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HSA Regional Announcements & News for 2007

This section lists events which may be of particular interest to HSA members in one of these regions of the United States (or in Japan):

Northeast | Northeast Metro | MidAtlantic | South | Southeast | Southwest | Midwest
Plains and Mountains | California | Northwest | Hawaii/Pacific | Alaska | Japan


If you are not an HSA Regional Coordinator but would like to publicize a haiku event that may be of interest to HSA members in your region, please contact the Regional Coordinator for your region.

Northeast Region

Western Massachusetts

In the first quarter of the New Year the members of the Haiku Poets' Society of Western Massachusetts have focused on an exploration of the elements of haiku construction with an emphasis on reading poetry of the haiku masters. Toward this end we are working on expanding our lending library. Wanda Cook and Karen Reynolds, once again, made donations of books and journals to the library. The group also voted to subscribe to three new journals: Bottle Rockets, The Nor'easter and Wisteria. Each member is making the commitment to read more this year. We are very happy to have Marilyn Gabel back with our group after a year's hiatus in Florida. She arrived with new poetry to share with the group.

     pink legs dancing
     a slow tango
     mourning dove seduction

Her flamboyance and smile have been missed. She is a painter as well as a poet. We are really looking forward to keeping her writing with us. Florida's loss is truly our gain. At our April meeting we welcomed a guest, Patricia Harvey, who started writing haiku with a little nudge from Wanda Cook. Patty is a very talented designer of greeting cards and accompanying ephemera. She also shows real talent as a developing poet. Welcome, Patty! The beautiful spring day in April also brought Barbara Farington and Virginia Settle back to our fold after the winter's absence. It is wonderful to have all our poets back in residence.

Our group has been busy building our lending library.  Each of us has been working at integrating haiku with other talents and interests in our everyday lives. Barbara Farrington arrived at the June meeting with her new broadside, "Warming Sun."  She had a copy for each of us. It was such a delight to have a collection of her haiku to enjoy at leisure. She is an avid bird watcher and this love is shown in many of her haiku about birds in the Western Massachusetts area. Gloria Ayvazian volunteers in the Jackson Street School in Northampton.  The third and fifth grades have been working on haiku, and Gloria brought some of their haiku to share with us. It is incredible to see the wide range of topics they had chosen and the level of sophistication of these young poets!

Our June meeting was a real treat. Marilyn Gabel held a one person artist's exhibition of some of her latest work.  This was a multi-media retrospective she has been working on. She combines photographs she has taken all over the world, acrylic paint and natural materials in a collage to create the most extraordinary works of art. One of her latest contains a composite of photos of a Thai temple with gorgeous tones of ochre, gold and sunshine yellows, lush greens, and shades of blue acrylic and flower and plant petals. Patricia Harvey arrived at the June meeting with handmade haiku inspired bookmarks for each of us. This month she brought a new journal with one of her haiku as part of the cover art. She is our newest member with multiple artistic talents! September 2007 marks our 15th anniversary for The Haiku Poets' Society of Western Massachusetts!  Wanda Cook suggested we get started on planning our 15th anniversary celebration. 

September 2007. The Haiku Society of Western Massachusetts held its 15th Anniversary Celebration September 8, 2007, with a luncheon at Chandler's Restaurant in the Yankee Candle Flagship Complex, South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Wanda Cook orchestrated the celebration and was Mistress of Ceremonies.  After a warm welcome for all who were attending, Wanda gave a short history of HPSWMA. Unfortunately our founder, Alice Ward, who started the group with herself and one other person, was unable to attend. We recorded the day with an official photograph for our archive, after which Karen Reynolds read some of Alice Ward's poems to the group. It was wonderful that many of our current members, who do not know Alice personally, were able to get to know a little more about her through her poetry: 
       on little big horn
       bones of red and white men
       all one color
       in a folded leaf
           a pair of fire flies
           ...lantern glow

While awaiting our luncheon orders we called Alice on a cell phone. Each of us had the opportunity to thank  her for her years of hard work leading the group and to share an original poem or two of our own with her. The lunch was fabulous! Chandler's Tavern has been voted "The Best In The Pioneer Valley" by The Valley Advocate Advocate and awarded the designation for "Restaurant of the Year for Western Massachusetts" by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Each member of the group received a Fifteenth Anniversary Gift, an illustrated, 5X7 inch matted presentation of that member's haiku, designed and hand made by Patricia Harvey, a very talented greeting card designer and member of our group, who shares her talents as well as haiku with us. Each one is a unique work of art to be treasured long into the future. A fabulous time was had by all. We are now moving on with work and looking forward to a very productive period of poetry. 

—Respectfully submitted, Karen Reynolds

Bangor Haiku Group (Maine)

Astrid and Bruce hiked and climbed in Acadia National Park to the southeast of Bangor. On the summit of Gorham Moun-tain Bruce did a haiga of two small pine trees in the wind. On Canada Cliffs they saw up close three soaring bald eagles, their white heads and tails shining. On the way home in the beginnings of another blizzard they saw a still horse with unmelted snow on its back. Astrid wrote a haiku on this. All these activities, sort of, to prepare for a BHG ginko. Bruce taught his first win-ter term class in sumi-e (black ink painting), which centered on an overview of history and tech-niques and a calligraphy exercise. Next class is an exercise in bam-boo painting with a lucky bam bamboo plant and neo-traditional and modern bamboo sumi-e for reference. Bruce Ross

We were going moon viewing and haiku writing for our October meeting, but it clouded up. Instead we read autumn moon haiku from Blyth's anthology, with some attention to one by Buson:

            The moon in highest heaven,
        I pass through
              A poor quarter.

A.B. Davidson from The Old South Beach area has agreed to do a reading at our spring event. One of our members, Ginger Graham, will read from our group's mini-chapbook at Lippincott Bookstore during Bangor's annual Poetry Stroll. Bruce Ross just finished teaching a course in Japanese painting at the Hammond Street Senior College. His next course will be on short fiction and short poetry and will center on haibun. He also just began teaching a course on haiku and related forms at Penobscot Valley Senior College. A Zen practitioner and the daughter and granddaughter of a Japanese-American World War II internee are in attendance. This led to a discussion of the current Ken Burn's documentary and a reading of Ross' Frogpond interview with Violet de Cristoforo. Another attendee said her husband remembers such a camp in New Hampshire. Still another attendee remembers seeing an internee while attending college in Minnesota. The daughter writes haiku and does sumi-e. —Bruce Ross 

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Haiku Society will be doing a haiku reading on April 21st at the Rolly-Michaux Gallery in conjunction with a photographic exhibit by Robert Castagna entitled The Art of Mystery, Photography, and Haiku. On May 7th the BHS is reading at the Yen-Ching Library at Harvard University, sponsored by The New England Poetry Club.

Other activities include a workshop led by Raffael de Gruttola at Haiku Canada on May 19 entitled The Importance of Renku Training for Today's Haiku Poet: An Overview.

vincent tripi and Raffael de Gruttola have organized a Haiku Circle Event in Northfield, MA on June 2nd.  Workshop presenters and readers will include John Martone; Tom Clausen, who will read from Being There; and Judson Evans, who will conduct a haibun-writing workshop. In addition, James Ferris will conduct a workshop on holistic bee keeping; Ed Rayher of Swamp Press will conduct an all day workshop on letter press printing; a Naturalist Walk will be led by Sandra Jaquay-Wilson; and Larry Kimmel will read The Poetry of Carol Purington and his own Johnstown Flood.

For June 29 Raffael de Gruttola and Bruce Ross have coordinated a joint meeting of the Boston Haiku Society poets and the Haiku Poets of Bangor, Maine in Bangor. This is a return engagement since the Bangor, Maine haiku poets visited with the Boston Haiku Society poets last Fall.

Two renku groups met in July and one will probably meet again in August: The Immature Green Heron Group met at Karen Klein's house in Mashpee, MA July 13. Those present were: Karen Klein, Judson Evans, Allen LeVines and Raffael de Gruttola. TheMetroWestRenkuAssociation (MWRA) met on Saturday, July 14, at the home of host Paul Mena, to do another one of their bluenotes renku. The participants were Raffael de Gruttola, and Brett Peruzzi.

The Boston Haiku Society paid a return visit to The Bangor Haiku Poets on June 23 at the Ecotat Gardens. They spent the day writing after a brief ginko. The two groups consisted of Bruce Ross, Astrid Andreescu, Ginger Graham, Christina Diebold, and Bob Seretny from Bangor, and Raffael de Gruttola, Karen Klein, Judson Evans, and Ken Carrier from the Boston Haiku Society.

On June 2, the haiku circle group met in Northfield, MA.  The event was coordinated by vincent tripi and Raffael de Gruttola. Over 35 poets were in attendance to participate in a nature walk led by Sandra Jaquay-Watson, a bee keeping workshop by James Ferris, a haibun workshop by Judson Evans, a full day workshop by Ed Rayher of Swamp Press, a meditation workshop by John Martone, and readings by Tom Clausen and Larry Kimmel. Larry's reading was preceded by an historical talk of Larry's new book, Johnstown Flood, with a talk by Wanda Cook.  Larry also read the haiku and tanka of Carol Purington.  Food and music included a jazz accompaniment of Larry's reading.  Because of the success of this first haiku circle event, another will be planned for next year.

September. The Boston Haiku Society enters its twentieth year of existence this September. One of the founding members, John Ziemba, who was away for ten years working on his degrees in Asian Studies and living in Japan, has returned. John is excited about being with us once again and has become a regular at our monthly meetings. Along with John, Sonia Cristina Comans, who was instrumental in the founding of the Romanian Haiku Society, started a four year program in Studio Arts at Harvard College.  Sonia received a four year scholarship to Harvard and also has become a regular at our monthly meetings. Sonia was delighted to be selected to attend Dr. Edwin Cranston's new Freshman Seminar Class in The Pleasures of Japanese Poetry: Reading, Writing, and Translation. Dr. Cranston is the preeminent scholar in Japanese Studies and Renku in the world. Sonia Comans' level four proficiency in the Japanese language was an added plus in her selection. 

The Boston Haiku Society meets on the third Saturday of each month at the Kaji Aso Studio from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. A haiku workshop is conducted and members receive a monthly broadside of their haiku that have been discussed at the workshop.  Poems printed in the monthly BHS News Broadside are for members only and not considered published; however, poets are asked to confer with editors who might consider the BHS News a published event.

Judson Evans, a member of the Boston Haiku Society, is a featured poet in the Fall 2007 edition of the magazine of the American Academy of Poets. The article by John Yau, a noted poetry and art critic in New York City, presents the other side of Judson's talents. The article, under the emerging poets category, is entitled The Transitory and the Infinite.   One of Judson's featured poems is The Seventh Samurai. In the article Mr. Yau mentions Judson's predilections for the Japanese forms, including haiku and renku.

For those of you who google for information on the Net, be careful of erroneous information that sometimes creeps in because of errant entries or poor editing. There are two Boston Haiku Society websites. The one placed there by members of the Boston Haiku Society <http://www.bostonhaikusociety.org>is accurate. The other website is under  Richard Krawiec's mindspring.com and the information is inaccurate. It says that Richard was the founder of the Boston Haiku Society. I emailed Richard and he says he had nothing to do with it and that it's probably an editing mistake. Whoever made the entry should edit it for corrections, since there is also information about the Haiku Contest of the Kaji Aso Studio there as well. The correct information is that the founders of the Boston Haiku Society were: Kaji Aso, Raffael de Gruttola, and John Ziemba in 1987.

January 2008. The Boston Haiku Society continues to meet on the third Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Kaji Aso Studio. All are welcome who may be visiting the area. The BHS will be reading at the upcoming New Year's Celebration at the Studio on January 26th. The theme for this year's celebration is "Unexpected Visitor" and will feature paintings, drawings, ceramics, with poetry readings and new music performances inspired by the theme. Raffael de Gruttola, Judson Evans, and Tadashi Kondo have been invited to an International Poetry Conference in Cesenatico, Italy from June 8th to 15th. The Conference will highlight over three days the various Japanese poetic forms including renku, haiku, haibun, and haiga. The Conference at this small fishing village on the Adriatic Coast is sponsored by the University of Bologna at Forli and the Reggio Emilia Region of Northern Italy.

The Haiku Circle Group of Western Massachusetts will again sponsor a one day event of workshops and readings in the lovely area of Northfield, MA near the Vermont and New Hampshire borders on June 17, 2008. Last year’s coordinators, vincent tripi and Raffael de Gruttola, will be augmented with the able assistance of Wanda Cook, replacing Raffael while he is in Italy.

Raffael de Gruttola and Carlos Colón self-published a small 8 ½” x 11” book entitled Wall Street Park. It's a new approach to renku following the concrete poetry genre. It is available from either poet for $10 (postage pd.).  An explanation of the linking patterns by the two poets is included. The BHS will be reading sometime in late Spring at a new poetry series at the Boston Center for the Arts as well as at the Yen Ching Library at Harvard College. In addition, Judson Evans, Karen Klein, and Raffael de Gruttola have cross-adapted a one act play by Katherine Snod-grass, Director of the Boston Playwrights Theatre, called HAIKU. Music and dance will be written for a renku perfor-mance in the near future.

Raffael de Gruttola was  recently selected as one of five editors for a new online magazine called Modern Haiga. At the final Quarterly 2007 HSA meeting in NYC, the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association made a presentation to the HSA EC concerning a Haiku Archives at a Writers’ House on the campus of the University of Rutgers in Camden, New Jersey. Developments are underway to name the new Writers’ House after Camden haiku poet, Nick Virgilio. . . . Members present from the NVHA who made the presentation were Henry Brann, Chairperson of the NVHA, Kathleen O'Toole, past Chairperson of the NVHA, Professor Geoffrey Sill, Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at Rutgers, Camden along with Raffael de Gruttola, who serves on HSA's Archives Committee, the NVHA's Board, as well as the Advisory Board of the Writers’ House along with the above members. Raffael will continue to report on the progress of this endeavor and keep the new President, Lenard D. Moore, informed of the progress at the Writers’ House.

Raffael de Gruttola

Raffael de Gruttola

Northeast Metro

Rochester, New York

The Rochester Area Haiku Group (RAHG) has had a busy and varied first quarter. To get ready for the new year, we gathered to write a nijuin (a 20-stanza renku). We plan to repeat the exercise as it was so much fun to do together. One of our first tasks of the new year was to put a little bit of structure around our group – not too much, but enough to better define who we are and give us a little seed money for future chapbooks and events. If you’d like a copy of our mission statement, email me at Deanna@tiefenthal.com

In February we became better acquainted with a couple of American Black haiku poets, Richard Wright and Lenard D. Moore. We liked their poetry very much and want to look at them in more depth in a future program. In March, Jerome Cushman presented the paper he’s giving at the Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Japan on the topic of two Japanese deaf poets, Sampu and Murakami Kijo and their influence on the deaf culture in the US and Japan. Sampu (1647-1732), a student of Bashô, was known to be deaf but it wasn’t talked about until Kijo wrote about it. Kijo, born in 1865, became deaf at age 18, which dashed his dreams of a military career. Despite several crushing sadnesses in his life (or because of them?), he’s given us many haiku. We look forward to a report of Jerome’s experiences at the Conference.

The Rochester Area Haiku Group (RAHG) visited a bonsai show in May. After appreciating the exhibits and arrangements and watching a demonstration of turning a small pine tree into a work of art, members wrote a few haiku poems about the experience. These we shared aloud to an appreciative audience towards the end of the show.

September 2007. The Rochester Area Haiku Group were thrilled to host the HSA quarterly (annual) meeting on September 15 and 16. Many thanks to Barnes & Noble for allowing us to use their Community Room for the whole day on Saturday, and to RAHG member Jerome Cushman for organizing the events. In addition to the executive and business meetings, there were displays, a workshop, a panel discussion, book displays, a couple of readings and a ginko. Displays of bonsai and viewing  stones augmented a panel discussion of how the essence of various Japanese arts is related to haiku. The panel included experts not only in bonsai and stones, but also ikebana and Japanese gardens: Mark Arpeg, Dennis Burns, Wil Hebert, and Jerome Cushman.

