Red Moon Anthology: skipping stones

Each year, Red Moon Press produces an anthology showcasing some of the best haiku published in the previous twelve months. The 2022 Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku: skipping stones was released in February 2023.

Editor-in-chief, Jim Kacian, and a team of 10 staff review haiku from books, print journals, online journals and haiku competitions seeking those haiku they consider to be the best examples of the genre. The editorial team comprises members from North America plus several other countries.

skipping stones is the 27th volume in the series. It contains 185 haiku and senryu, 28 linked forms (haibun, renku, rengay and sequences) and five critical essays on the reading, writing and study of haiku.

The poems in skipping stones often address weighty matters such as ageing, divorce and loss. The enduring importance of these subjects, combined with the skill of the poets, leave us with many memorable haiku.

Take, for example, this poem addressing the loss of freedom experienced during the early stages of the pandemic:

across the lake a traffic light
switches to green

Barbara Strang, New Zealand

Of course, the COVID pandemic has been a frequent topic for haiku in recent years. In my view, Barbara’s haiku is one of the best. It invokes an image of someone peering out from their home at a scene with little or no traffic while the lights continue their cycle from green to red to green. And in so doing, brings back memories of the emotions we experienced at the time.

Barbara’s haiku is a perfect example of how treating a weighty subject with a light touch can produce a poem with profound depth.

night light
Mother asks me
to leave it on

John McManus, United Kingdom

This poem by John McManus describes a seemingly simple situation. Yet, without saying so directly, it reminds us that the wheel is always turning. While our powers might grow, in the end they will surely wane.

The death of another person, especially a loved one, invites quiet contemplation. Contemplation of the life they lived, and contemplation of our own mortality.

funeral procession
the sounds
silent people make

Polona Oblak, Slovenia

enough to cover the cross . . . river mist

Glenn G. Coats, United States

While these solemn themes weave their way through many of the poems in skipping stones, some poets show how references to nature can themselves form the basis of a thought-provoking haiku. For example, Hifsa Ashraf makes our skin tingle at the realisation our natural world is so full of life.

night in a forest
feeling the pulse
of every tree

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

I was fortunate enough to have a haiku of my own included in skipping stones. My haiku was first published in the online journal, Creatrix, and you can read an earlier post about that poem here.

The 2022 Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku: skipping stones presents an impressive collection of haiku and related forms. It is available direct from the publisher. Please click here to purchase a copy.

Creatrix Haiku Prize: 2022

WA Poets Inc publishes the quarterly online poetry journal, Creatrix. WA Poets is the peak body for the development of poets and poetry in Western Australia. Each issue features haiku and longer forms of poetry, with haiku and poetry prize winners selected from the four issues published over the calendar year. In 2022, the Creatrix…