Wednesday, 9 December 2015

What is a haibun? and Popshot Magazine

When I met David Cobb at the Poetry Book Fair back in September he asked me if I knew what a Haibun was. He was impressed that I had heard of it. I bought his little book, The Spring Journey to the Saxon Shore, because David's journey by bike through the 'land of my ancestors' - Suffolk and Norfolk, to be exact, appealed to me. David kindly signed my book and I looked forward to reading it.

So, what is a haibun? The short answer, given by David in his book, is that it consists of 'prose narrative punctuated at irregular but frequent intervals with haiku poems.' This is a little gem of a book, just 63 pages long and includes a map of the bike journey with notes/references to the prose. The prose refers to people and events in history as he cycles from Wethersfield to Sandringham. Some of it I knew about - Thetford and Thomas Paine seems to crop up a lot in my life, yet I have still to read his The Rights of Man (it's been on my wish on Amazon for over a year!). Then there is Bury St Edmunds, another place I love. Others who get a mention are Henry Moore, Gustav Holst, Dickens, Shakespeare and Boudica.

The prose narrative is indeed interspersed with haiku - one or two per page. It seems to work and I liked the content. I think I will give another read through to take in the notes as I go next time. I'm so glad I saw this and bought it. It took me into the past and kept me reading.

Popshot Magazine is new to me and caught my eye in WHSmith today when I was buying the latest copy of Writing Magazine. It is unusual to see this sort of magazine on the shelf and I was intrigued. I picked it up and had a quick flick through it, saw it contained both fiction and poetry and decided to buy it. Over lunch I read the first poem and the first short story and loved both. The magazine contains some great colour illustrations and I loved the Endnotes which gives a short background to each piece in the magazine. If the rest of the magazine is as good I feel a subscription coming on. I've had a quick look at the website and I shall be back to investigate more. A nice find, this.

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