October 2003, Volume 1, Number 4

Ray became interested in haiku poetry after photographing the Kurimoto Japanese Garden near his home in Edmonton, Canada. He searched the Internet for Asian poetry to accompany a web site on the garden and found a similarity between photography and haiku. As he puts it, "Both attempt to vividly express nature while focusing on small, isolated aspects [or moments] and both produce a meditative focus-in short, for both, the process is perhaps more important than the product."

In his search for Asian poetry sources, he established a relationship with the World Haiku Club and helped to design its web site. He then began to create modern haiga [both photo-haiku and digital art haiku] web sites to illustrate the haiku of members of the WHC and other haijin whom he found on the Internet. In time, he began his own excursion into composing haiku - a path which he initially thought would be relatively easy [the haiku poem is so small, it must be easy to write one] and discovered that writing a good haiku is rather like producing a good photographic print Š a long term proposition at best!

Ray is especially appreciative of the early guidance he received from WHR Editor Debi Bender and the inspiration of her own work, and the later guidance from the WHC beginner's lessons [where an'ya, Alison Williams, Sue Mill, and Kirsty Karkow served as mentors] and finally from the members of other haiku e-forums which he joined [Basho's Beatniks, Timothy Russell's shachihoko e-forum and lessons, Paul Conneally's mentorship of the WHC haibun e-forum, to name a few]. He is also appreciative of the inspiration and help from haijin like soji whose own haiku web site is so beautifully crafted and from Museki Abe whose photo-haiku site was an early inspiration. He is also appreciative of the leadership of Susumu Takiguchi who has organized the WHC network and initiated the WHR, from which he does much of his reading and learning about the haiku form. Still, he points out that he is but a few years into the writing of haiku and is unsettled about his own present abilities-thus, he has a preference for illustrating the work of the acknowledged haiku masters and of contemporary haijin.

Presently Ray serves as the Editor of the World Haiku Review's Multimedia section and has crafted several of the special sections of the WHR. Initially, he served as the moderator of the WHC's Multimedia e-forum and he remains an active participant. In his own work, he finds the haiga and haibun forms of expression most personally compelling. He also participates in World Haiku Association's Haiga Section. His current interest is to acquire a sense of the senryu form of poetry as a means of further developing his skill in composing haiku.

Ray's work can be found on his extensive haiku-related web site: http://raysweb.net/haiku/

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