Meetings of the Haiku Society of America - 2020 Virtual Conference

Haiku Society of America Meetings

Haiku Society of America meetings are held at various locations throughout the U. S. The HSA also supports other local, national and international haiku activities.

The locations, times, and programs for the meetings appear in the HSA Newsletter and on this page of the HSA Web site. Announcements and details of HSA regional meetings appear in the HSA Newsletter. Inquiries regarding regional meetings can also be addressed to the appropriate Regional Coordinator. Dates, times and locations are subject to change. Please verify your travel plans with the coordinator for each meeting.

Haiku Society of America 2020
National Virtual Conference

The conference was on ZOOM
Saturday, June 11 — Sunday, June 12


Haiku Society of America 2020
National Virtual Conference Program

Welcome to the very first Haiku Society of America National Virtual Conference! Given that face-to-face meetings are not currently possible, the HSA would like to bring our community together to learn, share, and connect by videoconference using the Zoom platform. We have an exciting roster of speakers lined up. Some of the topics will include the art of blogging and haiku, podcasting, the craft of senryu, a haiga presentation and more. A full conference program, including abstracts, will be available one week or more before the meeting.

The conference is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 with a series of talks, workshops, and other activities. The schedule will run 11:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, with a one-hour lunch break from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Speakers will present starting on the hour for 50 minutes with a 10 minute interval before the start of the next session.

More specific instructions on how to participate will be provided. In order to register, please send an email to: We will send out a confirmed registration list prior to the conference. Due to restrictions on Zoom, we must limit the total number of attendees, so the first 100 people to sign up will get in. If you must cancel, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can free up spaces for others. We will announce any new openings to allow additional members to sign up if that is the case.

~Dr. Jay Friedenberg, Haiku Society of America President

Haiku Society of America 2020
National Virtual Conference Schedule

(with YouTube links)

Saturday, July 11, 2020. U.S. East Coast Times

10:45 a.m. - HSA Presidential Address and Opening Statements
Dr. Jay Friedenberg, Haiku Society of America President

Schedule of Presentations

11:00 a.m. - Charlotte Digregario - Blogging and Haiku
Moderator: Himanshu Vyas

12:00 p.m. - Michael Rehling - Failed Haiku and Senryu
Moderator: Robert DePaolo

1:00 p.m. - Patricia McGuire - Haiku Pea Podcast and Virtual Walkthrough the Valley of Elves
Moderator: Randy Brooks

2:00 p.m. - Lunch Break

3:00 p.m. - Ray Cailgari - Haiga Presentation and Workshop
Moderator: Jay Friedenberg

4:00 p.m. - Ben Moeller-Gaa - Readings from One Breath
Moderator: Ignatius Fay

5:00 p.m. - Deborah Kolodji - Exaggerated Perspective in Haiku
Moderator: Shelley Baker-Gard

6:00 p.m. - Bruce Feingold - Readings from Arrhythmia
Moderator: Nick Gutierrez or Seretta Martin

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Haiku Society of America 2020
National Virtual Conference Program Descriptions

Saturday, July 11, 2020. U.S. East Coast Times

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

HSA Presidential Address and Opening Statements

Dr. Jay Friedenberg has been President of the Haiku Society of America since the start of 2020. He will speak on some of the new initiatives at the organization and provide an overview and introduction to the conference.

YouTube Link:

11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m

Charlotte Digregorio - Blogging and Haiku
Moderator: Himanshu Vyas

Build Your Haiku Network through The Art of Blogging

YouTube Link:

Biography: Charlotte Digregorio blogs at and runs The Daily Haiku, among many features. Blogging for five and a half years, she has readers from about 110 countries and followers from 60 of them. She is the author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, (an inspirational reference book), and five other titles. She was recently honored for her lifelong achievements in the literary arts by the Governor of Illinois. She served as an officer of HSA for many years. Her passion is to promote the literary arts. Her poetry activities include these: translating poetry books from Italian into English; a traveling haiga show that is featured at libraries, hospitals, corporate centers, and park districts, among several venues; writing a poetry column for Winnetka Living, a lifestyle magazine in Illinois; hosting a radio poetry program on public broadcasting; and giving haiku workshops for students in the public schools.

Presentation Summary: Blogging, if done effectively, increases your recognition as a writer, yields invitations as a speaker, helps you sell books, allows you to form friendships and professional contacts, and makes haiku more visible to the general public. Successful blogging, however, is not focused on you and your needs, but it promotes other writers, their work, and gives them a forum. It discreetly benefits you if you focus on making it a public service.

