top shadow image

Honorary Curator Marlene Mountain

Marlene Mountain
Honorary Curator, 2014–2015

Appointment Announcement

Marlene MountainThe American Haiku Archives advisory board is pleased to announce the appointment of Marlene Mountain as the 2014–2015 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento. This honor is in recognition of her uninhibited long-term devotion to and exploration of haiku and related arts. Her innovations have shaken its practitioners out of complacency in the craft of haiku for many decades, and have also engaged and moved readers where no complacency needed to be shaken. Marlene Mountain’s voice is unlike any other in the history of English-language haiku poetry. Examples of her groundbreaking and influential poetry can be read in depth at her website.

In response to a November 2014 discussion on Facebook about pseudonyms in haiku, Marlene wrote, “i’ve always thought i’ve been on the merry road of haiku—even tho i’ve been critical of lots of things. of course there’ve been those who said i wasn’t on it. but i’ve not been able to help what comes from inside—it just bursts out like tears. many reflections had come years or days before the words. the words would bring on the reflections. yet the reflections and words often were not related. of course in there somewhere is the image. a question i’ve had for years: are we timid. i’ve not found that haiku itself is. it is always good to pause without thought. celebration is possible too.” We are pleased to celebrate Marlene Mountain, and to bestow this honor from the American Haiku Archives, which seeks to preserve and promote haiku and related poetry throughout the North American continent.

Marlene Mountain was born December 11, 1939. She received a BFA in painting from University of Oklahoma (Norman) in 1962, and an MA in painting (with a minor in literature) from the University of North Dakota in 1965. She was married to haiku poet John Wills (who died in 1993), and she currently lives in Hampton, Tennessee. Marlene maintains a website that features ample selections of her essays, reviews, paintings, and poetry, including one-line poems, visual poems, unaloud haiku, dadaku, tearouts, and other creative mischief. Her photos at Flickr focus primarily on close observations of the natural world around her home in the woods.

In 1996, Raw Nervz 3:2 published the following interview with Marlene Mountain:

yet another interview

I: It’s been a while since I’ve asked, have you come to any definition of haiku?
M: Yes, it’s relatively short.
I: Your definition?
M: No, haiku.

The American Haiku Archives, which includes the Haiku Society of America archives, is the largest public collection of haiku materials outside Japan. Each year since the archives were established on July 12, 1996, the AHA advisory board, currently chaired together by Garry Gay and Randy Brooks, appoints a new honorary curator (an idea suggested by the former California state librarian, Dr. Kevin Starr). Past curators, in order starting from the first year, have been Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Jerry Kilbride, Cor van den Heuvel, Robert Spiess, Lorraine Ellis Harr, Leroy Kanterman, William J. Higginson, Makoto Ueda, Francine Porad, Hiroaki Sato, H. F. Noyes, George Swede, Stephen Addiss, Gary Snyder, Jerry Ball, LeRoy Gorman, and Charles Trumbull.
The AHA advisory board is delighted to pay tribute to Marlene Mountain as the eighteenth honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives.

—Michael Dylan Welch

june Marlene Mountain shadow

Books by Marlene Mountain

the old tin roof
haiku senryu & dadaku; & unaloud haiku not yet termed, 1976, 97 pages, right side only, plastic-coil bound, 3.5 x 8.5 inches, self-published, Tennessee

new bridge
one-line haiku, late 70s/abandoned [matsu allard, editor]

aware becoming
haiku sequence/visual haiku, c 1977/78

moments/moments
unaloud haiku, High/Coo Press 1978

naturenotes
unaloud haiku, mid-1970s

preying mantis
unaloud haiku, poemcard #11 High/Coo Press 1979

femmarks
3 sets of bookmarks, self-published 1981/82

solstice cards
1981 to present

equal hell, art
haiku, untamed haiku & beyond untamed haiku, booklet and 40 cards, including 4 bumper stickers,1982, self-published, Tennessee

a poem, women
poems and haiku, early 80s/abandoned [hal roth, editor]

tonight i am mountain
one-line haiku sequences, mid-80s/abandoned [rod willmot, editor]

pissed off poems and cross words
haiku sequences & 13 sketches for painting series, 1986, 32 pages, saddle-stitched, 8.5 x 7 inches, self-published, Tennessee

intimate posters
haiku with images c. 135 images, self-produced/published 1990

a crone’s haiku highcoup
haiku criticisms via captions to “famous art” c. 255 images, self-produced, 1992

from the mountain
book of 20+ years of one-line haiku, etc., with annotations and visuals, 1992, self-published