Pamela Miller Ness inspired us with her workshop on "Prosody in Haiku", something we would like to explore further. Two members of the Rt. 9 Poets attended the weekend and “performed” poetry by members John Stevenson, Yu Chang, Hillary Tann and Tom Clausen. In the evening we had an open mic. Rochester’s historic Mt. Hope Cemetery is famous geologically and botanically as well as for the many noteworthy graves, such as those of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. On Sunday morning, Tom Painting and his daughter Sarah led us on a ginko there, which inspired many haiku. We returned to our homes smiling.

in the cemetery's
purple flowers
a frenzy of honey-making

autumn stroll
finding my aunt’s name
on a two-centuries-old tombstone

The Rochester Area Haiku Group has been continuing its monthly gatherings with a variety of topics or activities. In October Jerome Cushman shared things he’d done and learned at several conferences and workshops he had recently been to. Tom Painting in November led us in hearing and writing Veterans Day haiku. He also displayed examples from his collection of self-published haiku works. There is a wide variety of ways to do it – not only chap-books but bookmarks and cleverly folded one-pagers, even perfect-bound publications. We should have no excuses now not to publish something of our own.

first killing frost
of the season –
Veterans Day

   Deanna Tiefenthal

In December we partied and enjoyed Jerome Cushman’s and Dennis Burns’ new book, Amidst. We looked at some haiku from a recent contest and then voted on our favorites. Our January meet-ing started with a look at Stephen Addiss’ book, Haiku Humor. One thing we learned from it was the difference between observing and participating in a poem. If it calls you to participate in the moment, it’s a haiku. If you stand apart and observe, it’s most likely a senryu. As always, we shared our recent poems.

Here are a few –

iowa caucus
in the wind

   Deb Koen

lover's first fight
the night was cold
all along the avenue

   Steven Mojsovski

rabbit tracks follow
shoveled path

   Jerome Cushman

winter's day
the warmth
of a friend's voice

   Dorothy Giangreco

—Deanna Tiefenthal, Coordinator RAHG

New York, New York

On March 23, 2007 we gathered at Tenri Cultural Institute in a lively spring meeting,“Haiku Into Tanka,” exploring the relationship between haiku, tanka and art, and were ultimately inspired to create our own tanka. In "NY-Ku: Urban Tanka and Photography," poet and photographer An Xiao used power point to walk us through her own creative process. She began with a discussion of traditional Japanese haiga and Japanaese painting and shared her own struggles in merging the aesthetics of the camera lens with that of the brush. In addition to her tanga, she shared with us the nature haiga of Ron Moss. From him, she was inspired to create her more urban-based tanga, as she began to understand the relationship of representation to both photography and poetry. As she stated, "The poem completes the picture. The picture completes the poem." Her presentation included a discussion of layers, in photography and poetry, and the importance of negative space. Ms. An Xiao is of Chinese and Philippine descent. One of her lovely tanga (with the photo of a child statue before autumn foliage, plus negative space) includes the Philippine word "lola," which means "grandmother":

     every year, lola
     these leaves fall in
     brilliant color –
     if only i could wait two seasons
     for your flowers to bloom once more
Next, two of our well-known poets, Marilyn Hazelton and Dorothy McLaughlin, gracefully led us to the writing of our own tanka in their beautifully organized, informative, and fun workshop, "From Waka to Tanka, Links to Haiku."  Marilyn Hazelton gave us a dramatic tour of the history of tanka, from its earliest roots in waka, through the more modern concerns of Yosano Akiko and the contemporary work of Jeanne Emrich. We even got a copy of Emrich's "A Quick Start Guide to Writing Tanka."  Dorothy McLaughlin helped us to understand that a tanka is "roomier than a haiku and the rhythms more lyrical."  Dorothy also chose the contemporary tanka included in the handout to give the audience a sense of the wide range of tanka currently being written. During the reading of tanka by our workshop leaders, we were free to jot down any key words. From here, we chose from one of three themes: "Spring," "Movement" or "Open." 

After group voting on our efforts, three of us came away with prizes:

     Easter baskets
     filled with colored eggs                       
     no two alike
     I think of all the children
     I never had

     Brenda Gannam, "Spring"

     a long wait
     for your plane to load
     garbbled announcements
     the way I sounded
     when I proposed

     John Stevenson, "Movement"

     after the party
     I wait alone a long time
     in the subway station
     dawn over the East River
     spreads in all directions

     Cor Van den Heuval, "Open"

In attendance on March 23: Miriam Borne, Janet Brof, Miriam Chaikin, Bill Cullen, L.A. Davidson, Anne Elizabeth Evans, Sylvia Forges-Ryan, Brenda Gannam, Marilyn Hazelton, Doris Heitmeyer, Fran Hersh, Scott Mason, Dorothy McLaughlin, Mari Morimoto, John Stevenson, Arlene Teck, Jaxon Teck, Cor van den Heuval, An Xiao. A leisurely dinner followed at our favorite French bistro.

Additional Metro Northeast activity includes the wonderful news that Doris Heitmeyer recently was one of the two top winners of the British Haiku Society's James W. Hackett International Award:

           scudding ahead of me
     with the autumn leaves
     my hat

     Doris Heitmeyer

We have some great upcoming events, too. The weekend of April 28 and 29th, members of NE Metro will be reading both afternoons as part of the blossom-filled Sakur Matsuri, held annually at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. This year’s reading was organized by Pamela Miller Ness. On Tuesday, May 22, 2007, Cor van den Heuval will be reading from his recently published Baseball Haiku at the prestigious National Arts Club, at 8 p.m. This night, Billy Collins will also be reading from his own chapbook of haiku. Quite a haiku evening, for which we locals plan to turn out in celebration.

June 21, Tadao Okazaki will have the opening night of his art exhibit at Tenri Cultural Institute. On June 23, we hold our next NE Metro meeting, which includes a reading by Cor van den Heuval, from his Baseball Haiku followed a “play ball” workshop in creating ball-related haiku, led by John Stevenson. It was a lovely summer day, as we of Northeast Metro gathered at Tenri Cultural Institute to celebrate Cor van den Heuvel’s Baseball Haiku. It was just the sort of perfect day for a baseball game. Our theme was “Play Ball!” And we did. First Cor not only read from his wonderful new book, he also graced us with an historical tour of this genre.
For example:

     spirng breeze
     this grassy field makes me
     want to play catch


And later a modern blues haiku feel in this one:

     Empty baseball field
     --A robin,
     Hops along the bench

     Jack Kerouac

Cor van den Heuvel then shared some of the evolution of his haiku writing. In 1958, he first began writing his evocative haiku. Those of us who know him have compared his work to what Edward Hopper reveals in paint. Nature, small town America, and lighted buildings at the end of lonely roads are often the subject of his haiku. So it seems destined that Cor would write about the all-American game of baseball, played out of doors, and frequently under the lights at night. His first baseball haiku written in the early 90s:

     lingering snow
     the game of catch continues
     into evening

Cor has also written from memory of childhood experiences such as the haiku about him and his friends having to play with a ball held together by electricians’ tape:

     through the blue sky
     the tape-wrapped baseball trails
     a black streamer

He concluded with baseball senryu, a separate genre:

     conference on the mound
     the pitcher looks down
     at the ball in his hand

He was followed in this reading from Baseball Haiku by his able “Designated Hitters.” Brenda Gannam began by leading us in a group singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” One of her crowd pleasing baseball haiku:

     the pitcher slyly adjusts
     his equipment

Batting clean-up, Alan Pizzarelli gave us a good history of the game of baseball. For example, we learned the earliest games were decided by whichever team scored 21 runs first. We also learned that baseball in Japan began in 1872. This baseball haiku from 1889:

     beyond the hedge
     they are playing ball
     in a withered field


Alan kept a baseball journal in his youth. One of his senryu:

     struck out --
     back in the dugout
     he kicks the water cooler

Another element of baseball haiku mentioned by both Cor van den Heuvel and Alan Pizzarelli is the role of memory. It was somehow fitting that the exhibit on display at Tenri Cultural Institute (June 18 to July 18, 2007) was "Three Japanese Masters." One of these masters is the artist and long time Haiku Society of America member Tadao Okazaki, whose lyrical abstract paintings were created from memories he had of Central Park, NY thirty years later. The fruits of his use of memory to create beautiful images were vividly around us. The gallery opening of the “Three Japanese Masters” exhibit was only two days earlier, on June 21. Several members of NE Metro attended. Tadao Okazaki and his wife, Atsuko, had to return to Japan the next day, but Tadao contributed a baseball haiku to our meeting:

     day moon
     is the ball my uncle played
     on Iwo Jima

After the June 21st gallery opening, several of us took the Okazakis to dinner, where he wrote (after being introduced to American whiskey by Cor):

     breaking bread
     sipping Tennessee whiskey
     summer evening

After a leisurely intermission, during which Cor sold out all the copies of Baseball Haiku he had with him, we all enjoyed goodies, including some wine and small chocolate baseballs. Then John Stevenson playfully led us in a "Play Ball!" Workshop. He was assisted by his able teammates, Arlene and Jackson Teck, who had brought in a huge assortment of balls, including basketballs, golf balls and even a play eyeball. The balls were distributed by one of our newer members, Jorma Loci, assisted by her small daughter. We felt each ball and passed it on. Later we lined up according to how important we believed baseball to be in our lives. After a bit of sharing, John rearranged our lines and we found ourselves in pairs sharing a memory of a baseball (or sports) experience and wrote our own haiku. Our winners included:

     from the top of the hill
     evening sulight leans down
     past the solitary skier

     1st prize, Cor van den Heuvel

     high ball
     the fielder’s eye
     catches the sun

     2nd prize, Pud Houstoun

     squishy blue balls
     maybe I’ll stuff a couple
     in my bra

     3rd prize, Rita Gray

We also had two honorable mentions: Jorma Loci and Toyoshigi Mizuno. It should be noted that Mr. Toyoshigi Mizuno is one of the three masters exhibited in the “Three Japanese Masters” show. He is a master potter and a National Living Treasure. Even though his English is limited, he decided to join us, having met some NE Metro members at the June 21 opening. Afterward, many of us went on to Café Loup, and had a wonderful French dinner. In attendance: Harterjy Anderson, Marsha Bikales, Larry Bole, Miriam Borne, Bill Cullen, Roberta Curley, L.A. Davidson, Rita Gray, Brenda Gannam, Barry Goodman, Doris Heitmeyer, Pud Houstoun, Jorma Loci, Pamela Machoda, Dorothy McLaughlin, Toyoshigi Mizuno, Al Pizzarelli, Arlene Teck, Jaxon Teck, John Stevenson, Cor van den Heuvel, and Pauline Rooney Yeargans.

September 2007. Our Northeast Metro Haiku Society of America meeting on September 15, 2007 was a very special one. We celebrated the life and legacy of our beloved member, L.A. Davidson, who died suddenly this past July 18. We were honored by the presence of L.A. Davidson’s daughter, Laura Tanna and her husband, Dhiru, who reside in Jamaica. The meeting’s theme, “Reach for the Stars,” was created and led by our esteemed members Penny Harter and Bill Higginson. Possibly with some premonition, they chose this focus upon the heavens prior to L.A. Davidson's leaving us. Our September meeting was held at Tenri Cultural Institute, where its walls normally hold the art of a current exhibit. On this day, they were appropriately empty. Here, our theme “Reach for the Stars” recalled her famous haiku

     stars beyond

We opened our meeting with a read -around of our favorite L.A. Davidson (“Agnes”) poem from ones we prepared ahead, or from a beautiful small selection of favorites in a pamphlet thoughtfully prepared by Doris Heitmeyer, or from a grab bag of “Agnes” poems. We also took time for those who wished to relate special memories of L. A. Davidson. We wrote our “Agnes” favorites, and whatever else we wished in our ongoing meeting log. The empty walls also reminded us that the last exhibit at Tenri House was that of “Three Masters,” one of whom was Tadao Okazaki, the poet and painter friend of L.A. Davidson, whose theme for the show was her famous haiku:

sitting quietly
in a mountain clearing:
bird song more and more

L.A. Davidson was delighted to see this haiku on the wall, written large, as a part of that exhibit. It was still up at our summer meeting June 23, in what turned out to be the last one we shared with her. Her daughter Laura and son-in-law Dhiru Tanna brought what copies they had of Jamaica Moments and The Shape of the Tree. We sold many, but still have a few left for our December 1st National meeting. Edward Rayher of Swamp Press also kindly printed more copies of bird song more and more, of which we still have plentiful copies for sale.

Just for this meeting, Laura Tanna kindly brought a large photo of L.A. Davidson as a young (and very beautiful) woman, which graced our book table. Meanwhile, Dhiru Tanna videoed everything. Penny Harter and Bill Higginson began their lovely presentation with a reading of “Japanese Sky Haiku,” which included an historical progression, ranging from Bashô:

wild seas…
stretching over Sado
the river of heaven
—Bashô (1644-94)

to the famous, still living, Kayoko Hashimoto:

at moonrise
my heart swells gaily
as does the sea

Penny Harter and Bill Higginson did not simply read an historical collection of Japanese heavenly haiku. They generously prepared beautiful bound booklets which each particpant received. The booklet not only contained the poems they read. It also shared two lessons they had created for students: “Haiku in Space: A Five Minute Haiku Lesson,” and a longer “Poems on Hubble Space Telescope Images” classroom lesson. Besides sharing these approaches to writing sky haiku, they also included in their booklet, and in their presentation, the poems of children, which they took turns reading. A few examples:

released into space
we float
every direction possible

into the stars opening
the gates of time

An important part of their presentation was the display of stunning Hubble Space Telescope color photos. During intermission, while we browsed and bought L.A. Davidson books, we were also free to pick up and take back to our seats a favorite space photograph which might inspire a poem. These photos are also visible online at: http://hubblesite.org The rest of our afternoon was devoted to making our own stellar haiku (or tanka) in honor of L. A. Davidson, followed by a group sharing. Here are some:

white dandelion
this star takes longer
to blow away
—Dorothy McLaughlin

Jackson Pollack –
he had something there
didn’t he
—Mykel Board

a mysterious light
silhouettes the cloudy
towers of stardust
—Doris Heitmeyer

grief becomes
star becomes
galaxy becomes
an angle of light
—Marilyn Hazelton

in the heavens –
perfect clarity and cut
—Scott Mason

even the sky
likes a warm fire
on a cold night
—Miriam Chaikin

a ring of fire
the diver does a back flip
into the void
—Penny Harter

in that arc
wider than life on earth
new star systems
—Bill Higginson

identity theft
in my finger print
the galaxy
—Arlene Teck

great bird
seen light years away
what is your song
—Jaxon Teck

out in farthest space
pure darkness?
a time before time?
—Rita Gray

what is one poem
amidst thousands of
poems amidst
millions of stars amidst
millions of galaxies?
—An Xiao

stepping off the edge
of a galactic cube
what dance lies ahead?
—Miriam Borne

where it’s not
is where it is
the black hole
—Cor van den Heuvel

In attendance, twenty–one participants: Mykel Board, Larry Bole, Miriam Borne, Charles Brainard, Miriam Chaikin, Rita Gray, Penny Harter, Marilyn Hazelton, Doris Heitmeyer, Bill Higginson, Pud Houston, Sachiyo Ito, Scott Mason, Dorothy McLaughlin, Dhiru Tanna, Laura Tanna, Arlene Teck, Jaxon Teck, Al Pizzarelli, Cor van den Heuvel, and An Xiao. Most of us went on to a delicious Japanese dinner in a private room at nearby Ariyoshi Restaurant. Those who are attending our big December 1st National meeting, please let me know, as we will be having our dinner in the new elegant French “Village Restaurant,” and I will be submitting the numbers later in November. Do also book your hotel and travel arrangements well in advance. This poem of L. A. Davidson was among those in the handout created by Doris Heitmeyer:

a tendril swaying
long after the bird has flown
the garden quiet

In New York City we festively celebrated the holidays at our December 1st National Meeting. First, we had a pre-meeting ginko, led by Marilyn Hazelton at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Sackler Wing of the Gal-leries for the Arts of Japan. It was attended by several of our members, whose haiku appear below.

Our Haiku Society of America afternoon meeting at Tenri Cultural Institute was both thought provoking and exuberant. John Stevenson announced Frogpond's first-place winner, Scott Mason. Then President Pamela Miller Ness gave the Executive Committee Report. She introduced our new HSA President, Lenard D. Moore and then a special report on the Virgilio Writers’ House Haiku Project. We learned that Rutgers University is opening up haiku to the educational community, and that a three way partnership between the Haiku Society of America the Virgilio Haiku Association, and Rutgers University would enhance that effort. Rutgers is inaugurating an MFA in creative writing and the Virgilio Writers’ House is high on their list of projects.

