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joyride: haibun of Jennifer Hambrick


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This collection of haibun is indeed a travelogue. Jennifer Hambrick’s award-winning haibun take us from one place to another, but these tales also traverse the delicate, awkward, and hilarious territory between the seasons of life. joyride is reminiscent of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, in search of the inherent goodness in people, despite their circumstances and quirks. Hambrick reiterates that joy is not only a contagious outlook but a reliable tonic-something that our souls need.

Right Out

So I’m seven years old, and a bunch of my relatives take me to the family cemetery.
“I’m gonna be put right here,” my great aunt says, standing on my grandfather’s grave, and pointing to the next plot over.
Freaked me right out. I mean, no way am I ever stepping on dead people.

family reunion
the colors of sunset
on a fresh peach

ISBN: 978-1-947271-74-6
Pages: 72
Size: 4.25″ x 6.5″
Binding: perfect softbound
Year Published: 2021

Joyride is a joy to read. The concept of the book, announced in its title, remains tight throughout, lending energy to the whole. Expect cars, road trips, journeys of discovery, and an appealing amount of humor. Hambrick organizes thirty-nine haibun—each piece revolving around a mode of transportation, whether literal or metaphorical—into three sections. The first takes us from the present into the past of childhood, adolescence, summer travel, summer food, summer love: walking around / in a new place / first kiss. The second, a linked series of fourteen rip-snorting haibun, explores a threesome of car, woman, and man and the beach trip that brings the relationships to climax: thunderhead / the gas tank / more than full. The third section, a more sober, yet still optimistic affair, touches on the middle chapter of life, with its intimations of sorrow, illness, and the road ahead. westbound situation / all the time in the world / to
watch the sunset. Recommended.”

Michele Root-Bernstein, Modern Haiku

Additional information

Weight 0.00 lbs

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