Holton has wisely labeled each haiku with its type, and the variety of approaches and subjects gives each page of two or three poems an easy flow. He heads each section with a photo that offers either a sense of the everyday nature of his life or of extraordinary events like racial justice protests. Additional photos could have added more of this flavor and broken up some longer sections more effectively.
With the haiku form’s requisite economy, the poetry reflects many engaging topics, like Hoton’s mixed religious ancestry and desire for ecumenical unity. He also gleefully expresses his love of food and drink as well as his gratitude for his city's communities. The haiku are just as likely to contemplate the coronavirus (Social distancing: / flowers six inches apart / but still in God's earth.”) as they are to refer directly to God (“God offers us love / when all we have is anger. / We can use both.”) or his beloved spouse (“A bewildered world. / But I can still kiss my wife, / so ... what's the problem?”). Holton's emotional openness gives his verse a warmth, wit, and spiritual appeal that a wide audience could enjoy.
Takeaway: Readers interested in clever and often moving haiku related to spirituality and everyday life will delight in this observational poetry.
Great for fans of: Daphne Washington's A Christian’s Book Of Haiku, Hosea Williams Jr.'s By A Prophet.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: B-