The Snapshot Press eChapbook Award is an annual international prize for unpublished small collections of haiku, tanka, and other short poetry. Winning collections are free to read and are available at the Snapshot eBooks page. Snapshot Press, founded in 1997, is an independent publisher specializing in English-language haiku, tanka and other short poetry by authors from around the world. Harvesting Stones was selected for the 2017 award and published in 2019.

Harvesting Stones tells of the coming-to-terms poet Matthew Caretti experiences as his father battles with and ultimately passes from cancer. In the traditional Japanese style of haibun, Matthew captures in vivid detail one man’s struggle for life and the small joys and underlying pain of his final eight months. The collection begins after the end, thus setting a contemplative frame for this collection. Each haibun piece then works to establish and explore the truth of impermanence, moment by moment.

Influenced in equal parts by his study of German language and literature, by the approach of the Beat writers, by his travels and by his Zen monastic training, Matthew is an LRC member and his work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, as well as several anthologies. His poems have also garnered a few awards here and there. Matthew served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Shatale, Mpumalanga Province, from 2003-2005, and attended to the education of the orphans as principal at Amitofo Care Centre in Mapanga, Malawi. He currently teaches English in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, while working on two book-length collections of haibun about his post-monastic pilgrimage and his time at the orphanage.

You can download Harvesting Stones free of charge here.

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