Then came our featured presenters—Brenda Gannam and Bill Cullen. (This year they will be editing the 2008 Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology.) Bill Cullen spoke to our hearts and minds in his “Contemporary Haiku: Notes on the Passing Scene.” He gave us a thoughtful reflection on Amer-ican Haiku in the 21st century. One of his major points was whether or not too much homage is still paid to traditional Japanese haiku poets, without much looking to our American scene for homegrown contributors. Is it a relevant question, he asked us: “Can American haiku rise to the level of Japanese haiku?” He brought up a crucial point – just what standards do we judge our haiku by: ancient or modern art ideals. Certainly our modern haiku scene invites our thought and future discussion about exactly how we view modern American haiku. This was clear from the buzz in the room. He closed with the important reminder to all who write: “Spend as much time as possible reading the haiku of others as well as in writing. This keeps us in sync with the haiku community.” After an intermission, in which we shared greetings, wine, and Christmas delicacies, Brenda Gannam led us in “Winter Won-derland: A Seasonally Themed Interactive Kukai”—a wonderful series of themed activities, replete with prizes. First, our group had to find the missing half of a haiku held by other members. This was quite lively, with grown-ups dashing madly about with child-like glee to get theirs completed first. The winners: First place: Scott Mason and Keiko. Second place: Marilyn Hazelton and Scott Metz. Next, we tested our knowledge of classical haiku by matching ten of them—each with its proper Japanese author (Shusai, Sho-u, Issa, etc.). This proved a humbling experience for most of us. Our winners here: Arlene and Jaxon Teck. Finally, as a grand finale, we each selected from a hat, a holi-day-themed word (pine, choir, chestnut, cider …) with which to create our own haiku:

Tied for 1st place:

still up days after
Christmas, the soldier’s photo
of the family pine

   Penny Harter

choir practice over…
sparrows return
to the feeder

   Scott Mason

3rd place:

in cutting wind
the roasted chestnut vendor
cups his last match

   Marilyn Hazelton

4th place:

autumn rain
inside the cider house
an old man snoozes

   Barry Goodman

Here are haiku and tanka inspired by our ginko at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

bombing run complete
the crippled fighter jet
struggles back to base
flight crews on the runway
in silence hold up the sky

    Marilyn Hazelton

a little red leaf
blooms at his hovel—
an old man fishing

    Rita Gray

around each river bend
a new mountain revealed
rafting Three Gorges

    Rich Schnell

a bearded scholar
unfurls another scroll
its whiteness waiting

    Dorothy McLaughlin

folding fan with a poem:
the three nibbling mice
savor every word

    Larry Bole

In attendance at our NE Metro National Meeting were 33: Roberta Beary, Larry Bole, Miriam P. Borne, Henry Brann, Miriam Chaikin, William Cullen, Jr., Raffael de Gruttola, Brenda J. Gannam, Barry Goodman, Rita Gray, Penny Harter, Marilyn Hazelton, Doris Heitmeyer, Bill Higginson, Jacqueline Johnson, Keiko, Michele Laroche, Doro-thy McLaughlin, Scott Mason, Scott Metz, Justin Michaels, Lenard D. Moore, Paul Miller, Pamela Miller Ness, Kathleen O’Toole, Robin Palley, James Paulson, Rich Schnell, John Stevenson, Johnye Strickland, Arlene Teck, Jaxon Teck, and Cor van den Heuvel. Afterwards, 17 of us enjoyed a beautiful French dinner at the Village Restaurant.

Respectfully submitted, Miriam P. Borne

Mid Atlantic Region


February 2007. Towpath members Ellen Compton, Lee Giesecke, Kristen Deming, Mary Wuest, Laquita Wood, and Roberta Beary met on February 14 in Fonda Bell Miller's home—just a stone's throw from George Washington’s Mount Vernon and a brief walk from the Virginia side of the Potomac. Tei Matsushita Scott joined us in spirit. During potluck lunch we enjoyed the views of the surrounding woods and were treated to the sight of three winter finches who were searching for their lunch on a nearby branch. Fonda’s husband, Sam, joined us for the potluck. Sam talked with us about some of his artwork, which is displayed throughout the house.
Workshop discussions were lively as always. Mary's first poem was "a branch claims its space / the twig knows where to turn / spring growth." Comments centered around showing versus telling. Suggestions for final versions included
     claiming its space
     the twig turns
     . . . spring growth           

Tei reported by e-mail that she has completed her translation of the letters of the late Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi, founders of the Yuki Tekei Society in California. Tei looks forward to publication this year. Tei also has been preparing a presentation on fusion of music and poetry for the 2007 Pacific Rim conference in Matsuyama. Roberta and Ellen have been asked to return as guest presenters to this year’s Haiku Holiday, hosted by the North Carolina Haiku Society. Haiku Holiday is traditionally held on the last weekend in April on a farm near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The web team presented and the group approved recommendations for a Towpath web site. Web Master Donna Foulke was authorized to move ahead with setup preliminaries. A major purpose of the site will be to showcase members' work and news, but the site will also display information on Towpath background, history, and past events as well as contest information, artwork, and similar items of interest.

April meeting. A threatened storm held off, and Lee Giesecke, Kristen Deming, Laquita Wood, Fonda Bell Miller, and Audrey Olberg gathered at Ellen Compton's for the second Towpath meeting of 2007. We began with a pause to remember Kristen's father-in-law, Olcott Deming, in whose Georgetown home Towpath had sometimes met. Kristen explained that Ambassador Deming had died quietly on March 20 after a long and varied life of service.
It was a good day for haiku. Among the poems in the round robin, we heard Lee's playful

     remote beach —
     on my shell phone
     the sea’s hiss

And the workshops produced an unusual number of haiku in the "good as is" category, so we had time for a hereto unheard of three rounds. After discussion of possible program events for upcoming meetings, Kristen agreed to a June presentation on the Museum of Haiku Literature in Tokyo. She also suggested future presentations on some of the contemporary Japanese poets, including Haiku Master Yatsuka Ishihara. We also plan to expand our knowledge of each other's work, so we will schedule occasional readings by one or more Towpath members.

June meeting. The summer day was sunny and, rare for Washington, neither hot nor humid when Towpath met at Audrey Olberg’s condo in Chevy Chase. Present with Audrey were Kristen Deming, Lee Giesecke, Mary Wuest, Fonda Bell Miller, Ellen Compton, Roberta Beary, and guest poet Penny Showell. We learned that Tei Matsushita Scott is leaving the mid-Atlantic for Long Island. New York poets take note! Tei has been coordinating Towpath's regional season word collection, so Towpath will need a new kigo keeper.

Kristen gave a brief talk on Tokyo's Museum of Haiku Literature, giving us copies of an article she had written for The Japan Times during her years in Japan. Kristen explained that the museum maintains a comprehensive and constantly growing collection of publications relating to haiku, mounts exhibits of haiku-related art and calligraphy, and houses a collection of rare letters, manuscripts, scrolls, and other materials by famous haiku poets, including Basho, Shiki, and some of the moderns. Tokihiko Kusama, the museum's director at the time of the article, called it a "mecca for haiku poets." The museum's international division promotes cultural exchange between Japan and other countries. It is this division that gives the awards for best works published in Frogpond. Kristen pointed out that "Japan may be the only country with a museum dedicated to one kind of poetry." Those of you who are not familiar with the museum might enjoy a visit to the web site: http://www2.famille.ne.jp/~haiku/index-e.html

Kristen also turned out to be a resource on the subject of fireflies. Past discussion of firefly poetry had led some of the poets to wonder which sex flashes and which sex responds. Having researched the topic for two Japan Times articles (copies handed out), Kristen reported that (as you might expect) the males are usually the flashers, and the females respond with a flash. A male will then fly down to meet the female only if she gives the right response. Sometimes a female from a different species will mimic the wanted response in order to consume the male. Don't know what all this means for haiku, but it does liven up a meeting.

Towpath highlights. Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton, Donna Foulke, and Lee Giesecke attended a gathering at Jim Kacian's in Winchester for Richard Gilbert's discussion of his current research. The event was one of several planned as part of Richard's tour of American universities and haiku groups. Also present were poets Robert Bauer, of the Shiki Kukai team, and Dave Russo, from the North Carolina Haiku Society. Richard has a source of dynamite doughnuts. After a brief update on HNA, Dave read a selection of haiku, including:

       autumn afternoon
     the teacher sits a while
        by the window

Roberta is this year's winner in the snapshot book publication competition. Her collection, the unworn necklace, is expected be out in August. Ellen and Roberta were guest speakers and workshop leaders at the North Carolina Haiku Society's Haiku Holiday on the last weekend in April. As part of the program, each poet gave a brief reading of her haiku.

August 2007. The summer day was hot and steamy on August 4th when Towpath met at Ellen Compton’s place in Northwest Washington, DC. Present with Ellen were Kristen Deming, Lee Giesecke, Mary Wuest, and Fred Donovan. Cathy Drinkwater Better and Elizabeth Fanto sent regrets by email. The introductory round robin included Ellen's

the spreading sunrise—
a peach ripens
on my kitchen sill

from bottle rockets (No. 17, 2007).

A highlight of the meeting was Lee's reading. Examples from the selection follow. Originally published in Modern Haiku (36:2, summer 2005):

state dinner —
in my spoon, me,
upside down

The Party Winner in South by Southeast (8:1, 2001):

turkey released —
all night in the pine
her dark silhouette

And from A New Resonance (Red Moon Press, 1999):

somehow the horse
leaves in my hand
this little ‘Gala’ sticker

after joining
our Malamutes' howls
all of us feeling fresh

reading Jane Austen
finding myself
unduly civil

The small group size meant we had time to consider three haiku by each poet. Mary's second poem generated a great deal of interest:

our guide points out
the details
a young worker looks up.

Lee could see the worker's involvement with the guide’s descriptions. Mary pointed out it was a young cathedral worker who listened; the older workers were not interested. She liked the group's suggestion to add “of a frieze” to the second line, resulting in

our guide points out
details of a frieze
a young worker looks up

October 2007. For October we had planned a ginko along the canal towpath near the locks at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park. (Yes, the C&O towpath is the historic nature trail that gave our group its name.) But, of course, after months of severe East Coast drought, rain settled in early in the week and continued right through the morning of the meeting. With everything soggy, we gave thanks for the much-needed rain, gathered at Roberta Beary's, and had a super meeting anyway. Joining Roberta were Kristen Deming, Ellen Compton, Lee Giesecke, Mary Wuest, and Fred Donovan, as well as guests Lenard D. Moore and Dave Russo from the North Carolina Haiku Society (NCHS).

In the traditional round robin readings we heard Lenard's

ringed moon—
I think of the wedding
my daughter would have had

which appeared in the autumn 2007 issue of Frogpond, and Ellen's

funeral roses—
for half a lifetime
the weight of their scent

from late walk, published in the Jack Stamm Anthology in 2004 by paper wasp in Queensland, Australia. As always, workshop discussions were lively. Lee had submitted "the baby's gas— / to such emotion / we all turn." We thought the second line didn't seem to fit, and it was not clear what was being turned to: the baby's emotion? Comments and questions led to:

we all turn to
the cradle

Lenard and Dave read a brief selection from NCHS' beautiful new member anthology, Beneath the Willow Tree (Rosenberry Books, 2007). Two from this reading:

his song
where she said it would be
indigo bunting

     Kate MacQueen

her hands aglow
beneath the willow tree—

    Curtis Dunlap

Dave is among the haiku poets fea-tured in this year's edition of New Resonance (Red Moon Press). He read a selection that included

too hot to sleep . . .
from the fire truck’s siren
a map of the streets

Rain-out notwithstanding, October's meeting was rich in haiku experience.

December 2007. We met at the home of Mary Wuest in Nor-thern Virginia. A severe winter storm had been forecast (snow and possibly worse), but this time the fates were kind and we experienced only a sprinkle or two. Also attending were Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton, Kristen Deming, Donna Foulke, Lee Giesecke, Fonda Bell Miller, and new member Kathleen O'Toole. Patricia Rogers participated in absentia. In the introductory round, Fonda read this haiku from the winter-spring 2000 issue of Modern Haiku:

about his bad teeth
the gardener does not care—
one white lily

Roberta read a selection of haiku and senryu from her recently published The Unworn Necklace. In honor of the storm that didn't happen, Roberta chose poems that in some way touched on snow. A brief sampling:

the sound
of the name I used to have
soft falling snow

snowed in
the dog clicks
from room to room

first snow
at every window
a child's face

Kristen displayed a copy of Today and Today, which introduces Issa's haiku to children. The book is charmingly illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Mary is continuing the work begun by Tei Matsushita Scott on the Towpath Kigo Collection. Mary notes that we will try to be alert to local kigo that emerge in our own poetry. Our goal is that we might be-come more attuned to the seasonalities in our own Towpath country, and that our haiku might be enriched by such awareness. Kathleen introduced us to the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association, and told us something of the work that is being done to preserve this major poet's legacy. To visit their website, go to: http://www.nickvirgiliohaikuassociation.org/ Donna exhibited copies of interpretive cartoons she had created for several senryu by Al Pizzarelli. The cartoons and poems appear in the current issue of Simply Haiku. View them at http://www.simplyhaiku.com/ [Archives: vol. 5, no. 4; Senryu. Ed.]

Towpath highlights. Roberta Beary's entry placed first among the Kyoto Museum for World Peace Awards at the 41st A-Bomb Memorial Day Meeting. Ellen Compton was awarded first prize in the 2007 Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest, sponsored by the Yuki Tekei Haiku Society. Roberta Beary received an honorable mention in the contest. Lee Giesecke received the Modern Haiku monthly senryu award for his poem in the autumn 2007 issue of the journal.

—Ellen Compton

Central Maryland

March 2007. The most recent meeting of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland was held on Saturday, March 10, 2007 at the Eldersburg, Maryland home of Cathy Drinkwater Better. Also in attendance were: Tim Singleton and daughter Julia; Nancy Rouse; Elizabeth Fanto; and new member Susan Sanchez-Barnett. Members (e)mailing poems to share or workshop were: Joan Murphy; Maria Steyn; Beth Edelstein; Edith Bartholomeusz; and new member Marilyn Cramer. Members Ion Codrescu and Kirsty Karkow both sent greetings and wishes for a successful meeting. In addition to welcoming new members Susan (in person) and Marilyn (via email, though she was only up the road aways, in Westminster), we shared news of literary gatherings and events including the newly released first edition of the Little Patuxent Review out of Howard County, Maryland, with which Tim is involved; and the upcoming Haiku North America 2007.

The winners of the 2007 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards were announced to the members present along with the winning poems and Billie Wilson's comments. This year's winners are: 1st Place, Kate Bosek-Sill, Rochester, New York; 2nd Place, Ron Moss, Tasmania, Australia; 3rd Place, Karen Sohne, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 1st Honorable Mention, Vanessa Proctor, Pymble, New South Wales, Australia; 2nd Honorable Mention, Wanda D. Cook, Hadley, Massachusetts; 3rd Honorable Mention, Bill Pauley, Dubuque, Iowa; 4th Honorable Mention, Desireé McMurry, Franklin, Missouri; and 5th Honorable Mention, Scott Mason, Chappaqua, New York. Congratulations to all! After a brief discussion of Jane Reichhold's article "Circling the Pivot Again," in which she touches on the idea of the pivot in tanka becoming more of a "twist" in the shorter haiku form, we ended the afternoon with a fun and fruitful haiku workshop. We felt one poem in particular needed no changes at all:

     glint and sparkle
     on restless waves
     Lenten moon


May 2007. The most recent meeting of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland was held on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at the home of Elizabeth Fanto, in Timonium, MD. Also in attendance were: Nancy Rouse (Baltimore); Cathy Drinkwater Better (Eldersburg); and recently joined member Marilyn Cramer (Westminster)—this was Marilyn's first time attending in person; she had been participating in meetings via email)—as well as new member Denis Garrison, of Baltimore. Marilyn and Denis told us a little bit about their backgrounds, both personally and in regard to poetry. We're very happy to have them in our midst!

Members sending notes or poems to share were: Tim Singleton and daughter Julia (Columbia, MD); Joan Murphy (Fairport, NY); Maria Steyn (Johannesburg, South Africa); Beth Edelstein (Timonium, MD); Edith Bartholomeusz (Phoenix, AZ); Kirsty Karkow (Waldoboro, ME); and Susan Barnett (Glen Burnie, MD).

