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Readers' Choices

•  Peggy Lyles

•  Favorite Haiku

Most Popular Poets

• an'ya

•  Ferris Gilli

•  Popular Poets

Editor's Choice

•  Emily Romano

The Heron's Nest

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Volume III, Valentine Awards: February, 2001.

Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved by the respective authors.  

Overview  •  Readers' Choice  •  Most Popular Poets  •  Editor's Choice

Favorite Haiku  •  Popular Poets

Most Popular Poets

(poets who received the highest number of votes overall)

Double Grand Prize: an'ya and Ferris Gilli


an'ya first had a poem published in The Heron's Nest in October of 1999, our second issue. The following month she received The Heron's Nest Award. Her work has been appearing regularly ever since, and for good reason. an'ya is a gifted poet and has a natural affinity for haiku. Haiku has provided her with the ideal means to express what she already understood intuitively. She recognizes the relevance of things and of circumstances that most of us encounter in our daily lives but which often appear inane or commonplace. Consider this poem (from issue seven) which garnered a significant number of votes:

            bitter cold–
            the juniper berry parts
            the jay's beak

Outwardly, the scene portrayed may seem common enough, but an'ya expresses it in such a way that our attention is directed to a deeper significance. What's so special? Oddly, something common to all living things: the instinct to survive. Life's necessities prompt us to act–to have that berry the jay must part its beak. But what does the parting, the jay or the berry? And, when the beak opens, bitter cold enters along with the bitter berry. Another fine example of an'ya's observing the extraordinary in the ordinary comes with her poem “June breeze” commented upon earlier.

an'ya also recognizes and marvels at synchronicity, ever-present but more often than not going unnoticed. The following poem is another that received many votes from readers:

            milking hour
            a whitish mist moves
            toward the moon

And then there are those occurrences that seem to exude magic, that have a powerful sense of interconnectedness. Those moments can be triggered by almost anything. And when the contrast between the images connected is extreme, as it is in the following poem (distant stars, and goat bells) the connection is breathtaking. The stars become bells and the goats are stars, every one. Furthermore, the goats are walking along a precipice. Isn't everyone, really? Ultimately this haiku is suffused with mood; it is exhilarating, expansive . . . magic!

            night of stars
            all along the precipice
            goat bells ring

This poem also received a great many votes. I wish to thank an'ya for sharing so many exquisite moments with all of us who produce and who read The Heron's Nest.

– Christopher Herold

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