Praise for A Train Hurtles West by Maeve O'Sullivan, published June 2015
A bittersweet work by a master writer and teacher of haiku, A Train Hurtles West touches the soul and offers respite from the hectic pace of the daily grind. Take time to savor each poem.
Roberta Beary, haibun editor of Modern Haiku
O'Sullivan has an ability to find humour in the most unlikely situation, to hear music in a deeply personal way, to connect intimately with the passing seasons and to convey all that in the simplest of phrases, as should all haiku writers of stature.
John Parsons, haiku poet and artist
A Train Hurtles West made me hope that when the time comes for each of us to ride that same train, someone might also celebrate our lives with haiku as eloquently composed and compassionate as these by Maeve O'Sullivan.
an'ya, editor for cattails, collected works of the United Haiku and Tanka Society
Excerpts from reviews of A Train Hurtles West by Maeve O'Sullivan, published June 2015
We are left to make the connections, either between the haiku images, from our own autobiography or to complete the story line to feel we are somehow transported. We depart from the images for another spectacular world.
- Colin Blundell, Blithe Spirit, Issue 26:1, February 2016
A Train Hurtles West is the second solo haiku collection by a poet who, having been introduced to the form two decades ago, now has an eye, ear and sensibility which are finely attuned to haiku moments...O'Sullivan writes well, with originality and clarity, as in this (final) example: rainy autumn night the glint of his chin stud
- Matthew Paul, Presence Issue 54, February 2016
O'Sullivan's assurance with the haiku form is contained on every page...As a book of remembrance for a life lived and for a life being lived with all its happiness and sadness, quiet corners and rowdy backdrops, flowers and birds, this will do very nicely indeed.
- Sandra Simpson, haiku poet on her blog, Breath
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Information onThe Trouble with Mona Lisa by Peter Butler, published June 2015
Leonardo da Vinci is furious with his model, Mona Lisa,vanishing to the toilet, losing her contact lens. An elderly ornithologist creates The Less Spotted Grumbok, a bird which sunbathes in the Arctic, can sing across eight octaves and has a profound understanding of Dickens. In 2204,The International Climate Executive postpones a planned rain forest in the Sahara, and the Swiss put in an unscheduled order for some of our snow, while Blind Bert proves by far the brightest in an Adult Education Class. London-based poet Peter Butler's fourth book of poems is both hilarious and compassionate, a mix of prose and short poems. He has been widely published in the USA as well as the UK.
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Praise for Bog Cotton by Ken Jones, published November 2012
'Ken Jones's haibun are fluent, well-crafted, carefully modulated and capture the minds and hearts of his readers. He has a wide range of topics which are anchored in reality and presented in a detail that is allowed to speak for itself. Jones's ongoing exploration of relationships between the spiritual, secular and natural worlds has been an ongoing progress throughout his career as a writer of haibun.
Patricia Prime, Kokako.
'What more could one ask than an amiable, erudite traveling companion with a cheeky sense of humor? Ken Jones walks us through the Welsh countryside, around Europe, even down the long white corridors of the hospital, and through it all you're glad to have him with you.'
Jim Kacian, The Haiku Foundation
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Praise for The Fragrance of Dust by James Norton, published July 2012
'Adept in a variety of forms, Jim Norton is drawn, again and again, to the mystery of impermanence, the wonder of change, his writing a constant revelation and nourishment'.
'This is a thoroughly remarkable collection: in the haibun there's not a word out of place. In the haiku, coiled springs, 'something else is [always] happening...' just as it should do in a great haiku. Full of little sadnesses: 'Waited for her here an age ago' and lovely touches of gentle humour: Dare I tell him?/From my neighbour's dungheap/a double rainbow... A collection to prize and savour.'
Colin Blundell (Editor, Blithe Spirit; Journal of the British Haiku Society)
'Moment after moment of accurate quirky witty perception - of Startlement - with a deep sense of the sacredness of life as of perception. Commands language without showing off... I like the very satisfying haiku and relish the prose pieces too, that tease at the imagination always. Commands language without showing off.'
Peter Conradi, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, author of the acclaimed 'Iris Murdoch: A Life'
'A judicious selection that spans two decades and a gathering of forms from haiku to haibun and poems where 'occasion and theme impel their own shaping'. Jim Norton's poetry is full of luminosity, impressions and insightsÉfrom the human register... where nothing goes unnoticed'
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Praise forBlack Horse Running by Clare McCotter, published May 2012
"This is an extraordinary book, full of wisdom, and racked with emotion that is steadied by quite amazing linguistic skill, nuance, and blazing insight. It reminds you of what poetry is really about. A thrill to read."
