I offer my gratitude to Roberta Beary, judge of the 2019 Sable Books Haiku Book Contest for Women, for her sensitive and insightful reading of The Language of Loss: Haiku & Tanka Conversations, and for her generous commentary. It is an honour beyond measure to receive the first place award from an esteemed writer I so admire.
My appreciation is also extended to accomplished writers Kala Ramesh and Christina Sng, for their support during the pre-reading process.
Thank you to John Barlow, editor of Snapshot Press, for his encouraging note regarding an earlier version of the tanka portion of this manuscript.
I am indebted to the Sable books team for administering this contest, and for their dedication to the promotion of diverse voices.
Judge Roberta Beary's commentary:
"These exquisite poems illuminate the skill of the author in pairing haiku and tanka in conversation, one page at a time. On one page, the long ago past talks to the recent past. On another, the sorrow of the natural world is juxtaposed with that of the human world.
The Language of Loss contains tanka and haiku of exceptional quality. But it is the remarkable way in which the poet links tanka and haiku that elevated The Language of Loss into the winner's circle. The poems on each page come together in a conversation of many layers. That these conversations will deepen and change for each reader is due to the author's expertise. I am delighted to congratulate Debbie Strange on her winning collection."