Lenard D. Moore and African American Haiku: Merging Traditions identifies Moore as a primary figure in the American Haiku Movement as well as a significant contributor to the field of African American haiku. Ce Rosenow analyzes the ways in which Moore combines haiku with a variety of other traditions: African American storytelling, jazz poetry, ekphrasis, and elegies. An examination of Moore’s haibun, a Japanese form combining prose and haiku, reveals the further development of the African American aesthetic created in his individual poems. Ultimately, the author argues that Moore’s decades-long engagement with haiku and his prolific publication history solidify haiku as an established form in African American poetry.
Ce Rosenow is coordinator of the Lane Honors Program at Lane Community College.
List of Figures
Chapter One: Communal Narratives in Haiku Sequences
Chapter Two: Jazz Poems, Jazz Haiku, and Jazzku
Chapter Three: Ekphrastic Haiku
Chapter Four: Elegiac Haiku
Chapter Five: Haibun and an African American Aesthetic
About the Author
Rosenow’s book is an important addition to haiku scholarship. Apart from previous critical analysis of Moore’s long engagement with haiku, this book is an expansive, in-depth look into the poet’s versatileness, as well as his distinctive approaches and contributions to the haiku. With this book, Rosenow establishes Moore as a virtuoso among contemporary haiku.
Ce Rosenow’s Lenard D. Moore and African American Haiku: Merging Traditions is the first scholarly book dedicated solely to the study of Lenard D. Moore, a prolific and gifted poet well-known especially in contemporary English haiku world. It offers the focused examination of Moore’s use of haiku techniques as well as his artistic attitude toward nature and human nature. This remarkable book explores how Moore develops different aspects of his experiences into expressions in the forms of jazzku, bluesku, gospelku, ekphrastic and elegiac haiku, haibun, and sequences, recognizes his importance in presenting aesthetics, history, and southern culture to expand our understanding of African American traditions, and sheds light for the future investigations of Moore’s work.
Ce Rosenow has done a wonderful job examining the scope and significance of Lenard D. Moore’s lifetime work as an American poet who has embraced haiku as the primary focus of their writing. He has shown us how to become a voice for community, expressed the African American experience, enthralled us with jazzku, and taken us to the depths of human loss and suffering. He is one of the greats of American haiku and this book is just the start of significant literary criticism to study his artistic success.
A strength of this entire book is Rosenow’s specialty as a haiku poet herself and the firm scholarship on which it is based. No one knows and interprets Lenard Moore’s haiku better than she. In this work Rosenow draws on the knowledge in both ways to make original observations. As an important contribution to haiku studies Lenard D. Moore and African American Haiku: Merging Traditions will be of interest to scholars as well as haiku poets and general readers.
Lenard D. Moore is an accomplished contemporary American haiku poet and Ce Rosenow represents a highly original haiku scholar and critic.
[This] book is a good overview of Moore’s career in haiku, with swerves into some of his longer poetry when the themes overlap. Moore is a varied and prolific writer and he has dipped his toes into any number of forms. Yet, many of the themes that drive his larger work are present in his haiku, which Rosenow does a great job of ferreting out. As mentioned above, several volumes of essays have been written on African-American haikuists, however, the quality of their output isn’t on par with many of the best haikuists in what has been called the haiku community. Moore has created a strong oeuvre and we are glad to see him get the attention; we hope other haikuists—regardless of race—will get the same spotlight.