The Art of the Short Poem

a film
by Tazuo Yamaguchi

and a film haiku anthology
edited by Tazuo Yamaguchi
& Randy Brooks

Tazuo Yamaguchi
HAIKU: the Art of the Short Poem

ISBN 978-1-929820-10-8
paperback & DVD
© 2008 96 pages (5.5 X 8.5)

out of print

In August 2007 Tazuo attended the Haiku North America conference, where he filmed over 50 hours of interviews and events with contemporary haiku poets, concluding with the HNA head-to-head haiku competition.

HAIKU book/DVD combo
ISBN 978-1-929820-10-8

Make checks or money orders out to Brooks Books and send your order to:

Brooks Books
6 Madera Court
Taylorville, IL 62568


Authors Featured in Haiku
HAIKU: the Art of the Short Poem

John Barlow

Matsuo Basho

Roberta Beary

Tara Betts

Randy Brooks

Derrick Weston Brown

Terry Ann Carter


Miura Chora

Carlos Colón

Johnette Downing

Curtis Dunlap

Donna Foulke

Garry Gay

Richard Gilbert

Raffael de Gruttola

Lee Gurga

Penny Harter

Zac Hegwood

William J. Higginson


Jim Kacian

David G. Lanoue

Peggy Willis Lyles

A.C. Missias

Lenard D. Moore

Robert Moyer

Alan Pizzarelli

Michael Rehling

Bruce Ross

Alexis Rotella

Lidia Rozmus

Dave Russo

Kalamu ya Salaam

Sonia Sanchez

John Stevenson

James Tipton

Charles Trumbull

Tazuo Yamaguchi

Biographical Notes

John Barlow’s haiku and tanka have been translated into several languages and published extensively worldwide, receiving awards in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. His collections include Waiting for the Seventh Wave (haiku; 2006), Snow About To Fall (tanka; 2006), and Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (2008), written and compiled with Matthew Paul. He edited the haiku magazine Snapshots from 1998–2006, and Tangled Hair, the first journal dedicated solely to English-language tanka to be published outside the US, from 1999–2006. He is also the editor of The Haiku Calendar, which has appeared annually since 2000, and co-editor, with Martin Lucas, of The New Haiku (2002). He lives in the northwest of England, a short walk from the sea.

Matsuo Basho (1644–1694) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Basho was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and within Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. Basho was introduced to poetry at a young age, and after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo he quickly became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher, but renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles and was inclined to wander throughout the country, heading west, east, and far into the northern wilderness to gain inspiration for his writing and haiku. His poems are influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him, often encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements. [From < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_ Basho> July 13, 2008.]

Roberta Beary grew up in New York City and now lives near Washington, DC. In the early 1990s she lived in Tokyo for 5 years, where she began to study and write haiku. She has since won numerous international haiku awards, including 1st prize in the Haiku International, Kusamakura, Penumbra, Tokutomi and Brady contests. In 2006 Roberta and Ellen Compton edited Fish in Love, the Haiku Society of America’s Members’ Anthology, and she is currently on the editorial staff of The Red Moon Anthology. A member of the Towpath Haiku Group, her own haiku appear in A New Resonance 2: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2001). In 2008 her haiku collection, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007) won the William Carlos Williams Finalist Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Tara Betts is a graduate of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry and Cave Canem. Tara’s haiku have appeared in Erotic Haiku, Taboo Haiku, Fingernails Across a Chalkboard and Valley Voices. Her work has also been published in Callaloo, Essence and Obsidian III. She lives, teaches and performs in New York City.

Randy Brooks, Ph.D, serves as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Millikin University, where he also teaches courses on the global haiku tradition. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks, have been co-editors and publishers of Brooks Books for many years and currently are editors of Mayfly magazine. Brooks is also web editor for Modern Haiku magazine and Electronic Media Officer for the Haiku Society of America. His selected haiku, School’s Out, was published by Press Here (Foster City, California) in 1999.

Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. His work has appeared in Warpland, DrumVoices, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Howard University’s Amistad. His work has also appeared in the anthologies: When Words Become Flesh (Mwaza Publications), Taboo Haiku (Avisson Press), and Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (University Of Michigan Press). In 2006 he released his first chapbook of poetry, The Unscene.