1. Overview: What Is Effective Blogging?

• How do you invite readers to your blog?
• How do you keep them coming?
• How do you grow your network of followers?
• How do you get readers to be active participants in your features?
• How to measure success with blogging

2. Overview: What Isn’t Effective Blogging?

• Common reasons why bloggers can’t attract readers
• Common reasons why readers don’t become followers
• When self-promotion alienates, or worse, is shameless

3. Popular Features Readers Appreciate 

• Making your blog “benefits-oriented” through instructive haiku essays
• Getting readers to share writing tips
• Author Interviews
• Book Reviews
• Posting of events/workshops your readers are involved in
• How to effectively post questions about writing that readers respond to
• Other popular features
• How to expand your offerings to include other genres your readers write

4. What are the Benefits of Blogging for Your Readers and You?

• What are the short-term benefits for your readers?
• What are the long-term benefits for your readers?
• What are the short-term benefits for you?
• What are the long-term benefits for you?

5. Time Commitment

• Minimum and maximum amount of work involved
• Daily blogging vs. weekly blogging 
• How to avoid making blogging a full-time job while consistently providing fresh features

6. Recommended Blogging Sites

12:00 p.m. - 12:50. p.m.

Michael Rehling - Failed Haiku and Senryu
Moderator: Robert DePaolo

Finding Yourself in a Poem

YouTube Link:

Biography: Mike Rehling (born Michael Joseph Rehling, April 21, 1946, Detroit, Michigan). Retired from banking and finance, poet, editor. Former founder and editor of Short Stuff, editor of Senryu and Haibun for Kernels and Cattails, editor of Haibun at Under the Basho, and of The Senryu Anthology. Currently founder and editor of Failed Haiku. Judge/sponsor of several haiku, senryu, haibun, and haiga contests, including the Harold G. Henderson, the Nicholas A. Vigillio contests of HSA, and the H. Gene Murtha Senryu and Jane Reichhold Haiga contests sponsored by Failed Haiku and Prune Juice Journal. Resides in Presque Isle, Michigan.

Presentation Summary:

'who the hell is mike rehling'

Being a 'river willow'
Have your own 'willow barrel'
Never throw any poem away
The value of the Buson Challenge 
If you claim the mantle of 'poet' write every day
Listen to your critics, but feel free to ignore them
The meaning of 'namaste'
Lew Welch quote
Feel free to break the rules (ethically)

Senryu Repositories

Failed Haiku
Prune Juice Journal
Living Senryu Anthology

Brady Contest Collection
The Haiku Foundation 

Discussion about finding your way (with examples)

Avoiding definitions 
Straying into the new
Keeping a journal of your life
Books to keep by your bedside
Politics and Sex in senryu

Thinking in blues and jazz

Hokku, Haiku, Senryu and fashioning wordplay and thought play
Surprise your readers with a poem they can make their own
Learn to 'riff' on an image until you get it right (or don't get it right at all)
Herbie Handcock and Miles Davis "no wrong notes'
Jean Cocteau quote
Bob Dylan quote
Third Patriarch of Zen quote


Become Miles Davis and you may just make it as a senryu poet.

1:00 p.m. -1:50 p.m

Patricia McGuire - Poetry Pea Podcast and Virtual Walkthrough
Moderator: Randy Brooks

The Haiku Pea Podcast Live: Inspiration - Walk with me in the Secret Valley of the Elves

YouTube Link:

Biography: Patricia McGuire is the host of the haiku pea podcast and editor of The Poetry Pea Journal of haiku and senryu. She writes using the pen name Bisshie. Born in the UK she now lives in Zürich, Switzerland. Her work has appeared in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Frogpond, Bones, Presence, Akitsu Quarterly, Blithe Spirit, Chrysanthemum, Sonic Boom, Failed Haiku, Prune Juice, The Heron’s Nest, Wales Haiku Journal and The Poetry Pea Journal of haiku and senryu.

Presentation Summary: I’d like to invite you to a live edition of the haiku pea podcast from, exclusively for you.This time the podcast is looking at inspiration. Where do you get your inspiration from? Personally I find travelling, wandering or riding my bike in the great outdoors and reading literature from around the world, whether prose or poetry, inspires my haiku writing.

You are cordially invited to join me on a walk, a virtual ginko, in one of my favourite places: the Lauterbrunnen valley in the heart of Switzerland, the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Rivendell, the secret valley of the elves from the Lord of the Rings. From there we’ll go on to visit the realm of his woodland elves. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything about Tolkien or the Lord of the Rings to participate and enjoy the splendid scenery. 

