haibun, haiga, tanka ahg

A Hundred Gourds 4:2 March 2015

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Submission Guidelines

General Guidelines:

Please scroll down for submission addresses and editors' guidelines. Ensure that your submissions are sent to the appropriate editors, ie haiku to the haiku editor, haiga to the haiga editor and so forth.

Submissions may be sent at any time and we will do our best to acknowledge receipt promptly. Our deadlines for the four issues are:

  • March Issue - submissions close on December 15th, the prior year
  • June Issue - submissions close on March 15th
  • September Issue - submissions close on June 15th
  • December Issue - submissions close on September 15th

The AHG editors will consider submissions of:

  • up to 10 haiku
  • up to 10 tanka
  • up to 3 haibun and/or tanka prose
  • up to 10 haiga
  • up to 3 renku
  • up to 5 tan renga or yotsumono
  • essays or short commentaries on individual poems
  • book reviews

How to submit your work:

Haiku, haibun and tanka submissions must be placed within the body of an email. No attached submissions will be opened for these sections.

Haiga images may be sent as attachments and preferably as JPEG images.

Submissions to the Renku section should be sent as attachments either as RFT (rich text format) or MS Word documents.

Books for review: please send books for review to the Expositions editor or any other AHG editor after making a preliminary enquiry. (Currently, Lorin Ford is acting as Expositions editor).

Please include the date, your name and country of residence in all submissions.

All work submitted to AHG must be unpublished and not be under consideration elsewhere from the time submitted until you are advised that the acceptance process is completed.

Publication Rights and Definition of "Unpublished" Work:

1. In the interests of fair practice, AHG claims exclusive rights to publication of all work selected for a period of 40 days after the work is first published in AHG. After this period has elapsed, all rights return to the authors/artists who are then free to have their work republished or to republish the work themselves on their own blogs and sharing websites. Wherever a work is republished, AHG must be cited as the place of first publication.

2. AHG retains the right to republish your work either online or in print as part of an AHG Annual or Retrospective. AHG does not have the right to authorize publication of your work elsewhere.

3. All works that have appeared on Facebook or similar internet social networks, websites, blogs or any other online source that may be accessed by an internet search engine are deemed published and not eligible for submission as unpublished. Works that have been shared with a limited peer group on 'membership only' forums not accessible by an internet search engine are deemed unpublished.

4. When you submit your work, the contractual assumption is that you have agreed to all of the above conditions.

Haiku Guidelines:

Lorin Ford, Haiku Editor: haikugourds@gmail.com

English-language haiku is alive, healthy and still developing. Haiku are poems, so rhythm and sound are important as well as succinct expression. Subtle humour and a somewhat detached viewpoint are a mark of some of the best haiku, but also some of the finest haiku are heartbreaking in their implications. There is no nuance of mood or tone that is unsuitable to haiku, but the light touch, the suggestion, the understatement is essential. Avoid overt sentimentality and clichés of feeling as you would avoid clichéd expression and images. Bring something fresh to your haiku even if the subject is something that's been written about over and over again. It's good to be aware of how kigo are used in Japanese haiku, but try to use seasonal references from your own experience. Allusion to other literary works can deepen a haiku, as long as those works are well known.

I welcome haiku from all world regions but, needless to say, haiku translated from your first language must work well in English.

For each issue of A Hundred Gourds, Ron Moss will choose a few of the selected haiku to include within a traditional haiga. This is for fun and interest and is no reflection on the relative merits of any of the other haiku.

Please remember to include your name and country of residence directly beneath the final poem in your submission, each time you send a submission. Please send me only one submission of haiku per issue.

Tanka Guidelines:

Susan Constable, Tanka Editor: tankagourds2@gmail.com

The defining factors of English language tanka remain in a state of flux, and I anticipate that this will continue for the foreseeable future. Since all poetry is subjective, it's only fair that you know what currently appeals to me.

Tanka that have an emotional undercurrent are likely to gain my favour. Pure description or narrative can work successfully, however, if it helps me see things in a new or unexpected way.

A poem that leaves room for the reader's interpretation and imagination tend to work better for me than a tell-it-all tanka. On the other hand, one that is extremely dense or obscure can be problematic.

Unless the tanka is obviously written as a dream or from pure imagination, I prefer ones with a literal interpretation. If a metaphorical reading is also available, that definitely adds depth to the poem.

I'm not fond of unnatural wording or splitting a phrase at the end of a line, unless I can find a good reason for doing so. Since poetry is song, I prefer tanka with rhythm, flow, and no more than one very distinct grammatical break.

That said, please send me your best-loved tanka. A memorable poem, despite any deviation from the above, will simply cause me to re-think and update my list of preferences.