? lined-paper blues
tear outs

femail boxes and junk male
development of a painting series, text and visuals, self-produced/published 1993

home away from home
development of a painting series, text and visuals, self-produced/published 1993

nature talks back
tear outs, etc., self-produced/published 1994

visualante
tear outs, etc., self-produced/published 1994

now you too
dadaku/high coup, self-produced/published 1994

when the mountain comes over the moon
tear outs, etc., self-produced early 90s

how to flounder and fiddle
the making of 2 unaloud haiku, self-produced

cur*rent 
one-line linked with Francine Porad, 7 one-line linked haiku & 3 artworks, 1998, foreword by Randy Brooks, interview of Marlene Mountain by Jim Kacian, 28 pages, saddle-stitched, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, Vandina Press

other rens
[book one] 2000, Kris Kondo, Marlene Mountain, Francine Porad, one-line linked haiku & color artwork, 85 pages, perfectbound, 5.5 x 5.5 inches, Vandina Press

other rens book two & book three
[1 volume] 2000, Kris Kondo, Marlene Mountain, Francine Porad, one-line linked haiku & artwork, 116 pages, perfectbound, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, Vandina Press

trio of wrens
[book four] 2000, Kris Kondo, Marlene Mountain, Francine Porad, one-line linked haiku & artwork, foreword by Dennis H. Dutton, 64 pages, perfectbound, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, Vandina Press

other rens book five & book six
[unpublished], one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad and Kris Kondo, 2001

other rens book seven
[unpublished], one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad and Kris Kondo, 2001

other rens book eight
[unpublished], one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad and Kris Kondo, 2001

other rens book nine
[unpublished], one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad and Kris Kondo, 2002

other rens book ten
[unpublished], one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad and Kris Kondo

mother nature’s heat/a desert snake
one-line linked haiku with Jean Jorgensen, 16 one-line linked haiku, cover color painting by Marlene Mountain, 2001, introduction Carlos Colon, 44 pages, saddle-stitched, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, Four Corners Press

probably ‘real’ renga sorta
one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad, 13 one-line linked haiku, color cover, 2 sketches, 2002, 32 pages, saddle-stitched, color cover, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, Vandina Press

probably ‘real’ renga sorta 2
one-line linked haiku with Francine Porad

Selected Haiku by Marlene Mountain

                                   unalouds

pig and i spring rain

 

                                                                      he leans on the gate going staying

 

at dusk hot water from the hose

 

 

                         Earth On Peace

 

 

                                                                      one fly everywhere the heat


gosling following its neck to the bug


                                                                                                                       stick
                                                                      my neighbor’s rooster hops the         i throw

 


                      As the Rain Forests Go

 

 

hoot
  w
   l


                                                                      empty mailbox
                                                                      i pick wildflowers
                                                                      on my way back


 

sn  wfl  k  s


                                                                      a quiet day
                                                                      an old man on his tractor
                                                                      passes at dusk


 

 

                             Leave My Trees Alone

 


                                                                      haiku doesn’t have rules people have rules

 


seed catalog in the mailbox cold drizzle

 


                                                                      winter night writing letters to get letters

 


in her old voice the mountains

 

 

   Web Links

Personal Website
http://www.marlenemountain.org

Photostream
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlenemountain

Biography
http://www.marlenemountain.org/mminfo/mi_background.html

Haiku Foundation Profile
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/poet-details/?IDclient=104

Bibliography
http://www.marlenemountain.org/mminfo/mi_mmpublications.html

Anthologizations
http://www.marlenemountain.org/mminfo/mi_anthologies.html

Self-Interview, July 1981
http://www.marlenemountain.org/essays/sinterview_innerview.html

Essays
http://www.marlenemountain.org/essays/haikuessays.html

Selected Essays
http://www.tempslibres.org/tl/en/livres/mm00.html

Essay on Haiku Techniques
http://www.marlenemountain.org/essays/essay_jphaiandso.html

Defining Haiku
http://www.marlenemountain.org/essays/essay_letter_whatsthe.html

Millikin University Reader Response Essays

     Opposites with a Common Goal: Marlene Mountain & Masajo Suzuki by Danielle Berens

     Marlene Mountain: a Pioneer of Poetry and Artistry by Nathan Bettenhausen

     Visual Haiku of Marlene Mountain by Aubrie Cox

     Marlene Mountain's Own Haiku Path by Stephanie Dietrich

     Marlene Mountain: Naturally Visual Political Haiku by Amy Soderberg

     

 

bottom shadow image

This site is independent of and not endorsed by the California State Library. It is operated by the American Haiku Archives advisory board in support of the archives and its mission, which is to collect, preserve, and promote haiku and related poetry as a vital component of literature in the English language. Webmaster: Michael Dylan Welch.
 
© 2017 American Haiku Archives • http://www.americanhaikuarchives.org/