On our ginko you’ll see the magnificent scenery that stirred Tolkien, Goethe and Mendelssohn to create awe-inspiring work. You’ll hear snippets of prose from Tolkien, poetry from Goethe and haiku from around the world which pay homage to the wonders of nature. I’m hoping our travels will spark our imaginations to write some fresh and wonderful haiku.

At the end of our walk you will have time to ask questions, tell us what inspires your writing and I hope we can workshop haiku that you have been inspired to write having virtually experienced this wonderful Swiss Alpine scenery. If you would like to get in the mood you can already start thinking about alpine mountains, rivers, and valleys.

After the podcast you can submit your original haiku, inspired by our journey, for inclusion in the autumn edition of The Poetry Pea Journal of haiku and senryu. I’ll let you know the deadline and how to submit at the event. So strap on your haiking boots and join me. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

2:00 p.m. -2:50 p.m.

Lunch Break - Take a Breather and Come Back!

3:00 p.m. -3:50 p.m.

Ray Caligiuri - Haiga Presentation and Workshop
Moderator: Jay Friedenberg

Blended Forms of Picture Haiku 

YouTube Link:

Biography: I got interested in haiku and its related forms about 2 years ago. Originally, I wrote in the classic 5-7-5 mode but quickly discovered the more modern variants. Starting with the traditional 3-line, 2-image concept, I expanded to monoku and 2-line haiku. As my contact with more experienced poets grew, I began working with some of the more complex forms of parallel structures and linked verse. My work has been published on various online sites: Weird Laburnum, Failed Haiku, The Zen Space, Bones, and Under the Basho.  

My wife works in acrylics and I found some blending tools (Blend Editor, ArtCard, Notanizer) that I use to merge her line drawings, acrylic and collage work with my own photographs. These tools also vary picture attributes to produce unique visual effects. It works both ways for me: the blended picture prompts the haiku, or the haiku prompts the blended picture. I try to not just explicate what is in the picture but use it as another element to allow the reader/viewer greater insight into the finished work. 

Presentation Summary: There are 24 picture haiku to present. The haiku forms include 3-line, monoku (1-line), tanka, and a parallel. The visuals include blends of photos of nature, original artwork, sketches, and line drawings. Most of these abstractions are meant to clarify or enhance the emotional content of the haiku.

Questions to consider and discuss:

1. Does the haiku stand by itself without the picture?
2. Does the picture act as another element to enhance the haiku?
3. Does the abstract nature of the picture engage your imagination? 

I am allotting about 2 minutes each, which should include time for questions and feedback. If there is any time left, I will present more blends (without haiku) to spark your creativity.

4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Ben Moeller-Gaa - The Haiku Process and Readings from One Breath
Moderator: Ignatius Fay

How I Haiku: A Writing Process Walk-Through with Ben Gaa

YouTube Link:

Biography: Ben Gaa is “your friendly neighborhood haiku poet” from St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Pushcart nominee and the author of the 2018 Touchstone Award winning Wishbones (Folded Word 2018), a full length collection of haiku and senryu. HIs second full length collection, One Breath, is due out the summer of 2020 from Spartan Press. Ben is also the author of three chapbooks, Fiddle in the Floorboards (Yavanika Press 2018), Blowing on a Hot Soup Spoon (poor metaphor 2014) and the Pushcart nominated Wasp Shadows (Folded Word 2014). His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies around the globe. He has a degree in Creative Writing from Knox College, works as a Senior IT Functional Analyst for MilliporeSigma, and enjoys travel, music, art and other worldly meanderings. Find out more about Ben at 

Presentation Summary: The creative process is often mysterious to people who don’t do it on the regular, and for those starting out or looking to refine their own way, it’s helpful to see how others work themselves through it. While everyone’s process is personal, there are also a lot of practical tricks and tips that anyone can use and infuse into their own writing practice. In this talk, Touchstone Award wining poet Ben Gaa will take us through the following four steps of his own haiku/senryu writing process:

1. Setting the Stage to Write: The tricks and trinkets I use to get into the flow.
2. Inspiration and Perspiration: The process of starting and completing a poem.
3. Workshopping: The usefulness of the outside perspective.
4. Submission Tracking: One method to track the madness of submitting poems without titles and why that’s important.
5. Read poems from One Breath, my new book, should time allow.

5:00 p.m. -5:50 p.m.

