Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Feature: Heather Ann Schmidt Day 3

Backyard Kingdoms

My daughter chases
toads down our driveway, catching them
& they climb up her
forearms-- initiation
into her backyard kingdom.

My son creates art
under a stand of pine trees--
twigs, leaves and needles
become tall buildings, creatures
chasing him into the wind.

© Heather Ann Schmidt

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3. Do you favor one school of haiku (i.e. modern or traditional) over the other, and if so, why?

I don't have a favorite--I love it all. There is as much brilliance in Issa's haiku about nature as there is in Kerouac's American haiku.

4. What turned you on to bats, as is evidenced by your soon-to-be-published Crisis Chronicles chapbook: "The Bat's Lovesong: American Haiku".

In my studies of Zen poetry and learning Mandarin, I researched a lot about the Chinese perspective on things such as bats and fell in love with the idea that most things considered evil in the West are lovely and sacred in the East. Bats are considered symbols of fortune and happiness. Also I think they are romantic because of the fact that male bats woo their loves by singing intricate and complex songs. This world is a fascinating place and is filled with poems waiting to be discovered!

5. You've had several chapbooks and collections published- how involved do you like to be in the editorial process, and how do you choose your publishers? I.E., what made you choose Crisis Chronicles Press for your most recent chapbook?

I am not very hands on with all the editorial stuff because I trust the publisher. I have had my artwork used for the covers of most of my books, so I get involved in that way. As for why I chose Crisis Chronicles--that's easy--John Burroughs is brilliant and takes tremendous care with poetry he comes into contact with. Also, he really understands my work and it is an honor to work with him.

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© Heather Ann Schmidt


  1. This was one of my favorite poems of Heather's. I also just love her interest in bats, as anyone who knows me, knows I love them too. Great work Heather, you are so talented!

  2. I also like this poem. I like the way the words "initiation" and "creatures" bring us the living ritual of nature arcing into mind and sparking imagination.

  3. I love the poem, love the art!

    I appreciate your very kind words, Heather, but - and I'm not just saying this because it's the thing to say - I truly feel the honor is mine. I'm very happy to abe able to publish your The Bat's Lovesong: American Haiku in the coming month and Transient Angels next year. Years from now when you're the US Poet Laureate, I'll be proud to say, "I saw her brilliance and published her way back when." ;)

  4. Looks like I've got an extra "a" in there before "be able." Some editor! LOL