Failed Haiku – A Journal of English Senryu

Starting January 1, 2016, I will publish Failed Haiku – A Journal of English Senryu. It will publish every month on the 1st day of every month, promptly. I hate missed deadlines, so you can count on us to never fail you. The one exception will be the November issue, which will publish on the 5th of that month in celebration of my favorite failed anarchist, Guy Fawkes! That issue will explode with failed haiku!

Senryu alone, or included in haibun, haiga, and in any line arrangement, with or without a kigo, will be acceptable. Haiga can have an image that directly relates to the poem or one that is just ‘kool’ and/or thought-provoking. Either way and every way in between is acceptable. I will also entertain essays on the subject of senryu. You will get a reply from me personally, within five business days, no more. I hate waiting for editors to ‘get around to it’, and I assume most of you do too.

Many years ago, at a haiku meeting, someone asked me what my definition of a senryu was, and I said: “It is just a failed haiku is all.” It was a flip answer, not particularly literary, but I have grown to like it for both its brevity and its lack of preciseness, both of which fit the spirit of senryu perfectly.

I have always felt that an editor’s job in evaluating poetry is overrated. The way I see my role is NOT to pick poems that I like, or that fit some personal definition of the form, but ones that readers will appreciate, learn from, quite possibly debate, and most importantly enjoy. Publication is not an endorsement of the poem, just an acknowledgment that it worked at some level. If you read one and don’t like it, move on to the next. Simple as that!!!

We will start accepting submissions on December 1st, and submissions can be previously published, unpublished, and anything in between. If previously published NO acknowledgment will be made by Failed Haiku to the prior journal, I simply don’t have the time to feed other editor’s egos. Failed Haiku reserves the right to Tweet, post on Facebook, or include any poems accepted in future electronic anthologies we may choose to publish. Any money charged for those anthologies will be minimal, and any money we do make will go directly to the American Cancer Society. I will never take one penny and want no donations whatsoever, just good poetry.

The goal is to get interesting and diverse senryu read by the largest number of people. You don’t need to mention your publication by us of any poem if it is subsequently published elsewhere, but gosh we would love it if you did. In short no bullshit, just some good poetry, published in a way that reaches the maximum number of people. I know how to get the word out, and I want ‘da good shit’ to get to the most people possible.

Alright now, go look over your poems, and send them in starting the 1st of December for the January 1st, 2016 issue to editor@FailedHaiku.com. No more than 10 entries a month, and if we get too many for any single issue we reserve the right to accept them for the next issue.


Mike Rehling

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Bryan Cook

    Hi.. I really liked the last Haibun Only issue!!! and the interviews with Rebecca Beary. When are you planning for the next such Issue?

    Best wishes, in Serenity,

    Bryan D. Cook, Canada

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Anne

    I stumbled upon Failed Haiku while looking for a half-remembered poem. This is the image I recall, in words perhaps not in the original: “My morning face in the mirror
    where I left it.” I’ve now spent nearly an hour in your archives. Not the last – I have sunscribed. I am not a poet or artist of any kind, so I cannot support your work unless you choose to accept a subscription price. Please though accept my thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: How to Create Haiga Poetry – The Faery Whisperer

  4. Kathy Lippard Cobb


    If I am remembering incorrectly, my apologies. I think you posted a link to Laura Maffei’s book “Drops from Her Umbrella.” I have contacted her several times in the past few years and have never gotten a reply. Do you have an extra copy of this book that I may buy?

    If not, do you know where I can get a copy? I have looked everywhere.

    Thanks in advance, and I feel weird posting to you about another poet, but I really want this book.

    Kathy Lippard Cobb



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