The Haiku Apprentice (Small Press Month 2010 Book Recommendation)

March has started. The Olympics 2010 are over. But now, it’s  . . . (cue trumpet fanfare) . . . Small Press Month . . . for all of March!

Okay, it’s a lesser-known event. I don’t think we’ll see Bob Costas anchoring any NBC coverage.

But here at Crickhollow Books, we decided to celebrate in a couple of ways. First, we’re inviting you to write and submit a haiku about your love of books, or of a book. (See here for more info on our “Cheese for Haiku” event.)

Also, I decided to celebrate by recommending some of my personal favorite indie-press books. When I looked at my bookshelves, I saw so many great choices. My criteria: I encourage you to read it! Buy it, give it as a gift, share it with others.

Without further ado, here’s my first book put up on the medal podium. An embossed medal, a bouquet of flowers . . . ? Just our praise might have to do! That’s what most of us in the indie-press world hope for.

The Haiku Apprentice
Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan
by Abigail Friedman
Stone Bridge Press (2006)
paperback, $14.95 list price

I loved this book when I read it a few years ago, and shared it with plenty of friends. It is much broader in scope than just about haiku. The author is an American diplomat, entering the world of haiku, and discovering – in a cross between a memoir, travel journal, and writing guide – all it taught her about Japanese ways and people.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Abigail Friedman was an American diplomat in Tokyo, not a writer. A chance encounter leads her to a haiku group, where she discovers poetry that anyone can enjoy writing. Her teacher and fellow haiku group members instruct her in seasonal flora and fauna, and gradually she learns to describe the world in plain words, becoming one of the millions in Japan who lead a haiku life. This is the author’s story of her literary and cultural voyage, and more: it is an invitation to readers to form their own neighborhood haiku groups and, like her, learn to see the world anew.

Stone Bridge Press is based in Berkeley, California, and publishes lovely, lovely books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *