Paresh Tiwari is a recipient of an Honorable Mention in the Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for 2017 for his volume Raindrops Chasing Raindrops (Delhi, India: Red River Imprints, 2017).
Commentary from the Panel:
“Raindrops Chasing Raindrops: haibun & hybrid poems by Paresh Tiwari is at once electric, incisive, surreal, powerful, unique, and, for lack of a better term, modern. It is innovative in vision, language, and approach, yet, as it pushes at the boundaries of tradition, it does so with measured care, revealing an intent knowledge and respect for the haibun form.
“A hybrid poetic form, haibun is generally composed of prose poetry and haiku. As with any hybrid, most often the whole, in its finest manifestations, is greater than the sum of its parts. Raindrops Chasing Raindrops is a deeply moving example of this adage.
“The prose, or more precisely in this case, the prose poetry, is something of a hybrid in and of itself. Though most often written in the first person, Tiwari’s eye for detail is precise to a point that it seems hyper-objective, thus simultaneously giving it a third person, unexpectedly traditional feel. More often than not, both these points-of-view dovetail seamlessly in the same poem.
“Rather than diminish the power of several pieces via excerpts, what follows is a whole poem which exemplifies some of the many fine qualities of this stellar collection:
This year, autumn A cold wave of loneliness has moved into the room upstairs. Having made itself comfortable on the single bed, it gazes through the French window at the bare black branches and ochre leaves carpeting the backyard. The world has begun to turn a melancholic brown. The crow’s caw, the mongrel’s whimper, the saxophone record and even the faces around are a deep shade of bleak. Today, memories look so much like the landscape surrounding me, that I could walk for miles in the labyrinths of my own mind and not know the difference. The occasional scrunch could be falling leaves or sepia photographs rotting away at the edges. turn of season . . . peeling away the stick-on butterflies
See the complete list of winners of both Individual Poem Awards and Distinguished Books Awards in the Touchstone Archives.