Terry Ann Carter is the Ottawa coordinator for Learning Through The Arts. Her first book Waiting for Julia was published by Third Eye Press, London, Ont., 1999. Carter has won several international awards and participated in the Basho Festival, Ueno, Japan (2004). She presented papers on the life of Chiyo-ni (17th Century Woman Haiku Master) at conferences in Kingston and Montreal and participated in the Montreal Zen Festival (McGill University) where she gave haiku readings and small book workshops. Carter serves the League of Canadian Poets as Education Chair and Haiku Canada as Vice President.

Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo) (1703-1775) was a Japanese poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets. Born in Matto, Kaga Province (now Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture) as a daughter of a picture framer, she began writing haiku poetry age 7. At age 12, she became the disciple of the great poet Matsuo Basho, and by the age of 17, she had become very popular all over Japan for her poetry. Her poems, although mostly dealing with nature, work for a unity of nature with humanity. Her own life was that of the haikai poets who made their lives and the world they lived in one with themselves.
[From <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiyo-ni> July 13, 2008.]

Miura Chora (1729-1780), born in Shima province, traveled throughout the country composing poems. He was a friend of Yosa Buson and helped lead the haiku revival movement of the eighteenth century [From Classic Haiku: A Master’s Selection edited and translated by Yuzuru Miura.] R. H. Blyth notes, “Ryoto had set up the Ise School, followed by Otsuya and others, but gradually it became worldly. Chora brought it back to the poetry and simplicity of Basho.” The History of Haiku, Volume 1, Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1963, page 319.

Carlos Colón writes haiku and renku. He has published two chapbooks of haiku and two renku collections including Circling Bats: A Concrete Renga with Raffael de Gruttola and Sassy: A Collection of Linked Poems with Alexis Rotella. He was editor of the 2001 Haiku Society of America members’ anthology.

Johnette Downing is an author and award winning singer, songwriter and musician performing original music with Louisiana spice for children internationally. Downing has garnered awards including five Parents’ Choice Awards, two Parent’s Guide To Children’s Media Awards, four National Parenting Publications Awards, three iParenting Media Awards, a Family Choice Award, a Family Review Center Award and an Imagination Award. In addition to her work as a performer, Downing is an author and poet. Cofounder of the New Orleans Haiku Society, Johnette’s haiku have appeared in numerous haiku journals, anthologies and books. Downing is listed on the Southern Artistry Registry, Louisiana Artist Roster and the Louisiana Touring Directory.

Curtis Dunlap lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. He has been published in a variety of anthologies and journals including Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Magnapoets, Modern Haiku, A New Resonance 5: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, Simply Haiku, big sky: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, red lights, Ribbons, and Valley Voices. He publishes the “three questions” series featuring contemporary haiku poets at <http://tobaccoroadpoet.com>.

Donna Foulke is an Alaska Native artist originally from Juneau now living in Northern Virginia. She is a haiku poet, photographer, collage artist, filmmaker, and illustrator, and works for the U.S. Geological Survey as a graphic artist and Web designer. In 2000, she was awarded the Alaska Native Writer’s Award for Literature from the University of Alaska for her poetry. At HNA 2007, Donna presented “A Walk on the Path of Our Ancestors: American Indian and Alaska Native Interpretations of the Japanese Haiku.”

Garry Gay founded the Haiku North America conference in 1991. A professional photographer, he has been writing haiku over the past 30 years. As a co-founder of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, he organized the Two Autumns reading series. In 1991 he was elected as president of the Haiku Society of America, and in 1996 he co-founded the American Haiku Archives in Sacramento, California. He is the author and photographer of Silent Garden, Wings of Moonlight, River Stones and Along The Way.

Richard Gilbert, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor, Department of British and American Language and Literature, at Kumamoto University. In 1997, Richard moved to Japan to pursue Japanese haiku research. His interviews with gendai haijin (contemporary-haiku poets) now living in Japan are collected on the new Web site Gendai Haiku. In 2006, Richard was awarded a two year grant from MEXT (the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) for research on modern Japanese Haiku.

Raffael de Gruttola has two books of poetry published: Where Ashes Float (1980) and Flamenco Song (1983). His first book of haiku, Recycle, was published in 1989. A book of haiga, Echoes in Sand, was published in 2001 with images provided by Wilfred Croteau. He is a past president and treasurer of the Haiku Society of America and its first Northeast Regional Coordinator. He was a founding member of the Boston Haiku Society in 1987. He is a founding member of two renku groups, The Metro West Renku Association and the Immature Green Heron, both of which meet on a regular basis.

Lee Gurga was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He is a past president of the Haiku Society of America and a former editor of Modern Haiku. His books In and Out of Fog and Fresh Scent were both awarded the first prize in the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards. He was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Poetry Fellowship in 1998 for his work in haiku. He lives with his family in rural Lincoln, Illinois.

