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2020 Haiku Year-in-Review

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The HYIR: It’s a review, it’s a collaborative grab-bag, it’s a panoply of voices and visions… it’s the annual Haiku Year-In-Review (henceforth referred to as HYIR).

The purpose: to celebrate, examine, and honor the past year in poetry and art. The editors of Broadsided Press have come together to offer, in the spirit of the Carrier’s Address, a brief overview of 2020—it is eclectic, noncomprehensive, and heart-led—just as the work of Broadsided Press itself is.

2020. We thought about just putting up an image of a burning dumpster, but really, when we look back, the year had moments worth noting, worth contemplating.

The global pandemic dominated everything about this year. As did the dangerous, damaging acts of a certain erratic elected leader, but we decided that he didn’t need any more airtime. This year’s HYIR touches upon the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the light of Black Lives Matter’s movement for justice, the small triumph (hopefully not temporary) of saving off the rapacious and damaging Pebble Mine project, a Shakespearean discovery, The Great Conjunction and the discovery of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere, Amazon’s growth in the midst of the pandemic, and the new hope brought with the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the HYIR, Broadsided editors share haiku of the stories that, for them, felt like bright sparks (of light, loss, hope, anger) within the year. It is in no way comprehensive or even indicative of a prioritization of all that occurred.

There were more things we could have addressed. More things that felt important to us: the wildfires and weather events that raged throughout the world, the legalization of gay marriage in Costa Rica (a first for Central America!), Luxembourg’s pioneering move to make all public transport free to users, Russian hacking and manipulation, the increasing violence and visibility of white supremacist groups in the US and Europe, the aggregation of mammoth skeletons discovered in Mexico City (the largest ever found), the Falkland Islands declared free of land mines thirty-two years after the war’s end, and the loss of many literary greats: Jean Valentine, Richard Nelson, Lisel Mueller, Barry Lopez, Diane Di Prima, Stanley Crouch, Florence Howe, Rudolfo Anaya, Eavan Boland, Larry Kramer, Randall Kenan… and too many more.

Now we’re looking ahead. Now we’re plotting ways to do better. Now—and always—we’re grateful to everyone who makes art, who looks at the world with imagination and seeks wonder, who values the truth beneath the truth.

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