Meeting Jane


Born in Lima, Ohio, 1937.
Studied Art and Journalism at:
Bluffton College, Ohio.
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Fresno State University, Fresno, CA.
San Francisco State University, San Francisco.
Mother of three children.
Taught art classes for children 1962-1966.
Owned a pottery workshop studio in Dinuba, CA 1967-1971.
Wrote free-lance magazine articles and poetry since 1963 which have been published in USA, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Romania, Croatia.
Moved to Hamburg, West Germany in 1971.
Made sculpture from ropes exhibited throughout Europe.
Became the first American woman artist accepted into Deutsche Kunstlerbund [German Artists' Organization].
Began publishing haiku books 1979.
Shadows on an Open Window, 89 pp., 1979.
Textilwerke, (in German), 24 pp. 1980.
Installation: Collage in Space, 30 pp, 1982.
From the Dipper...Drops, 125 pp., 1983.
Duet for One Mirror, 22 pp,. 1984.
Thumbtacks on a Calendar, 34 pp., 1985.
Reissnaegal auf einem Kalender, 36 pp., 1985, (Translation of Thumbtacks in German).
Cherries/Apples, 52 pp., 1986.
Graffiti, 80 pp., 1986.
As Stones Cry Out, 40 pp., 1987.
Tigers in a Tea Cup, 344 pp., 1988. Haiku Society Merit Book Award
The Land of Seven Realms, 90 pp. Edited. 1988.
A Literary Curiosity: The Pyramid Renga "Open", with Bambi Walker, 320 pp., 1989.
Narrow Road to Renga, 364 pp., 1989.
A Gift of Tanka, 126 pp., 1990.
Round Renga Round, 145 pp., Edited 1990.
silence, 32 pp., 1991. Haiku Society Merit Book Award
A Dictionary of Haiku, 396 pp., 1992.
Trashopper Haique, 40 pp. 1992
Classical Mega-Brain Potential, 60 pp. 1992
Inksmith, 44 pp. with Werner Reichhold. 1992
Wave of Mouth Stories, 189 pp., 1993.
American Haiku in Four Seasons, bilingual English -Chinese published in Shanghai, China, 224 pp. Now as an online book.
Oracle, 40 pp. with Werner Reichhold. 1993.
Wind Five Folded, 262 pp. Edited with Werner Reichhold.
Bowls I Buy, Online book. 1996.
In the Presence, with Werner Reichhold, 1998, 128 pp.
White Letter Poems by Saito Fumi translated with Hatsue Kawamura. 1998.
Heavenly Maiden Tanka by Akiko Baba translated with Hatsue Kawamura. 1999.
Geography Lens, 100 pp., 1999.

A String of Flowers, Untied. . . Love Poems from The Tale of Genji. Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, CA 2002.
Her Alone AHA Online Book: 2001.
Journal Journeys. AHA Online Book: 2002.
Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-On Guide, Kodansha: 2003.
Ten Years Haikujane, AHA Books: 2008
Basho’s Complete Haiku, Kodansha: 2008
A Tear Out of Renga with Marlene Mountain, AHA Online Book, 2008.
A Film of Words with Werner Reichhold. AHA Online Book, 2008
(All online books can be seen at
Tanka Splendor, Editor, AHA Books Online, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,  2007, 2008.
Twenty Years of Renga: The Participation Renga from Lynx 1987 - 2007. Jane and Werner Reichhold,, editors. AHA Books Online. 2007
Twenty Years Tanka Splendor, AHA Books, Editor. 2009.
Scarlet Scissors Fire. Jane Reichhold. AHA Books. 2009.
Circus Forever. Jane Reichhold with Peter Goetsche. AHA Books. 2010.
Taking Tanka Home. Translated into Japanese by Aya Yuki. AHA Books. 2012
AHA The Anthology. Edited work of members of the AHAforum. AHA Books. 2012
Naked Rock. Haiku by Jane Reichhold. AHA Books. 2013

Books of Translation
White Letter Poems by Saito Fumi, AHA Books: 1998.
Heavenly Maiden Tanka by Akiko Baba,  AHA Books: 1999.
A String of Flowers, Untied. . . Love Poems from Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, Stone Bridge Press: 2002.
Breasts of Snow: The Life and Tanka of Fumiko Nakajo, The Japan Times: 2004.
Taking Tanka Home, AHA Books. First Edition: 2010; Second Edition with Aya Yuhki: 2011.


Leader of the Haiku Writers of Gualala Arts and publisher of their monthly, Haiku Sharing for seven years.
Founder of AHA Books, Publishing Company, in 1987.
Publisher of Mirrors - International Haiku Forum, a magazine distributed worldwide 1988 - 1995.
Started the Tanka Splendor Awards (previously named Mirrors International Tanka Awards) in 1989 which continues yearly.
Editor of the Geppo, the bi-monthly periodical for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society of United States and Canada, 1991 - 1994.
Co-Editor of LYNX, a journal for linking poets with renga and tanka since 1993.
Editor of the "Poet Tree" of the Coast Magazine, Gualala, California. 1991 - 1997.
Put AHA!POETRY on the web on December 7th ,1995.
Has been a member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Canada, Haiku International, Tokyo, Japan; the German Haiku Society, and Poetry Society of Japan.
Twice winner of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award [Tokyo]. Three-time winner of an Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award: Tigers In A Tea Cup, Silence, and A Dictionary of Haiku. Winner of numerous haiku awards, including second place in the 1987 Japan Air Lines contest and in the Itoen Tea Company Award in 1992.
Honored by the Emperor and Empress of Japan by invitation to attend the Imperial New Year's Poetry Party as a guest at the Palace in Tokyo in 1998.
My papers are being archived at the American Haiku Archives in the State Library of California, in Sacramento, California.

JANE REICHHOLD as artist. Here are photos of current artworks.

Jane in German

Jane Reichhold, geboren 1937 in Ohio, U.S.A., lebte von 1970-87 in Deutschland. Während dieser Jahre zeigten Galerien, Museen und öffentliche Plätze ihre grossformatigen Seilplastiken und Collagen mit verschiedenartigen Textil Materialien mit DGT und Deutsche Kunstlerbund.

Neben Gedichten und Aufsätzen in internationalen Magazinen entstanden 16 Bücher mit Haiku, Tanka, Renga und Prosa.

Jane Reichhold gründete 1987 den AHA Books Verlag und ist Verleger und Herausgeber der Magazine Mirrors International Haiku Forum (seit 1988) und Lynx (seit 1993), ein Magazin für Tanka, Renga und artverwandte Literaturformen. Eine erste englischsprachige internationale Anthologie für Tanka mit 156 Autoren erschein im Juli 1994.

A Story as Thanks for reading so far!

FRIENDS, As in for our...
Jane Reichhold

About the only exceptional thing people ever noticed about this couple was their lack of friends and acquaintances. Together they were simply a pair of hermits living alone on the top of a mountain in a remote spot in California.

Many years ago they had built a simple barn-like structure which they had fixed up to appear rather homey.

If a Jehovah Witness salesman was staring through the screen door, waiting on someone to answer his knocking, he would have seen that the one room in which these people lived was very neat and clean. It did not look like the inside of a real barn.

The furniture was obviously not bought at a department store with a New York buyer, but neither was it from the left-overs at garage sales or antique stores along the coast. Early Cost-Plus was most accurate.

Outside, where the Jehovah Witness man had to stay because no one answered his calls, he could see that the order and rationality of the table and cot on the porch, beside some pots of flowers, which reminded him of the rigor of a monastery. Somehow this was a place where everything that was there gave the impression that it had been chosen and cared for because it wanted or needed. Nothing was owned to impress or was sitting around because no one had hauled it off to the dump where it belonged.

Part of the cleanliness was the absence of either cats or dogs. No dishes of dried up dark parts littered the porch so the welcome mat was free of matted hairs. Not having to fend off a barking watchdog made the visitor take his time to look around as he walked back to his car.

He noticed that surrounding the house was a circle of white sand that caused a wrinkle in his forehead until he reasoned that living back here it was probably made for fire protection. The sunlight reflecting off the whiteness of the smooth sand made him glad to get into his car, though he was a little sorry no one was home because he would have liked to have met whoever lived here.

As they heard the car motor whirring in low gear as it ascended the drive way, the couple; it was a man and woman, came out of the pantry where they often hid when someone unexpected came down the winding dirt lane.

The visitor would have been disappointed in meeting them because there was absolutely nothing special about either one of them. Looking like a brother and sister, they were in their sixties, more overweight than underweight; looking just like most of the people in the region.

They drove to town a couple times a week to get groceries and mail. Though they thought of themselves as loners they would greet and chat briefly with various shopkeepers and townsfolk. None of them noticed how much more the couple laughed and smiled as they left the shops than on the trip in to town.

Actually, no one paid any attention to them.

