Wasp Shadows

Click to see the full cover (front and back) on Flickr
Click to see the full cover (front and back) on Flickr

by Ben Moeller-Gaa
calligraphy by JS Graustein

In this collection of 20 haiku, Ben Moeller-Gaa takes us on a cyclical journey through what initially appears to be a typical Midwestern year. He notes the changing of the seasons and the effect those seasons have on human activity: snow to be shoveled, seeds to be planted, blooms to be weeded, fallen leaves to be raked. Ben’s haiku capture these everyday things, but with twists that reveal how the seemingly-everyday can send life spiraling forward through the circle of time.

Print copies are available to order from most booksellers:

  • Copies may be ordered from most online booksellers and special-ordered from most bookshops.
  • Amazon is selling the print edition with a free Kindle edition in their MatchBook program.
  • You can special order from physical Barnes & Noble locations, or order from their website.
  • Have used book credit at Powell’s? Use it to order a new copy from them.

To look behind the scenes and see how this chapbook was made, please visit JS Graustein’s Flickr set. You may read sample haiku in the photographs.


BEN MOELLER-GAA is the author of the haiku chapbook Blowing on a Hot Soup Spoon (poor metaphor 2014). His haiku, essays and book reviews have appeared in over 25 journals worldwide including Acorn, Modern Haiku, A Hundred Gourds, Frogpond, Shamrock and World Haiku Review as well as in several anthologies such as Haiku 21, the Red Moon Press’s yearly Best of English Language Haiku anthologies (2011, 2012, 2013) and The Haiku Foundation’s Mobile Haiku App. He has received a degree in Creative Writing from Knox College, is a contributing editor to River Styx literary magazine, and has led writing workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center, Studio STL, and at Missouri Baptist University. Ben currently works for Sigma-Aldrich Corp, can be seen in Wicked Pixel feature films and lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife Jessica and their fluffy white cat, Flitwick.

JS GRAUSTEIN is the Editor in Chief of Folded Word, co-editor of the Twitter Lit anthology On a Narrow Windowsill (Folded Word 2010), and the author of How to Write an Exceptional Thesis or Dissertation (Atlantic Publishing Group 2012). She holds a Master of Science in Biology (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb), a Literary Publishing certificate (Emerson College, Boston), and has studied translation under William O’Daly, noted translator of Pablo Neruda’s late and posthumous work (Copper Canyon Press). Her calligraphy and photography have appeared on the covers of numerous hand-bound Signature Series chapbooks (Folded Word 2009-present). This is her first chapbook fully rendered in the Carolingian hand. She lives amongst the trees in the picturesque highlands of Meredith, New Hampshire.


“The haiku in this compilation are clear, beautiful, and succinct. They provide intimate observations of the changing seasons of nature and life. Anyone who loves short poetry and nature will be sure to enjoy reading these three-liners. In this chapbook, those new to the genre of haiku—a deceptively simple but difficult form to master—will also find excellent examples of contemporary English-language haiku. This work is highly recommended for both established and aspiring haikuists.”
John J. Han, Ph.D., haiku poet and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Missouri Baptist University

“Wasp Shadows is a subtle thrill. The poet offers us the opportunity to pay attention to the color of moments. Each poem presents a sensory photograph of the things whose poignancy we learn to overlook: the delicacy of an insect, a season we have grown used to, the stiff silence of an uncomfortable conversation. The result is a delight as we imagine our own selves in these pieces. His word choice is as careful as the brushstrokes of the accompanying calligraphy. I happily recommend this chapbook to any poet or to any observer of the natural world.”
Allison Cundiff, poet and author of In Short, A Memory of the Other on a Good Day (Golden Antelope Press 2014)


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