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Friday, July 25, 2003

tinywords published its 600th haiku today. Yeah!

Cranky readers, cranky editor

I got this email this morning from a cranky knowitall:

Please remove me from your list. I have studied and written Haiku for 30 years now, and I can't believe the tripe Hallmark card attempts at Haiku you publish. I have been published in several serious and respected magazines and I can't stand to see obviously made up, unexperienced poems like you constantly publish. I would advise a re-read of Henderson's books. You completely miss the point.

These kinds of messages really piss me off. First of all, tinywords is a free site. I do this in my spare time, and don't charge a dime for the haiku. Want to gripe at someone? Send a nasty letter to Microsoft, which has taken probably hundreds of dollars of your money, only to blow it on useless features and overblown Windows marketing campaigns. Or our alleged president, who is right this minute spending billions of your dollars on something you probably disagree with fundamentally, regardless of your political opinions. But picking on tinywords? That's like kicking kittens.

Second, tastes vary. Sure, not every haiku I select is going to strike a chord of cosmic awareness in every single reader. But don't trash my efforts here just because you disagree with some (or even most) of the haiku I select.

I make an effort to select quality haiku, I try to improve my own ability to assess haiku, and I reach out to other publications and haiku poets in order to improve the pool of haiku submissions. And I have to wade through a lot of submissions in order to get a few haiku that I consider worthy of tinywords.

Finally, tinywords enjoys the support of some truly world-class haiku poets, publishers, and scholars. Just browse the archives to see who's been published there. No doubt many of them disagree with lots of my selections, too. In fact, some of these people are ardent critics of tinywords. But they do so with a spirit of friendly encouragement -- challenging me to raise the standards of the site which, increasingly, is a collective endeavor -- rather than just shooting spitballs from the balcony.

Don't like the haiku on tinywords? Send me some you think are better. Or go start your own haiku site, and see if you can do better, bub.

What do you think? (remove "spam" from email address to contact me)

editor / publisher: d. f. tweney (dft at tinywords dot com)
Copyright (c) 2000-2003 by Tweney Media.
Except as noted, all haiku are copyright (c) their respective authors.