Monday, August 17, 2020

Prairie Interludes - eBook, Snapshot Press, 2020

Honoured to have my free eBook, Prairie Interludes, published by Snapshot Press (UK)! A thousand thanks to the editor, John Barlow, for selecting this collection as a winner in the 2019 Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards.

This book is comprised of seasonal nature haiku influenced by life on the prairie:

Please enjoy the other titles available from this highly esteemed small press.

Tanka Origins, Issue 4, August 2020

My thanks to the editor, an'ya, for her generous commentary:

pollen dust
sparkles on the pond
we dip
our hands into gold,
forging a memory

"As the author of this tanka Debbie Strange of Canada says "it's utterly magical when the sunlight refracts off the dust on the water - prisms everywhere! Such a lovely visual and a grand way to forge a memory with someone else. Debbie's "we dip" speaks to every one of us as if "we" were right there with her at that pond. Lovely, such a lovely tanka, as lovely as its author, one I always look forward to reading!"

NeverEnding Story, August 2020

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

the kestrel catches
a piece of sky

Highly Commended
2018 New Zealand International Poetry Competition

Chen-ou Liu's Comments:

L1 sketches a gloomy scene while unexpected yet visually arresting and emotionally poignant L3 enhances the tone and mood of this drought haiku.

Poetry Pea, August 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast: Guest Editor Robert Horrobin

Series 3, Episode 16 - "Joy", August 17, 2020

rosy dawn
our paddles stippled
with petals

Highly Commended
2019 New Zealand Poetry Society Int'l Competition

sun trap
the cat's tail tickles
my toes

Friday, August 14, 2020

Mouth Full of Stones - eBook, Title IX Press, 2020

Thrilled to have my free eBook, Mouth Full of Stones, published by Title IX Press! A thousand thanks to the editor, Lori Minor, and to Christine Villa for her lovely blurb.

This book of haikai is comprised of dark subject matter and black-and-white photographs.

"In Mouth Full of Stones, Debbie Strange, a multi-award winning short-form poet, explores the hard truths about life in our current world. She tackles a wide range of topics from poverty to addiction, aging to grief, gender issues to abuse, and climate change to natural catastrophes. Debbie masterfully probes these subjects, spinning gut-wrenching poems with multiple layers of meaning. From one page to the next, readers will find themselves confronting their own vulnerabilities, scars, and dark secrets."

—Christine L. Villa, author of The Bluebird's Cry, and editor of Velvet Dusk Publishing, Frameless Sky, and Ribbons

Mandy's Pages Annual Tanka Contest, 2020

Thrilled to receive an Honourable Mention in the 2020 Mandy's Pages Annual Tanka Contest. My thanks to Neal Whitman for his lovely commentary!

emerge from our barn
into dusk . . .
how short the wingspan
of this perfect moment

Honourable Mention
Mandy's Pages Annual Tanka Contest, 2020

Judge's Comments:

Reading this tanka, I experienced a natural flow in the image of small bats that feed on flying insects in the dark. This poet brought me into a single moment of time that I have never personally experienced, but it invited me to recall other moments that are perfect in that moment. This transcendent expression of ideals made this tanka worth mention.

—Neal Whitman

(note: there were 105 entries)

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 30, Number 3, August 2020

Honoured to receive the Museum of Haiku Literature Award for best of issue 30.2, May 2020. My thanks to Anna Maris for selecting this haiku, and for her lovely commentary:

prairie town
rusted rails lead us
into sunrise

"A hopeful and very classic haiku, which brings distinct and suggestive images to the reader. This poem conjures memories of old westerns, carries a strong heritage of wabi-sabi or could be read as social commentary. The visual perspective is strong in this one, light and darkness follow the rhythm of the alliteration into a forward movement which carries on way past the poem itself."

rhubarb leaves
the rain-soaked spaces
between them

sea stacks
rise through the mist
of long lost sailors
and impossible dreams

the tide leaves
a spiral of pebbles
at my feet
gone, before I can
call out your name

Glass House Festival, Poetry From Around the World, Weighing Raindrops Haiku Contest, July 2020

Honoured to have this haiku read aloud at the virtual Glass House Poetry Festival!

ceaseless rain
the questions I still
ask myself

3rd Prize
Weighing Raindrops Haiku Contest

(note: there were 129 entries)

The Wombwell Rainbow, June-July 2020

Thank you to curator, Paul Brookes!

June 23, 2020 - on the theme of wasps and bees

the argument
escalates all night
inside me
these paper-thin walls
only meant for wasps

Wild Voices, April 2017

I inhale
and my lungs fill up
with bees
though all hope is lost
there is still this hum

Hedgerow Poems 100, December 2016

June 24, 2020 - on the theme of ants

an ant
pushing the universe
up this hill
in a water droplet
I find my inner strength

Atlas Poetica 25, July 2016

a black river
of ants surges across
the pavement
they know their destination
long before I know mine

Honourable Mention, 2019 British Haiku Society Tanka Awards

June 25, 2020 - on the theme of beetles

the graffiti
of firefly stars at dusk
we follow
until our eyes adjust
to the narrative of night

Earth: Our Common Ground, April 2017

June 26, 2020 - on the theme of butterflies

in my garden
a gatekeeper butterfly
basks in the sun
I cover my pale body
only coming out at night

Cattails, September 2016

it was
as if she were
a butterfly
the way words flew
from her open hands

Cattails, April 2018

we once played
in this tangled garden,
by the quiet fireworks
of bergamot and butterflies

Atlas Poetica 36, February 2019

Otata 36, December 2018

Incense Dreams 3.1, October 2019

June 27, 2020 - on the theme of moths

she is suspended
between here and gone
a cobweb
catching the light
of this moth-winged life

A Hundred Gourds 4.1, December 2014

a hammock
of tent caterpillars
sags with dew . . .
our differing opinions
on the nature of beauty

Atlas Poetica Special Feature, January 2018

bind my body
with spanworm silk
lay me down
in a shaded garden
until I turn to earth

Atlas Poetica Special Feature, August 2019

Failed Haiku Journal of Senryu Vol. 3, Issue 33, September 2019

June 28, 2020 - on the theme of flies and other sundry insects

dead houseflies
litter my windowsill
not even compound eyes
see the way out of here

Undertow Tanka Review 7, September 2015

June 29, 2020 - on the theme of spiders

a spider web
strummed by soft breezes . . .
we can
almost hear the song
of morning dew

Ephemerae 1C, November 2018

July 4, 2020 - on the theme of meadows

the meadow
astir with blue skimmers
their wings
darning these placid days
into our histories

Ripples in the Sand, Tanka Society of America Membersߴ Anthology 2016

Frameless Sky 12, June 2020

Tanka Society of America 20th Anniversary Twitter Tanka Haiga Feature, April 2020

Thank you to curator, Susan Burch!

April 3, 2020

Honourable Mention, 2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

Tanka Society of America 7-Day Twitter Tanka Project, May 2020

My thanks to curator, Susan Burch!

Day 1 - May 10, 2020

I carry
an ocean within
my pocket . . .
this blue lace agate
etched with ancient tides

Honourable Mention, 2018 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Day 2 - May 11, 2020

a smudge
of blackbirds swirling
into evening . . .
how fluid the shape
of this sorrow

2nd Place, 2018 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Day 3 - May 12, 2020

1st Place, 2016 Mandyߴs Pages Tanka Contest

Day 4 - May 13, 2020

the growth rings
of otoliths and trees . . .
when did she
become smaller
than her daughters

2nd Place, 2017 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Day 5 - May 14, 2020

a star tortoise
carries the universe
on its back . . .
are we slowly moving
away from each other

2nd Place, 2018 San Francisco International Tanka Contest

Day 6 - May 15, 2020

1st Place, 2016 Fleeting Words Tanka Contest

Day 7 - May 16, 2020

the ocean
was in a rage last night
but today,
these peace offerings
of blue mussels and kelp

