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The Haiku Handbook-25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku [Paperback]

William Higginson , Jane Reichhold , Penny Harter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 8 2010

A masterful presentation of haiku - from history to writing to appreciation - for the writer, novice, or inquisitive reader

The Haiku Handbook is the first book to give the reader everything needed to begin writing or teaching haiku. It presents haiku poets writing in English, Spanish, French, German, and five other languages on an equal footing with Japanese poets. Not only are the four great Japanese masters of the haiku represented (Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki) but also several major Western authors not commonly known to have written haiku, including Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and Richard Wright.

With a new foreword by poet, translator and author Jane Reichhold, (Basho: The Complete Haiku) this anniversary edition presents a concise history of the Japanese haiku, including the dynamic changes throughout the twentieth century as this beloved poetry form has been adapted to modern and urban settings. Full chapters are offered on form, the seasons in haiku, and haiku craft, plus background on the Japanese poetic tradition and the effect of translation on our understanding of haiku. Other unique features are the lesson plans for both elementary and secondary school use; a seasonal word index of poetic words; a comprehensive glossary; and a list of enduring classic resources for further exploration. By any standard, The Haiku Handbook is a defining volume in the genre.


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About the Author

WILLIAM J. HIGGINSON (1938-2008) has been called "the guru of American haiku." For over 40 years, Higginson translated, wrote, commented about, lectured on and taught haiku. He was the author or editor of more than 30 books.

PENNY HARTER is a widely-published poet. She is a poet-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and has won three poetry fellowships from the Council, as well as an award from the Poetry Society of America. Harter has worked for many years as a teaching poet for the Council's Arts-in-Education program; she also travels extensively, giving workshops and lectures.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haiku Handbook April 7 2003
By bil
Format:Paperback
This is not for the passive haiku reader. It provides an in-depth history of haiku, samples of old masters and new. It teaches how to read, write, and teach... just like the cover says.
I'd always wondered why my haiku seemed so long and filled with so much extra words even though I followed the 5-7-5 and 5-7-5-7-7 syllable format. This wonderful guide covers this and many other assumptions that we English-speaking haiku enthusiasts have about traditional haiku.
My haiku has improved by writing in 3-6-3 syllables. (This book does not recommend 3-6-3, but it works for me based on the context of info provided) Anyone shocked at something other than 5-7-5 should not read this. If you enjoy reading and writing haiku and you learn what this book teaches, you will feel like a haiku master.
Some of my best haiku was written as a direct inspiration of this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Reference Book! Nov. 22 1998
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book for the novice writer, reader AND teacher of haiku. Higginson manages to fit a decent representation of haiku (Japanese masters as well as African-American, Beat, and multi-lingual)as well as a brief history of related Japanese genres and "season word" lists.
Higginson definitely whets the appetite for even more information about and examples of haiku. An indispensable addition to any haiku and haiku-related library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Haiku SHOULD have been taught in school... March 29 2001
Format:Paperback
This book really helped me as both a reader and writer of poetry. Through the author I was able to understand the real essence of Haiku; something that I seemed to have missed when I studied it in grade-school! This book not only shows where the form came from, but how it has evolved over time and through different cultures. For anyone who wants to understand the form for themselves, either to use it, teach it or just appreciate it, I highly recommend the book. (the sections on lesson planning are both interesting and helpful, whether or not you want to teach a class!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tamil Haiku Poetry Oct. 4 2000
Format:Paperback
Higginson wrote that "Haiku is the zoom lense of poetry" and true to this form, I was happy to receive a copy for my research work which culminated in my doctoral thesis on " Japanese Haiku : Its evolution and development compared to Tamil Haiku" being accepted at the University of Madras, India. This confirms that my research effort was first of its kind in India and from woman scholar.
Please convey my best wishes to Prof. William Higginson...
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