Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café on March 14 at 1:10 PM PST on CFRO, 100.5 FM had the honour to celebrate Naomi Beth Wakan ‘s book launch and poetry readings on Tanka and Haiku. Since Naomi was not able to call in, Victor Schwartzman (our super tech) and Ariadne Sawyer, host and producer took turns in reading different segments. This was the first time that we had done this and we did our best. I learned about both Haiku and Tanka and really liked the easy to learn format and the descriptions. This show had a lot of positive responses from listeners. Poems and information below.
Naomi Beth Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2013-2015) and the inaugural Honorary Ambassador for the Federation of BC Writers. She has published over 50 books, among which, her essays are in Late Bloomer-on writing later in life; Composition: notes on the written word; Bookends – a year between the covers; and A Roller-coaster ride – Thoughts on aging (all from Wolsak and Wynn), and On the Arts (Pacific-Rim Publishers), Bent Arm for a Pillow (Pacific-Rim Publishers). Here most recent books are Back and Forth (Pacific-Rim Publishers) and The Way of Tanka (Shanti Arts). Naomi is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan.
“I am delighted to announce that my trilogy is at last complete. It covers an introduction to haiku and tanka writing for beginners. The books are “The Way of Haiku,” “The Way of Tanka,” and “Poetry that Heals.” I’d like to tell you a little about each book.
The Way of Haiku is a guide for learning to write the most popular form of Japanese poetry: haiku. It is also a comprehensive examination of the form and, I hope, an eye-opening view into the way that reading and writing haiku can change the way one looks at life. Writing haiku helps you appreciate the wonder of ordinary things and ordinary days. In “The Way of Haiku” I discuss the history of haiku’s development, its important literary elements, and the differences between haiku written in Japanese and those written in English. I provide numerous examples of haiku, some written by Japanese haijin (haiku writers) and presented in translation, and some written by English-speaking writers. In this book I hope to inspire readers to write their own haiku while remaining open to the possibilities it provides for personal growth. The book is 110 pages long. It comes in paperback and also as an e-book.
The Way of Tanka is an approachable yet comprehensive examination of the Japanese form of poetry known as tanka. In it I discuss tanka’s roots in early Japanese courts where it was considered the poetry of lovers, as well as its adaptation to western culture and the characteristics that separate it from the more popular form of Japanese poetry, haiku. It is 144 pages long and comes in paperback as well as an e-book.
In Poetry That Heals, I take the reader on a journey through my long experience writing various forms of Japanese poetry, especially tanka and haiku and its related genres. I include poems from well-known historical and contemporary poets. Looking back in this book, I realize that my practice of poetry writing has moved me towards developing awareness, dispassionate interest, personal healing, as well as compassion. I have come to see that in creating poetry, I am creating myself. The book is 110 pages long and comes in paperback as well as an e-book.
In Canada you can get the books from your neighbourhood bookstore, who can order them via Ingram, or buy them directly and quicker from firstname.lastname@example.org. They are $20 each, or $50 if you are getting the complete set.
For the USA and other countries the books can also be ordered through your neighbourhood bookstore, or directly from email@example.com
Naomi Beth Wakan
The Uses of Tanka
In Heian times, tanka were sweet confirmations between courtier lovers of deeds done and to be done. And also of court rapists, for dark chambers and many-layers of kimono hid identities, so seducers were never quite sure that they had entered the right woman. Even in such cases of mistake, the next morning the maiden would receive a token tanka speaking of her long hair perhaps, and other matters, and it would be attached to the prescribed branch from say a flowering cherry. She, in return, whether mad with anger, sulking, or perhaps with a small smile, would be obliged to also write a tanka, in response, commenting on the situation, and send it along with maybe a late blooming plum blossom. A few years later both women, whether seduced, or once loved, might be found writing more acerbic tanka complaining of neglect, or at least that the dwelling he had provided was not up to par. Tanka-writing would also be called for when noblemen, at time of banishment, (maybe for a political misstep, or for the seduction of the Emperor’s favourite) thought sadly of the Capitol they would be leaving for say the beaches of Suma (always a good place for writing mournful tanka of exile). These days, I write tanka when my haiku get uppity with the conceit that they have nailed the moment to the page. I slap them with two extra lines, reminding them that all things pass, particularly the “here and now” and even if things don’t pass as quickly as we would like, it’s all illusory anyway. Yes, tanka are useful for times such as these.
