Alexey Andreyev was born in the old Russian city of Novgorod, two months before Jim Morrison died in Paris. He -- Alexey, not Jim -- wasted much of his youth studying mathematics and other unhealthy things: Alexey graduated from a specialized physics & mathematics-curriculum boarding school, then went on to obtain an MS in applied mathematics from the Leningrad State University. He now gives a semblance of working on a PhD in computer science. Yet under this cool academic disguise thrives a poet who has written many poems in various forms--from lousy vers libre to crazily rhymed and metered and palindromic. Of course Alexey could not ignore haiku, honing it for his poetic arsenal for some 6 years now.
In 1994 Alexey arrived in the U.S. with just a few elementary English words in his mouth. Once here he discovered that poetry can be written in English as well, and after a year of studiously watching commercials and soap operas he resolved that his English was up to the task. This book is his first serious attempt at it.
Moyayama is a collection of haiku, senryu, tanka and haibuns based on sketches from Alexey's notebooks and diaries of the last 5 years. Yama means ditch or well --in Russian. Therefore moya yama means my ditch. Yama is Japanese for mountain, too.
Some of the poems presented here were previously published in Russian, in Alexey's first book Pesenka Shuta, Effect Publishing Inc., NYC, 1996. Others appeared first in Woodnotes, a haiku-magazine, No. 27 and No. 28; Frogpond Spring 1996, and in various e-zines on the web.
The author would like to say "spasibo" to Dhugal Lindsay, Wlodzimierz Holsztynski, Charles Hazlett, Paul Mena and all the members of the Shiki Haiku Salon for their comments, suggestions on translation and general support of the haiku spirit. Special thanks go to Fran Amaya for his artworks.
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