1st Place, 2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

The Poetry Pea Journal of Haiku and Senryu, Summer 2020

Editor: Patricia McGuire

"Afternoon Break"

flocks of cranes
in snow-dusted fields . . .
our idle chatter

fossil hunting
we empty our pockets
of time


wild berries in the colander slow-dripping rain


bristlecone pines
surely these could not be
my hands

Poetry Pea, July 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast: Guest Editor James Young

Series 3, Episode 14 - "Voyages", July 20, 2020

stone cairns
a faded cap drifts

1st Place
HSA 2015 Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest

the undulation of dunes
becoming water

Poetry Pea, June 2020

The Haiku Pea Podcast:

Series 3, Episode 12 - "Ageing", June 15, 2020

transience . . .
petal by petal
we let go

Winning Haiku, Canada
2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational

bristlecone pines
surely these could not be
my hands

#DebbieMStrangeHaigaProject - Covid-19 Twitter Haiga Project, March/April 2020

In March of 2020, as Covid-19 began making its presence known, I wanted to find a way to share a little joy with the Twitter short-form poetry community. To that end, between March 25 and May 18, I made 50 haiga for poets whose work complemented a series of my previously published soft-focus photographs.

The #DebbieMStrangeHaigaProject on Twitter is now complete. I'm beyond grateful to every writer who participated in this welcome distraction during the first two months of the Covid-19 crisis. The positive response to these 50 collaborations, and the enthusiasm with which short-form poets (from a dozen countries) responded to my call, has been both overwhelming and gratifying. It has been an honour to share your light during these dark times.

The "Looking Softly Upon the World" blurred-image series was the art feature for the Frameless Sky DVD Journal in 2018. These photographs were created in response to my deteriorating vision, and they have been languishing ever since their publication. My sincere thanks to all for bringing new life to old work, and for making this challenge so rewarding. Most of the artworks were created for poets who do not (or rarely) make their own haiga, with a few exceptions.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how hard it is to let this project go, but the time has come for me to push myself into resuming my daily writing practice/meditation. I extend my deepest gratitude to you for lending me your words. We couldn't have done this without each other! Poets in order of their appearance on Twitter:

Beez Laine
Joyce Brudenberg
Kathabela Wilson
Alyona Schatzman
Kathleen Gresham Everett
J Matthew Waters
Eve Castle
Jonathan Roman
Brendon Kent
Deborah P Kolodji
Linty Chim
Mark Gordon
Matte Kishor
Kim Talon
Marion S Clarke
Eufemia Griffo
Tia Haynes
Nicholas Klacsanzky
M Shane Pruett
M Kei
Debbi Antebi
Tom Clausen
Alan Summers
Chen-ou Liu
Lori Minor
Christine Villa
Kris Lindbeck
Christina Sng
Susan Burch
Madhuri Pillai
Caroline Skanne
R D Bailey
Mike Rehling
Andrea Cecon
Julie Thorndyke
kj Munro
Roberta Beary
Alexis Rotella
Susan Antolin
Charlotte Digregorio
Julie Boss Kelsey
Kala Ramesh
Stanford Forrester
Robin Anna Smith
Christina Chin
Hifsa Ashraf
Paul Chambers

The entire collection may be viewed by scrolling through the media section of my Twitter timeline, or by searching for the #DebbieMStrangeHaigaProject on Twitter. The photographs that were used for the haiga may be accessed under the Frameless Sky tag on this blog.

Red Lights, Vol. 16, Number 2, June 2020

one protostar
brighter than any other . . .
the collapse
and fragmentation
of this molecular life

the birds that remain nameless

a capercaillie
emerges from pinewoods
into the open,
his glossy black fan
shimmering with light

we paddle
among marsh grasses
by the swaying suns
of yellow-headed blackbirds

a coyote's den
remains but feathers
trying to catch the wind

Presence, Number 67, July 2020

dry riverbed
we walk in the steps
of glaciers

captive eagles
the stone they try
to hatch

this home
is my sanctuary
with everything
I love, except you

Kingfisher, Issue #1, June 2020

ruddy turnstones
forage on the shore . . .
our mottled hands

Into the Warp and Woof: Best of Frameless Sky, Volume 1, 2020

Thrilled to be included among the poets and artists featured in issues 1 - 10. My thanks to the editor, Chrissi Villa!

poppy field
the way you rattle me
with your stare

this topography
of hills and dales . . .
our ageing bodies
fit together, still

Honoured to have six photographs from my "Looking Softly Upon the World" series (featured in Issue 9), paired with work by the following fine poets: Kath Abela Wilson, Linda Jeannette Ward, Julie Warther, David Terelinck, Tia Haynes, and Adelaide B. Shaw. 

