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Also by Naomi Beth Wakan
The Way of Tanka

Poetry That Heals

by Naomi Beth Wakan

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In this inspiring memoir, Naomi Beth Wakan takes the reader on a journey through her lifelong experiences writing various forms of Japanese poetry, especially haiku and its related genres. She explains the rules and structure that distinguish the various forms, providing many examples of her own work as well as poems from well-known historical and contemporary poets. Very importantly, however, Wakan shows by example that the "rules" are not to be taken as impediments, but rather as guideposts on the journey to discover and explore oneself. Looking back, Wakan realizes that her practice of poetry writing has enabled her to develop awareness, dispassionate interest, personal healing, and compassion. In her own words: "I have come to see that in creating poetry, I am creating myself."

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Healing / General
POETRY / Haiku

ISBN: 978-1-947067-28-8 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
ISBN: 978-1-947067-29-5 (digital)

LCCN: 2017964362

Released February 2018

104 pages

Author Biography

Naomi Beth Wakan is a poet and personal essayist. She has produced over fifty books, her latest being The Way of Tanka (Shanti Arts, 2017). She is the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo and the Inaugural Honorary Ambassador for the Federation of British Columbia Writers. She lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, the sculptor Elias Wakan.

read "Meet Naomi Wakan"


Being Here Now Loosening with Laughter
Reading Haiku Haiga — Freeing the Artist
How to Write a Haiku Letting It All Out — Tanka
GINKO — The Haiku Walk Opening tanka — Response Tanka
Haiku and Wabi-Sabi Being in Community
Healing the Earth Haibun — The Journey


"In this inspired memoir, Naomi Beth Wakan’s exuberance is palpable on every page as she leads us on a journey through the realms of haikai; that is, haiku and its related genres. Along the way we encounter many of the often controversial 'rules' that attend the various forms. Naomi has considered the importance of these tenets without becoming ensnared. With resolve, and what Buddhism terms 'the way-seeking mind,' she has reached the heart of what these forms, particularly haiku, have to offer: a deep and abiding appreciation for this ephemeral moment, an appreciation that transcends the written word. For Naomi, the journey has been both joyous and cathartic. By sharing her insights, she encourages us to discover for ourselves the gifts of haikai."
— Christopher Herold, founding editor of The Heron‘s Nest

Articles and Reviews

Janet Vickers, "Poetry That Heals by Naomi Beth Wakan: A Review," Infinite Power, February 19, 2018.


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