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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 2, June 2014


In Memoriam
Martin Lucas 1962-2014

Martin Lucas

Martin Lucas was born in Middlesbrough, England, but in recent years resided in Preston, Lancashire. He held a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Kent, an MA in Religious Studies from Lancaster University and a PhD from Cardiff University in Wales. His thesis for the latter was in haiku studies and, to date, Lucas is believed to be the only person in the UK to hold a Doctorate in the subject. His commitment to and knowledge of the genre was unsurpassed. He founded the haiku journal Presence in 1996 and was President of the British Haiku Society from 2003-2006. He edited Stepping Stones: a way into haiku (British Haiku Society, 2007) and co-edited, with David Cobb, The Iron Book of British Haiku (Iron Press, 1998) and, with John Barlow, The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002).

Lucas’ invaluable essay, “Haiku as Poetic Spell,” first delivered at the fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Terrigal, Australia in 2009, speaks of haiku as being “something primitive; something rare; something essential; not some tired iteration of patterns so familiar most of us can produce them in our sleep . . . ,” and represents a significant contribution to the study and practise of nature-oriented haiku and the haiku-like prose we associate with haibun.

facing fine rain
on the upturned boat
a heron, hunched

shorebirds flying
to their high tide roost—
a field of asters


Photograph by Frank Williams



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