FIRE RAINBOW: A HAIBUN AND TANKA STORY MEMOIR ISBN: 9781951675042 BY ROBIN ANNA SMITH
ISBN: 9781951675042 44 pages. 6" x 9" Black ink on white paper.
FIRE RAINBOW by Robin Anna Smith is a stark and forthright look into a life journey of a child turned adult navigating through a world accepting only of binaries, unreasonable parental expectations, and other people’s disregard for consent and boundaries; seeking redemption from the effects of deep-rooted trauma; and finding self exclusive of societal labels, norms, and confined boxes.
In this evocative confessional memoir-style chapbook, Robin Anna Smith beautifully and seamlessly merges prose with haiku and tanka into haibun and tanka stories respectively, taking liberties to play with form, shedding light on these powerful poetic devices and allowing Robin to explore heavy subject matters in a fluid, ambiguous, and free manner.
Where the FIRE RAINBOW journey starts off rigid, dark, and restrained stylistically, it unravels openly, vibrantly, and unabashedly, leaving readers feeling pure catharsis, release, and unrestraint.
Content warning: child abuse, sexual assault, abortion, and gender dysphoria. Please tread lightly.
— NADIA GERASSIMENKO, Founding Editor of Moonchild Magazine
Advance Praise for Fire Rainbow
Fire Rainbow by Robin Anna Smith is a genre-bending and emotionally charged collection. By employing the haibun and tanka story forms, the poet masterfully shows us the versatility of these Japanese prose poems. They unflinchingly lay their soul bare within these pages, delineating a traumatic childhood, “shards of adolescence,” and the spiral that follows in an attempt to make sense of the “self.” We are co-passengers on the poet’s dissociative journey as she uncovers her past and finally escapes its menacing “tentacles.” This raw, bold, and seething collection begs us to stop asking the “wrong question,” urging us, instead, to redefine and “detonate the map” of the human body as we know it.
— SHLOKA SHANKAR, Founding Editor of Sonic Boom & Yavanika Press
If we don’t have disturbing witness statements free of news censorship, then we do not have real freedom of information. Poems as witness statements fly in the face of the secrets that are wrongly protected over decades through privilege and fear. These poems, in the form of blending prose with haiku or tanka poetry, and other variations, come through with actual truth: not filtered pretence of truth and transparency. They should be etched onto every court building, every abusive home, and where politicians enter to do their business.
— ALAN SUMMERS, Co-founder, Call of the Page