June 2007. In Member News: Kirsty's new book, shorelines: haiku, haibun, and tanka, was released in mid-June 2007. It has already garnered praise, including this from poet Hortensia Anderson: "[shorelines is] a book of wisdom, written with compassion and skill by one who has followed her own path, both in life and in poetry. Readers will be delighted to accompany Kirsty on her 'long walk of wet ink.'" For ordering information, contact Kirsty at
kirsty@midcoast.com or by mail at 34 Indian Point, Waldoboro, ME 04572 USA. Marilyn recently experienced winning a haiku contest at a public library in Connecticut while visiting her daughter's family. She noticed the contest poster, within days of the deadline, and with her husband's encouragement, entered the competition. Go, Marilyn! Cathy brought her latest six children's books, released in May, to pass around; and let it slip that she'd recently received 1st Place, Local Column, Humor/Feature, in the annual Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association Editorial Contest, for her humor column in the Eldersburg Eagle. For information on future HPCM meetings, email efanto@bcpl.net.

September 2007. The most recent meeting of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland was held on Saturday, September 29, 2007, at the home of Cathy Drinkwater Better (Walker) in Eldersburg, MD. Members present were: Elizabeth Fanto and Beth Edelstein, both residents of Timonium, MD; Nancy Rouse and Denis Garrison, both residents of Baltimore, MD; Alexis Rotella (Arnold, MD); M Kei (Elkton, MD); Ellen Compton (Washington, DC); and new member Roberta Beary (Bethesda, MD). Also attending were Alexis’ husband Bob Rotella and guest Fred Donovan (Rockville, MD). An introductory round of poems included the following.

ginger ale
autumn sparkling
in the glass
—M Kei

Indian summer
the song of redwings
—Alexis Rotella

village has grown old—
not a single house
without a TV aerial
—Nancy Rouse

We ended with a haiku workshop, in which all present participated. The deadline for the Fourth Annual Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards is January 31, 2008. See elsewhere in this newsletter for full information; or send email to: cbetter@juno.com or to: haikupoetscentralmd@yahoo.com.

Also: 2008 membership dues for HPCM are due from now through December 31. Dues remain at $5.00/year. Send to Cathy Drinkwater Better, 613 Okemo Drive, Eldersburg, MD 27184 USA. Membership includes The Dragonfly, HPCM’s bi-monthly newsletter, and copies of HPCM’s annual poem sheet, due out by the end of the year. The next meeting of HPCM will take place on Saturday, December 1, 2007, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., at the home of Beth Edelstein in Timonium, MD. For more information, contact Elizabeth at 410-252-8531 or efanto@bcpl.net; or Cathy at 410-795-0703 or cbetter@juno.com.

December 2007. The Haiku Poets of Central Maryland met on December 1, 2007, at the home of Beth Edelstein in Timonium, MD.
Members present were Elizabeth Fanto, Timonium; Susan Sanchez-Barnett, Glen Burnie, MD; and Cathy Drink-water Better (Walker), Elders-burg, MD. “Attending” via email/snail mail were members Maria Steyn, Johannesburg, South Africa; Kirsty Karkow, Waldoboro, Maine; Joan Murphy, West Hemp-stead, New York; Tim and Julia Singleton, Columbia, MD; and Sophia Cliffe, Staunton, Virginia.
Poems read: [*email/mail]

new puppy
the task of training
the children

    Elizabeth Fanto

hair styhlist
with the final clip
a hiccup

    Susan Sanchez-Barnett

clouds bump the tall trees
golden leaves make a carpet
rakes can wait

    Beth Edelstein

Christmas alone
the gingerbread man’s
crooked smile

    Cathy Drinkwater Better

so soon autumn…
still her blue-veined hands
tend the garden

    Joan Murphy*

puddle field—
morning glory pods
glitter in the light

    Maria Steyn*

a small bush
clasps a paper wasp nest
winter winds

    Kirsty Karkow

The 2007 HPCM poem sheet, luminous whiskers, was distributed at the meeting. The four-fold broad-side was edited by father-daughter literary duo Tim and Julia Singleton and features haiku and tanka by 12 HPCM members and terrific photography by Tim’s son, Dylan. The project was produced by Black Cat Press, professionally printed and folded. It has been distributed free of charge to all HPCM members, as well as to the public, to poetry friends, editors, and fellow regional and national haiku and poetry societies in the US and abroad. Copies of luminous whiskers are available, free of charge, upon request. Please share them with your friends, community libraries, schools, poetry clubs, etc. For each three copies, send an SASE (or SAE + IRC, if outside the US) to: HPCM Poem Sheet, Black Cat Press, 613 Okemo Drive, Eldersburg, MD 21784 USA. For larger quantities, email Cathy at: cbetter@juno.com Subject Line: “Poem Sheet.” We read aloud and discussed (and enjoyed) the poetry of guest haikuist Rajib Phukan, of Mumbai, India. He emailed us several of his poems to share, including:

under the moonlight
sound of silence
an autumn elegy…

The deadline for the Fourth Annual Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards was January 31, 2008. Questions? Email either

cbetter@juno.com or

The meeting concluded with an enjoyable, enlightening haiku workshop. For information about future meetings, email either efanto@verizon.net or
cbetter@juno.com .

Respectfully submitted by Cathy Drinkwater Better

Richmond Haiku Workshop

At a recent meeting of the Richmond Haiku Workshop, we once again discovered how much poems can be improved by discussion, often leading to a small change that makes a big difference. For example, this poem by Angela Detlev merely had the first line moved to the bottom so that "colors" and "creeping" could be adjacent:

     across the moon
     across the moon

Kelsey Rubin-Detlev's poem changed slightly in words and placement:

     granite columns
     —sudden sunbeam
     granite columns
     —smoky sunbeams

Both moving lines and changing words assisted this poem by Steve Addiss:

         greyer than grey
     in the winter haze
         a naked oak
         lowering haze
     a naked oak
         greyer than grey

Fall 2007. The Richmond Haiku Workshop also continues to publish the journal South by Southeast, which is now in its 14th year.

Stephen Addiss


Hot Springs, Arkansas

November 2007. The HSA South Regional Conference was held November 2-3 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Attending were Dr. Susan Del-phine Delaney, Rev. Howard Lee Kilby, Donna Pohlman, Christine Spindel, Johnye Strick-land and Celia Stuart-Powles. We were joined briefly on Saturday by Karen Schmidt who was waiting for an airplane.

Susan opened the conference on Friday with a presentation on modern haiga which included examples culled from Reeds, and envelopes she had decorated with haiku, stickers and complementary stamps. We later enjoyed lunch at Fuji’s, and indulged in a round of Green Tea ice cream for dessert. Duly rested and satisfied we returned to the conference room for a workshop on Haibun facilitated by Johnye, and shared our results. Saturday, Howard shared a letter from Horst Ludwig who was unable to attend, and haiku submitted to his column (and contest) “Haiku Lines” which appears in the monthly publication Ouchita Life. Commentary on the winning poems was by Sonja Coman, and we enjoyed his sharing them with us. We returned to Fuji’s, and topped the dessert with our annual “Haiku Friends Autumnal White Elephant Gift Exchange," facilitated by Susan. We were thrilled to have Father Alan Rosenau participate in absentia with the assistance of Howard.

Our last workshop, on haiku, was led by Johnye, who guided us back in time to Grand-mother’s house where we each discovered a trove of poems:

small town
a sidewalk built
around a tree

    Sydney Bougy (Christine Spindel)

granpa’s attic –
a peach basket
filled with golf tees

    susan delpine delaney

Grandma's small house
surrounded by flowers
red hibiscus

    Howard Lee Kilby

tall sentinels
the linked arms
of Catalpa trees

    Donna Pohlman (first haiku!)

rose garden
the glint of winter sun
on fruit jars

    Celia Stuart-Powles

plucking chickens
the squeak
of a porch swing

    Johnye Strickland

Celia Stuart-Powles, Conference Chair

New Orleans Haiku Society

On Monday, April 16, members of the New Orleans Haiku Society took yet another small step toward post-Katrina 'normalcy': we met, for the first time since The Storm, in Latter Library on St. Charles Avenue. After nineteen months of absence, after fifteen months of convening in noisy cafes, we were finally back on cushy chairs in our pink sitting room with cherubs on the ceiling. The library, which is housed in one of St. Charles Avenue's vintage mansions, has been open for months but with limited hours that prevented us from meeting there. The fact that it now has the budget and clientele to stay open past seven in the evening is a very good sign for our recovering city. All through the meeting I couldn't stop grinning: it was like we had all stepped through a time warp. Our last gathering under the cherubs seemed eons ago . . . seemed like yesterday. Anyway, we're thrilled to be back in our St. Charles Avenue headquarters. If you come to New Orleans on the third Monday of a given month, at 6 p.m., you'll know where to find us.

Yippee! Hurray! The New Orleans Haiku Society is five years old and we are currently planning an Anniversary celebration slated for the fall. The party will include a reading from our Katrina-ku – storm poems book, a haiku exhibit and refreshments. Check out our Blog for updated information about the event at: neworleanshaikusociety.blogspot.com. Also, check out a new haiku and music website for children at http://www.twodragonflies.com. Poems for and by children can be submitted via the online submission form. If you wish to submit lesson plans or activities for the website, please contact me at johnettemusic@aol.com.

In June, NOHS hosted a haiku information table at Japan Fest at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This cultural event is a highlight for our group each year. Now that we are settled back into our home meeting location at the Latter Library, we invite you to join us on the third Monday of each month from 6:00-7:45 p.m.

—Johnette Downing, Cofounder, New Orleans Haiku Society

September 2007. On Saturday, September 29th, the New Orleans Haiku Society celebrated our fifth year anniversary with a party at Latter Library on St.Charles Avenue. The public was invited, and all guests received a little fold-out booklet of haiku written by members of the Society.
The second printing of our book, Katrina-ku: Storm Poems, has almost completely sold out, so we announced at the party the recipient of the funds raised through the book. We presented a check in the amount of $400 to representatives of Arts a la Carte, a local non-profit group dedicated to bringing the arts to citizens with special needs. Other highlights of the day included a haiku reading, a haiku poster display, a magnetic poem board on which guests could compose their own haiku, and plenty of goodies--including cake and sake (which actually go together nicely!)

December 2007. The New Orleans Haiku Society commemorated National Haiku Day on December 21, 2007 by sharing haiku from our 5th Year Anniversary Booklet on our Blog at http://neworleans-haikusociety.blogspot.com/. Please visit our Blog for information about our group.In January, the Latter Library will be closed for a holiday on our regular meeting date; there-fore, NOHS will meet at my house for our meeting and annual holiday party. The party will begin with haiku readings and group business and will end with music, merriment and a holiday gift giving game. Our monthly meetings at the Latter Library on the third Monday of each month from 6:00-7:45 p.m. will resume in February. Kudos to NOHS co-founder David Lanoue for the recent Serbian translation of his book Haiku Guy.

—Johnette Downing

Shreveport, Louisiana

The Shreveport Haiku Group hosted the 1st HSA Quarterly Meeting on March 31, 2007. The program consisted of the following items: "Brief Introduction to Haiku/Senryu," Carlos Colón. In "Mindfulness, Epiphany, and the Haiku Moment," Susan Delaney, MD posited subtle physiological changes our bodies experience when we encounter a haiku moment. "Basic 'Rules' for Renku," Johnye Strickland. A ginko beside the bayou. "The Use of Haiku in Public Art in Shreve-port," by Carlos Colón, focused on the use of haiku in and on city buses, on billboards, murals, and other public art displays, including the Electronic Poetry Network. Created for Haiku North America 2005, the Shreveport debut of this power point presentation occurred at the HSA Quarterly Meeting, March 31. "What Haiku Editors and Judges Look For," again by Carlos, based on his co-judging experiences in the 1998 and 2005 Gerald Brady Memorial competitions and on Jim Kacian's article "What Do Editors Really Want?" from Haiku Reality (used by permission). In our round robin reading of ginko poems, we made it full circle at least 6 times before Carlos called a halt.

August 2007. Carlos Colon received a $1,000 Arts Ambassadors grant from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council [http://srac.pixelfusionhosting.com], with funds from the City of Shreveport, to attend the Haiku North America Conference where he and Raffael de Gruttola did a presentation entitled "Concrete Renku: Linking Words and Images." Laura Flett, a non-HSA member who attended the March 2007 HSA Quarterly Meeting in Shreveport, had a large article and photo in the Shreveport Times on August 19 about a haiga project she displayed in her front yard. Thiry-four haiku were burned into tree cookies (thin slices of trunk) and arranged in a spiral. Flett's Heart Journey haiga were later exhibited at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on Artist Sunday.

Carlos Colón and Johnye Strickland


North Carolina Haiku Society

Fall 2007. After a successful Haiku North America Conference in Winston-Salem, organized by NCHS members Dave Russo, Bob Moyer, and Lenard D. Moore (HSA President-Elect), members of NCHS read haiku at a local festival and launch our new NCHS Anthology, Beneath the Willow
, edited and with an Introduction by Lenard D. Moore.

In addition to the NCHS activities, Lenard spent 4 days at the Soul Mountain Writing Retreat in Connecticut, where he managed to write 20 poems in free verse, bop, epistle, sonnet, terza rima, dramatic monologue, tanka, haiku, and experimental forms, and read poetry (including haiku) at a museum in Connecticut.

— Lenard D. Moore

North Georgia Haiku Society

September 2007. Pinecone, the North Georgia Haiku Society, met Saturday, September 29 at Japan Fest in Metro-Atlanta, GA. Those representing Pinecone at the Japan Fest were Zhanna P. Rader, Marilyn Appl Walker, Denis Holmes (Chibi), and new member Akiko Fujikawa. Denis Holmes conducted the haiku reading and workshop for a small group of attentive listeners. For the introduction he presented a five minute movie as homage to his late haiku teacher, Fujita Akegarasu sensei, with whom he studied for three years in Japan. After introductions, Marilyn, Zhanna, and Akiko each read a few haiku. Members answered haiku questions and shared brochures and literature. After the workshop/reading, Pineconers enjoyed sushi and the sights and sounds of Japan Fest. A special thanks to Peggy Willis Lyles for assisting with the organization of the gathering. We missed you, Peggy!

—Marilyn Appl Walker

Robert Frost Poetry Festival 2007 at Key West, Florida

Haiku was well represented among the "longpoetry" at the 13th Annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival in Key West, Florida, April 11–15, 2007. A haiku contest, two full-length workshops, and several public readings were spotlighted during five days of activities in the warm, sunny artists' community at the tip of the Florida Keys. The international haiku contest, coordinated by local Key West haiku poets Janelle Barrera and Fran Masat, drew 95 entries from across the United States, England, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. Janelle and Fran screened the entries, and contest judges Charles Trumbull and Barry George selected three winners for cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25, respectively, plus three honorable mentions.

First place: Scott Mason, Chappaqua, N.Y.

        last day of summer …
     something indecipherable
         in the sand

Second place: André Surridge, New Zealand

     holding my breath
     the length
     of a skylark's song

Third place: Bruce Ross, Bangor, Maine

     impending rain
     a sapling propped up
     with old boards

On Friday afternoon Charlie led a three-hour workshop on the topic "Is Haiku Really a Poem?" The answer, of course, was "no," because haiku differ from Western poems in most aspects of history, purpose, subject matter, aesthetics, and poetics, not to mention form. The following afternoon Barry conducted his workshop, "Haiku and Human Nature," which focused on senryu. He combined writing exercises with a detailed examination and lively discussion of senryu written on various aspects of the human condition, such as interpersonal relationships, family interactions, and workplace situations.

