Sometimes the title of an issue develops slowly, beginning perhaps while I was working on the previous issue and had to choose a topic for the next Challenge. That was the case this time. We'd had a lot of nature topics for themes, so I thought it might be time to look in the "human" categories of the saijiki: summer occupations, activities and celebrations—thus was the Summer Activities Challenge born. As the issue took shape and the haiga arrived, I saw that we had a lot of seashore and vacation imagery, so I began to cast around for an old master haiku that might serve as a signature poem for the issue. This one by Issa just seems to sum things up. David Lanoue has rendered it slightly differently, and there are French and Italian versions online too. It's a heartfelt poem that speaks to the themes of traveling, returning home and memories of childhood summers that I saw in many of the works submitted, Many thanks to Gabi Greve for talking me through this translation.

ura kaze ni tabi wasure keri yûsuzumi

in a bay breeze
my journey forgotten—
evening cool

Once again it's a packed issue with both Traditional and Experimental Haiga, a Featured Artists section that includes scanned drawing and paintings as well as shahai (the word for photo haiga as I've recently learned), Collaborative Haiga, the Haiga Workshop and of course the Challenge. You may navigate the issue from any page in the issue by clicking on the left bar, but to help you get oriented here's a more detailed list:

TRADITIONAL HAIGA: Our invited guest writer is Los Angeles poet Victor P.Gendrano. The winner of the Haiku This Haiga contest, Andrea Eldridge, also a Southern Californian (I didn't plan that!) and we have a Flash slideshow of all the submissions. Finally, Mary has given us a new painting to poem for the December issue.
FEATURED ARTISTS: We have three portfolios by Richard Biscayart, Beth McFarland and Adelaide B. Shaw.
EXPERIMENTAL HAIGA: Heike Gewi explores different ways of writing.
COLLABORATIVE HAIGA: The haiku Robert Purcell Moyer and the art work of Guntram Porps come together in a distinctive partnership that's also experimental.
HAIGA WORKSHOP: Ray Rasmussen discusses choosing a font and placing your text in the image
CONTEMPORARY HAIGA: See the response to our "Summer Occupations and Activities Challenge" and read about the challenge for the December issue.
ONLINE GALLERY: How long has it been since you visited our current exhibitions by Ron C. Moss and Michel Dylan Welch?

We hope you enjoy the issue. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to our resident team of artists, Mary, Hiromi, Shisen, Choshi and Jasminka, and especially warm thanks to Carol Raisfeld for her proofreader's eye. May the breeze and the evening cool be with you this summer!

Linda Papanicolaou