New Directions in English-Language Haiku: An Overview and Assessment

Author: Philip Rowland, Tamagawa University, Japan
Published: September 2013

Citation: Rowland, P. (2013). New Directions in English-language Haiku: An Overview and Assessment. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 2(2).


This paper gives an overview of innovations in English-language haiku over the past decade or so, focusing on American haiku in particular. These are described through discussion of examples drawn from contemporary journals and anthologies, and are seen to involve the freer use of metaphor and opaque language than is found in normative haiku. Broader contextual factors are also taken into account: most notably, the renewed awareness of modern Japanese haiku that has been enabled by recent works of criticism and translation. While haiku in English still occurs mostly within self-contained communities of writers and publishers, recent developments suggest possibilities for recognition of the genre in a wider field of poetry and literary criticism.


English-language haiku, American haiku