Workshops on longpoetry were held by Michael Wyndham Thomas of Worcestershire, England, and South Floridians Rosalind Brackenbury, Cricket Desmarais, and Richard Grusin. Well-attended public events included a cigar smoker/open mic, a showing of the film Dead Poets Society, an outdoor show of visual poetry and performance art, a poetry slam, a teen poetry workshop, a poetry presentation in a retirement home, a sunset sail and reading aboard a catamaran, an evening of sea shanties and pirate poetry, and a closing Festival celebration with announcements of contest awards and, of course, more poetry. Skillful juggling of participants and public, multiple venues, refreshments, rain-avoidance techniques, and other logistical maneuvering was coordinated by Roberta DePiero, president of the Board of Directors of the Key West Heritage House Museum. For more information on the Robert Frost Poetry Festival past and future, visit the Web site at <http://www.robertfrostpoetryfestival.com/>

Charles Trumbull


Chi-ku, the Chicago area haiku group, broke all records at its May 6 meeting. Nineteen poets and significant others crowded into the meeting room of the Winnetka Public Library to read and discuss haiku. They were Charlotte Digregorio, Bill Eiden and Lavonne Mumford, Scott Glander, Bud Goodrich, Cindy Engvold, Heather Jagman, Sung Kyu and Cindy Kim, Eliot Landau, Michael Nickels-Wisdom, John O'Connor, Christopher Patchel, Natalie Rudychev, Dan Schwerin, Catherine Theis, Charles and Margret Trumbull, and Jeff Winke. Because there were so many new faces in the group, a round of introductions preceded the usual round reading during which each poet got to read three haiku. Charlie Trumbull, chairing the meeting, reported on recent and future haiku activities, including the Robert Frost Poetry Festival that he had attended in Key West, Florida in April, the upcoming HSA Quarterly Meeting in Portland, Oregon in June, and Haiku North America in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August. Charlotte Digregorio, who had made the excellent arrangements for this meeting, announced a public haiku reading and workshop to be held in the Winnetka Library on September 30 and asked for volunteers to handle various tasks.

Charlie noted the impressive publishing activities of Chi-ku members in recent months. Winnetkan Bud Goodrich was the first poet featured in Cor van den Heuvel's new book, Baseball Haiku, and haiku by Lee Gurga and Randy Brooks was included as well. He pointed out that he had noticed haiku by Chi-ku members published in the following journals: Acorn (Patchel), Bottle Rockets (Rudychev, Digregorio, Kirschner, Brooks, Trumbull, Winke), Frogpond (Patchel, Rudychev), Haiku Harvest (Rudychev), Heron's Nest (Patchel, Winke), Modern Haiku (Glander, Goodrich, Gurga, Kirschner, Patchel, Rudychev, Schwerin, Theis, Winke), Paper Wasp (Rudychev), Simply Haiku (Rudychev), Roadrunner (Trumbull, Winke), Tinywords (Trumbull, Winke), Wisteria (Brooks, Trumbull), as well as in the Red Moon Anthology (Gurga, Patchel). Following a break, the group spent about an hour workshopping haiku offered by the gathered poets. With just about 15 minutes remaining, Sung Kyu Kim skimmed over the high points of his paper titled "The Origin of Haiku: Korean 17 character gag poem was the Origin of Haiku," which asserts that haibun as well as the 17-syllable haiku format were derived from earlier Korean models. Over the past six years Kim has developed a Korean variant of haiku that he calls "zoomsi." They are featured on several Web sites in Korea and celebrated by the Korean Zoomsi Society, of which he is founder and president.

Cor van den Heuvel was a featured poet at the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Tent at the 23rd Annual Printer's Row Book Fair in Chicago on Saturday, June 9, presenting his book Baseball Haiku. Attending the reading were Scott Glander, Lidia Rozmus, Christopher Patchel, and Charles Trumbull. Michael and Beth Nickels-Wisdom joined the group for lunch and excellent conversation with Cor afterwards. Somehow, a "wordless poem" seems a very good way of sizing up the standings of Chicago's own Cubs and White Sox!

September 2007. The Chi-Ku Group gave a haiku program, Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Winnetka Public Library. There were short presentations on the art and history of haiku by Charlotte Digregorio and Charlie Trumbull, respectively, along with a presentation on haiga by Lidia Rozmus. There were excellent readings by poets Sung Kyu Kim, Michael Nickels-Wisdom, Natalia Rudychev, John O'Connor, Dan Schwerin, Christopher Patchel, and Scott Glander. The poets answered questions for the audience about how they write haiku and what inspires them. Audience members had the opportunity to write a haiku, and the winner received a copy of bottlerockets. The poetry judges were Sung Kyu and Michael. Natalia's husband, Igor, had the winning entry. Michael, who is a librarian,  composed an extensive bilbiography of haiku resources for everyone to take home. The program lasted three hours. As of October, the Chi-Ku group has gathered four times this year. It is a very large and active group.

—Charlotte Digregorio

September 2007. HAIKU WRIGHT NOW. Lidia Rozmus and Charles Trumbull sallied forth to Springfield, Ohio, on September 29 to bring the haikai gospel to the Wright Now Festival, a celebration of the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright organized by Westcott House, a foundation for the preservation of the architectural gem believed to have been designed about 1904, shortly after Wright’s return from Japan. Springfield is a charming, historic city located between Dayton and Columbus with many fine residences, among which the Westcott House enjoys pride of place. Lidia led a two-hour haiga workshop at the Springfield Art Museum and attracted an overflow crowd of 10 attendees, including faculty members and students from Wittenberg University. Meanwhile, Charlie held forth in a two-hour haiku workshop at the public library in Yellow Springs, reviewing the history and practice of haiku and leading six participants—at least three of them seasoned veterans—in writing and critiquing haiku.

December 2007. Chi-ku Holiday Party. December 16 witnessed the haiku party of the year, the annual get-together of Chi-ku and other Midwest area poets at Lidia Rozmus’s apartment in Vernon Hills, Ill. New records were set for number of attendees (21), distance traveled to attend (Jeanne Emrich, all the way from Minneapolis), and aggregate amount of fun (immeasurable). Participants included Charlotte Digregorio; Scott Glander; Heather Jagman and Arik Dreyer; Joe Kirschner and Beverly Bloom; Eliot and Eileen Landau; Ted May; Beth and Michael Nickels-Wisdom; John S. O’Connor; Christopher Patchel; Anna Poplawska; Natalia and Igor Rudychev; Charles and Margret Trumbull; and Jeff Winke. Lee Gurga and Rosemary Eller could not attend but sent in works to be read. Sandwiched in among the consumption of Lidia’s Polish delicacies and sweets brought by the poets, plus the guzzling of Glüh-wein and hot mulled cider, were rounds of haiku readings. We were having so much fun we never made it to the planned workshopping. A handful of the haiku offered by a few of the merry band of poets:

summer vacation
sea salt
in my eggs

   —Igor Rudychev

late for dinner, I’d say
the mobile home
is speeding

   —Anna Poplawska

Old tourists marching
through the Roman Forum—
ruins in ruins

   —Eliot Landau

night that begins
in the burial position
ends in the fetal

   —Michael Nickels-Wisdom

Natalia and Igor Rudychev, along with Charlotte Digregorio, recently read their haiku at Bor-ders Books in Highland Park, IL (suburban Chicago). They also briefly spoke about what haiku is. Natalia's husband, Igor, won the haiku writing contest at Chi-Ku's September reading at the Winnetka (IL) Public Library.

—Charles Trumbull and Joseph Kirschner

Mississippi Mud Daubers

June 2007. The Mississippi Mud Daubers Haiku Group met on June 29 at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Edwardsville, Illinois. Our agenda included selecting a project that will facilitate our bonding as a group while enabling us to introduce area residents to haiku. We decided that each member will create some haiga for a public exhibit and possible inclusion in a chapbook produced by Second Reading Publications, which is owned by group member John Dunphy. We will share our haiga with each other at the next meeting and take it step-by-step from there.

—Submitted by John Dunphy


Haiku Poets of North Texas

Haiku Poets of North Texas has had its first three meetings: February 17, March 17 and April 21, 2007. HSA members Susan Delphine Delaney MD; Ruth Eshbaugh; HSA Roshi Award winner Jeanne Lowenthal; Lainey Grace; Wynell Hosch; Linda Pieper; and Madeline Harford, MD were in attendance. Lainey and Wynell had taken Susan's course, "Mindfulness, Epiphany and the Haiku Moment," at their church. At the February meeting Susan gave her paper "Visceral Perception in the Perception of the Haiku Moment." A haiku party with the theme of 'blossoms' was held and enjoyed by all. At the March meeting, Susan gave her paper "72 Seasons in North Texas," a result of a challenge by Tadashi Kondo to develop a calendar of 72 five day seasons describing the unfolding of the year in Texas. At the April meeting a haiku party with the theme of new leaves was planned, but an impulsive renga happened instead with much good fellowship and cheer. The group looks forward to two summer workshops by Jeanne: one on sumi-e and the other on binding the sumi-e and haiku into  handmade books. Jeanne showed a handmade book that she had made of a renga, "One Persimmon," written by herself, Susan, and several HSA members. The May program will be a presentation on renga by Wynelle. Everyone in the group is a teacher and/or an artist. Watch this space for tales of incredible creations!

Haiku Poets of North Texas had 3 meetings this quarter. The May 19 meeting was a presentation by Susan Delphine Delaney MD on renga, using materials developed by Johnye Strickland for the recent quarterly HSA meeting in Shreveport. Susan was a last minute sub for Wynell Hosch who was called out of town.

The June 16 meeting was a workshop at Wynell's on covering books. Jeanne Lowenthal, HSA Roshi award winner, taught the group to cover handmade books. The group plans a passalong art journal project with a haiga emphasis for the fall. The July 21 meeting was a presentation by Susan on the history of haiga, modern haiga and the use of stamps or seals to 'sign' the haiga. The August 18 meeting will be a workshop by Jeanne on sumi-e painting to equip the members to begin their passalong haiga journals. Members continue to take turns creating ikebana for the meetings and bringing novel and delicious treats.

October 2007. Haiku Poets of North Texas met on September 15 and October 13. September's meeting consisted of a presentation on modern haiga by Susan Delphine Delaney MD, followed by a haiku workshop. Jeanne Lowenthal crystalized the following two haiku moments from the past:

in a window of sky
a moonlit "V" of geese

for a moment
the silhouette of a mounted cowboy
on the high ridge

October's meeting was a discussion of the haiku in a renga in which Susan was a participant. It will be published in the November issue of Simply Haiku, Vol. 5, No. 4. In addition, Susan previewed haiga-envelopes she will show at the South Region Conference in Hot Springs, AR, Nov. 1. The group also helped new member Terrie Meider formulate three haiku about her beloved, one of which appears below:

he has
no sense of direction—
my dear north star

Susan mudwrestled this moment into a haiku:

the quiet vibration
of the stapler
in my hand

November & December 2008. The Haiku Poets of North Texas met on November 17 and December 15. The November meeting was a haiku workshop, enjoyed by all. Lainey Grace crystallized this haiku:

into the space
between clumps of chaos

Wynell Hosch crystallized this one:

not a single turkey head
for sale
at the Vietnamese grocery

The December meeting was a warm and joyful gift exchange. Even our east Texas member, Tony Thompson participated by post. Later, we workshopped haiku. Lainey Grace, a very promising haiku poet who has been a little shy about sending in haiku to journals, crystallized this one:
old pond an owl presiding over the ooze Susan Delphine Delaney MD

—Respectfully Submitted, Susan Delphine Delaney, MD

Forth Worth Haiku Society (Texas)

Fort Worth Haiku Society once again took part in the Spring Festival at the Japanese Garden. In addition to Michael Moore, Bre and Cliff Roberts at the table were Shirley Crow, Christi Davenport-Lewis, and Carrie Mabry (two of them new members). Saturday was miserably cold and we ended up going home a little early but Michael stayed and manned the FWHS table until the end of the day. Sunday was PERFECT. It was not too hot, too cold, or too wet. And we had over 19 people there. Cliff and Bre held a class on "What is Haiku" for a group of 10 people and about 20 others stopped and listened for a while and proceeded to the table for handouts.  Helen Jones, VP for FWHS, reports that she will be reading her poetry at the Optimist Club in May and that she is the featured host at Barnes and Noble at the end of May. Cliff and Brenda will be the featured speakers at Texoma Poetry Society and will be interviewed and taped for a program that runs several times a month on the Sherman, Texas local cable access channel that is hosted by Leona Welch, founder of TPS and FWHS member. Long distance member Patty Mager says she has been notifed that 2 of her poems have been accepted for publication in SpinningS  magazine.

Fort Worth Haiku Society lost its old email address when the phone company closed it to us after the person whose name the account was in changed services and we lost poetry, addresses and everything that was in there. Our new email is fwhaiku@yahoo.com and if you sent in poetry or letters to Cliff or Brenda Roberts, please resend them to the new address.  Jim Applegate, New Mexico, also a FWHS member and active member of Southwest Region plans to do another anthology for Southwest Region members only. He states that their group's elections in Albuquerque will be next month and that he is the First Vice President of that group. If you are interested in contributing to the anthology project and live in the Southwest Region, contact Jim at japple@dfn.com or email Brenda Roberts at brephoenix@aol.com for more information.

Fort Worth Haiku Society and Southwest Region members Jim Applegate and Helen Jones attended the National Federation of State Poetry Societies convention in Oklahoma City in June.  Helen won 2 first place prizes and several other places as well.  Jim has been named a vice president in his New Mexico Poetry Society. Shirley Crow is the new 2nd Vice President for Fort Worth Haiku Society. Other officers are: Cliff Roberts, President; Helen Jones, 1st VP; Brenda Roberts, Secretary/Treasurer, and member at large Carrie Mabry.

October 2007. Fort Worth Haiku Society has a new vice president after the resignation of Helen Jones. Shirley Crow steps up from 2nd VP to the position. September's meeting was on Death Haiku presented by Cliff Roberts. Our guest haijin was Peter Webber, who shared haiku written from his last visit to Alaska this summer. The kukai was on geese. October 10th, the Fort Worth Star Telegram re-ran in the "Cultural District" section an article based on the interview with Cliff and Brenda Roberts about the Fort Worth Haiku Society. It originally appeared, with a photo of Cliff and Brenda, in August in the local "In Our Neighborhood" section. The FWHS will once again be in the meditation gardens to participate in the Japanese Garden Fall Festival October 27-28. This is the 6th year that we have participated in the Fall Festival. Robin Polizzi has agreed to serve as chairwoman for hospitality for the upcoming HSA Spring Quarterly meeting to be hosted by FWHS. Robin is a new member and we are delighted to have her. The committee for the HSA Spring Quarterly meeting consists of: Brenda Roberts, chair; Cliff Roberts, Shirley Crow, Dave Crow, Carrie Mabry, and Christi Davenport-Lewis. Dave has agreed to be our transportation coordinator and pick up and deliver people to the airport as needed.

Bre Roberts 


Washington State Region

The January meeting was held at the Bellevue Regional Library. Present: Ida Freilinger, Nu Quang, William Scott Galasso, Angela Terry, Helen Russell, Michael Dylan Welch, Ruth Yarrow, Curtis Manley, Jay Gelzer and Marilyn Sandall. Discussion was held about the haiku submission deadlines for the Francine Porad Award at the Washington Poets Association and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. We'll be reading the Four Elements at the Seattle Poetry Festival, April 21st.

The February meeting was held at the Bellevue Regional Library. Present: Helen Russell, Jay Gelzer, Dejah Leger, Dave Baldwin, Connie Hutchison, Ida Freilinger, Wini Jaeger, Marilyn Sandall and Michael Dylan Welch. Michael Dylan Welch brought a group of haiga to share that he is collaborating on with Gary Lebel. Gary has haiga in the winter/spring issue of Modern Haiku. Discussion was held regarding the indirect relationship between image and haiku. Discussion was also held about the 90 degree relationship between the two parts of a haiku with one part being oblique to the rest of the haiku.

The March meeting was held at the home of Wini Jaegar. Present: Ruth Yarrow, Connie Hutchison, Marilyn Sandall, Wini Yaegar, Ida Freilinger, Helen Russell and Terran Campbell. Crones Night Out. We discussed plans for the upcoming Seattle Poetry Festival, April 20-22. Also, the Burning Word Poetry Festival is April 28th on Whidbey Island. There will be no section on haiku, but some of us will be attending. We will be performing a memorial reading for Francine Porad at the HSA Quarterly Meeting in Portland, Oregon, June 30th and locally in September called Hundreds of Wishes. Connie Hutchison is looking for a place for this to be held locally and will report back.

The April meeting was held at Wini Jaegar's home. Present: Dejah Leger, Marilyn Sandall, Angela Terry, Curtis Manley, William Scott Galasso, Helen Russell, Connie Hutchison, Michael Dylan Welch, Nu Quang, Ida Freilinger, Jay Gelzer and Terran Campbell. Angela Terry announced that she won in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival haiku competition and placed in the Suruga Baika Literary Festival with this haiku:

     watch as
     plum blossoms fall-
     and still shivering

     Angela Terry

Curtis Manley announced that some of his longer poems were being danced at a performance called Phrasings the weekend of April 20th in Bellingham, Washington. Michael Dylan Welch will be teaching workshops for youth and adults at the Cedar River Watershed Visitors' Center June 10th and  at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival in Seattle the weekend of April 20th. Connie Hutchison is still working on finding a site for A Hundred Wishes in memory of Francine Porad. The Bellevue Botanical gardens are out. She will check out Kubota Gardens and The Japanese gardens at the Washington Park Arboretum.

