Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Friday, March 4, 2011

February Round-Up - A Month of Ups and Downs

Ah, February - the month of NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month).

My enthusiasm waxed and waned throughout the month on this project. I did write a haiku-a-day for the whole 28 days, but it wasn't always satisfying, and sometimes done begrudgingly, or in desperation just before midnight!

However, I did write some haiku that I'm really proud of and will happily send in to haiku journals near and far. Some can be edited to rise up to a higher standard and some have already turned into tanka.

Challenges like this make you extend yourself as you have to find creative ways to respond to a prompt, or just to the daily practise when many other things may be going on in your life. This is why I will continue to participate in such projects, the next being the July river of stones challenge.

See my half-way through post for some more thoughts on the process. You can also read about when I set myself the challenge of writing a haiku-a-day for a whole year in 2007-2008 here.

Now that it's over I shall return to going with the flow and writing when the muse strikes. What I will continue is my daily reading from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan. Read my post about that here.

Funnily enough, I have easily written a haiku, or more, each day since NaHaiWriMo finished: must be the release of the pressure! But of course it was the challenge that helped hone my awareness of the haiku moment back to what it was before my writing stalled last year through cancer treatment.

February was also the month of a devastating earthquake in Christchurch, a large South Island city. Please see my blog post about it and read the haiku shared in the comments section, especially several by Michael Dylan Welch of his experiences in the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco.

Please feel free to share you own poems, haiku or other. I know poetry has been a great healer to me over the past year with my illness and I hope this opportunity to share will go a small way to helping others affected by the past two week's events.

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
  • week five - submitted a free verse poem into the Spirit First Meditation Poetry Contest (first time submitting here) results out by March 31st
  • AND submitted a haiku to Poem Cellars (first time submitting here) closed Feb 5th
  • week six - submitted ten small stones to Fiona and Kaspa for the river of stones book and had one accepted
  • AND submitted a previously published haiku to the HSA Haiku Wall (you can read about that here)
  • week seven - submitted 10 haiku to Frogpond (first time submitting here) won't know outcome until after submission deadline April 15
  • week eight - submitted a tanka to Haiku News and awaiting outcome
  • AND submitted six tanka and six haiku to Presence (second time submitting here) and had four tanka and a haiku accepted for Issue #44 (May 2011). The haiku was written during NaHaiWriMo :)
I have written three further haiku for my collection (exploring my leukaemia journey) and created two more collage-style haiga, to make a total of 25 pieces. I also made two multi-media canvases this month using acrylic paint, origami, stickers, transfers and brads, which was something new for me and a most enjoyable process. See photos of my artwork below.

With my photography this month, I've been trying to get some good shots to submit as cover art for Four and Twenty. I've also been working on getting my cover art image ready for Kokako 15 (due out September 2011). I'm very excited about having my artwork feature on a haiku journal and hope to do more of this type of work in the future (not that it can really be called 'work'!)

No major plans for March except to continue with submitting to a poetry journal or competition at least once a week. So far so good on this resolve. Also, meeting with my local poetry group, Pacific Poets, Sunday 6 March, where we will be sharing poems we have written in response to the recent Christchurch earthquake.

Kia kaha to the people of Christchurch: my thoughts and prayers are with you daily.

My Art is My Heart

Peace is the way of my Heart

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