Once again, we are publishing the winner of our annual haiku contest onto our soap. In year’s past, we have printed the poem on every bar we sell, but due to increasing number of bars that move trough our store, this has become impractical.
This year, we have moved to having a specialized soap for the winner. We are offering our Haiku Bar with scents of cranberry and fig. It is currently a light rose color with golden swirl, but look for that color to darken to a deeper red and cappuccino swirl in future renditions.
We will carry this soap until July 31, at which time we will start our poetry cycle anew.
As with every winner, when we announce our publication release, we like to reach out and get the winner’s perspective on the contest, on writing, and on being published on a bar of soap. Really, though, we just want to put a face to the winner. So, without further ado, here is our winner, Kyra McNally Albers.
Her winning poem is as follows:
The dewdrops have a cherry scent
On the crooked tree branch
Where you used to sit
We reached out to Kyra and asked her a few questions about writing. The results of our interview are below:
WLS: What type of writing do you specialize in? Is it generally poetry, or do you write other genres?
KMA: Poetry is not my usual type of prose; I focus on screenwriting and fiction, but this soap poetry caught my eye!
WLS: What factors did you consider when writing this particular Haiku?
KMA: When writing haiku, I consider how the third line can introduce a surprising image or twist while still transitioning smoothly from the first two. For my poem, I visualized pink-tinted dewdrops in the crook of an oak tree on a summer’s day, a special tree that triggers the narrator’s memory of an old friend or lover who’s left.
WLS: What other publication experience do you have?
KMA: I don’t have a whole lot of experience [being published], but the way I see it, being published on a bar of soap is the highest form of publication. It's sweet and creative and handy. I’m excited to say this is my first time being published!
WLS: How does your environment shape or influence your writing? Do you consciously consider it?
KMA: I didn’t--and usually don’t--consciously think about my surroundings while I’m writing, but rereading the haiku I absolutely see the element of Texas. The Texas landscape is what I know best, so that’s what I naturally visualize while writing.
WLS: In what way(s) is your writing a reflection of you?
KMA: My writing, just like me, is all over the place. I mainly write lighthearted stories, but I also have an interest in poetry and have been considering horror stories for a while.
WLS: Who is your favorite author and what is it you enjoy about their writing?
KMA: I couldn’t possibly tell you my favorite author, but a few I’ve enjoyed recently are Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain), A.S. King (Still Life With Tornado), and Elisabeth Tova Bailey (The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating). They each find ways to weave light, fun themes with heavy themes.
WLS: What are some of your writing goals, either now or in the future?
KMA: I hope to keep my spontaneity. I’d like to be able to write more happy-go-lucky, casual stories, even children’s books, and still write somber pieces.
WLS: Are there any final thoughts about winning the contest?
KMA: The runner ups' haiku are amazing! And thank you so much for this opportunity; I’m looking forward to reading next year’s poems!
Kyra McNally Albers is a writer in the great state of Texas. We look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in her career. Congratulations, again.