Last year I posted a request in a Face Book haiku/tanka writing group asking if anyone had a photo of Lily of the Valley that they were willing to share and allow me to use for a piece of tankart I was working on. A very quick response from the poet/photographer Maya Lyubenova gave me the perfect picture. I never really knew Maya. We’d never met, and we chatted only a few times on FaceBook in poetry groups and on Face Book Messenger. I was certainly a real fan of hers. Bulgarian by birth, Maya could compose gorgeous haiku in English. She could also pair her poems with her equally exquisite photographs to create haiga — visual poetry of the highest quality. I was touched by her generosity in allowing me to use the photo she had sent.
Only recently did I learn that Maya Lyubenova had passed away on December 30, 2016. Like so many, I mourn her loss as a person and as a poet and artist. I wish I had known her better, but I cannot change that. Her work still remains for us to look at, to study, to learn from and to be dazzled by … that will not end.
I’d like to dedicate my piece of tankart to Maya Lyubenova — our single connected piece of art. Thank you, Maya, for bringing so much beauty into this world. May you rest in peace.
This piece of tankart appeared in Frameless Sky 6 as part of an ongoing competitive challenge. In the last issue, a photograph I submitted was selected by a poet to go with her poem. Since my photo was selected, I was then asked, in turn, to contribute a tanka or haiku for the next issue. I wrote this tanka as a prompt. There were some wonderful pictures submitted, and it was very hard to select just one. In the end, I kept returning to this lovely ink drawing of a willow.. Terri Hale French, a distinguished and accomplished haiku poet was the artist. Our combined effort appeared in the latest issue of Frameless Sky. It’s a real honor to have this collaborative piece of tanka art published. Many thanks to Christine L. Villa, poet and editor of Frameless Sky.
It is a true joy to have a piece of tanka art accepted in Skylark. Sandi Prayis the new tanka art editor, and as all fans of contemporary haiga and tanka art know, Sandi is one of the most gifted creators of haiga and tanka art herself. Here is my contribution:
Skylark Summer 2017, Volume 5, Issue 1
This tanka art selection is dedicated to Joy McCall, a poet who inspires us all.
Published in Gnarled Oak, Issue 10: Dark Water, November 2016:
My deepest thanks goes to Mike Keville, poet, photographer and friend, who so willingly allowed me to use this photograph for this piece. His pictures are often so revealing, allowing viewers to see something we might otherwise miss.
Another pairing of a tanka of mine with a stunning photography by Irena Iris Szewczyk that waspublished in Frameless Sky 4 (Summer 2016). I am amazed at how perfectly they matched…a big thank you to Christine L. Villa, editor of Frameless Skyfor her excellent work and to Irena Iris Szewczyk for her beautiful photograph.