52 Views: The Haibun Variations by Jim Natal is the journal of a metaphoric year, fifty-two poems in contemporary haibun form inspired by Matsuo Basho’s Narrow Road to the Interior and Hokusai’s ukeyoe series, 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, Natal is the author of three previous poetry collections: Memory and Rain; Talking Back to the Rocks and In the Bee Trees. A multi-year Pushcart Prize nominee, his poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including New Poets of the American West and Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose About Alzheimer’s Disease. After a 25-year career as a creative executive with the National Football League’s NFL Properties, he received an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2005. He teaches creative writing, leads workshops, and curates literary events. The founder of Conflux Press, he lives in Los Angeles.
“Jim Natal’s 52 Views: The Haibun Variations is a record of a year, mostly in Arizona and in an interconnected age, of the struggles of everyday life in the context of family, place, current events, and art. Interspersed with journal entries are short haiku-like poems that reflect and refract the light of the prose in surprising ways. Reading the pieces in succession, you can feel your mind shifting from prose-mode to poetry-mode. A successful venture into the form, it’s like reading three books at once, at the same time in the moment, in memory, and in reflection. With an informative afterword, it is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand or write contemporary haibun.”
“In 52 Views, Jim Natal mines daily experience in these observant and insightful contemporary haibun.”