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TABLE OF CONTENTS

XXI:1 February, 2006

                    LYNX 

                  A Journal for Linking Poets 

 
   
  LAST LETTERS
Marianne Bluger &  Jane Reichhold 

LETTERS from:
Gary Blankenship
Alex Finlay
Kirsty Karkow
Larry Kimmel
Karen L. Lewis
Angela Leuck,
Ellen Olinger
Francine Porad

AN OPEN LETTER TO:
Michael McClintock by Werner Reichhold

Information on the ukiaHaiku Festival.

     

LETTERS

 

LAST LETTERS
Marianne Bluger & Jane Reichhold 

Dear Marianne,
Your lovely, very lovely, book arrived. What a beauty! What a marvelous addition to tanka literature! I will be delighted to review it in the October issue of LYNX! You have every right to be very proud of the work in the book and the marvelous treatment Penumbra Press gave you. Way to go! \o/ Jane

Hi Dear, So glad to see the article on surreal tanka in the latest from the TSA. You are in the forefront with your husband in this development and yet, the Japanese are out in front of us. The American Tanka crew have not yet figured out how very MODERN some of the living Japanese masters are with their poetry. love m

Dear Marianne,
Thank you for your lovely and long note the other day and for this one with kind words, also. I was glad for the exposure in Ribbons, but was taken aback that our tanka are seen as "surreal." In no way is that our goal. The poems are simply written from our reality, which may or may not be the ones shared by others. I suspect the Japanese would say the same about their work. This does not detract from my thankfulness for the article or the work Marjorie put into it. Wishing for you all the strength and energy you need today! \o/ Jane

Hi Dear Jane, Have been thinking about this note and agreeing and disagreeing. I have written many longer lyrics in the spirit and style which is sometimes called 'surreal'. It means about as much as the term 'modern' does. Nothing. So don't fret. You and Werner write tanka poems that are sharp and fresh and different with a stunning blend of emotional and cognitive content. I always read your poems several times and then often get an Ahhhhhh moment. For the rest of what passes for tanka, I seldom give one even a second read. Don't ever give any pause to justify your work. It is ALWAYS a good sign when people are thinking about what you write. Your grateful friend, love Marianne

Dear Marianne,
It is always good to hear from you and to get your latest thinking. I am sorry if I sounded "fretful" in my last letter. I wasn't. I think, from your comments, we are (AGAIN!) on the same wave-length on the subject. I think, that in people's attempt to understand things, it helps them to place handles and name-tags on them - which I accept. And I agree with you, the main thing is that they read and then think about anything any of us has written! Thank you for the kind words about the work from Werner and me! AGAIN! We have the same reaction upon reading your work and I admire yours for its delicate layering. Hoping your summer is fruitful in all ways! \o/ Jane
P.S.werner just last week got his five year cancer check-up and is fine. SO thankful!

Hi Dear, So glad your beloved's health is holding. I would be long dead were it not for the love my husband and I share. He cares for me so much and I don't want to leave him alone in this tough world. Werner probably wants to hang around for his old lady too. haha love m

Marianne Sasha Bluger Neily
Aug. 28, 1945
Oct. 29, 2005

 

 

Enclosed in submission for Lynx is a collaborative sequence, a sonnet comprised of one-liners. This "monoku sonnet" is a short sequence of 14 one-line haiku, sonnet length, the poets alternating ABABABAB, which maintains the parts of a Petrarchan sonnet, octave & sestet, with a turn after the octave. The theme is Adelaide Crapsey's moon cinquain, "Niagara, Seen on a Night in November," from which this sonnet's title is taken.
this sequence, "Above the Bulk of Crashing," was written on an e-groupís list, "HaikuUnchained," by Denis M. Garrison and  Gary Blankenship. Haiku Unchained. Denis M. Garrison  and Gary Blankenship

 

Dear Jane & Werner,
We are all still learning and I find some rengaistas are too keen to criticize others for aspects of their practice, when we need to all learn there are diverse approaches. I know how important the work you are doing is and how open. When we have time it would be good to discuss specific aspects of some of my projects.