Naomi Beth Wakan (C) All rights reserved by author.
Ariadne’s Notes: An very special show with the lovely Viva Vinson on the World Poetry Café, CFRO 100.5 at 1:30 pm PST on May 16th . It was such a pleasure to learn about the wonderful work she has been doing with the creative arts for at risk youth and those who do not have the support to impower their creativity, Also, she sang for us on the radio show which delighted the radio listeners. She is a real heroine in her work and her world wide performances. Viva was sent to us by the great Osiris Muir of 15 minutes.
Viva started her career performing with Le Miz, an all-female, Broadway musical revue, under the direction of Sandra Rohr. In her late teens, Viva put her musical interests aside to pursue an acting career in film and television, appearing in such productions as “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “A Different World”, “Cop Rock” and the cult-classic “Roadside Prophets”, to name a few . Viva pursues both a career in music and acting, while trying to inspire young artists through performing arts education programs, and advocating for free arts education for impoverished and At-Risk youth.Viva’s greatest delight and solace comes from listening to classic soul, Jazz, R&B and Blues. “One of my deepest passions is listening to fantastic live music. Being able to sing and perform is just an extension of the energy and bliss I receive from listening. Viva made her way to Asia in September 2003 where she performed at The Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s 97 Group, such venues as Post 97, Club 97 and Kee Club, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Park 97 Shanghai, Coco Blues Thailand, Sheraton Bangkok, Plaza Anthanee Le Meriden Bangkok, Harry’s Jazz Club Singapore, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Wangfujing Beijing, The Metropole Sofitel, Hanoi Vietnam, The Shangri-La Singapore, and many others…Viva has also performed at various corporate functions. Her corporate clients include Omega, The Forum, Swarovski, Park ‘n Shop, Watson’s Water and many others.Viva has also appeared at many clubs, restaurants and hotels in her native town Los Angeles, California, such as; Café Cordial, Barone’s, Giovanni’s, Vitello’s, Club Aura, The Langham Hotel Pasadena, The Spot, and many others.
Ariadne’s Notes: A wonderful show on the World Poetry Café, CFRO 100.5 at 1:30 pm PST on May 16th with the talented poet from England, Kevin Morris, who read his new poems and spoke about his work as well as offering some help to people with visual impairment. A real hero who has written several books and has a guide dog named Trigger. It was great to have him call in again with his unique connection with nature and life. For more: Website – https://kmorrispoet.com/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/drewdog2060_
Also on the show at 1:30 pm PST, was the arts educator and performer Viva Vinson who sang for us. World Poetry Café radio show team: Ariadne Sawyer, Producer and Host, Victor Schwartzman , Sound Engineer, Diego Bastinutti, Host and Sharon Rowe, special volunteer .
“I was born in the city of Liverpool on 6th January 1969. Having attended The Royal School for the Blind and St. Vincent’s School for the Blind in Liverpool, I went on to read History and Politics at the University College of Swansea. Having graduated with a BA (Joint Honours), and an MA in Political Theory, I moved to London where I now live and work. Being visually impaired, I use screen reading software called Job Access with Speech (JAWS) which converts text into speech and braille, enabling me to use a Windows laptop.
Much of my poetry is written in my home, which overlooks a historic park in Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace, a suburb of Greater London.”
On Good Friday I gave to you A geranium in a pot. We agreed on the need for air. I know not Whether you are showing care To that token Which, although unspoken You knew to be true.
And now you have your air And I mine. I remember you On my sofa blue. No line Was crossed.
The cost Was a cheap Priceless geranium in a pot You may or may not, keep.
Kevin Morris (C) All rights reserved by the author.