Deborah P. Kolodji - Exaggerated Perspective in Haiku
Moderator: Shelley Baker-Gard

Exaggerated Perspective in Haiku

YouTube Link:

Biography: Deborah P Kolodji is the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, a member of the board of directors for Haiku North America, and moderated the Southern California Haiku Study Group from 2006 to 2019. She has published over 1000 haiku and her first full-length book of haiku and senryu, Highway of Sleeping Towns, won a 2016 Touchstone Distinguished Book Award and an Honorable Mention in the HSA 2017 Merit Book Awards. Kolodji also writes scifaiku and one of her scifaiku received a 2013 Dwarf Stars Award from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association and was included in the 2015 Nebula Awards Showcase by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Presentation Summary: Hiroaki Sato writes in his essay, “Issa and Hokusai” that it was scholar Kuriyama Riichi who noted the similarity between ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai and the haiku master Kobayashi Issa, particularly in their use of “exaggerated perspectives.” As Sato notes, “Is there anyone who knows the name Hokusai and doesn’t think of his painting of a giant wave toppling over three wooden skiffs in the foreground, and a magnificent, but tiny Mount Fuji far in the distance?” (from In Haiku by Hiroaki Sato, 2018, page 111). And when we think of Issa, the following haiku comes to mind:

little snail
inch by inch, climb
Mount Fuji!

     Issa, tr. David Lanoue

In both cases, the exaggeration adds to the artistry as well as to the emotional resonance. The wave feels especially enormous when compared to Mount Fuji and the task of climbing Mount Fuji feels particularly daunting from the perspective of a snail.

In this presentation, I will briefly discuss the work of Issa and Hokusai, and then provide examples of English language haiku which use this technique. The presentation will be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation shown during my discussion, and I will be inviting participants to share their impressions of the haiku displayed. We will conclude with a short workshop assignment at the end. If time permits, participants will share their work.

An earlier version of this presentation was given at the 2019 Sakura Haiku Festival in Meguro City, Japan.

6:00 p.m. -6:50 p.m.

Bruce Feingold - Readings from Arrhythmia
Moderator: Nick Gutierrez

The Healing Heart: Readings from Arrhythmia 

YouTube Link:

Biography: Bruce H. Feingold has been a psychologist for over thirty five years in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He believes that haiku is an art of the heart which taps our intelligence, creativity, openness, and honesty. Bruce’s haiku have published worldwide and have won numerous awards including the Haiku Canada Betty Drevnoik Award, the Haiku Poets of Northern California Chime Award and Haiku Poets of Northern California International Senryu Contest. His haiku have been chosen four times for the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku. Bruce's four volumes of haiku, A New Moon (2004), Sunrise on the Lodge (2010), Old Enough (2016), and Arrhythmia (2020) were published by Red Moon Press. Bruce’s haiku reflect his work as a practicing psychotherapist and love of family, travel, forests, mountains, ocean, yoga and Buddhism. He is on the Board of Directors of The Haiku Foundation and chairs the Touchstone Awards. Bruce is Vice President of the Haiku Poets of Northern California and resides in Berkeley, CA with his wife.

Presentation Summary: In 2016 I survived a rare life-threatening arrhythmia and over the next four years I wrote a series of haiku about my experience which helped my recovery and healing, culminating in my fourth book Arrhythmia, published by Red Moon Press in 2020. In my presentation, The Healing Heart: Readings from Arrhythmia, I will read the sequence of haiku from the collection, weave brief personal narratives to heighten the highs and lows of illness, grief and healing and otherwise let the haiku "speak for themselves." The goal of this format is to capture what Stanford Forrester called “a euphoric feeling” and Scott Mason described as “an unforgettable ride." (I've attached the cover and book blurbs). 

In addition to the personal narrative, wearing my 'hats' as a haiku poet and psychotherapist, I will intersperse the psychological and emotional challenges of aging, healing and recovery and the creative process of writing haiku. By commenting on selective haiku in short and down to earth ways, I will convey how the psychological process of healing and the creative act of writing haiku overlap and infuse the beauty and power of Arrhythmia.

In the last fifteen minutes of the presentation I will ask the participants for any questions and comments about their experiences and thoughts about the overlap between coping with illness and writing haiku, and if anyone would like to share a haiku/senryu about illness, grief and healing. (In the write-up for the presentation we will ask the participants to have a haiku/senryu related to illness, creativity and healing). I will remind the participants that sharing is voluntary and that the presentations are being recorded. 

The presentation will be multi-media as I will use different ZOOM backgrounds related to the haiku, including people, landscape and culture. I will also use ZOOM backgrounds to show the cover of arrythmia, the graphics of the five section headings and several haiku dependent on concrete imagery and word play.

• • •.