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 26, July 2020

Guest Editor: Praniti Gulyani

a wash of pain comes
over me

sacred feminine
light gathers in the folds
of her marble gown

Bottle Rockets, Vol. 22, Number 1 (or #43), August 2020

tent window
northern lights capture
our dreams

Saturday, August 01, 2020

The Cherita, May 2020

Issue: "it's a secret place"

beneath this bower

I will weave you
a garland of words

all the ones
you used to love,
in days beyond recall

sepia photographs

become nothing
but dust in our hands

we sift the remains
of our ancestors
over the garden

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

The Cherita, April 2020

Issue: "and still"

the sky aflush

with dawn
and possibility

I don't know how
to be me

we dance across

alpine meadows
on sun-washed days

tiny butterflies
like ballerinas escaping
from our mouths

A Cherita Lighthouse Award

Wales Haiku Journal, Summer 2020

we tuck a note inside
the riven oak

Haiga Gallery:

Turtle Light Press: 2019 Haiku Chapbook Contest Favorites E-book, 2020

Thank you to editor Rick Black for selecting the following haiku from my Third Honorable Mention chapbook, Songs Where We Least Expect Them:

weathered oars
we fold our worries
into the river

Acorn 41, Fall 2018

solar flares
a spill of buttercups
in the meadow

Acorn 35, Fall 2015

in cupped hands
the harvest moon rests
for a moment

1st Place, 2015 Autumn Moon Haiku Contest
Living Haiku Anthology, 2015

The Cicada's Cry: A Micro-Zine of Haiku Poetry, Summer 2020

rusty sun
father's plough returns
to the earth

Stardust Haiku, Issue 43, July 2020

Honoured to have the following haiku chosen for the "In the Starlight" feature:

neonatal unit
the bleat of a mother
missing her lamb

Stardust Haiku, Issue 42, June 2020

pillow drifts
we pull twin calves
into morning

Sonic Boom, Issue 18, August 2020

Ribbons, Volume 16, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2020

sphagnum moss holds
the imprints
of comings and goings
more wild than mine

Tanka 2020: Poems from Today's World, Red Moon Press 2020

My thanks to editor-in-chief Alexia Rotella for choosing the following tanka:

taking a knee . . .
the black hollyhocks
in my garden
fall victim, one by one
to another killing frost

rain doves build
a nest on our balcony
we, too
are learning the art
of sheltering in place

this curse
should be named
the way it pecks
holes in our lungs

empty cathedral . . .
he sings for everyone
and for no one
this moment of healing
in a quarantined world

(for Andrea Bocelli)

Prune Juice Book of Senryu, Celebrating 10 Years: 2009 - 2019

Thrilled to be one of the 85 top contributors from Prune Juice Journal's first 29 issues, with work selected by past editors, Steve Hodge, Terri L. French, Alexis Rotella, Liam Wilkinson, and edited by Brent Goodman! My work has appeared in 17 issues since 2014.

transplanted . . .
a bleeding heart
in the surgeon's garden

     #12 2014

the way you wriggle
out of lies

     #19 2016

in the tracks
of a dog I wish were mine
snow sparkles

     #20 2016

sheet lightning
my hands find the bones
of your hips

     #22 2017

peeling paint
all the backstories
we don't know

     #23 2017

last testament
we inherit the bulk
of her shame

     #23 2017

just far enough away
to move me

     #25 2018 (shortlisted for the 2018 H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest)