The May Washington monthly meeting was held at the Bellevue regional library. We finalized plans for our local tribute to Francine Porad, A Thousand Wishes, which is set for Sunday, September 9th at the Bellevue Botanical Garden from 2-4 pm. Connie Hutchison has put much effort into arranging this and we are very grateful for all her hard work. She is also coordinating the reading of A Thousand Wishes at the HSA Meeting in Portland June 29 - July 1. Those present included Curtis Manley, Ida Freilinger, Anne Machonis, Michael Dylan Welch, Helen Russell, Jay Gelzer, Marilyn Sandall, Connie Hutchison, Mary Fran Meter and Terran Campbell. We shared and gave feedback about our haiku.

Michael Dylan Welch is curarating the Haiku Garden readings at the Washington Park Arboretum this summer. They are the 2nd Monday of the Month--June 11th, July 9th and August 13th. On June 11th Billie Wilson from Alaska will be the guest reader. Michael will also be offering two haiku workshops at the Cedar River Watershed Institute on June 16th for adults and June 17th for youth.

The June 7th meeting was also at the Bellevue Library. The first part of the meeting was a potlatch/give away of haiku books/periodicals from Francine Porad’s collection. It was great fun rummaging through the treasures. Many folks went home with goodies. This was especially fun since we had a number of new folks who were able to access haiku resources immediately. We will be selling some of the books at the upcoming Portland event to benefit our local chapter. Those who participated included: Dave Baldwin, Joshua Beach, Angela Terry, Marilyn Sandall, Curtis Manley, Helen Russell, Ida Freilinger, Ruth Yarrow, Michael Dylan Welch, Mike Myers, Jeannie Boag, Jay Gelzer, Kitty Jospe, Connie Hutchison and Terran Campbell. We managed to even get a couple of rounds of haiku and feedback done as well.

The Highlight of this year's Haiku Garden readings at the Japanese Garden, curated by Michael Dylan Welch, was Billie Wilson's reading on July 9th.
The August 2nd meeting was held at the Bellevue Regional library. We reviewed Francine Porad's poems and wrote them and ones of our own on stips of paper for her upcoming memorial "A Thousand Wishes." Then we did a round of haiku sharing and feedback.Those present included: Curtis Manley, Joan Stamm, Michael Dylan Welch, William Scott Glasso, Nu Quand, Wini Jaegar, Ruth Yarrow, Herbert McClees, Ida Freilinger, Connie Hutchison.

On August 25th at the annual Moon Viewing Ceremony at the Japanese Garden, Michael Dylan Welch gave an introduction to haiku writing and then invited audience members to write themselves. Later in the evening haiku were read and prizes given for the best haiku of the over seventy submitted. All poems were put up for display in the garden’s entry kiosk.

The September meeting was held on the 6th at the Bellevue regional library. Those present included: Heb McCleese, Helen Russell. Michael Myers, Shona Milne, Anne Machoines, Ida Frelinger. Joan Stamm, Angela Terry, Curtis Manley, Marilyn Sandall, Connie Hutchison, Dejah Leger, Mary Fran Meter, and Michael Dylan Welch. Haiku and feedback were shared. Our regional memorial for Francine Porad, "A Thousand Wishes," was held at the Bellevue Botanical Garden on Sunday, Sept 9th. Those present included: Jeanie Boag, Robert Major, Curtis Manley, Ida Frelinger, Mary Fran Meter, Michael Dylan Welch, Christopher Herold, Marilyn Sandall, Terran Campbell, and Laurie Porad and Connie Hutchison who worked hard planning and facilitating the event. In this simple but elegant tribute each person first told a story about Francine or how she had influenced their lives. We then each read some of our favorite haiku by Francine. The participants then read their own works and other haiku by Maggie Chula, William Scott Galasso, Jay Gelzer, Herb McClees, Carol O’Dell, Mas Odoi, Helen Russell, Ruth Yarrow and their favorite of Francine’s haiku and ones they had written for her. The haiku had been written on beautiful handmade strips of paper. We then tied them to willow branches. We finished by taking pictures to commemorate the event. It was a lovely sunny September afternoon and we clearly felt Francine's spirit among us.

Respectfully submitted,Terran Campbell, Washington Regional Coordinator

Oregon State Region

Portland, Oregon—Margaret Chula Was invited to read at the Looking Glass Books book launch on April 6 for the anthology Deer Drink the Moon, Poems of Oregon. Among her poems was a haiku series entitled “Soliloquy on Rain.” On March 22, Ce Rosenow gave a haiku and haibun workshop at the University of Oregon for students from Oak Hill School in Eugene. Harriot West, from the Eugene area, was the "featured haijin" in the spring issue of moonset, and an'ya from the Bend area was "featured poet" of April at Poetic Portal.net. Other than that, Central Oregon reported snow on the ground as late as mid-April.

The HSA quarterly meeting in Portland, Oregon began on Friday, June 29 with a reading in the Pearl Gallery at Powell's Books. Amelia Fielden and Pamela Miller Ness were the featured readers and shared selections of their tanka and haiku. An open reading followed and approximately twenty additional poets read their work. The reading was well-attended by poets and members of the Portland community. On Saturday, the Executive Committee held its meeting at the Marriott Hotel at 8:00 a.m. while everyone else gathered at the Hoyt Arboretum for a round robin haiku reading and introductions, followed by a memorial tribute to Lorraine Ellis Harr and Francine Porad. Oregon and Washinton poets read their favorite poems by Lorraine and Francine followed by a humorous or poignant story. The Executive Committee arrived in time for Patrick Gallagher's workshop, "Inspirational and Enlightening Quotations," in which he presented everyone with a booklet of quotations about haiku and poetry in general. Audience members responded to the quotations and evaluated sample haiku. After a short break and time to shop at the book tables, the meeting reconvened for the Book Review Panel. Randy Brooks, Ce Rosenow, Johnye Strickland, and Michael Dylan Welch gave short presentations and then engaged in a lively discussion with members of the audience (please see the additional description at the end of this overview). After lunch, President Pamela Miller Ness gave the Executive Committee's report to the membership which included the previous quarterly meeting's minutes read by Stanford Forrester. Margaret Chula began her haibun workshop, "Scents and Sensations," with an overview of the haibun form and then handed out black film canisters, each containing a different scent. She then led everyone through a series of steps designed to inspire a haibun, prompted by the scent in their container. Her workshop was followed by a ginko along the paths of the beautiful Hoyt Arboretum. The meeting concluded with people sharing their poems from the ginko and from the haibun workshop. Saturday evening sake and conversation flowed as participants enjoyed a banquet at Bush Garden, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Portland. Sunday morning, Margaret Chula led a two-hour tour through the Portland Japanese Garden and then brought everyone together for lunch and goodbyes at Pazzo's, an Italian restaurant in Portland.

The Book Review Panel produced a number of interesting suggestions and comments about reviews of haiku books, which I've summarized here at the suggestion of newsletter editor, Johnye Strickland:

Randy Brooks emphasized the need for reviewers to consider the aims and intentions of the poet and the book when writing a review. He recommended evaluating a book based on how well it reached the goals it set out to achieve. Using this approach, he argued, allowed a reviewer to objectively approach books even when those books are written in a style or from a perspective that the reviewer doesn't necessarily adhere to in his or her own writing. He also encouraged publishers and poets submitting books for review to include all of the necessary information such as page count, dimensions, price, ordering information, and a description of the book.

Ce Rosenow suggested that editors and reviewers be clearer about the purpose of their reviews. For instance, is the review designed to educate people about the haiku form and the direction of contemporary English-language haiku, is it to simply describe the book, is it to evaluate the book, or is it to recommend a book for purchase? Editors could help reviewers by explaining their decision to have a particular book reviewed and by describing the role of the review section in their journal. Reviewers could define the parameters of their review and the criteria by which they are evaluating a book.

Johnye Strickland said that since she is fairly new to haiku, she does not feel comfortable making a critical assessment or suggesting the place a book or poet occupies in the development of English language haiku and related genres. These things are important, but should be left to more experienced haiku practitioners, such as the other members of this panel. (Her Managing Editor usually writes these kinds of reviews, and is quite adept at depicting a book's flaws as well as its strengths.) Instead she tries to give an objective view of contents and aesthetic appearance, with a subjective appraisal of its effectiveness, and to select examples which will show a range of the subjects and forms present.

Michael Dylan Welch talked about the need for both thorough critical assessment as well as personal reactions to haiku books, the ethics of book reviewing, and the responsibilities of the book review editor, the reviewer, and the reader. Editors should engage themselves with the fullest range of haiku books to make sure that the most important books are given reviews (and that unimportant books are not), and to actively assign books to appropriate reviewers (and not do too many of them himself or herself). The reviewer should avoid gratuitous negativity, try to be substantial and nonobvious in his or her comments, and tailor the length of the review to the importance of the book. He noted that reviews serve the purpose of being a record of the book's publication, can support the poets and the small presses that publish the books (often at a financial loss), and contribute to the conversation that the book itself begins. He also cautioned against book reviewers and book review editors who have conflicts of interest or favor their friends, something that happens all too often in the small pond of haiku.

Many audience members expressed their concerns about reviewers not being critical enough in their evaluations and about the number of reviews written by friends of a book's author. They also noted that editors often seem to select their friends' books for review as well as relying primarily on their friends as reviewers. A number of people argued for more objectivity in book reviewing and for making journals' review processes more transparent.

The Portland Japanese Garden has created a Japanese garden exhibition at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. Four of Margaret Chula's haiku will appear on a publicity poster announcing a national haiku contest. Anyone wishing to enter the contest is welcome to submit their haiku to the Portland Japanese Garden by completing the online haiku entry form at: www.japanesegarden.com/culture/haiku Or entries may be sent by mail to Portland Japanese Garden, PO Box 3847, Portland, Oregon 97208. The 1st Prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the online Garden Gift Store and two runners-up winners will receive $50 gift certificates. Samples of haiku and full instructions can be found at www.japanesegarden.com/culture/haiku. The contest runs from July 21 through October 8.

An Oregon based publication edited by an'ya called moonset (which was originally a journal) has now become /moonset/, THE NEWSPAPER. It has been met with fantastic enthusiasm and everyone seems to be enjoying the user-friendly format. For subscription and subscriber information, please visit http://moonsetnewspaper.blogspot.com and for mini reviews, see http://b-oki.livejournal.com/ and http://origa.livejournal.com/. In the current issue, the featured haijin is Harriot West from Eugene, Oregon. There is also an article on FAN, Oregon's non-profit Feline Assistance Network, run by Larisa Worthington from Westfir, Oregon. The November issue will include an article on the OhtS.

September 2007. Oregon Poets met in September, with Maggie Chula as featured reader at the Second Sunday Reading Series in Stayton, Oregon.
Ce Rosenow was one of the judges (with Francine Banwarth) for the 2007 Brady Award for Senryu (see the Fall issue of Frogpond or the HSA website for a list of winners. Winning poems will be published in the February issue of Frogpond).

Oregon Haiku and Tanka Society (OhtS). The OhtS welcomes our two newest members, Norla Antinoro, who moved to Estacada and also has the Haiku in MyTown zine, plus Kent Clair Chamberlain, a well known poet from Medford, Oregon. There is a great review by Patricia Prime for the spring/summer issue of our Oregon based moonset, The Newspaper at: http://styluspoetryjournal.com/main/master.asp?id=775

Also, the autumn/winter issue will be out in November and feature the OhtS on one of its pages. For submission and subscription information: http://moonsetnewspaper. blogspot.com or contact an'ya at anya@bendnet.com

—Ce Rosenow and an'ya


Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we took turns reading haiku from Love Haiku, Masajo Suzuki’s Lifetime of Love. Lee Gurga and Emiko Miyashita translated the book. We shared the sad news about Kay Anderson, our beloved friend, who died recently.

In March we met at Chase Studio, donnalynn chase’s new backyard studio in San Jose, for a haiku and art workshop, where we took the time to reflect and engage in the process of creating haiga.

When we met in April, some of us had just returned from the Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Matsuyama, Japan. It was the 140th anniversary of Masaoka Shiki’s birth in Matsuyama, and the meeting was held at his beautiful museum at the peak cherry blossom time. Spectacular! Linda Galloway, Jim and Betty Arnold, June Hymas and Ann Bendixen shared haiku, tanka, photographs and mementoes from the trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. At the end of our meeting, Sakuhachi player Emily Boarding improvised beautifully on her flute while we took turns reading some of our favorite haiku.

In Japan, Jerry Ball and Sosuke Kanda, Saituma-city, Japan organized this conference to gather haiku writers from around the world. Two of the presenters at the conference were Patricia Machmiller, “Narrow Road to the Redwood Mountains” (a haibun about the Tokutomis) and Tei Matsushita Scott, “Fusion of Poetry, Painting and Music”. One of the highlights was a program by Professor Jerome Cushman with haiku signed in American Sign Language by his graduate students Jack Williams and Stephen McDonald.

Patricia Machmiller’s haiku shared first place at the Matsuyama Castle kukai.

     here they come again
     the cherry blossoms
     ripping your heart out!

Our dear friend, Emiko Miyashita, arranged an English language renku at Masajo Suzuki’s Pub while we were in Tokyo. That was great fun!

On May 19, 2007 we had our annual Japanese teahouse reading which was organized by Roger Abe, and Carol Steele created a stunning ikebana arrangement. Featured poets for this year’s reading were Betty Arnold, Jim Arnold and Jerry Ball.

On May 19, 2007, we began with a workshop and a walk around the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose. Roger Abe again beautifully organized our annual Japanese Tea House Reading. Featured poets included Betty Arnold, Jim Arnold and Jerry Ball. We met again June 9 at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, in the afternoon. The last cherry on a tree inspired our walk around the gardens. On July 14, we gathered for a potluck dinner at Homan’s home to celebrate Tanabata. We wrote haiku on paper kimonos and tied them to bamboo as Kiyoko taught us.

September 2007. Our Asilomar Retreat, September 7-10, was planned by Betty and Jim Arnold with the theme: Traveling with Haiku. At Point Lobos State Reserve, Jim, an Año Nuevo docent for elephant seals, led the group on a walk to Hidden Beach. Friday evening, after Carol Steele’s welcome, each poet read one haiku and shared the process of its writing. Jim discussed the Retreat’s theme, and donnalynn chase showed us the Powerpoint photo journal from her European trip.

On Saturday, Patricia Machmiller (whose Monterey Dunes art graced our folders) discussed haiga. Carolyn Fitz demonstrated rapid ink sketching of landscapes. She emphasized sketching near your home as well as on your travels, to transform the way you look at objects, scenery and your haiku! Betty and Jim distributed bags filled with blank Japanese journals, watercolors, and artists' pens. Everyone went on a walk to write or draw and paint. In the afternoon, donnalynn chase showed collage travel journal techniques. After another ginko, June Hymas conducted a formal kukai. June asked us to vote for haiku--sent in advance--after listening to them four times. Patricia Machmiller’s haiku had the highest number of votes. The following poets tied for second highest number of votes for a single haiku:

summer mountain:
its echo in the sound
of two stones
—Wendy Wright

whatever it is
the crow seems to have found it
in the withered grass
— Jerry Ball

a birch forest quietly
spring light
—Linda Galloway

Tei Makushita Scott read, for the third and final year, from her project of translating from Japanese about 300 personal letters between Yuki Teikei founders, Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi. The loving couple were separated while he sought treatment for his deafness in Japan. Patricia Machmiller and Tei are working to secure a book publisher for the translated letters. This has truly been a labor of love from Tei, and a gift of surpassing value for Yuki Teikei.

