On Fokkina McDonnell’s ‘Safe House’

The first and only occasion I’ve met Fokkina McDonnell in person was at the tail-end of the last century, at a British Haiku Society conference in Ludlow. At the time, I don’t think I knew that Fokkina also wrote longer poems; gradually though, in the last decade or so, and especially from her blog, available … Continue reading On Fokkina McDonnell’s ‘Safe House’

On (Eavan Boland and Colm Tóibín, again, on) Elizabeth Bishop

Having savoured Colm Tóibín’s book On Elizabeth Bishop, I then re-read words on Bishop by another great Irish writer, Eavan Boland: the chapter ‘Elizabeth Bishop: an unromantic American’ in her wonderful book A Journey with Two Maps (Carcanet, 2011), available here.The focus of that book is on Boland’s own poetic journey and how women poets … Continue reading On (Eavan Boland and Colm Tóibín, again, on) Elizabeth Bishop

On a haiku by Sheila Butterworth

all daythe drop and roll of acornson a tin roofThe benefit of having the Haiku Calendar on my work desk is that the monthly selections quickly seep into my consciousness. This one, one of the three runners-up for October in this year's calendar, must’ve been written, probably twenty-five or so miles to the north-west of where I am, … Continue reading On a haiku by Sheila Butterworth

Haiku Society of America Haiku Award

Thanks to Chuck Brickley, I’ve recently had the great honour of co-judging, with Kat Lehmann, the Haiku Society of America’s annual haiku competition, named in memory of Harold G. Henderson, who played a pivotal role in helping to popularise haiku in English.I’ve been reflecting on why it's such a great honour. The answer is complex. … Continue reading Haiku Society of America Haiku Award