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Books on Haiku

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message 1: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 82 comments Mod
Read any good haiku collections or books about haiku that you'd like to recommend? Post them below!

I have nothing in particular to recommend at the moment, though I must say both Catku and Dogku look interesting. :)

message 2: by Walter (new)

Walter (wal-tor) | 8 comments Basho's - "Narrow Road to the Interior" trans. by Sam Hamill.

And there is a hard to find translation of Issa into English by Dr. Cliff Edwards (who has written some great books on van Gogh and talks about his connection to Japanese arts) called "Everything Under Heaven." The best translation of Issa I've read. Much more tender than Hamill's in "Spring of My Life"

Also, Richard Wright's book of Haiku is really something. On some versions there is a short review by Gwendolyn Brooks. It reads, "A strong clutch of flowers." This sentence is the best book review I've ever read.

message 3: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 82 comments Mod
ooh! Thanks for the recommendations, Walter!

I really liked the two Issa haikus that you posted in the other thread. I'll have to see if I can find Everything Under Heaven.

I'll be sure to add all of these books to the group shelf if they aren't already there.

message 4: by Walter (new)

Walter (wal-tor) | 8 comments I'm glad you like them. I'm pretty sure that book is my favorite Haiku. If you can, i certainly suggested you grab it quickly. It has a great intro and outro tying issa with Albert Schweitzer's idea of "Reverence for life"
You might even be able to contact Dr. Edwards, he teaches at VCU ( in the Religious Studies department.

message 5: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 82 comments Mod
Well, I just checked Amazon and they had a couple of copies for under $3 used, so I went ahead and picked one up. signed even. :) Can't wait to read it. Thanks again.

message 6: by Walter (new)

Walter (wal-tor) | 8 comments Hey, I'm glad you found it. I could use another copy myself. Mine is missing a few pages. It stops on this sentence "They thought they heard music coming from..." Where? I don't know! haha. It's been bugging me for awhile.
after you read it will you Let us know what you think of it?

message 7: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 82 comments Mod
certainly. It just came in the mail yesterday and I'm about a third into it and quite enjoying it. :) It has a lot of biographical information on Issa, which I'm finding fascinating. I also really love the illustrations - they fit perfectly.

message 8: by Walter (new)

Walter (wal-tor) | 8 comments I'm glad you are enjoying it, I would hate to recommend a book you didn't like :) I imagine you must be done reading it by now, as it isn't a very big book (which is one of its many virtues.) Care to comment further?

message 9: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 82 comments Mod
I should be done, yes, but sadly I'm not yet. Cranky baby interrupts reading flow. But sure, I will comment more once I finish.

message 10: by Harley (new)

Harley Here are my recommendations for those interested in studying and learning how to write haiku:

Mountain Tasting by Santoka Taneda (one of my favorite haiku poets)

Peonies Kana by Upasaka Shiki (One of the four great Japanese haiku poets. The other three are Basho, Buson and Issa.

Japanese Death Poems edited by Yoel Hoffmann (Japanese poets have a tradition of writing their death haiku)

Haiku Anthology edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel (Still the best anthology of American haiku)

An Introduction to Haiku by Harold Gould Henderson (Great introduction, history and examples)

The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson

You can see other haiku books under the poetry section of my profile.

Hope these help.

message 11: by Randy (new)

Randy (G-Pops) | 3 comments Red Moon Press publishes a couple of anthologies each year that highlight some of the best in English language haiku - The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku and A New Resonance:Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku. I like Jane Reichold's, Writing and Enjoying Haiku:A Hands on Guide

message 12: by Queen (last edited Sep 13, 2009 06:16PM) (new)

Queen | 4 comments Hi all. On Love and Barley Haiku of Basho and Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums are the 2 books helped me understand and write haiku. I will also check out the books you al listed here. Thank you all for sharing :D.

message 13: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Tyndall (dismantle) | 1 comments I am actually writing a book of haikus. You can read about it here.

message 14: by Jenna (last edited Jan 22, 2012 07:46PM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) I second Walter's recommendation of Sam Hamill's translation of Narrow Road to the Interior. I think it's just as essential a read as Robert Hass's The Essential Haiku (a collection of translations of Basho, Buson, and Issa). Haiku magazines I enjoy include Modern Haiku and Frogpond.

My own recently published collection of poetry ( is heavily inspired by my reading of Japanese poetry. It includes a haiku sequence, a haibun, and several tanka. This recent book review in The Adirondack Review discusses the ways I integrate Japanese verse forms into my book:

message 15: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Merriam (joannemerriam) | 1 comments 140 And Counting by Joanne Merriam 140 And Counting (an ebook anthology which is a little over half haiku, senryu, and scifaiku, featuring poets like Jim Kacian, Chen-ou Liu, T.D. Ingram, Peter Newton, Christina Nguyen, Grzegorz Sionkowski, Alan Summers, Charles Trumbull, Kath Abela Wilson and Neal Whitman) is up for a free giveaway right now here! All you need to do is:

(1) go to the book's page (140 And Counting) and mark it as "to-read"

(2) and then go to the event page (here) and mark yourself as attending

(3) and either leave a comment at the event page with your email address and preferred format (mobi, epub or pdf), or else email me at joanne at with that same info.

I am planning to give away about 50 copies, selected randomly from the entrants. Right now there are only 18 entrants so you'd have quite an excellent chance of winning!

message 16: by William (last edited Nov 09, 2012 10:40AM) (new)

William Jr. (willoeld) | 2 comments I just published a book of haiku called Ten Thousand Days: Haiku of Love, Loss, and the Human Condition. If anyone is interested in a review copy, drop me a line! :)

I also particularly enjoy Love Haiku by Patricia Donegan.

message 17: by Karl (new)

Karl Grass | 5 comments Hello everyone,

Every so often I make the digital copy of my book, Compassion Haiku, free on Amazon. I'm doing this again this Sunday, April 20th. This shortened link: will take you directly to the US site where you'll see a 0.00 price on Sunday - and Sunday only. The offer will be good from roughly midnight to midnight pacific time. It will also be available on non-US Amazon sites as well.

If you are not familiar with my book, here is a short description: Compassion Haiku is a source book of inspiration and practices to develop self-compassion and compassion for others. Created one day at a time over the course of a year, these daily reflections and practices combine the experiential impact of haiku with thoughtful commentary. Readers are encouraged to reflect on and experiment with practical ways to grow their capacity for compassion.

You do not need a Kindle to take advantage of this offer. The Kindle software can be downloaded for free to most any device so you can read it on a phone, laptop, tablet, etc.

The last time I offered the book for free it was downloaded over 700 times across the globe. I'm hoping to break 1,000 this time so please feel free to publicize this to anyone you wish!


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