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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.

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.
Author(s): Robert Hass

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.
Author(s): Richard Wright, Julia Wright

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.
Author(s): William J. Higginson, Penny Harter, et al.

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.
Author(s): Adam L. Kern

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.
Author(s): Mary Soon Lee

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.
Author(s): Patricia Donegan

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.
Author(s): Issa Kobayashi, David G. Lanoue

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

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.
Author(s): Jane Reichhold

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.
Author(s): Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, et al.

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.
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 Library 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.

Writing Haiku: A Beginner's Guide to Composing Japanese Poetry - Includes Tanka, Renga, Haiga, Senryu and Haibun

Author(s): Bruce Ross
ID: 3286543, Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, Year: 2022, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Basho: The Complete Haiku of Matsuo Basho

Author(s): Basho
ID: 3607059, Publisher: University of California Press, Year: 2022, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

The Life and Zen Haiku Poetry of Santoka Taneda. Japan’s Most Beloved Modern Haiku Poet

Author(s): Sumita Oyama, William Scott Wilson
ID: 3064404, Publisher: TUTTLE Publishing, Year: 2021, Size: 8 Mb, Format: pdf

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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