1st Edition

The Routledge Global Haiku Reader

Edited By James Shea, Grant Caldwell Copyright 2023
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Global Haiku Reader provides a historical overview and comprehensive examination of haiku across the world in numerous languages, poetic movements, and cultural contexts. Offering an extensive critical perspective, this volume provides leading essays by poets and scholars who explore haiku’s various global developments, demonstrating the form’s complex and sometimes contradictory manifestations from the twentieth century to the present.

    The sixteen chapters are carefully organized into categories that reflect the salient areas of practice and study: Haiku in Transit, Haiku and Social Consciousness, Haiku and Experimentation, and The Future of Global Haiku. An insightful introduction surveys haiku’s influence beyond Japan and frames the collection historically and culturally, questioning commonly held assumptions about haiku and laying the groundwork for new ways of seeing the form. Haiku’s elusiveness, its resistance to definition, is partly what keeps it so relevant today, and this book traces the many ways in which this global verse form has evolved.

    The Routledge Global Haiku Reader ushers haiku into the twenty-first century in a critically minded and historically informed manner for a new generation of readers and writers and will appeal to students and researchers in Asian studies, literary studies, comparative literature, creative writing, and cultural studies

    List of Contributors

    List of Permissions




    I Haiku in Transit

    1 Beyond the Haiku Moment: Bashō, Buson, and Modern Haiku Myths


    2 Hearn, Bickerton, Hubbell: Translation and Definition


    3 Reading an Evening Breeze: Buson’s Hokku in Translation


    II Haiku and Social Consciousness

    4 A Second-Class Art: On Contemporary Haiku


    5 From the 2.26 Incident to the Atomic Bombs: Haiku During the Asia-Pacific War

    HIROAKI SATOx Contents

    6 New Rising Haiku: The Evolution of Modern Japanese Haiku and the Haiku Persecution Incident


    7 Translations and Migrations of the Poetic Diary: Roy Kiyooka’s Wheels


    III Haiku and Experimentation

    8 Ezra Pound, Yone Noguchi, and Imagism


    9 Haiku as a Western Genre: Fellow-Traveler of Modernism


    10 Marking Time in Native America: Haiku, Elegy, Survival


    11 The Disjunctive Dragonfly: A Study of Disjunctive Method and Definitions in Contemporary English-Language Haiku


    IV The Future of Global Haiku

    12 Non-Japanese Haiku Today


    13 One Hundred Bridges, One Hundred Traditions in Haiku


    14 In the Shade of the Cherry Blossoms: The Reception of Haiku in Post-Soviet Russia


    15 From Haiku to the Short Poem: Bridging the Divide


    16 Future of World Haiku


    V Afterword






    James Shea is the author of two books of poetry, The Lost Novel and Star in the Eye. A recipient of grants from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, he is the Director of the Creative and Professional Writing Program in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.

    Grant Caldwell is a senior lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Melbourne. His research interests are the writing of poetry and fiction, the psychology of composition, the teaching of creative writing, contemporary Australian poetry, the history and writing of haiku, and concrete poetry. Dr. Caldwell has published thirteen books of creative work (poetry, short fiction, and novels) and a critical monograph. He has received two Australia Council for the Arts Established Writers’ Fellowships.

    "This wide-ranging and imaginatively organized collection includes articles by most of the leading practitioners and theorists of global haiku today. It provides a good view of the state of the art now and a sense of how it has developed over the last decades. Highly recommended!" —Janine Beichman, Professor Emerita, Daitō Bunka University

     "This book is a marvel of ideas, debates, scholarly investigations and inspired readings of the phenomenon of the global haiku. These essays show, dramatically, that this tiny poetic form is marked by its capaciousness and by its tenacious hold on the attention of contemporary poets across the world. The haiku’s apparently simple form teases, baffles, and metamorphoses under the varied lights these essays throw on it. Whether the haiku is a mirror (possibly even an x-ray) of its cultural moment, whether it is a dissident form or a sentimental craft best left to amateurs and siloed communities—are the kinds of questions debated here with passion and precision. As a poet, this is the kind of talking-about-poetry that I yearn to read. The point of this book, though, is not to find answers to whether haiku is a global movement or a local movement, a deeply misunderstood Japanese art-form or a ‘spirit’ that all poets can share, but it is to understand and explore the meanings, ideas, values and desires that inhere in such questions. It is that rare event, a scholarly book that will be taken up gratefully by general readers, students, and poets themselves." —Kevin Brophy, Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne

    "An instantly indispensable volume for anyone interested in haiku itself—its own knapsack-journey to far norths, souths, easts, wests, and to deeply human interiors—as well as for anyone interested in the development of current world poetry, whose course was profoundly and permanently altered by haiku's emergence in global translation." —Jane Hirshfield, author of The Heart of Haiku, Ledger, and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

    "This definitive compilation of essays by haikuists, critics and scholars is destined to transform the understanding and appreciation of the myriad modern offshoots—let alone traditional Japanese taproot—of the world’s most popular verseform. Surveying for the first time the influence of haiku on literary arts around the globe over the past century, from Modernism, Imagism and Surrealism to anti-war verse, indigenous people’s resistance poetry, ecological paean and so on, The Routledge Global Haiku Reader sows the seeds of a truly efflorescent epiphany." —Adam L. Kern, author of The Penguin Book of Haiku

     "The Routledge Global Haiku Reader champions a geopolitically sophisticated approach to haiku studies that cuts through the distortions and exoticisms of the Japan/West binary in which the commentary has been entrenched. The essays span a compelling diversity of haiku situations: compositions in Taiwan and Singapore critical of Japan’s imperialism, by indigenous peoples of America, Japanese-Canadians, or poets in Latin America, Brazil, and Russia. This curiosity, this awareness and exploration of the layered factors of race, myth, and politics as they give impetus to and occasion meaning for haiku poetry is what makes this volume so fresh, so new, and so necessary. This collection blends the dispositions of both poets and scholars to create a commentary that is rigorously informed while insistent upon haiku as a living, active practice that has a present and future." —Arthur Mitchell, Associate Professor, Macalester College