17 November 2009

Haibun and Small Presses

A quick post before I scamper off to class.

I've discovered a few really rad things that I just had to share.

First of all, my poetry writing class has introduced me to a new form of poetry that I think is simply amazing. It's called "haibun" and as you may be able to tell it is similar to haiku. In fact, it is a form of haiku. It basically involves long, unlineated poetry contrasted with formal haiku (5 - 7 - 5). Many people have given haiku their own spin over time, changing from the normal "nature" theme, changing lines, and even syllable counts, and such changes are seen in modern haibun. I for one, prefer to keep it "old school." It's my opinion that working in the form is a good way to draw out creativity. If you put yourself in a box, this one being 5 - 7 -5, you have limited access to creative tools and are therefore forced to become more creative to get out of that box. Anyway, enough of my opinion. Here are some great examples of haibun that contemporary writers have chosen to loan to the wide world of the internet. Enjoy, and write some of your own!

My second props of today go out to small presses. Specifically SunnyOutside Press. It's a fact that some of the best creative works go unnoticed by the masses and popular opinion for years. Often a talented creative person waits until he or she is dead to be recognized for his or her gifts and contributions to the human experience. Small presses are great stores of creative, brilliant, passionate, but unpopular works. If you're into reading creative work, google small presses, look through what they have to offer and buy a book. Usually a small press work is very cheap. I bought a book of poetry from SunnyOutside titled "State Sonnets" for about $15 after S & H, and have thus far enjoyed the purchase. Can you get anything good for under $20 at a chain book store? Unless Twilight and James Patterson are your versions of good, no. So look for small presses and buy their stuff. Help them stay alive, passion goes a long way to feed the soul of an artist, but they need money to eat and sleep and buy more paper to feed the passion. So buy books! Also worth noting, SunnyOutside didn't just sent me a book they sent me promos and a hand stamped thank you card. If that's not customer appreciation I don't know what is! I get that it's just advertisement and an attempt to buy a repeat customer, but it came in very interesting formats, so props to that.


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