of writers who use run on phrases and sentences with minimal punctuation or caps.
- We prefer haiku left aligned and no caps. But if you feel that your text-haiku interaction requires special formatting, let us know in your submission.