Lishanu • an interlingual haikai journal

Issue 2 is now online. Click here to visit!

Welcome to Lishanu

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Lishanu is an online haikai journal, presenting work across the haikai range - haiku and renku, haibun and haiga - with a significant difference: the journal is interlingual. This means that every item is published bilingually - in English and at least one other language.

At a time when freedom of expression is under threat from more than one quarter, it is increasingly important to foster the voice of the 'other': to take a step outside our own parochial boundaries (regardless of how big our parish), and breathe in the heady air of foreign, even conflicting, approaches to haikai poetry, art and life.

Lishanu means 'tongue' in the language of ancient Babylon, where, according to the story of the Tower of Babel, all humanity once 'spoke with one tongue'. Among the journal's chief goals is to foster intercommunal understanding and communication among haikai poets and readers from differing linguistic backgrounds. It is a space for us to read and share haikai from divergent environments, breaching linguistic and cultural barriers. Lishanu can be a place where we all learn from each other, as every exposure to new approaches and styles can only serve to stimulate us, as poets and readers, and to increase our understanding of each other. It is our hope that Lishanu can be a vehicle promoting haikai in a truly international way.

The Lishanu editorial team consists of Norman Darlington, editor-in-chief, and the following language editors:

  • Claire Chatelet (French)
  • Gerd Börner (German)
  • Jasminka Nadaškić-Djordjević (Serbian)
  • Tomislav Maretić (Croatian)
  • Maya Lyubenova (Bulgarian)
  • Valeria Simonova-Cecon (Russian)
  • Carlos Fleitas (Spanish)
  • Andrea Cecon (Italian)

Please read our submission guidelines before sending us your work.


Visit the current issue
Visit the archive: Lishanu 1


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What some people have said about Lishanu:
"I consider this marvelous!" Nancy Davenport
"Lishanu #2 is stunning!" Kat Creighton
"What a wonderful journal!" Terri Hale French
"Thanks for yet another masterpiece; wonderful stuff" Micheál Gallagher
"What a fantastic initiative! Haiku in several languages is just what the world needs today!" Gabriel Rosenstock
"Many congratulations on this exciting magazine! I wish you and your team all the best and great success of this new and worthy project." Susumu Takiguchi
"Showcasing haiku and related genres in more than one language is an important contribution to the Japanese short form poetry world community" Robert Wilson
"Something that was needed a long time ago" Origa
"Wonderful idea" Gene Murtha
"I am sure your new project will be a great contribution to the international haiku community" Carlos Fleitas
"A really commendable beginning!" Kala Ramesh
"Good luck with this exciting journal" Bruce Ross
"An outstanding effort" Jason Sanford Brown
"A very impressive beginning" Jim Kacian
"What an impressive edition!" Florence Vilén
"Ut bonum, felix, faustum fortunatumque sit!" Moussia Fantoli
"Long live Lishanu!" Sprite

Copyright notice: All material on this website is copyright (all rights reserved) of the author/artist/translator and may not be reproduced without their express permission.

Visit the current issue
Visit the archive: Lishanu 1

Cover photography: Norman Darlington
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