Sunday, April 27, 2014

Albert Huffstickler Poem in New Arianna Huffington Book

Anyone who reads this blog regularly or has been a subscriber to Lilliput Review from way back knows how much I love the work of Albert Huffstickler. A few months back I was contacted by a representative of Arianna Huffington about reprinting a poem by Huff that I had published in Lilliput Review #117 and, subsequently, in a blog post (scroll to end) for Lilliput's previous blog, Beneath Cherry Blossoms, where Ms. Huffington evidently encountered the poem. 

I, of course, had no objections, but needed to help find out who held the rights to the poem in the Huffstickler family. After a number of contacts, I was able to direct Ms. Huffington's representative to a member of the family who was able to grant permission. 

This is quite a journey by this brief, powerful poem by a small press poet who touched so many souls while he was alive and the decade plus since he's death. I don't know the print run for Thrive, but its a New York Times Bestseller, so 6 figures is not out of the question, possibly more considering the Internet dominance of her site, The Huffington Post.

And then, there is that poem that touched her like so many have been touched by Huff's work:

We forget we're
mostly water
till the rain falls
and every atom
in our body
starts to go home.
    Albert Huffstickler

I'm not sure what Huff would make of all this but I'm betting that he'd think, well, if a hundred thousand or so people read this one poem and if a it grabs a handful, I've done my job well.

Huff, 13 years after you've gone and you've still got it. Now that would bring a quick smile before returning to the next cup of coffee, the next cigarette, and the next blank sheet of paper beckoning for your whole heart and soul.

Thanks again, Huff. And thanks to Arianna Huffington, for passing a gift on to so many who would otherwise not known.


a day for wandering
a day for haiku...
spring rain

translated by David G. Lanoue

Wonderful video on Huff by Matthew Listiak


PS If anyone would like a copy of Lilliput Review #117 with the Huff poem, drop me a line. It's still available.  


Andrea Grillo said...

Wonderful poem and back story. Bravo.

Rehn said...

Beautiful poem. It made my day.


Mary Ahearn said...

Thank you for this post, Don. The poems, the Issa, and the video was so moving. A bodhisattva, this poet, I think.
Pulled "Why I Write in Coffee Houses and Diners" off the shelf once again today.

Theresa Williams said...

A very happy story indeed! I love the poem. So good of you to bring it to us, Don.

Bart said...

Hard to believe it's been 13 years. Huff deserves to be read by 100,000 people.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

that's fun ... poetry, people read it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thanks, Bart and Glenn ... good stuff.