1. The first is the use of a renga as a 'word-map'. I am working at an old Lead Mine Museum in the North Pennine Hills and using a schema composed to research the locale - geology, geography, economics, ecology, etc. I loved the classical schema Jane authored for our hyakuin. And this schema of mine does another thing again. We are using it to give the staff a portrait of the museum and surrounding community: it is written by staff and local people, with 3 master poets. The verses written on the first two days have been really wonderful, even better than I expected - and I even go as far as to say that these non-poets have written many verses that are fresher and more concrete than the kinds of thing that I get from part-time poets at my other renga days.

2. In terms of practice I am very interested in 'composite verses', where we use elements from 2 or 3 peoples verse. I find these often create wonderful images and links. I use these more and more. Some people would object I know, but to me they are truly collaborative.3. I also use them ('comps') with my school's renga. We are doing 2 hyakuin renga with local schools just now, again partly as word-maps, and partly as explorations of the kids world. Here is a draft. This was written by 8-10 yr olds. The quality varies.

3. One little story about the school renga. I was in Easington yesterday doing a workshop with 8 students. At the start I asked one kid, Marley, to read out the last 12 verses of the poem so we could all get a feel for where we were at. As she read one kid, Conor, who can be a wriggly thing but is a brilliant poet, said the names of every person who wrote each of the verses - which means he could recall them exactly from 3 weeks ago. Sometimes you just don't know how much has gone in to their heads. In that session all the verses were composites, made from 2 or more peoples work. Conor came up with this image for a bridge: iron held up by ropes and fumes

4. Finally, I am slowly writing a senku renga, between myself and 499 people around the world. Again, the quality varies, as some are new to the form and others know nothing of the thematic conventions, but the process is fascinating. I have a longer version with commentaries and details of where in the world each poet lives. Alex Finlay

 

And I am pleased that you are pleased... how nice to know that belated me made the deadline again. Mostly due to your kindness. Thanks. Titles!  I am rotten at coming up with titles, though I do see that a title might hold it all together. Taking your suggestions to heart 'how will it be' resonates the most, or 'scattered frost'  but I wonder if we should take out the first tanka in this case. What do you think?  Do what you think is best. I am happy in your editorial hands. You do a consistently good job with Lynx...it has been a while, hasn't it. You have had a lot of rain. So have we. Not as much but heck, here in Maine we should be getting snow. I miss the quiet snowy days when my brain can relax. Be well and happy, love to Jane. Kirsty Karkow

 

Dear Werner & Jane,
Well, we survived Thanksgiving Day, but not without our furnace going on the blink.  It would have cost $100 an hour to have a repairman come out to fix it that day, so we went, as planned to Boston, where both my wife's (Kathy) family live, and now my son, too.  We all celebrated together.  So it was a good day but we returned to a cold house, it was just a bit above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  We wrapped up in all the blankets we had for the night, and once the repairman came the next morning we went out for breakfast, as it took a good part of the day to warm up the house again.  Not an unusual New England adventure.  But why does it so often happen on one of the holidays?  One year our well pump went the day before Christmas. Anyway, thanks for the feedback on the Raw Nervz collaboration, and yes I doubt that I'll go back to traditional renga.  This is much more stimulating.  I also like your idea of using prose with verse.  At the moment I seem to be working mainly on haibun, but sometimes I think it would be productive, perhaps, to take these freer forms of renku and apply the techniques to a 'solo' book.  That is, a long poem based on not only links and shifts, but also on associative leaps, with the occasional non-sequitur.  It's something at the back of my mind that I hope will bear fruit at some point.  I would think such a work would have an opportunity in the mainstream.  I recall your idea, too, of linked haibun.  Again, something I haven't forgotten.  These experiments in form don't seem to be picked up on quickly, but I think it is up to us, and a few others, to keep fresh approaches alive.  I think in time we will see more "western" styled work deriving from the haiku/tanka tradition, simply because western artists are by nature restless and relentless experimenters. This has been a busy year, most of it good, but my writing did get squeezed into a corner for a time.  I'm happy to say that things are moving again.  I hope to have something to send to you and Jane for LYNX before the end of the December deadline.  I've come to appreciate LYNX, more and more, for it openness to experimental approaches.  There aren't many other publications in the haikai world that offer space for such work. It's good to be in touch, Werner, and lunch on the terrace with roses blooming around the porch sounds lovely, especially as we go into winter here.  It's snowing heavily even as I write this e-mail. I meant to mention that I was happy to see both of your tanka sequences in the recent Ribbons.  Again, both of you, take the tanka beyond the descriptive nature poem and traditional, or usual,  tone/style of love & loss tanka.  Your metaphors, images, figures of speech, etc. I find encouraging for the future of tanka in English.  Thank you, and more power to both of you. Larry Kimmel

