mistletoe/ the snowman starts/ to melt
Pleased to place 2nd in the Christmas Caribbean Kigo Kukai (CKK) 2019!
Congratulations to all participants!
mistletoe/ the snowman starts/ to melt
Pleased to place 2nd in the Christmas Caribbean Kigo Kukai (CKK) 2019!
Congratulations to all participants!
Great news! JuxtaFive is ready and available to read online! This edition of the Haiku Foundation Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship includes several articles, reviews, haiga and a special section on Women Mentoring Women (and the article Knocking on the Doors of Perception on Haiku and the Brain contributed by me and co-authors: Thomas Geyer, Franziska Guenther, Jim Kacian, Heinrich Liesefeld, and Hermann J. Mueller).
Grateful thanks to Michelle Elvy and Sam Rasnake for publishing my Haibun Triptych in the special issue “The blue collection 9: Home” of the phenomenal Blue Fifth Review!
Photo magic “Boat” by Maria Pierides accompanies the triptych.
Check it out:
Blue Fifth Review … the blue collection: 9: home (Winter 2018 / 18.10)
This September I took part in the Haiku for Change Event organised by Michael Smeer of the Facebook community My Haiku Pond, in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change (Global) 2018. Poets were asked to write one haiku (or senryu, haiga, or photo-haiku) on change: climate, environment, earth.
Entries were included in the Haiku for Change Event ebook Anthology, a pdf posted on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog, and archived by Stanford University as part of their program to document the 100 Thousand Poets for Change movement and community.
Here is my offering:
a clutch of turtle eggs
in the park sandpit
The pdf is now up and can be downloaded from the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Blog
clover in flower
the Holsteins come
with four stomachs
This week’s poem by Dan Schwerin (Modern Haiku 49:2, Summer 2018), discussed at The Haiku Foundation feature Re:Virals, attracted delightful responses that illuminated the poem from different and serendipitously complementary angles.
The week’s winner, Garry Eaton, provided an interesting and robust commentary seeing the poem’s environmental concerns, alluding to 19th century farming changes by
… highlighting the mindless, mower-like and digester-like efficiency of cows as in massive numbers they convert landscapes into milk and excrement in an endless search for more green.
The other commentators too, in their own way, provided fascinating inroads to the ku.
One paragraph from Julie Warther’s commentary caught my eye:
We each have our empty places looking to be filled. We hold common yearnings for love, acceptance, safety, sustenance and purpose. The natural world and those in it have much to offer. Do we come ready to receive? Do we return hungry for more? Do we have the capacity (four stomachs worth?) to take in the goodness, beauty and bounty surrounding us?
In the commentaries, desire, pleasure and insatiable hunger come together through the poem’s image of cows with multiple stomachs, mowing down environmental resources. Perfect metaphors for humans for whom – on individual and societal levels – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and who will employ all means necessary to consume, to obtain the next piece of land, the next oil field… The effects on nature, climate, resources are all around us to see. As Warther asks, do we have the capacity to process and digest what we receive, to ‘stomach’ it, to experience ful/fillment? To contain our desires? To create a sustainable environment, where the milk we receive is both sufficient and good enough to nourish us?
In Schwerin’s poem, c/love/r is in flower. It is not the first time, and it won’t be the last. In the optimist’s reading, the ‘clover in flower’ in this rural idyll has survived previous years, and it sounds that, with care, it is going to survive the next ones.
Refreshing to see clover — considered an invasive weed in the context of gardening — standing for ‘milk’ in its use as animal fodder, and the cows — whose milk is usually associated with nourishment — standing for ruthless, destructive urges. But that’s another poem, and another story.
You can find the full re:Virals post here.
If, like me, you enjoy thinking about these matters, make sure you receive The Haiku Foundation posts. Re:Virals, managed by Danny Blackwell, appears Fridays.
