The Haiku Handbook – How to Write, Teach and Appreciate Haiku is the first book to give the reader everything needed to delve into all aspects of haiku. In this groundbreaking and now-classic volume, the authors present haiku poets writing in English, Spanish, French, German, and five other languages on an equal footing with Japanese poets. Not only are the four great Japanese masters of the haiku represented (Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki), but also major Western authors not commonly known to have written haiku - including Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and Richard Wright - are showcased.
With a new foreword by poet, translator, and author Jane Reichhold (Basho: The Complete Haiku), this anniversary edition presents a concise history of the Japanese haiku, not the least of which are the dynamic changes in the twentieth century as this beloved poetry form was adapted to modern and urban settings. Full chapters are offered on form, the seasons in haiku, and haiku craft, plus background on the Japanese poetic tradition and the effect of translation on our understanding of haiku. Other unique features are chapters on teaching and sharing haiku, with lesson plans for both elementary and secondary school use; a seasonal word index of poetic words; a comprehensive glossary; and a list of enduring classic resources for further exploration.
In short, by any standard, The Haiku Handbook is the defining volume in the field.
About the Authors…
Poet, translator, and literary historian William J. Higginson (1938-2008) has been called "the guru of American haiku." For over forty years, Higginson translated, wrote, commented about, and lectured on Japanese haiku and on haiku written in English and more than a score of other languages worldwide. He studied Japanese at Yale University, where he discovered haiku. He was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America, founded in 1968, and edited and published Haiku Magazine from 1971 to 1976. Among his awards are a Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America and the Sera Award, honoring an HSA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the organization over time. His four books on haiku were published with major houses. Altogether, he wrote or edited more than 30 books and chapbooks of poems, translations, and commentary. Since the early 1970s, he made his primary living as a teacher of writing, working especially with young people.
Penny Harter's poetry, including haiku and other Japanese related genres, has been published widely in journals and anthologies. Her most recent books include The Night Marsh, Along River Road, Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth, and Buried in the Sky. Her children's illustrated alphabestiary, The Beastie Book, is published by Shenanigan Books. She is a past president of the Haiku Society of America, and has visited Japan a number of times as a guest of government agencies and poetry organizations. She has appeared on Japanese television, and has addressed audiences at the Museum of Haiku Literature in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. She has won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for her work in the anthology American Nature Writing. She is a poet-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and has worked for many years as a teaching poet for the Council's Arts-in-Education program. She also travels to give workshops and lectures on poetry and creative writing.
What others have said about this book…
“The most thorough treatment haiku has received in English” - Los Angeles Times
"The most comprehensive compendium of the haiku - its nature, uses, and history - ever to appear in English, or any other language except Japanese." - New York Times Book Review
"The Haiku Handbook is an indispensable and exhilarating overview, as inviting and clear as it is scholarly, as exuberantly passionate as it is informative and comprehensive. All who write, read, or teach poetry will find themselves broadened, magnetized, and welcomed by these gate-opening pages." - Jane Hirshfield poet, co-translator of The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi and Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan
"For many years, The Haiku Handbook has been without rival and the fullest, clearest, and most engaging guide to its profound and fascinating subject." - X. J. Kennedy co-author of An Introduction to Poetry and author of In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: Selected and New Poems, 1955-2007
Special 25th Anniversary edition, 2009, paperback, 332pp, 14.4 x 21.1 cm