Mainstreaming Haiku–A Question About How To Arrange A Book of Poetry

I’m working on a book that of necessity combines micro-poetry and work of a more conventional length. I say necessity because the collection is based on a theme–astronomy and the sky–and because it needs to be 120 pages at the editor’s suggestion. So, here is the question. How do you fit haiku into a mixed genre collection?
In my book “Rag Trade (La Alameda) I had a sequence of 40 haiku about counting the omer, a Jewish spiritual practice. But that was obviously its own thing. Same with “Ikisan Station,” a chapbook about Japan from Flutter Press. This is going to be different. Haiku alone per page, functioning as visual and poetic breaks? Sequences with titles? Little groupings? Does it matter?
Thinking about this, I’m struck again about how haiku still remains alienated from the mainstream of contemporary poetry. I don’t approve of the split, but am sometimes unsure how to bridge it.

12 thoughts on “Mainstreaming Haiku–A Question About How To Arrange A Book of Poetry

  1. Interesting quandary. I know it’s non-traditional, but I title my haiku, tanka, etc. (Removing titles when submitting to a trad haiku journal.) I see no problem with integrating them , keeping them with the trajectory of your themes or subject groupings. Treat them just like the rest of the poems. IMHO, of course!😁

  2. I guess it’s all down to sequencing. My manuscript has poetry and other genres plus haiku, tanka, etc… I got it into a good order, and my wife Karen Hoy got it even tighter, and ready to go!

    Sequencing. πŸ™‚


    • Alan, now there’s something you and Karen could offer–a service helping poets sequence and style a book. Add this to your wonderful classes, please! Miriam, you always raise such good questions. I’ve been away for a while so it’s great to read your blog once again.

      • Thanks Mary!

        We have been approached a few times and use SKYPE sessions effectively!

        That includes not only poetry collections but storybooks (illustrated storytelling with haiku).

        Has anyone been to Pittsburgh for instance. πŸ™‚


      • Wish I were near you all. I teach a workshop on manuscript prep, part of which deals with the sequencing end of things! However, I’ve yet to figure out how to clone myself! Write on, y’all. Karla

  3. Here’s a good recent example: Toward Antarctica, by Elizabeth Bradfield. It combines haiku, short prose text, and photography (by the author).

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