Page 9 — Origin Story
Then, as mentioned, many years later, I discovered SciFaiku and the proverbial die was cast. I devoured SciFaiku like it was pink cotton candy at the carnival, or, perhaps, cool pink pie. I read and reread The SciFaiku Manifesto by Tom Brinck and then emailed him, detailing this new publishing venture and he, to my great delight, responded! He sent a SciFaiku to me over the cyberwires — the very first submission that this literary journal had ever received, in fact — of a work that he’d been interested in having published for some time. Tom’s genuinely gracious and enthusiastic support for this literary journal and for my publishing aspirations are greatly appreciated. What a class act. I could not have conceived of a more auspicious start for this journal than to have the “Father of SciFaiku” kick things off as a contributor.
I also reached out to other writers of SciFaiku whose work I had found online and that I admired and again, to my great delight, some of them responded, as well. Thank you, Wendy Van Kamp and John J. Dunphy. Wendy’s work is superb and she is a very busy writer, a real professional. When I first read some of John’s work, I almost fell out of my chair — it was that good.
An interesting sidenote pertains to contributor John J. Dunphy. First of all, I am so happy to be able to include his work in this inaugural issue. One of his collections of SciFaiku was the best-selling book of its kind for the publisher. His SciFaiku captures everything I love about this form of poetry, exceptionally so. After John’s first batch of work was submitted, he sent along a tanka, curious to know if I’d be interested in including it in the first issue. I was, it’s in here, but I thought the timing to be most synchronistic because I had at that very time been contemplating expanding this journal to also include science fiction tanka and senryu in addition to haiku. I have not made a concrete decision yet, but will probably include these forms of closely-related poetry in future issues and so, John’s tanka would be the first in that course. Finally, I have to add that John’s highly controversial piece, “A Religion for A New Age,” which appeared in the January-February 1983 issue of The Humanist magazine (and which was quoted from by a deeply ruffled Ronnie Reagan), is a must read for those interested in expanding their perspective on religion, culture, society, politics and ultimately, the human condition. Science fiction has been known to do just that as well, I might add!
Next, I’d like to thank Prof. C. Matthew Schumacher, Ph.D., Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, the editor of Phantom Drift, and the best man at my wedding long ago; not only for providing invaluable guidance, support, encouragement and generosity of spirit in this publishing endeavor but also for contributing his work to this journal, the first batch of SciFaiku he’d written. I have followed Matt’s literary career for over two decades now and have never once been surprised by what he has accomplished in this field. Matt’s poetry induces vertigo, it’s riveting, addictive, brilliant, thoroughly discombobulating and dangerously giddy stuff, conjuring absolutely impossible imagery in the mind’s eye.