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Best Haiku Books to Read

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Haiku books.

1. Visible Signs: New and Selected Poems (Penguin Poets) (2003)

Best Haiku Books to ReadA poem by Lawrence Raab is a carefully chosen and precisely rendered moment—a poised and elegant meditation on the nature of memory. This new collection includes a selection from each of Raab’s five previous books of poetry, as well as twenty-one new poems. Readers will delight in their wide-ranging subjects, from “Miles Davis on Art” to “Saint Augustine’s Dog,” from the inventions of Rube Goldberg to the recklessness of dreams….
Author(s): Lawrence Raab

2. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa (Essential Poets) (1995)

Best Haiku Books to ReadAmerican readers have been fascinated, since their exposure to Japanese culture late in the nineteenth century, with the brief Japanese poem called the hokku or haiku. The seventeen-syllable form is rooted in a Japanese tradition of close observation of nature, of making poetry from subtle suggestion. Infused by its great practitioners with the spirit of Zen Buddhism, the haiku has served as an example of the power of direct observation to the first generation of American modernist poets like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and also as an example of…
Author(s): Robert Hass

3. Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon (2012)

Best Haiku Books to ReadRichard Wright, one of the early forceful and eloquent spokesmen for black Americans, author of the acclaimed Native Son and Black Boy, discovered the haiku in the last eighteen months of life. He attempted to capture, through his sensibility as an African-American, the elusive Zen discipline and beauty in depicting man’s relationship, not only to his fellow man as he had in the raw and forceful prose of his fiction, but to the natural world. In all, he wrote over 4,000 haiku.Here are the 817 he personally chose; Wright’s haiku, disciplined and steeped in beauty, display a universality that transcends both race…
Author(s): Richard Wright, Julia Wright

4. The Haiku Handbook#25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku (2013)

Best Haiku Books to ReadThe Haiku Handbook is the first book to give readers everything they need to begin appreciating, writing, or teaching haiku. In this groundbreaking and now-classic volume, the authors present haiku poets writing in English, Spanish, French, German, and five other languages on an equal footing with Japanese poets. Not only are the four great Japanese masters of the haiku represented (Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki) but also major Western authors not commonly known to have written poetry in this form, including Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac and Richard Wright.With a new foreword by poet, translator, and author Jane Reichhold (Basho: The…
Author(s): William J. Higginson, Penny Harter, et al.

5. The Penguin Book of Haiku (Penguin Classics) (2018)

Best Haiku Books to Read Now a global poetry, the haiku was originally a Japanese verse form that flourished from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Although renowned for its minimalism and brevity, usually running three lines in seventeen syllables, and by its use of natural imagery to make Zen-like observations about reality, in fact the haiku is much more: it can be erotic, funny, crude and mischievous. Presenting over a thousand exemplars in vivid and engaging translations by Adam L. Kern, this anthology offers an illuminating introduction to this widely celebrated, if misunderstood, art form….
Author(s): Adam L. Kern

6. Elemental Haiku: Poems to honor the periodic table, three lines at a time (2019)

Best Haiku Books to ReadOriginally appearing in Science magazine, this gifty collection of haiku inspired by the periodic table of elements features all-new poems paired with original and imaginative line illustrations drawn from the natural world. Packed with wit, whimsy, and real science cred, each haiku celebrates the cosmic poetry behind each element, while accompanying notes reveal the fascinating facts that inform it. Award-winning poet Mary Soon Lee’s haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, and physics, such as “Nickel, Ni: Forged in fusion’s fire,/flung…
Author(s): Mary Soon Lee

7. Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart (2010)

Best Haiku Books to ReadHaiku, the Japanese form of poetry written in just three lines, can be miraculous in its power to articulate the profundity of the simplest moment—and for that reason haiku can be a useful tool for bringing us to a heightened awareness of our lives. Here, the poet Patricia Donegan shares her experience of the haiku form as a way of insight that anyone can use to slow down and uncover the beauty of ordinary moments. She presents 108 haiku poems—on themes such as honesty, transience, and compassion—and offers commentary on each as an impetus to meditation and as a key to unlocking…
Author(s): Patricia Donegan

