contemporary haibun volume 18: edited by Rich Youmans and the CH Staff
contemporary haibun is an annual anthology of English-language haibun (and haiga) gleaned from the best practitioners from around the world
contemporary haibun is a series dedicated to the best haibun and haiga published each year in English around the world. ch18 features 97 haibun and 36 full-color haiga.
“contemporary haibun has stood alone, for more than a decade, as the chief vehicle and bulwark of the burgeoning haibun movement in English. Without the vanguard role of this annual anthology, one might reasonably inquire how — and perhaps if — haibun would have survived.”
— Jeffrey Woodward
Editor, Haibun Today
Don’t I Know You
can you call my son are you my son you are my son it’s been so long since you’ve come to visit you were here this morning were you here this morning please can you call my daughter are you my daughter you are my daughter it’s been so long since you’ve come to visit you were here this morning can you help me please
dementia ward . . .
we wait out
— Roberta Beary
Grade 3. Skinned knees and a pixie cut. Mum’s last attempt to keep me in pigtails and dresses has failed. I’ve set my limits and have started picking out my own clothes. No more waking up and seeing skirt sets laid out at the bottom of my bed.
the thinnest sliver
Mum quietly cringes at my fashion choices; dad calls me his “little bra burner” when I refuse to wear my bikini top at the beach. I am secretly pleased when a total stranger mistakes me for a boy.
of light through the trees
I want to fit in as much as everyone does, but my friends have long hair, wear mood rings and listen to pop-rock. I listen to Gloria Steinem on TV with the growing realization that times are changing. Just not quickly enough.
I make my stand at dinner. I refuse to clean the dishes while the men sit at the dining table talking politics. My dad grins as he picks up his plate.
— Reid Hepworth
Heart of June
And the ferns that we harvested from the dark woods up north over a decade ago — from deep within a seemingly endless cloud of mosquitoes — and then planted in the flower bed right in front of the house, look so healthy this morning. Indeed. When I was a boy, I’d nibble on the youngest, most tender ones out back while hiding from my mother’s boyfriend.
rope swing . . .
it returns me again
to where I was
He always used to kick me in the ribs or stab me in the throat with his finger for not remembering exactly where to add the engine oil on the lawnmower. Not sure of whatever happened with him. If he’s still alive. But I did hear that, after us, he moved even higher into the Upper Midwest and became a volunteer firefighter or something. Or maybe a cop. Anyway, someone who helps people when a violent storm is sinking their boat. When the bullish wind is smacking the hell out of their already cracked teeth.
dirt-caked knees —
in my survival kit,
a small plastic Jesus
— Andrew Riutta
Size: 5.25″ x 8.25″
Binding: perfect softbound
Year Published: 2023