Last weekend, VSSA IV, the fourth international quadrennial symposium on Visual Search and Selective Attention, took place in the Bavarian School of Public administration, Holzhausen, nr. Utting, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Ammersee. I wrote a haiku sequence in honor of the symposium using themes and terms from the talks and social life of the meeting. I understand this haiku sequence was briefly projected on screen before the concluding session of the symposium.
98/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
87/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings and Book cover installation 9 (no explanations, no reviews)
Book cover installation 8 (no explanations, no reviews)
80/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Here is book cover 7 for the book cover challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy. No explanation required, no reviews, just the covers.
Thank you, Shrikaanth, for sending the challenge my way! I enjoyed presenting the book covers in the form of an installation and I plan to continue this practice beyond the 7 covers…
Book Stuff: swaps, gifts, small talk is a (closed) Facebook group founded and administered by poet Gillena Cox. It is a place to highlight and share our work: whether already published or to-be-published/forthcoming.
Today, I was thrilled to see Gillena’s post, reproduced here with her permission:
❧✿❧Saturday Share # 42❧✿❧
Stella messaged me telling me she wants to send me 2 of her books, so i sent her my snail mail address. I received her gifts on 14th June 2018. Both these publications resonate well with me, since i am an ’empty-nester’. My husband left our home wanting to broaden his horizons. When they were ‘broad enough” he returned to Trinidad and opted to live in a house owned by his mother. My children left our home wanting their own space, when they thought, they were “big enough”. All of these leavings, i handled gracefully, giving each one, my blessings. What does this have to do with gifts from Stella, well…
Her haiku mirror life – the non linear journey, of evolving stations. Her themes of loneliness, absence and the capacity to be creatively alone are her flag poles. We are given insights into views from her garden, just when she opens her door, at the market place. We are treated to light bouncing off aubergines, flowers opening and coquettish butterflies. Ordinary yes. Yet peculiar to her, Stella the haiku poet. These scenes she freezes for us readers , leaving us in awe.
My favourite from the book ‘In the Garden of Absence‘
“on the clothesline
three skirts four blouses
‘Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word‘ is a collaborative work of [painting], of oils and words. Stella’s daughter [Maria Pierides] uses her oil and mixed media, Stella her words. Beautiful pictures are given to us, resulting from the creativity of these two. They paint for us the pictures of nature and her fickle heart. By her colour, sound, seasons.
My favourite is #21 ‘Colours surround me, swirls. Oil and mixed media on canvas 60 x 60cm’ To which Stella replies
the baker’s dog
THANKS AGAIN STELLA for these sweet treats.
❧✿❧Its Saturday Have a good one❧✿❧
Thank you, Gillena, for your generous comments.
Here is book cover 6 for the book cover challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy. No explanation required, no reviews, just the covers.
68/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
The Haiku Society of America has announced the names of winners of its Merit Book Awards for books published in 2017.
I am delighted and honored to see my book Of This World (Red Moon Press) included with a honourable mention in the Haibun category! Congratulations to all winners!
And heartfelt thanks to Michelle Elvy, Jim Kacian, Clare MacQueen and Johannes S. H. Bjerg for their help and support with bringing this book to life.
So, excellent news! It becomes 64/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
And here is book cover 4 for the book cover challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy. No explanation required, no reviews, just the covers.
As it is also a kind of an installation, it becomes 63/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
I accepted the challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy to post covers of 7 books that I have read! No explanation, no reviews, just the covers (just my own photo arrangement!). This is book cover for day 3 of the challenge.
Each time I post a cover I’m expected to ask 3 of my friends to take up the challenge as well. I know that this is a difficult request, as not every friend likes challenges, and even those who do, find it difficult to finish all challenges…so to make it easier for everyone, I’m suggesting here if a friend likes the idea to take it up, and tag me, so that I follow their book covers…
This photo is also 61/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
In March 2018 I judged the British Haiku Society’s Haibun Contest (and announced it here in a brief post ). The contest was reinstated this year, and honouring two outstanding members of the Society, was named The Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Award.
