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Frogpond 41.1 • 2018

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - "Hail"

Johnny Baranski




Book Reviews

From the Editor


Johnny Baranski: A Poet of Conviction
(in memoriam)

by Michael Dylan Welch

Johnny Baranski: A Poet of Conviction
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

One of North America's longtime haiku stalwarts has died. After a struggle with lung disease, Johnny Baranski passed away at the age of 69 on January 24, 2018 in Vancouver, Washington, surrounded by his children—and surrounded, through online messages and email, by a worldwide family of haiku poets and other friends. Johnny’s family read many messages of love and support to him before he died.

On the back of White Rose, Red Rose, his December 2017 haiku book with David H. Rosen, we learn that “Johnny Baranski has been writing haiku and its related forms for over forty years. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Pencil Flowers: Jail Haiku [1983]; Convicts Shoot the Breeze [2001]; Just a Stone’s Throw [2006]; and Blossoming Pear [2013]. His newest collection Fireweed will appear in the Folded Word chapbook series in 2019. A member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Canada, and the Portland Haiku Group, Mr. Baranski lives in Vancouver, Washington.” What we do not learn, but see hints of, is that Johnny spent time in prison after his arrests for nonviolent resistance to war and the Trident nuclear weapon system. As a result of repeated protest actions over many years, he spent two to three years of his life in prison. He was also active with the Catholic Worker community, for which he fought for farm worker rights, social justice, and other issues affecting marginalized communities. He was a man of firm conscience, yet his resolve was quiet, as shown in his many poems about prison life and poems of social consciousness. No one can write prison-related haiku without standing in Johnny Baranski’s long shadow.

[feature continues for several more pages] . . .

Welch, Michael Dylan. "Johnny Baranski: A Poet of Conviction." Frogpond 41.1, Winter, 2018, 104-108.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the feature: page 104. The complete feature includes pages 104-108. To read the complete feature, click on the link to the PDF version:

Johnny Baranski: A Poet of Conviction
(complete PDF version)