Welcome to our Cicada Song issue. One of my vivid childhood memories was one summer when the seventeen year cicadas emerged. They seemed to be everywhere, and for a few weeks every child in the neighborhood became an insect collector. "Locust" was what we called them at the time but actually, they are Magicicada (periodical cicadas). I've learned that this was the Great Eastern Brood (Brood X), the largest and most widely distributed population in the Northeastern United States. For this issue Haiga Challenge, I'd announced that the theme would be "songs from the old neighborhood," intended as an exploration of music and memory. So when time came to pick a title for the issue itself, "cicada" as a summer kigo just seemed to fit.

We hope you find this issue to be interesting, informative, and inspirational. Many thanks to everyone who contributed, especially to our resident staff, Mary, Hiromi, Shisen, Choshi and Jasminka for their signature work on the Traditional Haiga section. This issue's Traditional Haiga section honors California poet and teacher Jerry Ball. We also have haiga portfolios by Emily Romano and Jerry Dreesen, and as we've already said, our Song Challenge in the Contemporary Haiga section. In addition, we're introducing a new section, an invitational Editor's Choice section. Our inaugural guest editor is Carol Raisfeld, who with Ray Rasmussen's invaluable help has selected a stunning collection of collaborative photo haiga. And, finally, in the Haiga Workshop, we have the second installment of HAI+GA, Linda's ongoing project to learn more about linking in haiga.

I myself no longer live where there are periodical cicadas, but I've just read an exchange on our FaceBook haiku community that Brood XIX of the thirteen year cicadas has emerged. Have a song-filled summer!

Linda Papanicolaou