Here's one of the haiga that is a favorite. Why? Because I can imagine a man and his dog, outside after a long winter, meeting up with other fresh-air starved people and dogs. It is a colorful and playful scene that makes me happy!
On The Haiku Foundation home page the announcement went:
This month’s featured artist is Diane Mayr.This is the first public recognition of my work having been done by an "artist," despite the many times I've said it myself in an effort to boost my confidence. Believe me, the outside acknowledgement is sweet.
So, how did I win this honor of being featured? I read the following in the Gallery section, "Would you like us to consider your work for a Haiga Gallery? Contact us for details." I had amassed a fair number of haiga, so I thought I'd email and see what was involved. I was certainly surprised when I got a reply that basically said, "we have an opening in two months." OMG! I was only inquiring! Now what? I would need to submit about 30 haiga. Do I turn down the invitation? Right away, the devil on my shoulder started whispering, "What a fraud, you are. The jig is up!"
It sure seemed that the jig was up, but I wasn't going to miss an opportunity that fell into my lap. I told the shoulder guy to put a sock in it!
I've never assembled a collection. How would I organize it? Was there a specific topic I could build upon? Many, many haiku collections are arranged seasonally, but I didn't want that to be the only theme. Could I do one season--autumn--since the collection would be posted in November? Nope, I didn't have enough.
I spent a lot of time going through my files and trying to find something to pin a theme on. After a while, it was obvious--animals. I had cat haiga, dog haiga, bird haiga, bug haiga, etc.
The THF Haiga Galleries collections aren't titled other than with the poet's name, but for myself I titled the collection, "Feline, Canine, Equine, Swine (and More)."
Since it is The Haiku Foundation's gallery, I eliminated small poems, but I did pick a few related forms like tanka and cherita.
I narrowed it down to about 50 possibilities.
I tried to keep a balance of animals, but of course, cats and dogs had a tendency to dominate. I wasn't always successful with the balance in the gallery. In spots you will notice I have two insect haiga together, two bird ones, two ones on walks, etc.
I tried to arrange them following the passage of a year, that is, January to December. That was a little easier, except for the ones that really didn't have a particular place in the year.
I finally asked two co-workers to pick out their favorites, so I could get an idea of what had general appeal.
It was tough making all the decisions needed! I have a heightened appreciation for anthologists like Lee Bennett Hopkins who deal with such decisions on a daily basis!
Make sure you visit Jama's Alphabet Soup and catch this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.