Penny Harter’s poetry collections include Along River Road, Buried in the Sky, and Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth. Her haiku appear in The Haiku Anthology (Norton, 1999), Global Haiku (Mosaic Press, 2000) and The Unswept Path: Contemporary American Haiku (White Pine Press, 2005). She has won fellowships and awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Dodge Foundation, and the Poetry Society of America, and the William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award. She is a poet-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Zac Hegwood is a musician, lyricist, and poetry slammer from North Carolina.

William J. Higginson has been a driving force in North American and world haiku since the publication of his first translations from the Japanese in 1968. In the 1970s, he edited Haiku Magazine and started his own press, putting out books by Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Japanese haiku masters, and others. His book Haiku Handbook became a standard work in the field, and his books The Haiku Seasons and Haiku World were landmarks in global haiku. A new e-book, Butterfly Dreams, pairs his translations of classic Japanese haiku with nature photographs by Michael Lustbader.

Issa was born in the little village of Kashiwabara in the mountains of Japan’s Shinano Province on the fifth day of Fifth Month, 1763: June 15 on the Western calendar. He died in the same village on the 19th of Eleventh Month in the old Japanese calendar year that corresponds to 1827: the equivalent of January 5, 1828 on the Western calendar. In the long time between these dates he learned the art of haiku (then called haikai) and wandered the length and breadth of Japan, writing everywhere he went. Though his real name was Kobayashi Yataro, he chose Issa (Cup-of-Tea) as his haiku name. He called himself “Shinano Province’s Chief Beggar” and “Priest Cup-of-Tea of Haiku Temple.” A devout follower of the Jodoshinshû sect, he imbued his work with Buddhist themes: sin, grace, trusting in Amida Buddha, reincarnation, transience, compassion, and the joyful celebration of the ordinary. [From <http://haikuguy.com/issa/aboutissa.html> July 13, 2008.]

Jim Kacian is the founder and publisher of Red Moon Press, author of a dozen books and was the editor of Frogpond for several years.

David G. Lanoue, Ph.D, is a professor of English at Xavier University in New Orleans and a translator of Japanese haiku. His website, The Haiku of Kobayashi Issa, presents over 7,000 of Issa’s haiku in English translation with commentary. His first book, Issa: Cup-of-Tea Poems, came out in 1991. He has since published two “haiku novels”: Haiku Guy and Laughing Buddha (Red Moon Press), and a critical book, Pure Land Haiku: The Art of Priest Issa (Buddhist Books International, 2004).

Peggy Willis Lyles lives with her husband in Tucker, Georgia. She was Poetry Editor of a regional magazine Georgia Journal from 1980-85. For more than 20 years her haiku have been widely published in the US and abroad. Her work is included in many leading haiku anthologies. A book of her selected haiku, To Hear the Rain, was published by Brooks Books in 2002. She is currently an editor for Heron’s Nest.

A.C. Missias was the editor of Acorn and past co-editor of the Red Moon Anthology. Over the last decade she has placed in haiku competitions (and judged others), led workshops, and written articles on haiku.

Lenard D. Moore is the Executive Chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society and the President of the Haiku Society of America. He is the first Southerner and the first African American to be elected as President of the HSA. Lenard is the haiku editor for Simply Haiku, and he is the founder of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective (CAAWC). He recently won the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award for his contribution to the fine arts of North Carolina. He teaches English, creative writing, and journalism at Mount Olive College. Moore has been writing and publishing haiku for 25 years.

Robert Moyer has been writing and performing haiku since 1999, when he won the Head to Head Haiku Championship at A Gathering of Poets. His work has been published in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Bottle Rockets, Acorn, and other journals. He is the director of Shakespeare Lives!, a professional development program for teachers based at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London. He is also slam master of the Winston-Salem Poetry slam. Bob was one of the local organizers for Haiku North America 2007.

Alan Pizzarelli learned the fundamentals of writing poetry from Louis Ginsberg (father of Allen Ginsberg), and in the early 1970s he studied haiku from Professor Harold G. Henderson, author of An Introduction to Haiku (Doubleday) and Haiku in English (Charles Tuttle). He has been much publicized as a pioneer of English-language senryu. He has published 12 collections of haiku and senryu including The Flea Circus (Islet Books, 1989), City Beat (Islet Books, 1991), Senryu Magazine (River Willow, 2001), and The Windswept Corner (Bottle Rockets Press, 2005).