Tokutomi Memorial Contest. Alison Woolpert announced the results of our annual contest. Our esteemed and honored judges from Japan, Naoki Kishimoto and Yoko Senda, chose these haiku:

blue jacaranda…
the house a little smaller
than I remembered
—Ellen Compton, first prize

hurricane has passed
the sky is wiping its face
with gray handkerchiefs
—Ed Grosmith, second prize

a star is fading
into her lemonade glass
hospital silence
—Eduard Tara, third prize

Around a bonfire Saturday night, we were joined by members of Kay Anderson’s family to share memories and sing one of Kay’s favorite songs, Let It Be A Dance. Sunday morning we gathered in a circle with her family members and read more than 100 of Kay’s haiku and tanka from slips of paper. After our Celebration of Life for Kay, we walked in silent meditation to the beach...the ocean…the sky. After lunch, we learned more about haiku, tanka and haibun. Mariko and Linda Galloway read tanka from Mariko Kitakubo’s book, On This Same Star. Jerry Ball read us a paper about haiku, with poems from the Japanese masters. To illustrate haibun Jerry shared a journal from his trip to Japan in April. Retreat participants were eager for the next ginko to try tanka, haibun and art. Jerry and Mariko were available for feedback at our next sharing. Some people had filled their entire folding book with sketches, collage and writing while others were just beginning!The first prize for haiku written at Asilomar went to Susanne Smith for:

the autumn stillness
a pool of trapped waves
waiting for release

Sunday evening, we wrote renku in groups led by Roger Abe and Jerry Ball. Each of us was allowed to choose from Kay Anderson’s paintings and haiga. Monday morning, after walks to the shore and dunes, we shared our art work and writing. Betty and donnalynn led a meaningful closing ceremony.

October 2007. On October 27, 2007, about thirty people gathered for Yuki Teikei Haiku Society’s Potluck and Poetry Moon Viewing party graciously hosted by Patricia and Al Machmiller in San Jose. Members, guests, artists and poets shared outstanding food and watched for the elusive moon. The moon did peek out above the palm tree for a while. The early evening was unseasonably warm. Later the warmth from the outside fireplace provided almost enough light for writing moon haiku. We shared poems, going around the circle, each reading one until we finished.

We mourn the death of Jim Arnold who died November 3, 2007, in a motorcycle accident. Jim and his wife, Betty, were and are integral parts of the west coast haiku community. A soft-spoken man, Jim’s pursuits and passions in life were wide-ranging and everyone held him in high regard.

a forest owl calls
who will stop to listen
who, who

nearly hidden –
the ears of a deer
follow my footsteps

    Jim Arnold

December 2007. For the Christmas party on Dec-ember 8, 2007, Jean Hale welcomed everyone to her San Jose home. She had decorated her tree with ornaments made from members’ individual haiku from last year’s party. Desserts (in addition to Carol Steeles’ artesian smoked ham) reigned supreme at this year’s potluck: Scott Hymas’ apple and pecan pies, Paul O. William’s persimmon dessert, and our very own Brit, Ed Grossmith, made trifle. We shared haiku gifts embellished with haiga, photographs, art, candles and prints. Patricia distributed Chase’s handcrafted chapbook of Kay Anderson’s haiku.

Respectfully Submitted, Ann Bendixen, Secretary and June Hymas

Haiku Poets of Northern California

The Haiku Poets of Northern California mourn the loss of our long-time and very dear member Kay Anderson, who passed away in February of this year. [Please see Fay Aoyagi's obituary note and memorial poems dedicated to Kay.]

The HPNC winter meeting was held on January 21, 2007 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Present were: Fay Aoyagi, Jerry Ball, Barbara Camitelli, Eleanor Carolan, Bruce Feingold, Claire Gallagher, Patrick Gallagher, Garry Gay, David Grayson, Carolyn Hall, Bernice Hunold, Paul Williams and Susan Antolin. The meeting began with a round of introductions followed by our featured reader, Paul O. Williams. Paul is a past president of both HPNC and the Haiku Society of America, a former professor of English and an award winning science fiction writer. Paul read a selection of haiku as well as a number of tanka from his new tanka collection, These Audacious Maples (see the New Books section for details). A poem from his new book:

     After landing
     we drive home in the dark
     —high above
     the lights of planes. We too
     have just been a star

Carolyn Hall also gave a brief reading from her beautiful new book of haiku Water Lines (details in New Books section). From Carolyn's book:

     water lines
     on river rocks
     the long day

After a short break Fay led the group in a kukai. She passed around copies of the poems each of us had submitted earlier in the meeting (which she had efficiently typed and printed) and told everyone to choose five favorite poems. There were 26 poems listed on two sheets of paper with authors' names. After everyone had made their selections, a show of hands was made for each poem and the votes were tallied. The judges, Jerry Ball, Paul O. Williams and Carolyn Hall were asked not to vote, but instead named the five haiku they each selected along with comments on each haiku after the other votes had been cast. The winning poem, which received 13 votes and was selected by all three judges, was by Claire Gallagher. In 2nd place was Garry Gay, and in 3rd place was Carolyn Hall. While the winning poems were clear favorites, the ways in which the poems appealed to us were varied and the discussion of all the poems brought new insight and depth to our understanding of each haiku.

On April 1st a group of HPNC members gathered for our 3rd annual moonviewing party. In attendance were: Fay Aoyagi, Terry Cerrato, Claire and Patrick Gallagher, Garry Gay, David Grayson and his family, Carolyn Hall, Mark and Nancy Hollingsworth, Cesar Love, Chiyo Miyashita, Linda Papanicolaou, Lane Parker and his family, John Thompson, Paul O. Williams and his wife Kerrylynn, and Susan Antolin and her family. This year's event began in Golden Gate Park at the Japanese Tea Garden, where we enjoyed the clear, warm day among the cherry blossoms and azaleas, the Japanese maples with fresh green leaves, and the arched bridge inviting those playful enough to cross it. We then honored the passing of Kay Anderson by assembling outside the garden beneath the cherry blossoms—in full bloom—and reading a selection of her poems out loud. The group then walked to a nearby restaurant where we ate, played with "haiku rocks" (you had to be there), and took a trivia quiz with token prizes. After returning to the park the full moon rose just over the construction site of the new Steinhart Aquarium, and for a while the moon dangled just beneath a large crane. The haiku were coming fast and furious for some of those present, while others merely soaked in the evening air to let the images of the day settle into haiku later. From the moonviewing party:

     pollarded trees
     a crane to lift
     the moon

     Fay Aoyagi

     new leaves
     on pollarded trees—
     rant of a panhandler

     Claire Gallagher

     Crane at a standstill
     the moon
     still climbing

     Garry Gay

     misty moon
     a rabbit serves me
     moonshine whiskey

     Chiyo Miyashita

     slightly hazy
     this April full moon—
     the mind, too, wanders

     Paul O. Williams  

The spring meeting of Haiku Poets of Northern California was held on April 22 in San Francisco. Those present were: Fay Aoyagi, Barbara Campitelli, Cherie Hunter Day, Alan Dow, Claire Gallagher, Patrick Gallagher, Garry Gay, Carolyn Hall, Bernice Hunold, Chiyo Miyashita, Marianna Monaco, Linda Papanicolaou, Bridget Parks, Zane Parks, Ebba Story, Carolyn Talmadge, Paul Watsky, Paul O. Williams and Susan Antolin. After a round of introductions and haiku reading, Ebba Story introduced our featured reader, Cherie Hunter Day. Cherie and her husband Alan made the trip from their home in San Diego to be with us for the meeting. Many HPNC members had not seen Cherie in nearly a decade and so enjoyed the chance to reconnect with her. Cherie read haiku, most of which were from her new book, The Horse with One Blue Eye (Snapshot Press, 2006) as well as a selection of tanka. From her reading:

     curve of the winter hills
     in moonlight

     warm rain
     a dragonfly shedding
     its wingless skin

     a swirl of ink
     in the brush water
     early dusk

Later in the meeting Paul Watsky gave a presentation on his translation project for the newly published book Santoka: A translation with photographic images (Pie Books, 2006). Paul worked together with Emiko Miyashita, a well-known haiku poet and experienced translator who lives in Japan. As Emiko could not be there for the presentation, Fay Aoyagi assisted in reading the Japanese original poems and in answering questions regarding Japanese culture and the meaning of particular words. Paul passed around a copy of the book and explained that the project originated with the photographer, Hakudo Inoue, who had a deep appreciation for Santoka’s poetry and so set out to capture images that would complement his favorite poems. The poems included in the book were all selected by Inoue.

Paul gave an overview of the important events of Santoka’s life (1882-1940) beginning with the traumatic experience of seeing his mother’s body pulled from the family well after she drowned herself when Santoka was just eleven years old. Santoka spent most of his life struggling with alcoholism. After dropping out of Waseda University he assisted his father in running a sake business and got married at age 27; both the business and the marriage were unsuccessful. In 1924 Santoka attempted suicide by stepping in front of a street car and was later taken to a zen monastery, where he became an ordained Buddhist priest. In 1926 he set off on a walking pilgrimage and wrote haiku while supporting himself by begging. Paul noted that Santoka was a con artist in that he wore the clothing of a priest but kept the money he got from begging to support his drinking. The bowl pictured on the cover of the book is an iron begging bowl similar to one Santoka would have used. At the age of 58 Santoka was found dead after a night of heavy drinking. To further illuminate Santoka’s daily life, Paul read excerpts from Santoka’s diaries, published in translation in For All My Walking by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, New York, 2003).

Paul went on to describe the translation process and the various challenges he and Emiko faced in rendering the poems in the most accurate and poetic form they could achieve. Paul and Fay read aloud from a list of poems that exemplified the various translation difficulties and answered questions from the group about word choices and cultural differences. Paul provided a hand out with selected poems from the book along with alternate translations done by prior translators of the same work. This illustrated the wide range of interpretations that are possible with each poem. The hand out also provided the Japanese original of each poem (printed in roman letters for us to read) as well as a literal translation of each word. Paul also noted that Santoka did not adhere to a strict 5-7-5 format, and so many of the poems, when translated, did not fit the traditional three-line format of English language haiku. Many of the poems in the book are in one or two lines in the English version. Overall the presentation gave us some detailed insight into the translation process and into the life and work of Santoka.

Our summer meeting will be held on July 22 and this year’s "Two Autumns Reading" will take place on September 30 in San Francisco. For more information on HPNC and upcoming events, please visit our web site: http://www.haiku-poets-northern-california.com/.

Since our last update to the HSA newsletter, the Haiku Poets of Northern California have held two gatherings: our quarterly meeting on July 22 and the 18th annual Two Autumns reading on September 30. Our summer meeting was attended by Roger Abe, Fay Aoyagi, Jerry Ball, Dan Brady, Terry Cerrato, Claire and Patrick Gallagher, Garry Gay, David Grayson, Carolyn Hall, Marianne Monaco, Renee Owen, Leslie Rose, Nancy Schoellkopf, Ebba Story, and Paul O. Williams. Our featured reader was Roger Abe, who read the following poems, among others:

I miss you
do you miss me?
moonlight, moondark

can be deceiving
stew with radishes

wild iris
are you laughing or weeping?
me too

Every year the HPNC president chooses one poem from those published in Mariposa, the HPNC membership journal, for special recognition. Garry Gay awarded this year's Chime Award to Donnalynn Chase for the following poem:

the bell in my purse
calls me to mindfulness
—autumn lamplight

Later in the meeting David Grayson gave a presentation entitled "Modern Art and Haiku," which was based on two articles he has published. The first, a short article from Mariposa #13, "'Glossy Black Painting': Notes on Modern Art and Haiku," deals with a single Robert Rauschenberg work. The second, from Frogpond, XXX, No. 1 (58-61), is entitled "The Inspiration of a Moment: Calder's Mobiles and Haiku." David's talk featured five similarities he finds between haiku and modern art: interactivity; nature and the environment; minimalism; the everyday; the moment. David illustrated his points with pictures, which he had reproduced and distributed to those present. For example, Robert Rauschenberg's "Glossy Black Painting" illustrates minimalism, also present in haiku. And Rauschenberg's "untitled," ca. 1954, illustrates the use of the everyday. Alexander Calder's mobile "Snow Flurry" and Brice Marden's "Grove Group II" illustrate the moment and nature and the environment. David's points were well established by his illustrations and show once again the international nature of haiku thought. After this, Fay Aoyagi conducted a kukai. She offered those present three words on which to build haiku: sun, lady, and water. We set about making poems and turning them in to Fay, who typed them up and ran them off on her printer, giving everyone copies of all 33 poems the members wrote. The poems were evaluated anonymously and then voted on, each person getting to vote for six. The poems with the most votes were by Ebba Story and Carolyn Hall, with eight votes each. Poems with seven votes were by Ebba Story, Garry Gay, and Carolyn Hall.

The Two Autumns reading took place on September 30 and featured four distinct voices in haiku: Jerry Ball, Mark Hollingsworth, Laurabell and Alison Woolpert. The poets and their work were celebrated at San Francisco's Fort Mason amidst an array of flowers and food provided by Ebba Story. Rich Krivcher was the host for the afternoon and provided thoughtful introductions for each of the readers. The commemorative chapbook, Basho Whispering, was edited by Patricia Machmiller and sold so well during the event that only a few copies remained afterwards. Among the poems read by each poet were these:

a handful of them
under running water

—Jerry Ball

Maundy Thursday
the phlebotomist
fingers my vein
—Mark Hollingsworth

a new year
the tide comes in
the tide goes out


winter mountain
each runner taps the signpost
before turning back

—Alison Woolpert

November 2007. The Haiku Poets of Northern California gathered for our fall meeting on October 28, 2007 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Those present included: Fay Aoyagi, Jerry Ball, Dan Brady, Barbara Campitelli, Claire Gallagher, Linda Galloway, Garry Gay, Nardin Gottfried, Carolyn Hall, Bernice Hunold, Marianna Monaco, Renee Owen, Linda Papanicolaou, Ebba Story, John Thompson, Johana West, Paul O. Williams and Susan Antolin. Our featured reader was Barbara Campitelli, who came to haiku after moving to the Bay Area in 1997. Her first encounter with haiku was in the San Fran-cisco Public Library where some-one had left a haiku book on a table. Writing one haiku a day for many years, Barbara has written over 2,500 haiku and is “still looking for the perfect one.” A few poems from Barbara’s reading:

summer lunch—
metal tables hot enough
to cook it

the rhythm of Rachmaninoff
in the falling rain

cemetery pond—
on that water lily
floats a prayer

After a break, Patricia Mach-miller and Tei Matsushita Scott joined the meeting. Tei is an artist and haiku poet visiting from Long Island, New York. She spoke for a few minutes about her work in translating letters written by Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi during their five month separation in 1967. Tei’s artwork can be seen at: http://www.matsushita.com

Linda Papanicolaou presented a talk with computer-projected images on the topic of Modern Haiga. Linda is an art historian, a studio art teacher, and the editor of the online journal Haigaonline. Linda fell into haiku in what she described as a backward fashion. While teaching studio art to mid-dle school children, she had the kids make leaf prints and then write haiku to accompany the artwork. She then determined to find out more about haiku and in the process became hooked. Linda began her talk by provi-ding some background on tradi-tional haiga, which is a composite art form of painting and poem with a link between the art and the haiku. Linda noted that haiga aesthetics include simplicity and economy of style and a focus on specifics to represent the univer-sal. She credited Stanford Forres-ter with saying that, like a good haiku, a good haiga must let the viewer participate in the creative process.
Linda explained that there is often a complicated rational-ization of why to put a particular painting with a poem. A good haiga, she said, does not come from writing a haiku and then drawing a picture to go with it.

There is a flourishing haiga community online, Linda noted, with collaborative haiga being done by people from many different countries. Often the collaborators have not met one another but are still able to produce highly effective haiga through online communication. Another twist to the emergence of online haiga is that the fin-ished work sometimes only exists online; the artwork and the poem might never be put together on paper. There is a need, therefore, to carefully archive the online journals since that may be the only record of certain haiga. Linda showed many examples of modern haiga, including photo haiga and digital art by Michael Rehling, Ray Rasmussen, Carol Raisfeld, Carole MacRury, Kuni-haru Shimizu, Sakuo Nakamura, an’ya, Jasminka Djordjevic, Cris-tian Mocanu, and Ron Moss. The “point of contact” between a particular image and the accom-panying poem became a topic of readers. Linda also touched brief-ly on experimental haiga, inclu-ding graphic haibun, the category into which much of Linda’s own work falls. To learn more about haiga and view a range of haiga styles, visit Haigaonline at:

For information on HPNC and upcoming events, please visit our website: http://www.haiku-poets-northern-california.com

—Susan Antolin

Central Valley Haiku Club

Central Valley Haiku Club website: http://hometown.aol.com/lstparker/CVHC.html

On February 17, the CVHC gathered on President’s Day weekend at the library in Antelope to share news, writings and to workshop. The five members in attendance, w.f. owen, Claris Moore, Mark Hollingsworth, Amy Whitcomb, and Leslie Rose celebrated the recent and upcoming publications of work by several of the members. Club president Bill said that two anonymous judges have now been acquired for the 2007 Jerry Kilbride Memorial English-Language Haibun Contest. With the Sept.1st deadline still a long way off, and no limit to the number or length of submissions, we’re hoping that there will be a huge influx of entries vying for the $50 prize. The contest is open to the public. Entrants need to send 3 copies of each haibun (2 copies without author information attached, 1 copy with author’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address) with their entry fee ($5 US per haibun, check made out to: Mark Hollingsworth, CVHC Treasurer) to Yvonne Cabalona, 709 Auburn St., Modesto, CA 95350-6079.

