THE DAILY HAIKU is growing, thriving and spreading more haiku love, something I am very excited about. As you start to explore and develop your haiku you may also want to find other opportunities to share your work. This blog grew from a post on TDH asking for information on where members can publish their work and find other ways to get involved in haiku. Thank you for your helpful responses and if members have any other suggestions do please add them to the comment thread.
So I would urge you to continue sharing your haiku with or without images of course on TDH but also to think about publishing your work in other places too. Before listing some of these opportunities and resources I am thrilled that TDH member Keith Evetts has agreed to share his experiences of starting to get his poetry and haiku published, also collaborating and encouraging others to take the plunge.
Although I’ve written verses for many years, for friends, and began to focus on haiku and senryu when I joined The Daily Haiku in July 2020, it’s only this year, 2021, I gained the confidence to submit for publication. I dithered for ages! Partly because I didn’t feel I was good enough; and partly because I think poetry should be free (I almost never buy poetry publications).
I was lucky to get in touch with Prof Lucy Newlyn, at the time a member of TDH, who kindly evaluated and encouraged my longer poems and gave me the confidence to begin submitting. In the first half of this year I’ve had four published – a great thrill – in The Oxford Magazine where in the past, Tolkein, Auden, C S Lewis and the current Laureate Simon Armitage have been published. Now I must try to find homes for another two hundred…..
Emboldened, in April I began submitting haiku and senryu to various journals, and participating in The Haiku Foundation’s renku sessions, haiku dialogues and monthly kukai – a competition where each poet submits just one entry, the entries are put online anonymously, and all participating poets can then vote. In the past ten weeks I’ve had about a dozen published in journals, and about as many mentions in the Foundation’s commentaries, including a verse selected for the tan-renga archived by the Foundation. Very encouraging.
What have I learned? Well, for full length poems the market is very tight. All the more so because I write poetry with structure and rhyme, which although it’s coming slightly back into fashion, tends not to attract editors who are seeking dynamic innovative forms and poems about the topical social themes we all know about. For whole collections, the only choice, if you want to be published, seems to be self-publication. I’m still thinking about that. The cold facts are that readerships and circulations tend to be limited to the few who are interested, unless you’re already famous, or write popular comedic verse or similarly digestible material.
For haiku things are easier. There are very many publications, easy to find in searches, or by noting where authors you like get their verses published. Most are free-to-read, both online and a combination of online and print. All have very clear instructions on what and how to submit. Haiku take up little space, so it is easier for editors to devote space to many different voices. I must say right away that non-acceptance is the norm. My striking rate is about one in ten accepted.
If you’re aiming for publication, then you have to write proper haiku. Read as much currently published haiku as possible. Find publications whose material you like. For English haiku, participate in the Haiku Foundations sessions – or at least read them: they are invaluable for learning. You can join their forum workshops to test and hone your works. Or zero in on the publishers of formal 5-7-5 if you prefer. Then pick your best material and the publications you like, and start submitting.
Don’t be downhearted if none or just one is taken – it doesn’t mean your work is bad. Editors want to fill their pages with a balance of voices and material. They have problems of their own. Make life easier for them if you can. If they respond, thank them. Some editors, though busy, do respond within a few weeks, even if they aren’t going to accept most or any of your stuff. I must say, I tend to like them and will think of them first if I have more material; whereas with other publications it’s like sending a probe into a black hole, and I don’t feel like doing that again!
Ask yourself why you want to publish. I don’t intend to make a late career in poetry. It’s just a matter of achieving a standard and enjoying a little recognition. As with any achievement, say a degree or a medal, you want it while you haven’t got it, then a very short while after you get there, you become quite relaxed about the whole thing! What I enjoy most is reader reaction to my works: I write for them, and it’s thrilling when readers respond positively and enjoy my poetry. Knowing I’m now published, I feel they pay a bit more attention. So do other poets – once you break through the clouds, you start recognising their names.
Lately I’ve taken huge pleasure encouraging others in TDH not to be shy, but to have a go, perhaps with a suggestion where to send a particular work. The results have been really gratifying! Several have in turn enjoyed the thrill of their first publication in a journal or mention in a Foundation commentary. The warm fuzzy feeling, I can tell you, is as good as anything of my own.
Marion Clarke highlights the excellent opportunities to join in with more haiku writing, resources and publication THE HAIKU FOUNDATION including their amazing digital library alongside this helpful resource https://thehaikufoundation.org/forum_sm/index.php?board=14.0
Raamesh G R highlights Café haiku publishes haiku on invited themes. They also publish an annual anthology.
Lakshmi Iyer highlights Poetry Society of NZ list of publications accepting haiku. https://poetrysociety.org.nz/…/haiku…/publications/3