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, July 2020

Curated by Lavana Kray

July 6, 2020

Note: this haiga originally appeared in Ephemerae 1C, November 2018

July 13, 2020

Note: this tanka originally appeared in GUSTS 31, Spring/Summer 2020

July 19, 2020

Note: this tanka originally appeared in Blithe Spirit 30.1, February 2020

July 30, 2020

Note: this tanka received a Commendation in the Climate Change: The Burning Issue 2020 Tanka Contest (administered by Mandy's Pages)

NeverEnding Story, June 2020

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

wheat fields
tousled by fingers
of wind
I tuck a strand of hair
behind your ear

Honourable Mention, 2018 Sanford Goldstein Int'l Tanka Contest

Chen-ou Liu's Comments: (excerpted from commentary by judges Jessica Malone Latham and Neal Whitman)

...This tanka brought out the romance of life expressed in gentle moments, and oh how gently we are brought into this scene. In this poem, love is in wind and wheat, love is expressed by tucking hair with hands. While we sat in the presence of this poem, it enabled each of us to feel this sacred moment of love, and to reflect on our symbols of affection and tenderness. For us, we ultimately fell into a moment of appreciation and quietude...

Moonbathing, Issue 22, Spring/Summer 2020

I wait for you . . .
nakedness perfumed
with almond oil
a veil of starlight
pinned over my hair

Haiku 2020: 100 Notable Ku from 2019, Modern Haiku Press, 2020

Thrilled to be included in this anthology edited by Lee Gurga and Scott Metz!

summer fair
our dog retrieves
a lost boy

Mariposa 40, Spring/Summer 2019

Hedgerow Poems, Number 131, Spring 2020

Frameless Sky, Issue 12, June 2020

prairie meadow
we are still chasing
summer dreams

robin migration
the promises we make
to keep in touch

a deserted beach
strewn with seashells
and echoes
why do I always wait
for you to fill my sails

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Womxn's Haiku - Issue 25, June 2020

Guest Editor: Elizabeth Alford

inner peace
i offer it
to the world

even the dust bunnies
are multiplying . . .

My thanks to Elizabeth for choosing the following vertical haiku for a "Femku Feature"!


Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 5, Issue 55, July 2020

Note: this haiga was originally published in Scryptic 2.2, August 2018

Australian Haiku Society, 2020

Winter Solstice 2020 AHS Haiga Kukai: Non-Seasonal Entry

shadow play
the yin and yang
inside my cup

Winter Solstice 2020 AHS Haiga Kukai: Seasonal Entry

snowy woodpile
a small spark begins
to sing

Note: These haiku were written in response to the photographic prompts by Ron Moss.

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 3:2, Spring-Summer 2020

dawn meditation
the valley surrenders
its mist

Atlas Poetica, Number 40, 2020

pistil and stamen

evening wind
heavy with the perfume
of sweet peas
we are tendrils clinging
to each other's heart

from a market stall
we warm
ourselves with memories
of happier times

I shower
you with petals
this ceremony
the simple hallmark
of mourning

my garden
is wizened now
but soon
it will be plump
and ripe with snow

Blithe Spirit, Vol. 30, Number 2, May 2020

prairie town
rusted rails lead us
into sunrise

this guitar
handed down to me
still bears
the fingerprints of songs
I know by heart

I ramble
along whin-covered cliffs
s e a r c h i n g
for the perfect stone
to add to your cairn

Note: This issue also contains the results and commentaries for the 2019 British Haiku Society Awards, which may be accessed under The British Haiku Society tag on this blog. I was thrilled to receive four awards in the annual tanka contest! My thanks to judges an'ya and Gregory Longenecker.

Our Best Haiga: Black & White Haiga/Haisha, June 2020

Curated by Lavana Kray

June 3, 2020

Note: this haiku previously appeared in Poetry Pea, May 20, 2019

June 6, 2020

Note: this tanka previously appeared in Panning for Poems 12, Autumn 2019

June 9, 2020

Note: this haiga previously appeared in Under the Basho, 2018

June 16, 2020

Note: this tanka art previously appeared in Ribbons 15.3, Fall 2019

June 29, 2020

Note: this haiku received 2nd Place in the 2019 Morioka 1st Int'l Haiku Contest