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The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku
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The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The Haiku Handbook is the first book to give readers everything they need to begin appreciating, writing, or teaching 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 re ...more
Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition, 331 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Kodansha (first published 1985)
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A very good book, and I think a lot of people out there would say this is the introduction to haiku for English speakers.

Higginson passed away about four or five months after I began to read and write haiku. I'd seen The Haiku Handbook around at various haiku meetings, had seen it quoted on some different websites and blogs, and it eventually became one of those books with which I had a peripheral, if not personal relationship.

I believe I got a copy of this book about three or so weeks before Hi
Oleg Kagan
William J. Higginson's "Haiku Handbook" is a must-own for every haiku enthusiast. His survey of haiku development and history both in Japan and various areas in the West (read: not just North America) is a top-notch introduction. The haiku/senryu he uses as examples and explicates throughout the book are truly excellent choices and serve their purpose. Penny Harter's chapter on teaching haiku was so useful that I felt the need to acknowledge using her ideas at a haiku workshop I gave recently. F ...more
Nissa Annakindt
When I read this book for the first time I wished that every school teacher that decides to do a haiku-writing lesson would read this book first. Haiku is more than just counting syllables!

This book goes into the traditions of haiku at great length and enables a serious student to understand what a haiku actually is, and how to tell a good one from a second-rate one.

For poets who'd like to try writing haiku, this book gives an overwhelming amount of information. I'd recommend going slow and read
This was a very nice book on Haiku and is definitely a must read/own for anyone serious about writing haiku. It has great information on the history, haiku poets, writing haiku in English, etc. It does get a bit esoteric at times You do have to keep in mind that it was written in 1985, so it does feel dated when he talks about technology, how people can share haiku, and any of the "current" resources (such as magazines and publications) may very well not be available anymore. Also, the teaching ...more
Great introduction the art and craft of haiku, and the philosophy or way of looking at the world that lies behind it. I was a bit frustrated that there wasn't more on approaches to writing haiku - or more I could get a handle on anyway - and in some ways the more I was learning the more I wanted to write, and the more frustrated I got! But the handbook was a beautiful introduction and invitation to the reading of haiku, and the addition of haiku to my poetry reading habits is one of the gifts I ...more
This is a great book. Not only a nice introduction to the world of japanese haiku poetry but with a troughtfull aproach to the differences in haiku in the east and the west. Only flaw is there is not a single reference to haiku in portuguese.
Nate Davis
The haiku handbook is one of the few excellent texts on haiku in English, covering the history of its traditional forms and abstraction away from earlier, longer poetry styles, the modern Western movement of haiku, and many technical chapters that find a good middle ground between the free musicality of haiku and its coherence as a form. The poems are well-chosen and give good context to the history and forms surrounding and related to haiku (for example, the imagist poems of Ezra Pound).

Elaine Bearden
looks really interesting to read - maybe some ideas for write on
Good academic book that covers the history and nuances about what makes a haiku a haiku.
Rob Welch
This book was a very good look at Haiku, it's history, importance to Japanese culture, and transposition into other languages. It was a bit dry at time, (which isn't totally unexpected), but contained much valuable information.

One of the most crucial components is his suggested "Traditional Form" for haikus written in English, shedding the grammar-school 5-7-5 form.

Anyone interested in reading, writing, or teaching Haiku should read this book.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Who could possible imagine that there would be some much to know about Haiku. This book covers the Four Masters of Japanese Haiku, the tradition of haiku, and haiku examples from around the world, including modern selections. It covers what makes a good haiku including the use of seasons in the poem. It also describes how to teach haiku. It's a great reference.
A long overdue read. I've had this on my shelf for almost 10 years, and I wished I'd read it sooner.

But still very useful. Lots of tips useful for beginners or experts. I doubt there is any haiku writer or reader who wouldn't gain something from this book.

A generous and welcoming style throughout. Also packed with great examples of the poetry in question.
This is a great intro and handbook for Haiku enthusiast and newcomer alike. It may not be a complete/how-to book that teaches you the overall aspect or technicality of a haiku, but of history, philosophy, the basics and the true poetic knowledge. This will be a go to book for me.
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I very thorough history of the haiku poem form including Japanese (with english translation) of the "masters". Very interesting. Very informative. Writing Haiku is something I'd like to do when I have time to think!!!
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
This is an excellant 'what' about Haiku and its variations. There is a little of the how,but it jumps arond. If you are looking into the history and progress ok this form of poem, this is a start.
The definitive work on the topic. It shares examples from many languages and provides the best models from Japan in Japanese and in translation. It makes teaching this form easy.
The Bible on this subject, it was recommended to me years ago by the editor of *Frogpond*. It is my privilege to enthusiastically pass on the recommendation.
Tara Betts
Aug 17, 2007 Tara Betts added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in haiku
I should reread this, but I think it's very helpful and very sound in terms of understanding the craft of haiku. This one and Bruce Ross' book "How-To Haiku."
More teachers need to read this book! We have been guilty of teaching the structure rather than the spirit.
Virtual Summer in Japan - 2013 School Virtual Reality Project Reading List.
Am I the only person on the planet who wants to throw a drunken Haiku party???
This is a book that you just reread in order to get the lessons.
a great resource for those interested in writing or reading haiku.
May 09, 2007 Tomas is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poets
Great background information on where Haiku came from.
Renan Virginio
Renan Virginio marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2015
John Cloninger
John Cloninger marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2015
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