Apart from me, Off the Beaten Track features five other experienced haiku poets, including Hamish himself, and seven poets (including Hugo Williams, Sally Read and Matthew Welton) and other creative types for whom the haiku they produced for this project represented their very first attempts. Inevitably, the results are mixed, but distinctive and intriguing. Each contributor was allocated a month last year and asked to write a haiku a day throughout their month. Mine was March. An added, delightful bonus is that Hamish commissioned 12 artists to produce an illustration for one of the months.
The book will be officially launched early next year but is available to pre-order from the Boatwhistle website. Having had a sneak preview of the first printed copies, it's clear that the production values, design and overall loveliness of the book will match the quirkiness of its contents, which isn't surprising given that Hamish is Faber's go-to man for typesetting and proofing their poetry books.