Following is the report of my choices and commentaries published in the Society’s Journal, Blithe Spirit, 28:2, May 2018.
A PDF of the British Haiku Society’s announcement of the awards (haiku, tanka, haibun sections) as well as winning entries can be found here, as well as in the Society’s Journal Blithe Spirit.
In reinstating the Haibun Awards, the BHS continues to encourage both, the creation of new work and the exploration of the possibilities offered by the form as it develops over time.
It was a great privilege to read the 50 haibun in a range of styles and lengths submitted to the British Haiku Society’s Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Contest 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the work, and wish to thank the poets for their submissions and the Society for entrusting me with this task.
The BHS Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Awards 2017
The winner is David Bingham (UK): Sleight of Mind
The runner up is Jean James (UK): The Visit
Winner: Sleight of Mind, by David Bingham, UK
Sleight of Mind refreshingly starts with placing the reader in the magician’s audience. Our minds’ eyes are glued to the shining light bulbs coming out of his mouth, his miraculously escaping from the straightjacket. The title, and the opening main clause, have warned us: this is a trick! Yet, in focusing on the ‘what,’ rather than the ‘how’ posed in the question, in a momentary suspension of disbelief, we fall for it, allowing the magic world centre stage.
How is it done? How does magic work, and how does the magic of haibun work to enable us to re-experience the writer’s epiphany and emotional truth? There is no answer here, only a question well put. Hopefully, there won’t be an answer anyway soon – though the poet, as well as we, know that there are perfectly ‘mundane explanations’ for the magician’s conjuring tricks and, to some extent, the haibuneer’s craft!
This is the haibun that kept me going back to read and re-read, finding new things as I followed its vertical axis. From the child-like awe (‘switching off the rational mind’) in the beginning of the prose, to nature brought in by the snowdrops in the haiku at the end, it leads the reader from illusion and mystery (the stage) to questioning and reflection (snowdrops and pondering what is) putting flesh on the bones of an old question about reality, perception and the mind. From associations to the Allegory of the Cave to reference (in the title) to wizardry as well as a neuroscience book on magic and perception, this brief haibun affords a variety of possible readings and stretches the reach of the form.
In having the narrator directly address the reader in short, sparse sentences the piece achieves immediacy, reinforcing the illusion of involvement. Weaving skilfully together the constituent elements of haibun (title, prose, haiku, content), it engages this reader on so many levels, and wins!
Runner up: The Visit, by Jean James, UK
The haiku at the beginning of the poem, through the ‘hare’s cry,’ warns us of painful content, getting the heart pounding. Yet in the prose the subject is handled delicately, drawing a picture of a family visiting the grandparents’ grave. The mother fetches water for the flowers she brought and is arranging in a jug, the children lark about, the father waits outside in the car. Then the children come across the grave of a baby, with violets in a jam jar under the inscription: ‘Mary Millicent, only a year in this world.’ The idyll is interrupted. Here lies the mystery of the poem. What happened, why? In the reader’s mind, the associations branch out: an unlived life, illness, suffering, poverty, the famine… From the individual to the social to the political dimension…
In the middle of what may be seen as a family idyll lies the dead baby, forever open to our interpretation. Yet life continues for the living. Hearing the crows’ caws, the children ‘come alive again’ and start cawing back. Life, learning and death in a nutshell.
I enjoyed the consistent voice of the child narrator in the prose, and the parallels in the poem: the beech and the violets, the hare’s cry and the soft murmur of voices, the bronze jug and the jam jar, the haiku in the beginning and the end – though the end haiku could have been stronger. I also liked the way the text, sandwiched between the haiku, moved the healing process between the beginning and end haiku: from the hare’s cry to the soft voices murmuring to each other, we glimpse a real family in its encounters with death as it becomes a fact of life, part of the life cycle.