Dear Larry,
Again you made such visible steps writing prose - or should I say writing a prose poem? That's what I really think it is Larry, a prose poem including a 5-liner, titled 'Skiing'. The layout, or better I say, the way you arranged your sentences and phrases is an art in itself, builds a form, guides the reader to a deeper understanding of the content. Your work passes the old concept of haibun, 'a journal of a journey'. As you said, with such work we may turn on mainstream publishers. For the moment, you will see 'Skiing' in our February issue of Lynx, 2006. You indeed did produce solo work but as you said yourself probably more collaborations. The one you sent, done with Sheila Windsor, I find especially good, and a real surprise to the haiku scene. We will be proud to publish it with our February issue of LYNX, 2006. Werner

Dear Werner & Jane, 
Below are submissions for the February 2006 issue of LYNX.  I'm hoping you might find the segment of "Blue Smoke" collaboration with sheila windsor appropriate for LYNX.  We were working on this in the spring and have now picked it up again.  It's an ambitious project that we hope will result in a book length manuscript.  We'll see.  Anyway, this past year I've done more with collaborative work than solo work.  Also, included is a haibun for consideration. Not too cold, here, but enough snow to think of it as winter.  I've a book signing this Friday, at a bookstore in a nearby town.  Art Stein, who belongs to a co-op of poets invited me, as I had written the blurb for a new book he's had published through the group.  Should be fun.    But being New England, one crosses one's fingers, hoping the weather (ie. the roads) will be okay when the date arrives. I published a book of haibun this summer and I'll be sending you a copy, but probably it won't be in time for a mention in Lynx [it is reviewed in this issue!].  But, whatever, I do want you folks to have a copy. Peace to you both, Larry

Dear Larry,
Good to hear that you had a book signing in a nearby town, and thank you in advance that you plan sending us a copy of this new book. Thank you for the praise for what we do with LYNX. Here I would like to point out that Jane and I both are very sorry learning that Raw Nervz is coming up with its last issue. Dorothy did a great job with her magazine; her influence to the broader poetry scene is obviously undeniable. I there really nobody around picking her magazine up and do with it whatever can be seen as a new development? Please let Sheila know what we think? Take care, Werner.

 

 

 

