An Introduction

In very simple terms, the “hay(na)ku” is a poetic form based on a 1 word/2 words/3 words stanzaic pattern. It can be as short as three lines or as long as humanly possible.

Conceptualised and popularised through several print books, blogs, readings and other poetic manifestations by Eileen R. Tabios, the hay(na)ku has a solid track record as a poetic form truly indebted to and embedded on the Internet.

My book “Not Even Dogs” (2006; please buy it here) collects some of my early experiments with the form; “The Chained Hay(na)ku Project” (2010; please buy it here), which I co-curated with fellow poets Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen Tabios, is the testimony of the hay(na)ku’s enduring international appeal through the embracing of digital technologies.

Personally, I believe that what’s great about the hay(na)ku and its practitioners is that it only takes itself seriously where it counts: there are words or there are no words.  There is no other pretension but the pleasure of writing and reading.

The Hay(na)ku Postcard Project is my new attempt at circulating hay(na)ku stanzas around the world. This poetic form would have never existed the way it does had it not been for blogging and the Internet, but its essence is the goal, rather than the methods used to achieve it. The hay(na)ku was very successful in creating an international community around it. In this project I will be using the postal service and the humble blank postcard to write and send hay(na)ku poems to those who would like to receive one.

In a way I will be “crowdsourcing” the project: those wanting to participate will request a postcard by email; recipients will email me photos of their postcards, which I will then upload to the project’s public gallery. Each photo will be dated and geotagged (only town and country) so we can create a temporal and geographical map of all the postcards/poems. I will also share each photo on this blog as soon as I receive them.

For complete instructions on how to participate, please click here.

I do not have any kind of sponsorship or funding to carry out this project, so I can’t afford to post lots of cards at the same time, so please do be patient. (If you’d like to sponsor this project, please DO contact me!). This project is also about the differences between communication systems and the different perceptions of time imposed by them. I promise your hay(na)ku postcard will reach you sooner or later.

If you decide to participate, thank you!

[This text was originally posted on Friday 30th September 2010 as this blog’s first post, here].

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