I’d like to announce the publication of my new how-to haiku guide, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. Read four reviews about it below, and also a synopsis of it. There is also its book cover at the end.
Charlotte Digregorio has written the definitive guide to one of poetry’s most fascinating genres. This work belongs on the bookshelf of any poet who is serious about writing the kind of haiku that editors want to publish. An altogether brilliant work that must be read by anyone with so much as a passing interest in haiku. She has penned a masterpiece!
John J. Dunphy, Author and Poet
A great beginner’s guide that presents/explains the spirit and essence of haiku.
–Mike Montreuil, Haiku and Tanka Publisher, Éditions des petits nuages
First Vice President, Haiku Society of America
I honor the work Charlotte Digregorio has done on behalf of English-language haiku in Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. She has a gift for writing clearly, concentrating on what matters beyond passing controversy. As for her own fresh and gritty poems, Digregorio has the courage to face the truth of love, loss, aging, homelessness, birth/death and the upside down nature of life–the full catastrophe. Expect to be challenged and invigorated.
Robert Epstein, Licensed Psychologist
Author, Checkout Time is Noon: Death Awareness Haiku
A couple of the many sterling qualities of Charlotte Digregorio’s haiku include perceptive observance of natural phenomena and penetrating insights into human nature, frequently with a delightful, wry humor in the latter category, along with deep compassion in others.
–Robert Spiess, Editor of Modern Haiku, 1978-2002
Charlotte Digregorio’s haiku often evoke a chuckle of wry recognition or stop you dead in your tracks from awe. She seems well acquainted with the quotidian’s variety of her days, from homeless folk, to nature’s evocation and to loss and sorrow.
–Donna Bauerly, Professor Emeritus, Loras College
1.) Annotation of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All
Haiku and senryu are written worldwide in 56 languages and are rapidly becoming a fad. This highly practical reference book offers readers step-by-step guidance on how to write and publish haiku and senryu (the latter, humorous haiku).
Haiku and senryu are very short, insightful poems, popular with the public because they capture our life’s moments, whether beautiful, happy or sad. This book is for people from all walks of life who are intrigued by the novelty of recording their life’s moments in a creative way, and reading them at open mics in cafes and other venues to appreciative audiences. Haiku and senryu are often tweeted, too. (Note: Senryu is pronounced “sen-ree-YOO.)
The book provides readers with the basics and finer points of style and content for beginning and intermediate poets, giving a few hundred examples of excellent published poems, along with interpretations of them. For experienced poets and educators/workshop leaders of all levels–grade school through adults–the book also provides a chapter on teaching the forms. (Chapter 6 contains practical aids, outlines of study, lesson/homework plans, and samples of students’ poetry.)
Usually written in one to four lines, these stimulating and delightful poems for their brevity and thought, are about nature, the seasons, and human nature. This guide dispels the many myths about them that our elementary school teachers taught us in school, and instructs people on reading them with understanding and writing them thoughtfully. It also specifically informs readers on how and where to get published. Also included is instruction about haiku and senryu sequences, a series of individual poems with a theme.
This guide gives the history behind haiku/senryu in the U.S. and in Japan, the latter, where they originated.
In addition, the book’s highly useful appendices and bibliography guides readers to dozens of resources worldwide, online and in print, to increase their knowledge of the poetry and offer publishing, networking, and contest opportunities.
The book is written by Charlotte Digregorio, an award-winning author of four other non-fiction books, a prize-winning poet of many forms, including haiku and senryu, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.
Digregorio is Midwest Regional Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America. She has been a professor of languages and writing, a writer-in-residence at many schools, a conference speaker nationwide, and a teacher of younger students.
She publishes papers in poetry and university journals on haiku and senryu, and her poems are often quoted and critiqued in publications. Her poems are exhibited in public venues, such as supermarkets, public/academic libraries, cultural centers, art galleries, restaurants, coffee and tea houses, wine and apparel shops, botanic gardens, banks, and on public transit.
2.) This Book is Different from those Previously Published
1) First, this book is a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide for beginning and intermediate haiku/senryu poets with concise summaries in each chapter about the forms. The book attracts even those who have no background in poetry, unlike other books previously published that assume basic poetry knowledge and are not written for the Average Joe. This book introduces poetry to the masses in an inspiring and simple way. People long to be creative, and haiku gives them the opportunity to express themselves, much like doing photography that captures the moment.
2) Through the author’s background on university faculties in the foreign language and writing departments, she is skilled at writing in a step-by-step manner. Her book contains hundreds of examples of haiku and senryu with detailed interpretation of poems. Through the numerous haiku critique meetings she has held for adults, and the contests she’s judged, she has gained invaluable knowledge about the ways that non-haiku poets attempt to write it. In her book, she warns of pitfalls. She has been successful at teaching hundreds of beginners to get published. In this book, she also includes detailed instruction for experienced poets and educators who wish to teach haiku and senryu.
3) Because she has also taught haiku/senryu workshops in the public schools and judged student contests, she devotes a good part of this book to classroom lessons and homework plans for elementary, junior high and high school teachers. Further, she instructs schoolteachers on how to train their colleagues to include poetry in their lessons. Notably, she has taught haiku/senryu to at-risk students in the public schools to promote literacy, and has found that this is a great exercise in also getting remedial students interested in writing. Her background in the haiku field is unique with her outreach to different sectors of the public.
4) She devotes an equal portion of the book to senryu. Many people are exclusively interested in humorous haiku, so encouraging senryu is also essential.