Page last updated: May 16, 2023

All pages copyright © 2023 by Pinyon Publishing



Promises of Mere Words

Haiku by Gary Hotham

Gary Hotham’s new haiku offering is a masterwork, echoing the Japanese masters—Bashõ, Buson, Issa of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries—yet with his own originality, themes, and lightness:

GARY HOTHAM has been crafting English language haiku for over 45 years. Echoing T.S. Eliot, for Hotham, writing haiku is to “devour any kind of experience” and fulfills the poet’s “task of trying to find the verbal equivalents for states of mind and feeling.”
Born in Maine and currently living in Maryland, Hotham has enjoyed the pleasant experiences of traveling and living in foreign lands: Japan, Germany, England, Texas.


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Spilled Milk (2010) Haiku Destinies, (5.25"x8" paperback, 144 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9821561-5-5, $15.00).

Spilled Milk

her garden

the watering can left

in the rain

in season

more butterflies

than afternoon plans

our bare feet

next to each other

next to the ocean

drippings from a light rain—

the only light I have on

the only light for the moth

the lifeguard gone—

the sound of the ocean

reaching land

In Stone’s Throw, as with his previous books (Breath Marks and Spilled Milk), we’re treated to the resonant depth of his images, his watchful clarity:

The classic elements (nature, poignancy, calm) are here:

“Poignancy. The word never appears in haiku, yet it is what they live by. The doors we notice opening on light that goes out, and yet was enough. Here is another feast of glimpses from an acknowledged master of noticing.”

—Les Murray, Australian Poet

Fall 2016, Reviews of Stone’s Throw:
Haiku Canada Review: “For me, reading a Gary Hotham haiku book is like watching my first falling star. My focus is singular as I trail this brief announcement of light until suddenly all is darkness again. ...” Read the Full Review by Guy Simser
Presence: “As well as coffee, Stone’s Throw features Hotham’s usual subject matter–-stars (in abundance), waves, rain, wind, family life (and death)—expressed in his trademark sparse, no-frills language. ... ” Read the Full Review
Modern Haiku: “There is always something at which to marvel. Our challenge as human beings is to take notice ... “Before it turns dark–- / children start a game / the’ve just played” No sense of past or future when you are a child. All we have is now. Kids know this without knowing it. That’s what Hotham does for his readers. He allows them to know things again. And it’s refreshing to relive this experience.  ...” Read the Full Review by Peter Newton
Christianity Today: “Here’s another twister: Contemporary poetry is mostly unreadable, we’re assured. Really? Gary Hotham, one of my favorite haiku poets, writes, “near the firefly / part of the night / missing.” And this: “yard sale— / a bookmark / falls out.” ...” Read the Full Review by John Wilson
“Gary Hotham’s three-liners aren’t traditionally haikus, though he’s free to call them whatever he wants. The point is, each and every one of his mini-poems suggests an anecdote, delivers an adage, sometimes deploys material suitable for novels—in deft pointillist portraits and landscapes. Hotham has close to 100 of these doozies, and a goodly percentage of them are extremely successful. The book makes for smart, easy reading. It’s as if the wisdom of the ages is a stone’s throw away from these pages. I hope this book ‘makes your afternoon’ as it ‘made my day’!”
—JAMES REISS, author of When Yellow Leaves

November 24, 2017

Brevity & the Art of Haiku:

Gary Hotham speaks to the Eliot Society

Why read or write poetry? Because poetry lets the writer do something with language that other forms can't do. The words and rhythms of a well-crafted poem have the power to alter our vision, and to deepen our delight and wonder at the created world.  Watch and Listen to the Talk

Haiku Chapbook Awards:

Soft Serve (2023) Haiku Remains, (4.625"x6.25" handmade limited edition, 61 pages, ISBN: 978-1-936671-92-2, $25.00).

Soft Serve

Page last updated: May 16, 2023

All pages copyright © 2023 by Pinyon Publishing