. . . In 2003 I invited a fellow poet, Martha Deed, to learn and experiment with the rengay form. I thought we might make an interesting writing partnership because our writing styles are very different, yet we share a love of both traditional and experimental forms. I suggested that we create though e-mail, and that we not discuss the evolving poem until it was completed. We utilized the six link form found on page 133 of Bruce Ross's How to HaikuI found the structure of that poem visually appealing. We agreed to add further constraints. Each poem would include a reference to Native American Full Moon names, and each poem would include examples of the four elements (water, air, earth, fire).  We also took turns introducing new poem links. As we progressed with our poems we discovered that our personal, natural environments were figuring strongly in each poem. We were delighted by this and felt that our poems were nurtured by this grounding in neighborhood. Martha Deed is a retired psychologist who writes from her home on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY. The animals and birds who live in her woods often make their way into her work.  Recent publications include The Iowa Review Web (with Millie Niss), Stirring, Shampoo, Gypsy, Big Bridge, and Unlikelystories. Karen Lewis is a transplanted Canadian who has lived in the US for twenty years. She worked for many years as a child welfare social worker. Currently she is a Teaching Artist for Just Buffalo Literary Center in Buffalo, NY, and a contributing editor for award winning Traffic East Magazine. She was nominated for a 2005 Pushcart Prize. Recent publications include The Buffalo News, Slipstream, Poetry Daily (prose feature) and the anthology Sacred Stones. Karen L. Lewis

 

. . . By the way, thank you so much for the wonderful review you did of Rose Haiku for Flower Lovers and Gardeners. You have been so incredibly supportive of all my projects.  I really appreciate your help.  Right now all my energies are focused on Gusts.  I am hoping to be able to reach my target of 500 subscribers by the end of 2006!  It's the magic number, because once we have 500 we would become eligible for government programmes to support literary journals.  Nothing like the power of a clear goal. All the best, Angela Leuck, co-editor.
[Since this letter was written, Angela has resigned as co-editor of Gusts.]

. . . Jean Calkins invited me to join The United Amateur Press Association of America. Jean is President. We've been pen pals for awhile. She carries on in an amazing way, in spite of chronic health challenges. Jean is writing fiction as well as poetry in various forms. I remember reading about her in one of your articles. The UAPAA was established in 1895. Members can participate in many ways. I'm beginning my own paper, GOLD LEAVES, this autumn. Just one or two pages. Members receive a monthly mailing of everyone's work. Denver Stull also publishes a paper, and has retired from being the editor of Parnassus Literary Journal. Parnassus is continuing with a new editor and I imagine I'll receive an issue soon. Love and blessings, Ellen Olinger

 

. . . Glanced over the latest Lynx. The final four PIECES collaborative 'linked haiku' by Marlene Mountain and me look great!  Thank you and Jane for being so supportive of my writing; your backing is appreciated.  We continue to write daily, so for your consideration there are new ones below. BUZZ WORDS #3, #4, #5 and #6. All poems are by Marlene Mountain and me.  (#1, #2 published by Paul Conneally) Warmest regards,  Francine Porad
P.S.  Saw your friend George [Price] & wife at the HNA Conference in Port Townsend, WA.  You may recall my husband Bernard and I met them the night you took us out for a wonderful dinner and evening.

 

An open letter to
Michael McClintock:


     Here follows a quote from the introduction of  the Tanka Society of America 2005 Members' Anthology, something like a sigh: 

"Examples of tanka may be found here and there in the small-press literature of
the past forty years or in a few collections by individual poets whose work passed largely unnoticed in the enthusiasm for and growing popularity of English language haiku."

     Unnoticed? Mr. McClintock, it seems inevitable to add a little correction to this statement. Beginning in 1989, Jane Reichhold, at that time publisher and editor of the magazine Mirrors, presented the necessary infrastructure to facilitate and promote the form of tanka, so far only occasionally mentioned in magazines. The movement gained immediately on speed and the word spread internationally that exactly here, with the magazine Mirrors, was the best and almost only chance to watch the development of this ancient Japanese form then taken on by writers of English language poetry. Linda Jeannette Ward was one of many other writers who recognized the development of tanka early on. In her book Full Moon Tide, one has the pleasure to follow her thoughts, and can imagine why the tanka movement had its great days already in the 1990s. One doesn't want to forget the names of Father Lawrence (honored and decorated by the Emperor of Japan), and Sanford Goldsteins' early work - well, the list goes on and on. It's worth to mention the  forty book reviews about tanka written in those years, and published first with Mirrors and later with Lynx.

