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Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-on Guide Paperback – December 13, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... great depth within its apparent simplicity.... Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults." -- Jeffrey Cooper, KLIATT

About the Author


Author and translator, with a special interest in haiku, tanka, and renga, JANE REICHHOLD is a three-time winner of the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award. She has been a member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Canada, Haiku International (Tokyo, Japan), German Haiku Society, and Poetry Society of Japan. She runs the web site Aha! Poetry (www.ahapoetry.com).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA (December 13, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770028865
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770028860
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


I discovered my love of writing while editing the student newspaper and then the yearbook at Pandora-Gilboa High School in Ohio. Even though I won a prestigious state contest and scholarship in science, I enrolled in Bluffton College to study art and literature. Thinking I wanted to be a journalist, I transferred to Ohio State University in Athens, Ohio, but after one semester found out I lack the aggressiveness needed for that profession. I returned to Bluffton, and literature, and to marriage. In my junior year I had my first child and then two more children over the next three years. At Reedley Junior College in California I was able to return to night school and I even went on to Fresno State trying to piece together a degree, a family, and my job as Occupational Therapist at Kings View Hospital - a church-run psychiatric facility.
Over the next twenty years I wrote free-lance articles for everything from Mennonite Church papers for children to art and gay magazines in Germany. In the late 1970s I rediscovered haiku, Japanese culture, and a love of small books. After a divorce and remarriage in Germany I returned to the States and in 1987 started the magazine, Mirrors - An International Forum for Haiku. Through this I also discovered the Japanese poetry forms of renga and tanka. At the same time I switched my company from Humidity Productions and art films to AHA Books in order to concentrate on books of poetry. My daughter made the comment; "Give her enough candy wrappers and she will make a book out of them" was not far from the truth.
In 1990 I started the first tanka contest in English and continued publishing the winning poems in chapbooks as Tanka Splendor for the next twenty years. From 1991 - 92 I edited and published the monthly journal Geppo for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Later in 1992 my husband Werner Reichhold and I took on the publication of Lynx, a magazine that started out as APA-Renga, which we still co-edit. We have expanded the range of poetry forms to include all Japanese-inspired genres with an emphasis on collaborations and sequences. In 1995 I began a website, AHApoetry.com, to teach and publish poetry in haiku, tanka, renga, haibun, ghazals, and sijo. In 2005 I was able to set up an online program of fora as AHAforum that continues the teaching functions.
During my trip to Japan in 1998, at the invitation of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the New Year's Poetry Party - Utakai Hajime - at the Imperial Palace, I met Hatsue Kawamura who was then editor of The Tanka Journal in Tokyo. Over the next eight years we translated and published the tanka poems of Fumi Saito, Akiko Baba, Fumiko Nakajo, and Murasaki Shikibu. Stone Bridge Press of Berkeley published A String of Flowers, Untied: Love Poems from the Tale of Genji in which, for the first time, the tanka in this classic were set in the now accepted five-line form.
Kodansha International Publishing of Tokyo requested that I write a handbook for teaching Japanese poetry genres which became Writing and Enjoying Haiku in 2002. The book has also been translated into Russian. In 2008 Kodansha then published Basho The Complete Haiku containing my translations of all of the single poems by this Haiku Master.
My own books published in the last two years include Ten Years Haikujane - haiku published in the local weekly newspaper, Scarlet Scissors Fire - experiments with the tanka form, A Film of Words - inter-genre poetry with Werner Reichhold that blurs the lines between forms, and Circus Forever - haiku and tanka with the pen and ink drawings of Hans-Peter Goettche of Berlin, Germany.
Werner and I live high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean somewhere between Point Arena and Gualala, California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. A Carty on October 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am giving this a 4 star review mainly because of the first section of the book. The author gives some great insight in how to read and interpret japanese and more modern forms of haiku. I wish there had been more examples of haiku's outside of the author's own selections but she does show some definite poetic talent.