But at night things are different. After the lights were out and the old couple had repeated their childhood prayer:

Abends, wenn ich schlafen geh'
vierzehn Englein um mich stehn ...

they would peacefully let themselves slip into sleep. With their bodies lying under the quilts like two pale plants with leaves folded around them, they became as defenseless, as egoless as vegetables. When they turned over in bed, it was as if a small breeze had stirred them and not the act of human volition.

If they seemed to be a bit restless, the wooden floor would snap, imitating the mousetrap. If one of the couple was not yet asleep, he or she would get up to check if they had caught a mouse. If the noise was ignored, the things in the room knew that the couple was deeply asleep. Most of the furnishings could sense the depth of their sleep; it was the floor that was always acting insecure. The floor had nothing to lose by being discovered.

The bed had to be the most cautious. Its transformation was often fairly quick, starting before their deepest sleep came. First, from below the head of the bed a head would emerge. Covered with dusty skin, mottled green-brown; only the reptilian eyes with a thin, gold glint showed any brightness. Soundlessly, as the head emerged, four feet and a slender tail extended, just like a turtle coming out of its shell. For that is what the bed was. Just a six foot by six foot redwood box turtle.

Tired of standing in one place all day, and eager to join in the other changes going on around it, the turtle would slowly lift one foot; slowly, slowly raising it up, making small arc in the air, began just as slowly to lower it. Then there would be a long pause before the turtle-bed would begin to move forward to shift its weight onto the newly positioned foot. Often the old clock would chime a time or two before the turtle made just one step.

The other furniture in the room was much quicker.

The table was always eager to get back to being a tiger, so it would give a warning shake to the kerosene lamp that it had better be turning into its firefly form or risk getting dumped off the tabletop tiger's back when the stripes became well defined. The salt and pepper shakers would play a game seeing just how long they could wait -- often they would be sliding over the edge -- before they shape-changed into black and white magpies that flew up into the rafters. It irritated the tiger that it had to be so close to chairs. He never understood why all chairs turned into the silliest of creatures at night -- chairs. Of all the noble forms one could assume, chairs all wanted to become sheep. The tiger was relieved to move over to the rolltop desk, that was now an elephant so they could exchange memories of their jungle days together.

Once the shape-changing has started, everything in the room was something else. Books opened. The black letters of writing turned into ants that walked away in wavering lines. Free at last the white pages became fluttering moths, sparkling the moonlight like flickering snow shadows.

The stove would often declare it was too dignified for this nonsense, but in the end it became a hippopotamus, often opening the oven door to make the illusion complete.

The kitchen sink would gripe and complain, wanting to be graceful as a stork or a flamingo, but the best it could do was to change into a steer. Therefore the sink too an inordinate pride in its set of horns that had been transformed out of the faucets. The refrigerator felt that becoming a penguin was totally in keeping with its character and wondered how other things could make shape changing decisions such a problem.

The rugs were the worst. They never knew what they wanted to be. Every night it was the same thing. What shape will the rugs take tonight? It was like living with a boarding house full of actors, putting on masks and costumes, changing their voices; walking and talking like someone else. Still the rugs were entertaining. No one ever forgot the full-moon night they decided to do Shakespeare's "As You Like It". American rag rugs imitating high British English accents forced the trunk to giggle. The trunk was very obstinate. It refused to become an animal. It only wanted to be a huge old sandstone rock, so it became its own decision. It was a rock; but a living rock, so when it had to, it could laugh and roll around on the floor.

Many nights the huge grandfather-type clock would refuse to take part of the fun by assuming another shape and being. It would stand there, the dim light of stars showing on its face, with a distinct look of displeasure (usually about twenty minutes before four o'clock). The clock always felt as if it was responsible for keeping time and order in the mayhem. It had this idea that if it didn't know what time it was, the rest of the things could be trapped at dawn by morning light. What the clock forgot were the many nights when the magic swirled about the house with such force that it would turn into an iguana, having the time of its life chasing the moth and butterfly-books (which time never catches up to).

No one had the courage to remind the clock, when it was no longer being an iguana, that it was not its ticking that called the sun over the eastern ridge. No one likes to think about the manifestations of power greater than one's own. That's why, in the morning, when the old couple wakes up, they think it is the disorganization of their sleepy brains that makes the room seem different for a few seconds. With some consecrated thoughts about which day it is, what the weather is going to be, what jobs they wanted to do today, they finalize the tiger back into the table, the zoo in the kitchen.

Occasionally the old woman wonders why the chairs around the table are not right where she thought she left them before going to bed, so she automatically pushes them into place, never hearing the scrape of a low baa-sound.

AHA! Poetry is a glove on the hand of AHA Books, Gualala, California.

Copyright © Jane Reichhold 1993.