Currently club members are continuing to add to the set of linked haibun that, at some point in the near future, our club hopes to publish. With Old Business taken care of, the group moved on to share recent writings. Mark shared the following haiku on behalf of Yvonne, written in memory of HPNC member Kay Anderson, who Yvonne says was “…quite a poet on many levels.”  Yvonne remembers that she was “particularly impressed with her ‘Two Autumns’ reading.” 

    february rain
    the impression left
    by her voice

    Yvonne Cabalona

We then workshopped a set of haiku that member Amy Whitcomb had written in fourth grade, and with which she had won a state-wide poetry contest. Although critical of her early work, Amy said: "perhaps they have the foundations to be decent," and she invited us to revise them to "true haiku," working either with the original childish voice or adopting an adult one. This led to a discussion of the differences between "child-like," "simple" and "sophisticated." For all involved it was fun to see how Amy has grown in writing skill and we greatly enjoyed creating different spins on Amy’s original inventions. 

From Amy’s original fourth grade haiku,

    the big empty field
    stands alone by an old barn
    bathing in the sun

the following spins were shared:

    early summer
    the field as bleached
    as the barn

    Amy Whitcomb

    old barn red
    flows down the furrows
    spring field

    Mark Hollingsworth

Bill shared an essay by Tom Tico from the latest volume of Frogpond (vol. XXX, n.1, p.62), that captured the group’s interest. Tom challenged readers/writers to overcome the bias of traditional haiku form. This led Mark to make the suggestion that we work on a chapbook of haiku that is untraditional. With that idea in mind, the group agreed to write and bring some untraditional haiku to our next meeting. Mark agreed to be the editor for this venture.

In search of venues for our next reading, Amy suggested the possibility of doing an event at the Arboretum on the UC Davis campus. She will be researching that possibility. Amy also suggested that it would be wonderful to develop an on-going exchange of ideas on haiku and related forms with a sister group in Japan. We’re hoping that someone will read this and connect us with a group that might be interested. Since the library where we meet has developed a new policy and will only allow the meeting room to be reserved a couple of weeks in advance of an event, the meeting spot for our next meeting on April 21st, at 1:00 p.m., is still up in the air. But, at that meeting, Leslie has agreed to do a workshop on writing Tanka. If you need additional information, please contact Leslie, LAROSECAT@AOL.COM. On Sunday, April 21st, the CVHC gathered at the library in Antelope, California.  Members in attendance were Yvonne Cabalona, w.f. owen, Mark Hollingsworth, Amy Whitcomb, and Leslie Rose.
We had a number of celebrations:
 --the recently completed printing of w.f. owen’s latest haibun collection, Small Events by Red Moon Press         
 --the upcoming publication of one of Yvonne’s haibun in Bottle Rockets #16
 --the acceptance of one of Leslie Rose’s haibun by cho.
Under Old Business, we worked on our next haiku project, a chapbook of "extraordinary" haiku to be written by members.  This was a task the Club decided to attempt after reading Tom Tico’s article in Frogpond XXX.1, p.62. Mark, who is editor for the undertaking, helped us decipher Tom’s meaning, and examine possible form variations. He gave examples of poetry that would fit the desired format and it was decided that we wanted poems for the collection that can be read in two different ways, what Mark referred to as "poems in flux."  We are all excited by the challenge and will be sending haiku that fit the criteria to Mark over the next months.
Amy brought to our attention a Yolo County publication, The Yolo Crow, which has put out a call for haiku for their magazine. She is sending a "Letter to the Editor" that will offer refinements of their definition of haiku, as well as some examples of haiku published by our members. Mark recently attended a poetry reading at the Mistlin Fine Gallery in Modesto. He suggested that our group might do a reading at one of their monthly functions as well. Yvonne will be investigating that possibility. Business out of the way, Leslie Rose took the group through a set of exercises for constructing tanka, a form that only a few of the members have toyed with. Our experimentation resulted in much light-hearted laughter and some fair attempts at the form.  Leslie will be e-mailing members websites/publications that accept tanka in the hopes that some of these poems will find their way into print. We finished our meeting by sharing and critiquing works-in-progress. Prior to adjournment, Bill was able to confirm dates for our next two meetings. We will again be at the library in Antelope. The dates are June 9th (1:00-5:00 p.m.) and August 11th (1:00-5:00 p.m.). At the June meeting Yvonne will lead us in a Tan Renga workshop. Prior to that meeting she asked that members email her some 3 line possibilities to begin the poem.

Sunday, June 9th, the CVHC again gathered at the library in Antelope, California. Members in attendance were Yvonne Cabalona, w.f. owen, Mark Hollingsworth, Claris Moore, and Leslie Rose. We had cause to celebrate, as Claris Moore is having one of her haibun published in an upcoming edition of Mariposa and Yvonne Cabalona will be having one of her haiku appear in an upcoming Bottle Rockets.  Also noteworthy is the upcoming reading
by one of our own, Mark Hollingsworth, at the HPNC "Two Autumns" event on September 30th in San Francisco.  Mark will be joining Jerry Ball, Laura Bell and Allison Woolpert in that reading. Under Old Business, Mark reported that he now has contributions from all members for our "extraordinary haiku" project, but needs more. Yvonne reported the receipt of only one haibun to date for our yearly Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contest. We are hoping that those who have been postponing, polishing, or distracted by other obligations, will realize that time grows short, and there will be an amazing influx of submissions prior to the September 1st deadline. [Details available under Contests. –Ed.] It still being a bit early, there was nothing new to report on the October Fall Reading at the Sake Factory in Folsom. We are still in search of a date for a Reading at the Mistlin Gallery in Modesto. With business out of the way, Yvonne led us in a Tan Renga workshop, which involved much spontaneous laughter and delight as we all played at answering other members’ haiku. Prior to adjourning, our president reminded us that we are completing the CVHC’s eighth year of existence and that our next meeting will be on Saturday, August 11th, at the Antelope, CA, library, from 1:00-5:00. At that meeting our president, w.f. owen, will lead us in a Rengay workshop.

Saturday, August 11th, 2007, the Central Valley Haiku Club gathered at the library in Antelope, California. Members in attendance were Bill Owen, Amy Whitcomb, Yvonne Cabalona, Mark Hollingsworth, and Leslie Rose. Under Old business, Yvonne reported that our next meeting will be our annual Haiku Reading at the Gekkeikan Sake Factory in Folsom, California, on Saturday, October 13th. In preparation for that, members who will be reading need to email Yvonne three poems for a tri-fold handout. The Reading will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will run approximately two hours, with a club meeting following. Bill reminded the group that the December meeting will be the annual CVHC Potluck- Holiday event. The group chose Dec. 8th as the date for that meeting and Bill again kindly offered to host that at his home. Further plans for that gathering will be discussed at the October meeting. Yvonne said that entries for the Jerry Kilbride Haibun Contest were still coming in as the deadline for submissions was Sept. 1st. Prize monies were discussed and it was agreed that next year the first place prize would be increased to $100, the second place to $50. Under new business, Yvonne discussed an email that she received from the co-ordinator of the Ukiahaiku Festival 2008. This is the 6th year that the town of Ukiah has hosted this event and they were hoping that we would advertise their contest to members and friends. They are encouraging submissions from around the world. (Submissions must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2008. The cost is $3 (USD) per poem or $5 per 3 poems.) Anyone interested may go to <http://www.ukiahaiku.org> for guidelines, submission forms, and an explanation of the Contemporary Form of haiku.

Results for the Mildred Kanterman Merit Book Awards have been posted at the HSA website.  Yvonne, who was one of the judges, said it was a difficult choice as, of the 31 entrants, there were so many high quality entries. There has been no further word from the Mistlin Gallery regarding holding a reading. Members Yvonne and Mark will continue to look into that event. With activities for our next two meetings covered, member Amy Whitcomb agreed to lead the group in a haiku critique at the February meeting in the new year. With no further business to discuss, Bill led the group in a Rengay workshop. Members began poems but will finish them outside of the meeting. Participants agreed to bring completed poems to share at the Sake Factory reading. We finished our meeting by sharing and critiquing works-in-progress.

On Saturday, October 13, 2007, members of the CVHC again gathered, this time for the annual Haiku Reading at the Folsom Gekkeikan Sake Factory. Members in attendance: Bill Owen, Amy Whitcomb, Yvonne Cabalona, Mark Hollingsworth, and Leslie Rose. Members shared haiku, senryu, tan rengay, tanka and haibun with the audience. Here is a sampling:

misty moon
clouds crawl across
the night sky
—Yvonne Cabalona

cold moon
he covers a fray
in his jacket
—w.f. owen

beyond the breakers
I trust my breath
to swell and trough
—Mark Hollingsworth

while we sleep
coming apart at the seams
the Silver Divide
—Amy Whitcomb

thirty years later
mother's self-reminder note
falls out of a book
—Claris Moore

the suitcase
repacked for the tenth time
still missing something
his hand fingers the air
reaching for a memory
—Leslie Rose

Following the reading, there was a brief meeting. Under old business, Yvonne Cabalona, our Jerry Kilbride Memorial 2007 English-Language Haibun Contest Coordinator, announced that judging of the entries has been completed and winners chosen. Judges Roberta Beary and Doris Heitmeyer gave honorable mentions to Doreen King (Hornchurch, England) and June Hopper Hymas (San Jose, California), while first place was awarded to June Hopper Hymas. Congratulations to all. Amy Whitcomb announced that a tan rengay that she had written with Mark Hollingsworth has been accepted by Frogpond. Leslie Rose has a tanka that will be appearing in Mariposa. With a reminder from Bill about the next meeting, December 8th, the meeting was adjourned.

—Respectfully submitted, Leslie Rose

Southern California Haiku Study Group (SCHSG)

The Southern California Haiku Study Group (SCHSG) had a fun meeting on March 17, 2007, St Patrick's Day. Needless to say there were some haiku about that. We were privileged to have several writers who were not haiku poets, but still, they wrote some inspiring ones. Present were Vic Gendrano, Debbie Kolodji, Janis Luckstein, Peggy Castro, Teresa Antonia, Lindy Hill, Pauline Dutton, Tom Bilicke, Sharon Hawley, Violet, and yours truly.

Our meetings are the 3rd Saturday each month, at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. Come join us and also see a beautiful museum. Linda Galloway joined our former leader, Jerry Ball, to travel to Japan for the Pacific Rim Conference this April. After a haiku read-around, we listed our spring kigo, took a twenty minute break to write haiku to be read and voted on, and chose a reader (Debbie). 

The Southern California Haiku Study Group continued with their monthly meetings during the early summer months. The attendance was hit and miss because some people were away on trips, or some members had visitors from other parts of the country. One significant happening in July was the birth of our first anthology since Jerry Ball moved to Northern California. Linda Galloway, as acting editor, had the most difficult job collecting the ingredients for the recipe. The result is a well-done book entitled Rattle of Bamboo, with comments by Patricia Machmiller and Stanford Forrester. Also included is an article by Jerry Ball entitled “Reflections of a Dojin Emeritus.” On Sunday, July 29, the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, where our meetings are held, has set aside this special day for the presentation of the anthology.

On the 7th and 8th of this month, four of us attended Tanabata (Star Festival) at Cal State Long Beach. The four (Debbie, Wendy, Naia and Peggy) enjoyed the evening so much, we will make this an annual event with more members. We were taught how to make origami birds, calligraphy, paper lanterns, and stars to decorate a bamboo frond. We had delicious bento box dinners. After dinner we were entertained beautifully with music and Japanese dancing. Next day at the Earl Burns Japanese Gardens, Debbie set up two tables. One table was for writing haiku for beginners. (Naia did a magnificent job of showing them how.) And Wendy had created drawings with haiku for children to color. I could go on and on about this delightful weekend. Come join us next year.

Fall 2007. Now that the hot summer temperatures are slowly cooling off, we will be meeting at some less-known, but worth visiting, spots in Southern California. The Asilomar Retreat started off the fall season with a large turnout. Everyone enjoyed the participation as usual. Five who attended from this group were: Wendy Wright (chauffeur), Janis Lukstein and Debbie Kolodji, who were thoroughly pleased with their first visit. Linda Galloway and Narden Gottfried drove up earlier for other commitments. Debbie Kolodji discovered a nature walk hosted by the California Native Plant Society that members will be taking part in until January. Fall colors in the San Gabriel Mountains are less intense than those in the East, but last much longer. Not enough space to list all the native plants, but we are looking forward to seeing them in person on our first group trek. In the meantime, we are still having our monthly meetings at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. Here are a few of the poems written at the kukai:

cypress trees on granite rock
damp air
                        Janis Lukstein

a dry summer
long brown grass leans
toward the rippling pool
                     Kathy Wilson

not ready to let go
plum tree leaves
in the autumn wind
                    M. Hehman-Smith

Lingering heat—
dust in the ring rises
to hoofbeats
                  Wendy Wright

—Respectfully submitted by Peggy Hehman-Smith


Cindy and Billie held their quarterly online meeting and discussed techniques for breaking through writer's block. They agreed that, with haiku, it seems more complex than just not having ideas. Inspiration comes, but is often quickly dismissed because it's a topic covered so many times before that it seems almost trite. Or maybe it seems that another haiku poet has already written the definitive haiku on that topic. Billie said, "Maybe it's because I've visited that pine so many times, I'm not really seeing it anew. One of the things I'm doing now is committing to write at least one poem each morning, regardless of merit. But right now it feels kind of like the ice on the Nenana River - a long way from spring breakup." Cindy responded that sometimes you just have to tease the haiku out, rather than always expecting something spontaneous. And added a good reminder: "If we want to write about nature, we do have to stay constantly open to it. Even when I am on a beautiful trail, I have to remind myself to stop thinking about work or whatever and open myself up to the surroundings." Another suggestion was to revisit old work to see if new life can be breathed into it. New and resurrected poems were shared and critiqued, with the following final (for now) versions:

    skating rink--
    the whining child
    wears angel wings
    —Cindy Zackowitz

    sky-blue sky
    the robin scatters
    lilac rain
    —Billie Wilson

Fall 2007. At this quarter’s “meeting by e-mail” we took a look back in time to our introduction to haiku and some of our earliest efforts. Then we discussed how those same haiku might be updated to our current understanding. We both learned about haiku in the early 1970’s. Billie was encouraged to enter poems in a state competition; Cindy was in second grade! The description of haiku we were given was the same: a nature poem, written in 5-7-5. We both agreed that there was something very enjoyable in adhering to that discipline, but that subsequent education and exposure to modern-day masters has changed our views considerably.

Billie wrote: I tried writing a few for the competition, and was immediately hooked. I’d always loved being outdoors, and haiku heightened my awareness. I began looking for haiku everywhere, and a new and hypnotic rhythm was added. One of my first efforts is full of flaws: no juxtaposition, initial caps on every line, reads as a sentence (including the ending period) and unnatural placement of “where” just to get the seven syllables in line two, etc.:

Come, let me show you
The high mountain meadows where
Forget-me-nots hide.

(Haiku Drops From the Great Dipper, 1973)

If I were to revise this from today’s viewpoint, I might try:

we kiss
in the high mountain meadow
—Billie Wilson

Cindy wrote: In 1997, I was looking for a way to express my appreciation of nature, and remembered haiku. I started looking on the internet and found the Shiki list. I lurked for a week or so before getting up the courage to post my own:

a distant wildfire 
looks like an early sunset 
and tastes of ashes

I don't even know how to begin to fix it and get across what I was feeling. There was a huge fire going on in the Big Lake area and ashes were blowing in from 100 miles away or so. Of course it is 5-7-5 and contains a simile. I am certainly telling too much. Now I might write something like

dry mouth—
the haloed shadows
of wildfire season
—Cindy Zackowitz

—submitted by Billie Wilson

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