8. A Taste of Issa: Haiku (2019)

Best Haiku Books to ReadThis book is a major expansion of “Issa’s Best: A Translator’s Selection of Master Haiku” (2012). It presents most of the same seasonally-arranged haiku by Kobayashi Issa in English translation as the earlier book did–this time along with the original Japanese texts and commentary by the translator. The introduction provides an overview of Issa’s life and poetry….
Author(s): Issa Kobayashi, David G. Lanoue

9. Origami and Haiku: Inspired by Japanese Artwork (2018)

Best Haiku Books to ReadThis stunning book features three beautiful Japanese art forms in one. For each animal or object, children will be able to read the haiku, enjoy a corresponding work from the British Museum collection, and then make the origami figure! With clear, simple directions for thirteen animals or objects and fifty sheets of origami paper, this is the perfect introduction to the art of paper folding….
Author(s): Nosy Crow, The Trustees of the British Museum

10. Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-on Guide (2013)

Best Haiku Books to ReadWriting and Enjoying Haiku shows how haiku can bring a centered, calming atmosphere into one’s life, by focusing on the outer realities of life instead of the naggings of the inner mind, by gaining a new appreciation for the world of nature, and by preserving moments, days, and events so that they are not lost forever in the passage of time. Haiku are clearly shown to be a means of discovering and recording the miracles of the world, from the humorous to the tragic. This is one of the major themes underlying Writing and Enjoying Haiku…
Author(s): Jane Reichhold

11. Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (2016)

Best Haiku Books to ReadThe first anthology to map the full range of haiku in the English tradition.Haiku in English is an anthology of more than 800 brilliantly chosen poems that were originally written in English by over 200 poets from around the world. Although haiku originated as a Japanese art form, it has found a welcome home in the English-speaking world. This collection tells the story for the first time of Anglophone haiku, charting its evolution over the last one hundred years and placing it within its historical and literary context. It features an engaging introduction by…
Author(s): Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, et al.

12. The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology (Dover Thrift Editions) (1996)

Best Haiku Books to ReadA highly distilled form of Japanese poetry, haiku consists of seventeen syllables, usually divided among three lines. Though brief, they tell a story or paint a vivid picture, leaving it to the reader to draw out the meanings and complete them in the mind’s eye. Haiku often contains a hidden dualism (near and far, then and now, etc.) and has a seasonal tie-in, as well as specific word-images that reveal deeper layers in each poem.This unique collection spans over 400 years (1488–1902) of haiku history by the greatest masters: Bashō, Issa, Shiki, and many more, in translations by top-flight scholars in the field. Haiku commands…
Author(s): Faubion Bowers

Best Haiku Books to Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some haiku books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Penguin Book of Haiku

Author(s): Adam L. Kern
Publisher: Penguin Classics, Year: 2018, Size: 16 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2300021

Life in Numbers: Write Haiku (Level 2)

Author(s): Lisa Holewa
Publisher: Teacher Created Materials, Year: 2017, Size: 17 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2309194

Haikus

Author(s): Lisa M. Bolt Simons,Kathleen Petelinsek
Publisher: The Child's World, Year: 2014, Size: 22 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1344551

Favor of crows : new and collected Haiku

Author(s): Vizenor, Gerald Robert
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press, Year: 2014, Size: 545 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 1424466

Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture VI: 6th IFIP WG 5.14 International Conference, CCTA 2012, Zhangjiajie, China, October 19-21, 2012, Revised Selected Papers, Part II

Author(s): Yuechan Shi, Guijun Yang, Haikuan Feng , Daoliang Li, Yingyi Chen (eds.)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Year: 2013, Size: 29 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 966774

Nerd Haiku

Author(s): Robb Pearlman
Publisher: Lyons Press, Year: 2012, Size: 1 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1022596

Haiku for a season = Haiku per una stagione

Author(s): Barron, Patrick; Zanzotto, Andrea; Secco, Anna
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press, Year: 2012, Size: 1 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1425328

The Art of Haiku: Its History through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters

Author(s): Stephen Addiss
Publisher: Shambhala, Year: 2012, Size: 79 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1640418

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly record-breakers according to Chicago Tribune, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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