About Me

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Jim Croteau lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his partner of 31 years, Darryl, and their two Labrador retrievers. He grew up gay and Catholic and white in the southern United States in the 1960’s and 70’s and has spent his adult life in small non-coastal cities, mostly in the Midwest. He loved his mother very much. He began writing poetry in May 2012 at first to cope with life in times of aging and then, well, he sorta caught the poetry bug. He is still working as a professor in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Check out the journal, Haibun Today, and some reflections on writing haibun

Check on the journal "Haibun Today". The editor for this issue, Melissa Allen, was great--she gave me some excellent feedback on a piece and asked me to revise and re-submit. It really pulled the piece together and was one of those rare times when I knew for sure "this is it, it is finished". I appreciate so much busy editors who take the time to help--so I thought I would plug the journal here. (My poem does not come out till March, I will post about it again then).

I am liking the haibun form and how this journal and others are "translating" the form in a way that speaks to, and registers with, folks and writing that is contemporary and Western.  I think I like it for several reasons.  First, I tend to "go prose" a lot with my writing and haibun combines prose with haiku poetry. Second, writing haiku forces me back from over-explaining which is one my (many) poetry weaknesses. The editor really got me to think of haiku as purely observational, not interpretive stuff, or at least no focus on interpretation.  Finally, I am really intrigued with the sense of "developing" the form--read through the journal and see all the differing approaches and styles---it really generated ideas for me own writing. I plan to keep writing haibun. Thanks Melissa Allen and Haibun Today!

Haibun Today