For each issue of A Hundred Gourds, Ron Moss will choose a few of the selected tanka to include within a traditional haiga. This is for fun and interest and is no reflection on the relative merits of any of the other tanka.

Please remember to include your name and country of residence directly beneath the final poem in your submission, each time you send a submission. Please send only one tanka submission per issue.

Haiga Guidelines:

Aubrie Cox: New Haiga Editor for AHG 2:2 onward: haigagourds@gmail.com

On the most fundamental level, I consider haiga to be the combination of an image and short poem. However, the poem should not explain the picture or vice versa. Rather, the poem should expand upon what's presented in the image and vice versa. This expansion may play off an emotion, theme, or detail that's presented in either or both the image and poem; the image/poem may also alter the audience's perception of the poem/image. The best haiga do not always have an obvious connection between the poem or image, but resonate and create an experience that would not be possible by the poem or image alone—the two art forms come together to create something new when put together that would not exist otherwise. That being said, both the poem and image must be well crafted and be able to carry their own weight.

I accept the combination of image and haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, and short haibun. Play is an important part of haikai to me, so I strongly encourage the use of all mediums for artwork including, but not limited to: photography, brushwork, collage (digital and handmade), pencil/ink sketches, and computer graphics. Please do not send haiga made with stock and/or creative commons images. 

Haiga images must be JPEG/JPG format with a maximum height/width of 750 pixels including any decorative borders and a minimum height/width of 600 pixels. Include your signature as part of the artwork itself. Please make sure the text within the graphics is readable, and keep in mind we may resize images when necessary to fit our format. If a haiga is a collaboration, both parties must give permission to publish and include name and contact information.

Please remember to include your name and country of residence directly beneath the final poem in your submission, each time you send a submission.

Haibun & Tanka Prose Guidelines:

Mike Montreuil, Haibun & Tanka Prose Editor: haibungourds@gmail.com

Both haibun (prose + haiku) and tanka prose (prose + tanka) are acceptable.

English Language Haibun is a relatively new and evolving form. Therefore, there are no restrictions regarding content: travel accounts, personal experiences in natural or human settings, fantasy, dreams, etc. are all welcome.

Having said this, all editors have their own poetic sensibilities. I am looking for haibun:

  • that carry a sense of the writer's presence or, put another way, the haibun must not read like pure fiction.
  • where the prose is well written and tells me a story that reflects the author's world and his or her experience. Personal commentaries about the state of world, politics, etc. will not be accepted.
  • where the haiku either poignantly summarizes the theme of the piece or steps out from the piece and adds a new dimension. In its simplest form, a haibun is a linked poem and as such, I am not under the conviction that a haiku must stand alone or be understandable, if read alone. In my view, the haiku relates to and is understood with the prose and title in context.
  • that have titles.   It must not be merely tacked on, but must relate to the piece in a way so the attention of the reader is drawn to the haibun as it is done for short stories, novels and poetry.

I would like no more than three haibun for submission per submission reading period. However as many you send, I will only accept one haibun per writer per issue. Those that are not accepted will not be commented on and may be resubmitted in the future.

My normal practice is to accept, not accept, or make suggestions. If I make suggestions, you are welcome to resubmit your haibun for consideration. I will try to make editorial suggestions for the pieces that I receive, so please don't feel insulted or singled out by this practice.

Renku, Tan Renga, & Yotsumono Guidelines:

William Sorlien, Renku Editor: renkugourds@gmail.com

I welcome submissions of all renku forms, be they traditional, modern, or experimental works. Other collaborative forms, such as tan renga and yotsumono, will also be considered. Preference will be given to those poems that effectively 'link and shift', that employ season by use of traditional kigo or draw from seasonal reference of your regions of origin, and create a compelling movement through the use of topic, folios and methods of linking.

Renku that excel in cadence and metre, contain humor and irony, empathy and humanity, display a state of wonder in regard to the natural world and lend to an innovative prosody will receive the highest regard. I encourage you to include a brief Tomegaki (lead-poet's debrief) and/or one or more Kanso (appreciations) by participating poets.

Expositions (Commentaries, Articles, Interviews, Reviews) Guidelines:

AHG will be seeking a suitable editor for this section in 2015. Any enquiries regarding submissions to the Expositions section should be addressed to the managing editor, Lorin Ford.

© A Hundred Gourds, 2015. All works herein are the property of the poets and artists. No work may be republished or used in any way without their written permission. Images credit: Ron Moss, consulting and contributing artist. Website design a collaboration between Lorin Ford, Melinda Hipple, Ron Moss & Ray Rasmussen.