Welcome to the inaugural issue of Juxtapositions: A Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship. We hope you are as excited as we are to see the launch of this important scholarly outlet for haiku research. Such a journal comes at an opportune time in the evolution of haiku from a literary niche in the West through much of the 20th century, to a worldwide form of sophisticated poetic expression with an increasingly diverse and deep body of scholarship and research. Yet to date, no publication has dedicated itself solely to the exploration of haiku as a form worthy of formal scholarly investigation. Juxtapositions fills this lacunae.
Since the seminal work of R. H. Blyth appeared in the 1950s and set a benchmark on scholarly investigations of the form in the West, many haiku journals have published essays of exegesis on the Japanese masters or explored emerging efforts of Western poets to find their haiku voice. Juxtapositions for the first time provides a single scholarly outlet for these investigations in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
We sincerely hope university faculty, haiku essayists, poets and reviewers from across the spectrum regardless of background or national origin see fit to submit their prose work in English to Juxtapositions. I am very pleased by the quality of our strong editorial board. They are each accomplished and knowledgeable haiku researchers in their own right who, together, seek to ground haiku studies in the literary mainstream of academic scholarship in the West.
There is fertile ground for diverse explorations and research in this publication. Among the articles included in this first issue is a study on the haiku of the late Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer, “Aesthetics of Discipline: Transtromer’s Prison Haiku.” Another explores a Lacanian approach to haiku. Still another the work of poet and philosopher James W. Hackett. And much more. Of particular interest to haiku scholars will doubtless be the authoritative bibliography we’ve titled “A Scholar’s Library of Haiku in English” covering the seminal research on the form, and its practitioners, published in English in monograph over the last century. It is very much a living document and the editors would welcome added entries.
As senior editor, I wish to thank each of our editors who have worked so hard to bring this first issue together, and to Jim Kacian and The Haiku Foundation (THF) for serving as our publisher. Please have a look at our host website, which will also inform you of the Foundation’s mission, as well as our goals for JUXTA. The journal is formatted for indexing in the major online abstracting services, and will eventually be fully searchable via library databases and the web. For now the journal is free. A subscription model remains under discussion.
Please send us your feedback and thoughts. We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in writing articles or book reviews for the journal. Our submission criteria is on the THF website. Once again, we thank you for your readership and interest. We hope you will spread the word of this seminal endeavor and become a part of future issues.