Haiku Nation

Words few, hard-hitting. So participatory. Mini-lit is hot

Short is in. Online Americans, fed up with e-mail overload and blogorrhea, are retreating into micro-writing. Six-word memoirs. Four-word film reviews. Twelve-word novels. Mini-lit is thriving.

Like traditional Japanese poetry, the new pop-culture haiku says a lot with few words. These days digital eloquence is defined by pithiness. Witness the rise of Twitter.com where more than a million users submit messages of 140 characters max (i.e., no longer than this sentence). In the book world, a surprise hit this year has been Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. The book, which features...

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