Hello BIBA readers!
The second part of our MINIATURE FESTIVAL (ironically in caps) features not one, not five, but 43 Black poets who submitted haiku and tanka to our call! Castle of our Skins will be sharing these poems with you over the course of nine weeks in different combinations, and we are super excited about this project, curated by our own Shirley Graham Du Bois Creative in Residence, Marlanda Dekine (who also participated)! The list of poets are below:
We couldn't be happier with the wonderful submissions, representing a range of people and subjects! What is even more special is that these incredible Black poets are extending a tradition of Black haiku and short form poets that often goes unrecognized.
In the Winter 2016 issue of Modern Haiku, Charles Trumbull contributed part one of a fascinating two part essay about Black writers of Haiku, which you can begin reading HERE. In the essay are some fantastic examples by diverse poets (including one by Tara Betts, mentioned above!). Additionally, Richard Wright, during his final years, devoted his craft to Haiku, writing around 4000 of them! A collection of 815 can be purchased in THIS wonderful collection (not an amazon link).
Many are familiar with Haiku as a three-lined poem following a 5-7-5 syllabic structure. Not many, however, are aware of its older cousin, the Tanka! This is a five-lined poem following a 5-7-5-7-7 line structure, for a total of 31 syllables as opposed to Haiku's 17. Both forms offer extremely rich possibilities and variations, and composers and visual artists are more often inspired by these short forms than what is usually known.
COOS hopes that you are inspired to research more into Black poets working with short form poetry, especially Haiku and Tanka! And hopefully your research will inspire you to write your own mini poems! Additionally, please check our social media for the musical and poetic content we will bring to you throughout the entire fall!!!! We leave you with a Haiku by Richard Wright:
“Keep straight down this block
Then turn right where you will find
A peach tree blooming.”
Writings, musings, photos, links, and videos about Black Artistry of ALL varieties!
Feel free to drop a comment or suggestion for posts!