Second Place Winner – 2019 TLP Haiku chapbook Contest

By Robin Anna Smith

Remarks below are from Susan Antolin, the judge of the 2019 contest

Perhaps not since Roberta Beary’s The Unworn Necklace, have I felt quite so drawn into the narrative arc of a haiku collection.

In Forsythia, as the poet’s journey through illness unfolds, I found myself not only bearing witness to their struggles but also cheering them on along the way. Smith’s gentle handling of an otherwise heavy topic is appealing throughout the collection. There is no wallowing in grief. Rather, they almost seem to look at each step along their journey with a quiet sense of wonder.

The poet’s sense of humor softens the subject matter and secures us as their allies in the process. I found the following both startling and darkly funny:

pre-op prep—
my surgeon asks
to pray with me

The brevity of this collection and the brevity of each individual haiku in it remind us that life itself can feel far too fleeting. The reader is left wanting more.

To view this free ebook, please just click on the below image. It will generate a slide show of the work in our gallery.

If you prefer, you can access a PDF here: Forsythia by Robin Anna Smith.

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