Michael Rehling lives in Michigan where he is an avid photographer and birder, and sometimes even turns a word of poetry. He runs www.haikuhut.com, and enjoys hanging out around the tops of mountains, and tramping through riverbeds.

Bruce Ross, Ph.D, is editor of Haiku Moment, An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku (Tuttle, 1993), Journey to the Interior, American Versions of Haibun (Tuttle, 1998), and co-editor of the annual Contemporary Haibun (Red Moon Press).

Alexis Rotella lives in Arnold, Maryland where she is a practitioner of Oriental Medicine. She is also an ordained interfaith minister and a member of the Church of What’s Happening Now. She served as President of the Haiku Society of America (Japan House) in 1984 and edited Frogpond, Brussels Sprout and The Persimmon Tree. Her haiku, senryu and tanka have won many awards and international recognition.

Lidia Rozmus was born in Poland. She studied at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, earning a master’s degree in the history of art. Living in United States since 1980, she works as a graphic designer, paints sumi-e and oils, and writes haiku. Her paintings and haiku have been exhibited and published in the US, Japan and Poland. She has written and designed three portfolio-style books of haiku, haibun and haiga: Twenty views from Mole Hill (1999), My Journey (2004) and Hailstones: Haiku by Taneda Santoka (2006).

Dave Russo’s haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Acorn, and other journals. He is included in Big Sky: The Red Moon Anthology 2006 (Red Moon Press, 2007) and in A New Resonance 5. Russo is the webmaster for Haiku North America, the North Carolina Haiku Society, and Red Moon Press. He is the first HNA Head to Head Haiku champion.

Kalamu ya Salaam is founder of the Neo-Griot Workshop, a Black writers workshop focusing on text, recordings and videos; director of Listen to the People, New Orleans oral history project; moderator of e-Drum, a listserv for Black writers; and co-moderator, with his son Mtume, of Breath of Life, a Black music website. Salaam is also the digital video instructor and the co-director of Students at the Center, a writing-based program in the New Orleans public school system. His latest book is the anthology 360-degrees A Revolution of Black Poets (Black Words Press). Salaam’s latest spoken word cd is My Story, My Song. His latest movie is Baby Love (75-minute drama). Translated into six languages, Salaam’s haiku have been published internationally in anthologies and a variety of journals.

Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2001, Sanchez received the Robert Frost medal in poetry, one of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poet. She has lectured at more than five hundred universities and colleges in the United States and traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999.

John Stevenson is a former president of the Haiku Society of America and former editor of the HSA journal, Frogpond, one of the oldest and most widely circulated journals of English-language haiku. He is currently managing editor of Heron’s Nest. His poems have won awards in innumerable haiku competitions. He is co-founder of the Rt. 9 Haiku Group, which has created the Upstate Dim Sum journal and website. Born and raised in Ithaca, NY, he now lives in Nassau, NY.

James Tipton lives in Fruita, Colorado where he keeps bees and writes poems. His work is widely published, including credits in The Nation, South Dakota Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Greensboro Review, Esquire, Field, and American Literary Review. He is also included in various anthologies and other works, most recently Haiku: A Poet’s Guide, edited by Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press, 2003) and Erotic Haiku, edited by Hiroaki Sato (IBC, 2004). His most recent collection of poems, Letters from a Stranger, with a foreword by Isabel Allende (Conundrum Press, 1998), won the 1999 Colorado Book Award in Poetry.

Charles Trumbull has served as newsletter editor and president of the Haiku Society of America, a founder of Chi-ku, the Chicago-area haiku club, an organizer of Haiku North America 2001 (Chicago), and proprietor of Deep North Press, a publisher of haiku books with 14 titles in print. Since March 2006 he has been editor of Modern Haiku, the oldest haiku journal outside Japan.

Tazuo Yamaguchi has earned a national reputation as a poet, touring performer, and filmmaker for over a full decade through his solo tours, his films, his long list of collaborations with some of the nation’s finest poets and artists, two national head to head haiku championships (1996 & 2004), and his “provocative” poetry workouts and workshops that guide the voices of youth to the elders. Yamaguchi is a master storyteller, poet and spoken word craftsman with a deep heritage in Shigin Poetry (poet, chanter, and storytellers of the royal court of Japan.) He is the creator of the first film ever made about English-language haiku entitled Haiku: The Art of The Short Poem and author of Bishiki a book of haiku rituals, poems, and insights put out by The Wordsmith Press.