As the book progresses into renga, tanka and other forms of japanese poetry I found the descriptions lacking. The later chapters seemed rushed and an after thought to fill space.

This is a great resource and worth the buy just for the few exercises in the book. I wouldn't list this as my favorite source but a good resource none-the-less.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gary L Warner Jr on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure if I will ever finish this book! Divided into four sections --"Four Things to Do Before Writing Haiku", "The Guide to Haiku Writing","Enjoying Haiku with Others", and "Using Your Haiku Skills in Related Poetry Forms" -- the book can be read straight through, but proves itself far more valuable as a homework assignment. I'm currently experimenting in a chapter called "Twenty-Four Valuable Techniques". What a great way to break Writer's Block -- try to approach the subject with various techniques until you find the right one for the haiku at hand. I hope each of you is able to enjoy this book as much as I am!...
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Julie Jordan Scott on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of those rare books I did not want to end. I wanted to savor each word as I highlighted, wrote in and slowly weaved my way through it.
The author, Jane Reichhold, manages to write from a place of expert while staying exceptionally accessible. This book could be embraced by those new to haiku as well as those who have been exploring haiku for a lifetime.
Reichhold balances the rules with license for freedom, "sternness" with light humor and is graceful the entire way through.
What a delight. I will have to buy several copies to give to anyone remotely interested in poetry..... actually, in living a fulfilling life for that matter!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
In my various experiences with japanese, i had long ago read many of r. h. blyth's works (including his book on senryu) and count his "zen in english literature and oriental classics" among the seminal books in my japanese experience. I also read henderson, but I must admit I never got around to higginson. I had tried my hand at translating some haiku and senryu as well, which I found quite interesting and would have been happy if someone had ask me to do some serious translating on either. I thought that i knew a little about what haiku and senryu were doing, but there was always something missing. At the same time, i had a great interest in japanese rhetoric, and sato nobuo's "retorikku no kankaku" was one of the most important, if not the most important, book in my study of japanese (and in a sense of english as well). And then i happened on jane reichhold's work, and haiku and rhetoric were brought together. For the first time, i realized what haiku was truly about. I now feel that i might actually write something of worth, and i definitely feel that i could do a better job of translating haiku or senryu (because i would now know what they are doing in terms of language). Ms. Reichhold has done a magnificent job of explaining the techniques involved in writing haiku, while at the same time not ignoring the spiritual side. She deserves great thanks for making haiku understandable.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By angela leuck on September 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Years ago, when I first started writing haiku I read all the how-to books that were then on the market. Thus, when I heard about Jane Reichhold's new book "Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-on- Guide" I thought, there probably won't be much that I don't already know, but I bought the book anyway, just because it was written by Jane. Was I surprised! I learned so much that was new not only about haiku, but tanka and renga as well. Now, after reading the book, I feel I can look at a haiku and understand so much better why it works or doesn't, and have the vocabulary and tools to analyze and improve my own work and that of others. Only Jane Reichhold, with her extensive background in literature and journalism and her genuine passion for the Japanese forms, could have amassed and synthesized all this material and then made it so clear and accessible to anyone. Bravo! I am recommending the book to everyone I know!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lothe on September 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are a number of stylistic annoyances in Jane Reichold's "Writing and Enjoying Haiku": her too-frequent, idiosyncratic use of the passive voice; her proclivity for "persons" instead of "people"; a tone that aims for conversational but comes off as unpolished; and the air of haiku-as-mysticism that weighs upon much of the presentation.

Despite all this, Reichold has some genuinely good tips for writers. Her ideas for writing exercises (rephrase each line of a haiku you already know) and teaching haiku (write one on the board each day without necessarily discussing it, for the class to digest), among others, may suggest fresh possibilities to both experienced writers and haiku beginners.

Two caveats: one, a dearth of examples can make it hard to appreciate some of the techniques she attempts to describe; many techniques do not include even one example. Two, the focus here is on the practice of haiku--reading and writing them. For a more wide-ranging introduction, see William Higginson's Haiku Handbook.

~
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