April 20th, 2010
The Complete History of Why I Hate Her
Next week, my second young adult novel will be out. I don’t think there was any intention on my publisher’s part to release this book during National Poetry Month, but it’s apropro just the same. You see, Nola and her younger sister Song speak in a special language — the language of haiku. As Nola says, "For the longest time it’s been our own code. Other kids speak in pig Latin, we speak in 5-7-5." When Nola spends the summer working at a resort in Maine (in part to escape the hardships of being the older sister of a chronically ill sister), she promises to send Song regular haikus:
Two new waitresses
Add four more who know their stuff
Trays bound to collide
There is a collision, but not between old and new. The eruption occurs between Nola and a girl who appears to be the best of friends . . . a girl who ends up going after everything that belongs to Nola. Everything.
I knew that I wanted to play with the form of haiku after reading the book: I Smell Something Foul: Haiku Expressions of Everyday Angst in which Alison Herschberg perfectly captures little agravations in a seventeen syllables:
Sunday night laundry
Twelve aparments one machine
Time to play dirty
The pressure’s too high
I can’t take it anymore
Where’s my other sock?
What’s going on in your life right now? Try encapsulating your feelings in haiku. I promise you’ll find something very tidy and satisfying about the form. Post your haiku’s here and I will award three random writers (pulled from a hat) one book of mine. Any book. Your choice.
Haikus must be posted by May 15. All ages may play.
A haiku contest
Sure hope someone plays the game
You are invited!