1. Games People Play, Gautam Nadkarni, India
Games People Play, by Gautam Nadkami, India, describes a childhood memory of playing cricket without knowing anything about the game. The haibun works well in a light-hearted, good-humoured way, with local children attempting to make sense of unfamiliar objects, cricket stumps, by inventing a use for them based on their environment: keeping cattle from straying onto the pitch. At the same time, the choice of game in this haibun, cricket, connects to colonial themes. The title too points to layers of meaning.
2. Fake News, by Marietta McGregor, Australia
Fake News, by Marietta McGregor, Australia, inserts a surprisingly modern take into the form, whisking the reader on a whirlwind journey of tracing how it all came to pass. The haiku at the end adds an interesting change of tone that helps contain the energy and drive in the prose. I liked the contrast between the ‘mechanical’ sounds in the beginning of the prose and the ‘ethereal’ song in the haiku at the end.
3. Last Autumn Apples, by Marietta McGregor, Australia
Last Autumn Apples, by Marietta McGregor, Australia, relates the story of a lonely ten-year old’s memories of living in a house on an apple orchard where her mother worked, their moving to the city and eventually hearing about the place years later. This haibun – about place, belonging, and loss – has a sensuous, cinematic quality to it. I enjoying reading the monoku in this piece: two monoku in the middle read as if dividing the prose into ‘chapters,’ while a third, at the end, punctuates the theme of a lost childhood.
I accepted the challenge from Shrikaanth K. Murthy to post covers of 7 books that I have read on Facebook! No explanation, no reviews, just the covers. Each time I post a cover I’ll ask 3 of my friends to take up the challenge as well.
This is my book cover for day 1.
I invited Angie Werren, Pat Nelson and Marion Clarke to take up the challenge.
Thank you for nominating me Shrikaanth! I’ll be posting over the next few weeks.
And as I am still reading this book, it is also something ‘new’ to me, so: 53/100 #100daysnewthings and #the100dayproject.
Grateful to be included in ‘Echoes 2,’ the yearbook of the New Resonance Community and its 170 poets, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the New Resonance series!
37/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
You can read the whole PDF in The Haiku Foundation Digital Library
or you may wish to order print copies of the book (for $8 a copy) from createspace
Today I came across a beautiful meditation on death and dying: Debiprasad Mukherjee & Gabriel Rosenstock’s lyrical and soulful collaboration: Last Stop Before Salvation
This is how their work is presented by the Culturium:
In this week’s guest post for The Culturium, Debiprasad offers us a window on the private world of those in the final days of their life ensconced in a hospice on the banks of the Ganges river. Coupled with Gabriel’s beautiful haiku, their collaborative offering is a moving and deeply profound meditation on the soul’s journey from this life to the next.
33/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Congratulations to the winners! The results of the British Haiku Society Awards 2017 are out!
I am honoured to have been asked to serve as a judge in the ‘Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Awards.’ And very much enjoyed reading all the wonderful entries.
The results and reports by all sections’ judges can be viewed at the Society’s website (for haibun, please scroll down), and will also be published in Blithe Spirit, the Society’s Journal.
A big thank you to the Society for entrusting me with this task, and to all those who sent in their entries.
Honoured to be included in ‘old song,’ The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017, edited by Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Press Editorial Staff:
The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku assembles each year the finest haiku and related forms published around the world in English into a single book. old song, the twenty-second volume in the most honored series in the history of English-Language haiku, includes 151 poems (haiku & senryu), 17 linked forms (haibun, renku, rengay and sequences), and 5 critical pieces on the reading, writing and study of the genre.
folding and unfolding
his paper boat
(This poem had received First Prize in the Sharpening The Green Pencil Haiku Contest 2017)
Delighted to have two poems featured on Jennifer Hambrick’s blog Inner Voices, for a second year hosting the International Women’s Haiku Festival 2018! This is how Jennifer introduces them in her blog:
Two laser-sharp senryu by poet Stella Pierides explore women’s age dynamics and the eternal question of women’s dress and sexuality.
