Three Seabeck Anthology Reviews

Reviews by Paul Miller, published in Modern Haiku 52:2, Summer 2021, pages 149–150.

Seabeck Reunion: Tenth Anniversary Anthology, ed. Michael Dylan Welch (Bellevue, Wash.: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020). 131 pages; 7x10 inches. Glossy four-color card covers; perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-953092-00-7. Price: $18.00 from online booksellers.

The tenth-anniversary anthology of the Seabeck getaway is dedicated to Johnny Baranski, a longtime fixture at the weekend retreat. The 2017 anthology contains an introduction by John Stevenson and a detailed history of the Getaway’s development by Michael Dylan Welch. This last is especially rewarding as it gives a sense of the scope of the retreat—and all the poets attending and presentations that have occurred. More importantly, the history reveals the weekend’s diverse cast of characters and the overall welcoming spirit. Plus a lot of haiku! passing clouds / the silence of those / no longer with us (Johnny Baranski); writing poems / on the floating dock / gull tracks (Dianne Garcia); the rust line / on our toilet tank / autumn deepens (Scott Mason).

Joining the Conversation: 2019 Seabeck Haiku Getaway Anthology, ed. C. R. Manley (Bellevue, Wash.: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020). 97 pages; 5½x8½ inches. Matte four-color card covers; perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-953092-02-1. Price: $15.00 from online booksellers.

Editor Manley gives a detailed listing of the twelfth Getaway’s daily events and programs, following it with the resulting haiku from rengay sessions, the kukai, and haiku walks. The rest of the book contains haiku from the over sixty participants, sprinkled with haiga from visiting presenter Ion Codrescu. Just reading the anthology makes me want to return. dim autumn sky / old age slipping into / all my hiding places (Michelle Schaefer—first place in the kukai); cathedral in the woods / I find a stump / just my size (Carol MacRury); early spring / the chirp-chirping / of my key fob (Adam L. Kern).

Sound of a Leaf: 2018 Seabeck Haiku Getaway Anthology, eds. Carole MacRury and Vicki McCullough (Bellevue, Wash.: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020). 74 pages; 6x9 inches. Glossy four-color card covers; perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-953092-01-4. Price: $15.00 from online booksellers.

The 2018 Seabeck anthology includes a brief introduction to the annual get-together in Washington State’s Kitsap Peninsula. Aside from the over eighty haiku from a record-attended year, the volume also contains Margaret D. McGee’s short history of Seabeck’s three-time labyrinth and Garry Gay’s brief origin story of rengay. Like the Getaway itself, the volume is welcoming. night train / we all think we know / where we’re going (John Stevenson); birders pause / to identify the blossoms / autumn mist (Victor Ortiz); labyrinth / a breeze turns over / another leaf (Cyndi Lloyd).