About This Website & Submissions
In a 2008 editorial in Haibun Today, Jeffrey Woodward wrote: "If haibun is to survive and develop as a viable genre, bibliographies, anthologies, monographs, book reviews and critical essays will play a role that is only slightly less central than the writing of haibun itself." Largely, but not exclusively, through Woodward's efforts to inspire haibun and tanka prose criticism, a respository of critical literature has been published in periodicals, blogs and personal websites. This website brings these writings together in one place.
The banner image is "Autumn Maples with Poem Slips" by premier court painter Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691). Mitsuoki's inspiration for the creation of the screen has to do with the practice of Japanese aristocrats engaged in the custom of recollecting classical poetry while viewing spring and autumn foliage. The painting shows the remaining evidence of human presence in the form of slips of poetry, called tanzaku, wafting from the maple's limbs. Thus, Mitsuoki's screen, a meditation on the inevitable passage of beauty, depicts the melancholy hours after the departure of the reveling courtiers. The matching banner, Cherry Trees in Bloom, is shown on the resource links page.
The banner serves as a metaphor for the present state of English-language haibun and tanka prose publication. Writers have hung their poems and criticisms on various branches (journals, websites, blogs, forums) of an autumn maple. Some are active, some not easily found, and some are unfortunately lost.
Journal Editors: If you'd like your collections of articles on haibun or tanka prose placed on this site, contact Ray Rasmussen and we'll discuss the details of how to do so.
Writers: I prefer to post pieces that have been published in an online or print journal. If the print journal doesn't provide online versions, I will reprint them here. Original unpublished work will be considered, but I will likely suggest that you first reach out to one of the publication venues.
There is room for many types of critical work on this website, some formal, some informal, some written by scholars of the genres, some by writers offering their comments.
Article or Essay: A formal work, usually with references, about some aspect of haibun or tanka prose composition and publication.
Commentary: A comment on the work of a writer or an explanation and examples of one's own work.
Interview: An interview with a writer about details of his or her writing and views on haibun and tanka prose.
Review: A review of a haibun or tanka prose collection.
Editorial or Viewpoint: A less formal piece, usually shorter than a formal essay and without footnotes about some aspect of haibun or tanka prose.
Comments on this website are welcome.
~ Ray Rasmussen
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