We are thrilled to announce that Wishbones, haiku & senryu by Ben Moeller-Gaa with calligraphy by JS Graustein, has won The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Book Award 2018. We would like to thank The Haiku Foundation for all they do to support English-language Japanese-form poetry, and also the award panel for their time and consideration.
Speaking of the award panel, they have a tradition of publishing commentary that gives a glimpse into their deliberations. We encourage you to read the discussion for all of this year’s winning poems and books on the foundation’s website, but we’ve chosen to quote the Wishbones commentary in its entirety here. That way we can replace their haiku quotes with the calligraphy versions to give you the full experience.
“Wishbones by Ben Moeller-Gaa is a beautifully produced collection of evocative haiku. Folded Word Press is to be commended for the calligraphy by JS Graustein presenting each haiku on a cream-colored page. Her calligraphy provides a human touch to the haiku, as if we are reading them from someone’s journal. The book starts with the title poem:
[We] especially like how this haiku moves from the physical connection of splitting a wishbone to the more symbolic expression. It invokes this childish ritual with the deeper realizations about serious wishes and differences. The haiku in Moeller-Gaa’s book continually play with ordinary events and their mystical underlying significance, for instance:
Sometimes the tension between the immediate and the unseen is the passage of time:
The author writes from a variety of circumstances and emotions. [We] appreciate the togetherness in this one:
Consider this more ominous one:
This is an outstanding collection of haiku because the author engages in deep thinking, close wondering, and heartfelt caring. Like most of our best writers, Ben Moeller-Gaa takes the time to notice significance in life and captures that significance in the literary art of haiku.”
Wishbones is currently available in our Global Edition, ISBN 978-1-61019-116-6, which may be ordered from your favorite online bookseller or special-ordered from your local bookshop. Since our Sustainable Edition sold out in under a month, we are working on a Special Edition to celebrate the book’s achievement. This new limited, numbered edition will include a foreword, author’s note, and other bonus material not available in previous editions. If you would like to be updated as we develop the Special Edition and open it up for pre-orders, please fill out the form below.