by Kevin Nolan


Starting in April 2007, Kevin Nolan, a poet and musician from Dublin, contrived to have a haiku unwittingly published in the classified section of Hot Press magazine every fortnight. He did this for several years. Following the traditional 5-7-5 syllabic structure, the haikus were published in the guise of musicians' adverts. For the near half-decade that Nolan submitted his camouflaged haikus to the unsuspecting magazine, he had to continually provide new contact email addresses and phone numbers - often those of friends and family members unaware of or uninterested in his project - to prevent the editors from becoming suspicious. As the years went by and his haikus continued to appear regularly, Kevin told nobody about what he was doing. Because the magazine permitted many of the ads to run for several weeks before retiring them, Kevin would sometimes buy the latest issue of Hot Press and find that his fictive musicians had fully colonised the music-ads section.


The Hot Press Haikus are clearly the doings of a man with too much time on his hands. Nolan, now in his early thirties, has spent a large part of the last twelve years as a patient in St Patrick's mental hospital, over a series of lengthy stays. Diagnosed at nineteen with schizo-affective disorder. Projects such as the Hot Press Haikus, he says, are a way of both allaying and contemplating that sense of detachment. (Another project saw him taking photographs, over a period of years, of thousands of individual passing clouds, which he imprinted with the date and time at which they had been taken.) The haiku series, he says, is a reflection on artistic obscurity, transience, and obsolescence.


The following is a selection of the haikus, which appeared in Hot Press from 2007 until 2012, and whose total figure ran into the hundreds (Nolan himself has lost count).





The Hot Press Haikus


Lambeg drummer seeks

experimental outfit

based in Mayo Balla *


saw-man Joe aesthete

seeks musicians and poet

to form Dublin band



in Tralee. Prefer rock, Eels

Steve Stills. Contact Steve


Tea chest bass player

wants musicians for jamming

2I live in Dublin


Dublin ensemble

‘Burmese Violin’ looking

for cello player



required for Dublin band

Beefheart meets The Fall


Drummer required

for punk rock band ‘The Hicoos’

for Dublin based gigs


Drummer seeks to join

Dublin band for summer gigs

Love Cohen, Cave and Waits


Need a bass player?

or a piano player?

well then I’m your man!


Piano player

starving for Dublin rock band

been playing ten years


Bullroarer player

back from travels in Queensland

seeks to play with band


Seeking Christmas gigs

guitarist available

know loads of covers


Bouzouki player

seeks Tipperary rock band

into Grinderman


Didge player searching

for like-minded musicians

Loves no-wave music


Musician seeks band

Proficient with keys and bass

Loves Christian music


Piano player

looking for Dublin jazz band

Can start right away


Musician seeks band


are preferable


Violin player

seeking barbershop quartet

Playing ten years now



looking for CD art work

for debut release


Captain Beefheart fan

Looking to form tribute band

Based in Galway West


* This is the first of the haikus that Kevin Nolan ever had published in Hot Press magazine.



The Hot press Haikus were published in the Irish experimental journal, Colony.







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