haiku resists definitions. Like primordial soup it defies geography and
structure. Bound only by its language and the Internet it finds ways
to mix Russian literary tradition with Japanese style and Western logic.
Not unlike many who are taken by this poetry, the Russian haiku community
has yet to establish a boundary between haiku and senryu, between real
and imagined, between self and the world. Everything, good or bad, is
possible in this virtual thought environment that sometimes reminds me
of Solaris, the planet-mind from the Stanislaw Lem science fiction novel.
early translations of Japanese classics and occasional publications
in secondary literary
magazines Russian haiku sprang on the Internet,
appearing first on Alexei Andreev's http://www.haiku.ru.
His article "What
is haiku?" still serves as a reference point for many Russian haijin.
In the late nineties
Russia experienced a surge of interest toward the outside world, and
especially Japan. Russian translations
of Yukio Mishima's
and Haruki Murakami's novels became instant bestsellers.The first Russian
haiku contest sponsored by the Japanese Embassy in Moscow received more
then ten thousand poems from all over the Russian Federation, and in
the end was won by Marina Hagen, a poet from an industrial city
in the Ural
Mountains. Critic and publisher Dmitri Kuzmin then started a Russian
language haiku almanac, Triton, which eventually folded after
publishing just four
came and went, but haiku decided to stay in Russia. When www.haiku.ru and
Triton froze in time, a more interactive haiku playground, http://www.haiku-do.com,
was brought to life by a group of enthusiasts led by Alexander Koudryashov.
Their work created a very popular haiku destination, which in turn produced
two haiku anthologies: Haikumena-1 in 2002, and Haikumena-2 in 2004.
Both volumes, edited by Dmitri Kudrya, contained works of various
haiku, renku, critiques, translations, etc.
In 2002 Michael
Baru started another purely internet-based haiku venture. He used
his blog at http://www.livejournal.com for publishing his own
works as well as interactive translations from major English-language
This initiative attracted the attention of many other Russian haiku
poets and readers, who lived in Russia proper and all over the
Russian haiku became a truly global experience. It is now represented
on the Internet
in The Anthology of Russian Haiku and Short Poems [http://www.livejournal.com/users/haiku_anthology],
which was put together and edited by Michael Baru. The Anthology contains
about a thousand
works written by more than a hundred authors living in twelve different
Many of them participate in virtual Russian
haiku [http://www.livejournal.com/community/rus_haiku_soc] and haiga
creating day by day what has become contemporary Russian haiku.
the silent rise of
Bobkova; Adelaide, Australia.
falling in the snow
Levi; Moscow, Russia
out of the
I steer by
Rigel and Betelgeuse
Secretta; Halifax, Canada
so many flowers
on this plump girl!
Tammi; Tallinn, Estonia.
on your pinky---
Kobyaki; St. Petersburg, Russia
with a butterfly on his cap
a passerby in bloom!
Filonov; Chicago, IL
Dance, my wife---
let me see you
as a stranger
Schlyakhov; St. Petersburg, Russia
on both sides of the window
Vayman; Boston, MA
an oncology nurse tells me
Wasserstrom; Cupertino, CA
but now lives in
the San Francisco
Bay area. He learned
about haiku several
years ago while
has enjoyed working
with this unique
type of poetry
since. He writes
haiku in Russian
and English, and
runs a Russian
His haiku, senryu,
live mostly on
the Internet, but
of them managed
to appear in print.
Eugene says that
he always follows
advice to write
only for one person,
this special haiku
person being his
2005: Simply Haiku