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About This Website

Writer's entry into haiku and related genres (tanka, haiga, haibun) is different and interesting. To sample some of these, Curtis Dunlap's Tobacco Road Blog contains a number of writers' responses to the question, "Why do you write haiku, tanka or haibun?"

My interest in haiku and related forms began after I photographed the Kurimoto Japanese Garden located near my home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I created a web site with my photographs and began to seek Asian poetry to accompany the images.

On the Internet, I discovered haiku, a complex form or poetry passed on to us from Japanese masters like Basho and Issa from hundreds of years ago, but westernized in the last century by English-language writers. I was particularly attracted to haiku because they resemble photography in that landscape photographers simplify and illustrate nature with their visual images just as haijin (haiku poets) capture a moment or snapshot of awareness.

Initally I made contact with the World Haiku Club, and have been writing haiku, creating modern digital haiga and writing haibun ever since. My work has been published in most haiku-genre journals, both print and online, and has found its way into collections such as Contemporary Haibun and The Red Moon Annual.

I also began creating websites to illustrate haiga in particular, and helping to found and create websites for journals that would fit with the simplcity and beauty of haiku poetry. Some of the websites I helped along by either co-founding and/or designing websites for are A Hundred Gourds, Contemporary Haibun Online, Haibun Today & Simply Haiku (the first 6 years or so).

Over the last five years or so, I've served as haibun and haiga editor for various journals and presently am haibun co-editor at Haibun Today. With Lorin Ford, I co-founded and edited for A Hundred Gourds, and with Jim Kacian, I co-founded Contemporary Haibun Online. Presently I serve as technical editor (aka webmaster) for Haibun Today and Contemporary Haibun Online.

And during that same period, I've had published articles, commentaries, interviews, and book reviews.

The links above illustrate my journey with these forms of expression and provide information on them. On some of the links, the journey is shared with other artists/poets.

In presenting this information, I do not mean to set myself up as a master of the haiku, haiga or haibun forms. I simply enjoy the practice of writing haibun and creating haiga and enjoy in particular designing web sites that integrate haiku, photography, and digital art.

~ Ray Rasmussen