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Gene Myers.haiku column

The Haiku Society of America is pleased to host this ongoing column.

.Haiku: a place to share tools available to haiku writers and fellow haiku fans (like how to use Twitter, Facebook and Scribd for building community, self-publishing and marketing). The column will also feature interviews, blog spotlights and occasional multimedia presentations.

Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>


2011 .haiku columns

.haiku column number 2 • 9-12-2011

by Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>

Haiku and Twitter: Why the revolution should be tweeted

Sleep deprivation seemed to be playing tricks on my mind. It felt like I was wearing an invisible space helmet, and too much oxygen was being pumped in. My carpel tunnel was throbbing.

Twitter was to blame as I sat wide-eyed at my computer reading tweet after tweet. What was New York Times columnist David Pogue's favorite book as a kid? Who was rocker Colin Meloy of The Decemberists jamming with at 3 a.m.?

What a time-suck! And what was the point of it all? As someone who writes for a living and writes for fun--someone with too many blogs already--did I really need to jump into this too?

And then it hit me. The lightbulb blinked on above my head as my family snored away in the darkness. I should be using Twitter to share poems!

With a smirk on my face and a tingling in my carpel tunnel, I clicked out my first tweet: "As a musician, Einstein couldn't keep time very well."

That was fun. Now Twitter was starting to make more sense to me. I was on board with the technological fad and only one step away from falling head over heels in love with haiku.

As a lit mag editor and poet for more than 25 years, I'd read haiku, read about haiku, had a couple of favorites, tried writing them once or twice, but I never realized what a vibrant art modern haiku can be until I started tweeting.

By searching for hashtags like #haiku and #senryu, I found writers like Cor van den Heuvel (@Haikucor), Alexis Rotella (@tankaqueen) and Denis Garrison (@dengary) tweeting, having discussions and following each other. I realized that haiku is actually an ideal form for Twitter and other micro blogging venues because of its compactness.

Next thing I knew, I was doing a haiku inspired edition of my magazine, nowculture.com. (I say haiku inspired because I felt I didn't yet know enough about the form to edit such an issue.)

As nowculture.com came out with its short form edition -- featuring contributions from Jane Hirshfield, Dara Wier and Gary Hotham -- I noticed, all of a sudden, short form poetry was coming to the fore with younger poets like Justin Marks. Also around this time, American Poetry Review, featured beat legend Gary Snyder with his own investigation of short form poems, which he called "frags."

The revolution that's been picking up momentum over the last few years is still going strong and some of the poets who led the way in previous decades are blazing new paths once again. Alan Pizzarelli and Donna Beaver's Haiku Chronicles can be found on Twitter at @haikuchronicles.

Twitter isn't just a publishing venue, you'll also find links to podcasts, suggested reading, and information on events and organizations. At this point in the game, I am finding enough fuel to tweet about haiku multiple times daily.

Here are some Twitter accounts that haiku fans will want to checkout: @lilliputreview, @tankaqueen, @haikuchronicles, @Haikucor, @dengary, @CeRosenow, @haikunortham, @ldwilkinson, @haikufound, @myyozh, @GeorgeSwede, @tinywords, @faysftsuyaku, @haikutec, @handfulofstones, @haikunotebook and @Bill312.

You can find Gene at @myersgene.

• .haiku column number 2 • 9-12-2011 •

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