Robert Anthony Welch, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Ulster, sometime Dean of Arts; poet, novelist, critic, editor of the Oxford Companion to Irish Literature
"It is not only that Clare McCotter brings a new lyricism and emotional breadth to the haiku and its sister forms, the tanka and the haibun. Here also are startling juxtapositions of language, sudden openings-out of the spirit."
Mark Rutter, poet and past editor of Blithe Spirit
"Out of the crucible of Northern Ireland we have haiku, haibun and tanka fired to a new temperature, forged by a poet with a wonderfully distinctive poetic voice"
David Cobb, Founder Member, and President 1997-2002, of the British Haiku Society
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Praise forSnow Moon by Steven Carter, published October 2011
"Steven Carter's Snow Moon is a beguiling collection of haiku/haibun. The writing is nuanced, ranging from lyrical to haunting... with touches of wry humour."
Cynthia Rowe, Editor, Haiku Xpressions & President, Australian Haiku Society
"Snow Moon offers a winning combination of haiku and haibun. Carter's lightness of touch, sureness of tone and teasing subtlety deploy the potencies of dream, memory and imagination across an impressive range."
Jim Norton, Founder Editor, Haiku Spirit
"From the Magrittian Equinox to the Munchian 1991, Carter displays consummate artistry in both his haiku miniatures and in the broader canvas of his haibun."
Maeve O'Sullivan, Founder Member, Haiku Ireland
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Excerpts from reviews of Initial Response by Maeve O'Sullivan, published April 2011
Summing up, we must say that Maeve O'Sullivan has authored a subtle, honed, personal collection, which encapsulates a keen eye for the natural world; together with a gentle humour. However it is her studies on the human heart that are most deeply affecting: an 'initial response' to the pattern of life perhaps?"
Sharon Burrell, Shamrock Haiku Journal (Read)
"These haiku remain private in essence but can be understood by anyone. There is a wide variety of experience and a splash of colour - a textual tour de force ...this is poetry of pauses and silences, of inner contemplation, and the act of trying to absorb the concepts of emotional realities, life and mortality. O'Sullivan is less a poet of the small and domestic, than of abiding metaphysical questions. The haiku are variously loving and languid, surreal one moment and sharply picturesque the next. Possessed of a quiet wisdom, O'Sullivan's haiku will stay with you long after you put the book down."
Patricia Prime, New Zealand Poetry Society (Read)
The device of the alphabetical arrangement succeeds to the extent that it provides context to haiku that might be insufficient without it. Additionally, the arrangement ensures that we get just enough haiku on any given theme without getting so many that we begin to tire of the system. In short, one of the main challenges of any haiku collection has been met: the whole has the feel of being greater than the sum of the parts."
Martin Lucas, Presence Journal (UK)
This (A-Z structure) is a clever way of doing it as haiku have a brevity and economy to them, (it gives them) a thematic bind. The best ones are personal ones ... very simple, very sparse but conjuring up hundreds of emotions and images ... very cute observations, fleeting moments captured ... and she does it very well, very lyrically, a lovely collection."
Sinéad Gleeson, arts critic and journalist, on RTÉ Radio One's Arena programme (Read)
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Excerpts from reviews of Double Rainbow by Maeve O'Sullivan and Kim Richardson, published in November 2005
"DOUBLE RAINBOW is a book that you'll want to return to often. It offers so many essential insights into our relationship with each other and with a natural world from which we are so often alienated. Some haiku display powerful emotion and others, tenderness and vulnerability ... the resultant tone is one of experience, imagination and skilful crafting of the haiku form."
Patricia Prime in the New Hope International Review (Read)
"Overall, it must be said, the collection has about it an air of unassuming confidence, the sort of confidence, perhaps, that comes from knowing you have produced something genuine, something 'real'. While strictly avoiding any suggestion of cosiness, it nevertheless engenders a sense of companionable familiarity - a subtle and quietly attractive quality... altogether an engaging, attractive and worthwhile book."
Maurice Tasnier in Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society (Read)
"Haiku is a tough form to pull off successfully. There is so little space and if you don't get your image precisely and deftly, the poem falls flat... the arrangement does create a sense of two voices weaving around each other, responding consciously and unconsciously to the vision of the other. The result is a deeper resonance for the reader."
Nessa O'Mahony, Orbis Quarterly International Literary Journal
These swift, slight poems indicate how the skein of the entire group reverberates with that keenness of feeling and sharp observation associated with Tu Fu, Li Po, even Rumi, while, at the same time, releasing a plaint about the complex tones of contemporary life. Thus, in Double Rainbow, vapor trails, tattoos, bricked-up doorways, prams, lapsed Irish Catholics, soaps, Saddam, and mortgage payments intersect with snails, fuchsia, swans, summer hailstorms, swallows on the river and, of course, the glance of sunlight which brings the bow of beauty every time. An unpretentious, often humorous, sound and lyrical volume. A gift."
Devon McNamara (USA / various)
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