     This means, that for twelve years a steadily growing amount of American poets worked hard to explore the poetics of tanka, and augmented by the guidance of this work and her articles, these writers earned a lot of respect and recognition here and abroad due to Internet participation. For sixteen years now, a well attended contest, named Tanka Splendor, received more than eighteen hundred tanka submissions, and 665 of them have been published. There is no doubt, that all of these writers remember the work they established
and the success they made over the years.

     Further on, there is no doubt that with the appearance of the first tanka anthology Wind Five Folded, which we co-authored in 1994, set a first milestone in the development of tanka by astonishing a large audience, making many other writers aware about tanka being on its way to influence English language poetry. As time went on, the magazines Mirrors and later Lynx, intensely supported the writing of tanka sequences. I like to put attention to the fact that Jane and I have been the first writers here in the U.S.A.  publishing collaborative and single works containing prose plus integrated tanka and haiku, prose plus ghazal and tanka, prose plus tanka sequences, and  tanka combined with artwork.

     Jane's book, Writing and Enjoying Haiku, Kodansha International, 2001, includes an extensive explanation of all Japanese poetry forms, with a special focus on tanka showing the relations between the early Japanese waka and the modern haiku and well as her numerous articles on the form in Lynx and on the web site, AHApoetry.com.

      Mr. McClintock, in case these statements don't hold enough proof of the fact that your above mentioned statement is flat wrong, we feel here is the place to add what the Haiku Society of America in both, its Newsletter and in Frogpond, refused to mention and therefore suppressed:
      The Majesties of Japan, The Emperor Akihito and his wife, the Empress Michiko, invited the us to The New Year's Poetry Reading at the Imperial Court on January 14th, 1998. (An extensive report of the event can be read under Ahapoetry.com, titled "Invitation.") The purpose was not only to honor our  work, but the intention of the Court in Japan was to recognize the many gifted writers who since 1992 took on the form of tanka and made it into a medium for creating new English language poetry.

     I think the poets in the States and Canada, who promoted the early developments of tanka wish to see the true history of the medium kept alive. Therefore I would like to invite you back to reality and to stay with the majority of writers who want to keep the records as straight as possible.

Werner Reichhold.

 

CHECK THIS OUT!

An afternoon devoted to the Haiku form of poetry
Sunday, April 23, 2006
3 pm to 5 pm at the City of Ukiah Conference Center
200 School Street in Ukiah, California
Keynote address by Jim Wilson

Postmark Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 20, 2006

 

New This Year: An Online Haiku Forum!

Jane Reichhold, judge of our adult contemporary category for 2005
and 2006, has established an online forum specifically
for the ukiaHaiku Festival dedicated to writers,
students, and teachers of haiku.
Please see our informational pdf with instructions
on where and how to register.

 

Further Information about the 2006 ukiaHaiku Festival

Note: Jim Wilson, the keynote speaker, is the person you know best as Tundra Wind, the founder of Lynx when the magazine was called APA Renga.

 

 

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Deadline for next issue is 
May 1, 2006.

  Poems Copyright © by Designated Authors 2006.
Page Copyright ©Jane Reichhold 2006.

Find out more about Renga, Sijo, Tanka, or Ghazal.

Check out the previous issues of

:LYNX XX:3 October, 2005
LYNX XX:2 June, 2005

LYNX
XX:1 February, 2005

LYNX
XIX:3 October, 2004

LYNX XIX:2 June, 2004

LYNX
XIX:1 February, 2004

LYNX
XVIII:3 October, 2003

LYNX XVIII:2 June, 2003

LYNX
XVIII:1 February, 2003

LYNX XVII:3 October, 2002

LYNX XVII:2 June, 2002

LYNX
XVII:1 February, 2002
LYNX XVI:3 October, 2001
LYNX XVI:2 June, 2001
LYNX XVI:1 February, 2001
LYNX
XV:3 October, 2000
LYNX XV:2 June, 2000

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