Gene's weekly newspaper column, The Joy of Life, has a circulation of more than 2 million. He is an entertainment journalist who was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment writing by the New Jersey Press Association. His articles have appeared in over 40 newspapers.
His poetry publishing credits include: Double Room, a broadside by Joshua Beckman's 811 Books, Tiferet Journal, Frogpond Journal, Word Salad, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow Anthology, Beyond the Rift: Poets of the Palisades, Disco Prairie Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Paper Wasp, Chrysanthemum, A Handful of Stones, Prune Juice Journal of Senryu & Kyoka and the Irish Haiku Society's Shamrock Haiku Journal.
Articles and poems can be found at genemyers.com.
How long have you been interested in haiku poetry and what got you started?
I have always been interested in writing brief poems that attempt to document the wonder of the world around us, especially when done in a way that bypasses our typical way of thinking. But a poetic form that does that using clear language and everyday happenstance? I was hooked thanks to people like Cor van den Heuvel, Gary Hotham, Al Pizzarelli, Donna Beaver, Nick Virgilio and Michael Dylan Welch. They showed me how good haiku can be, and then I went back and read the masters. But first and foremost, it was Cor's anthology that opened the world up to me. It was already in its third edition when I found it.
Have you ever been to a Haiku North America Conference?
Nope, never...I can't wait to see how many people go and I'm looking forward to meeting them. The haiku community has really welcomed me. While the larger poetry world can be extremely political and has a competitive feel to it, it seems like the haiku world doesn't. I think it's because the art form fosters the kind of maturity that comes from focusing on selflessness and spirituality.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's HNA?
I've had a real hard time tracking down books by haiku and senryu poets that I like...so hopefully, I'll be traveling home with a backpack full of books, but also, again, I really want to meet these people who have been so nice and encouraging in emails and on Facebook.
I also hope the Bookfair is a hit! It's great to meet you, Gene Myers, and we'll see you soon in Seattle!