dressed to kill
if I’m retired
Well. Why not just ask about her final wishes? The picture is this senryu is crystal clear: a younger woman, in full heat of professional and/or personal ambition and wearing the clothes to prove it, asks the poetic speaker, whom I read to be an older woman, if she’s retired – read: no longer competition, no longer someone to be concerned with. To be charitable, maybe it’s just an observation: the older woman looks older, looks perhaps comfortable in her own skin, and the younger woman just doesn’t get a) that retired doesn’t equal out to pasture, and b) that remarking, even obliquely, on someone’s age is at best insensitive. And what if the poetic speaker actually is retired? Picasso said it best: “It takes a very long time to become young.”
of her rebellion
This little senryu is situated perfectly between the rock and the hard place that, eventually, every woman encounters. Look sexy, be sexy, the world instructs. But not too sexy. In this poem, rebellion against the social expectations that a girl or woman be prim and proper results in a shorter skirt. But rebellion against social expectations doesn’t necessarily eliminate the expectations. There is potentially a price to pay – the demise of one’s reputation – for breaking the rules, hence the “extent of her rebellion” is defined by the knees. It could be fear from social pressure that keeps everything north of the knees covered, or it could just be the poem subject’s authentic assessment of her own comfort.
Many thanks to Jennifer Hambrick for including my poems!
I am very much looking forward to reading and enjoying the rest of the month’s contributions with Jennifer’s insightful commentaries.
Happy to be included in the Haiku Eurotop once again!
Grateful to Krzysztof Kokot for including me in his annual list of ‘The European Top 100 haiku authors in 2017!’
Congratulations to all my fellow haiku poets selected.
A Happy and Creative New Year 2018 everyone!
small mercies of
the quiet life
My entry to the EUROPEAN QUARTERLY KUKAI #20 – Winter 2017 Edition received 9 pts.
Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to the organizers!
Happy New Year 2018 everyone!
the last leaf now
on top of the pile
In NaHaiWriMo anthology Jumble Box (ed. Michael Dylan Welch, artwork Ron C. Moss, Press Here, 2017)
The British Haiku Society has just announced the opening of their annual Haiku, Tanka and Haibun Awards 2017! And with this, the judges for the different categories. I am honoured and excited to be invited to judge the Haibun category.
This year, the award for this category is named the “Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Award”, honouring the two great poets and long-standing members of the BHS.
The competition is open to both members of the Society and non-members, from all over the world. Please click here for details. Deadline for submissions 31st January 2018.
It’s been a few months since I shared the good news about New Resonance 10. Well, now it is out and I am in it!
Volume 10 of “A New Resonance 10: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku,” edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, a much-awarded series, is out and it includes my poems. along with those of 16 other contemporary poets!
It is truly an honour to be a part of this wonderful collection!
I received 25 copies of the anthology, and have several available to order.
Price per copy is $17, including shipping, as well as a postcard with a reproduction of a painting by Maria Pierides (www.mariapierides.co.uk). Please email me for your copy: stella (at)stellapierides.com
the many colours
Incense Dreams journal issue 1, May 2017, p.49
The EarthRise Rolling Collaborative Haiku 2017, the world’s longest poem, on the theme of Reconciliation, is now collated and ready to treasure! You can find it in The Haiku Foundation site by clicking here
Many, many wonderful haiku.
I copy below my own contributions to the poem:
a pressing need
and who would hear
the sound of the sea…
letting the wild garlic
a stork pair picking
revving up the engine
despite the rain
because of it
First appeared in Haibun Today Volume 11, Number 1, March 2017
folding and unfolding
his paper boat
First prize, Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2017
a pen and a feeding spoon –
the baby’s laughter
First appeared in Inner Voices, International Women’s Festival, 2017
Delighted to learn that my poem “refugee child” received first prize in the Romanian contest “Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2017.”
Thank you to the judges, and especially Cezar Florin Ciobiza for his thoughtful commentary. And congrats to all participants!
folding and unfolding
his paper boat
A print book with all the poems entered is available from the contest organizers..
Please find the poem and commentary included in the (online) book of the contest, p. 13, here