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HSA Regional Announcements & News for 2008

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 | Washington | Oregon | Hawaii/Pacific | Alaska | Japan

See the archives of Regional Meetings: 2008 | 2007


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

Bangor Haiku Group (Maine)

January 2008. Our January 2008 meeting centered on reading from four recent haiku anthologies: Haiku Humor: Wit and Folly in Japanese Poems and Prints (Stephen Addiss with Fumiko and Akira Yamamoto); Greieri si crizanteme, Haiku Anthologie internationala (Valentin Nicoitov, Bucharest, Romania); lanterns, a firefly anthology (Stanford M. Forrester); and flowers of another country, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2007 (Wanda D. Cook & Linda Porter). One from each and did we note a renga-like linking in the HSA Members’ Anthology?

Trying so hard
to be logical—
the drunkard


Misty winter noon—
the first droplets begin to fall
from the snowman’s eyes

    Vasile Moldovan

Mason jar . . .
trying to put back
the firefly

    Stanford M. Forrester

winter evening--
the bookmark falls
to the floor

    Tony A. Thompson

We have been catching a lot of snow recently and our own haiku reflected this:

steady snowfall
the chickadee’s perch
higher and higher

    Astrid Andreescu

first blizzard
the tiny mouse prints
by the doorstep

Bruce Ross

Astrid and Bruce hiked and climbed in Acadia National Park to the southeast of Bangor. On the summit of Gorham Mountain 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 winter term class in sumi-e (black ink painting), which centered on an overview of history and techniques 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.

April 2008. The Bangor Haiku Group spring ginko at the Audubon Society Fields Pond preservation area encountered frozen lakes and ponds and old snow. But Ginger Graham identified the only real color, red alder wands covering an open field. She also identified wonderfully crafted mole mud tunnels. Bruce stepped into a lake when he and Bob Seretny stepped from the marsh edge onto thick ice. He also climbed a huge mossy glacial boulder for the view.
frozen pond
in the duck house
one egg
                  Astrid Andreescu
the deer nips
from the red alder wands
a long winter
                   Bruce Ross
Our April meeting consisted of reading from recent haiku jour-nals, anthologies, and collections  as well as our own haiku. Here is one from the current Red Moon Anthology that generated some discussion:
          animal shelter
         the dog without one
         wags his tail
                   Anne LB Davidson
On April 16 Bruce participated in the Poetry and the World section of the annual Poetry Month celebration at the Bangor Public Library. He will read "On Visiting the DMZ at Panmunjom: A Haibun" from Robert Hass's 2007 National Book Award-winning Time and Materials, Poems 1997-2005, as well as two of his own prize-winning haibun, "Every Step" (Blyth) and "The Suffering" (moonset).

The Bangor Haiku Group is organizing a summer ginko at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the largest such gardens in New England, on Saturday, July 26, 1-5pm. Featured poets will be Anne LB Davidson and Bruce Ross. Contact Bruce for information at:   dr_bruce_ross@hotmail.com.

—Bruce Ross 

Boston, Massachusetts

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.

Spring 2008. From April 4 to May 15, 2008 the Brookline Arts Center will have an Exhibit of work by photographer Robert Castagna, with haiku by Raffael de Gruttola, and calligraphy provided for many of the prints by Tadashi Kondo. Raffael will give a haiga presentation on May 9th at the Center in conjunction with the show. Judson Evans, Tadashi Kondo, and Raffael de Gruttola will be doing presentations, workshops, and readings in Cesenatico, Italy from June 13 to 15 on renku performance, haiku, and haibun. Raffael will also be doing a bilingual reading in Italian and English of the haiku of Nick Virgilio. Karen Klein has an exhibit of her hanging wood sculptures with wire renderings of her haiku at the Coolidge Corner Branch of the Brookline Library. This is a new and interesting approach to haiga art. Raffael de Gruttola is also working on a bilingual English-Italian edition of the haiku of Nick Virgilio with Professor Walter Valeri of the Boston Conservatory and Columbia University. The Nick Virgilio Haiku Association has invited Raffael de Gruttola to take part in a gravesite reading on June 29th at the Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, New Jersey.

Romanian haiku poet and visual artist Professor Eduard Andrei will be visiting with the Boston Haiku Society on April 19th. Professor Andrei teaches at the Art Institute in Constantza, Romania. He will be talking about the art of haiga.  

Raffael de Gruttola

Western Massachusetts

January 2008. The Haiku Poets' Society of Western Massachusetts wish a HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! Gloria Ayvazian hosted our holiday celebration in her home this year. The centerpiece of the luncheon table was a chocolate frosted cake decorated with yel-low dandelions and and a dande-lion haiku. Patricia Harvey and Karen Reynolds received awards for perfect attendance. Katharine Hazen completed her term as our librarian. She has diligently carried out her duties for the past year and a half and now passes the position to Patricia Harvey. Many thanks to Katharine for her service. We also said goodbye to Beverly Bachand who is moving to South Carolina. She is keeping her membership with us and we will be in touch by phone and email. She is a long-distance member now, but we will miss her sense of humor and infectious laugh at our meetings.

This year Wanda Cook sug-gested it would be nice to mark National Haiku Day by sending cards to the other haiku groups across the country. She and Patricia Harvey worked on the card design. Pat hand crafted each card. The best of it was we received responses from the  Haiku Poets of Central Maryland, the Bangor Haiku Group, and the Chi-Ku Group. Many thanks for their haiku and greetings. We are very proud of the job that Wanda Cook and Linda Porter did with the HSA Mem-bers' Anthology, flower of another country. Did you happen to notice that the spring green bookmark in your copy marked your poem? That was just one of the many unique touches of this book. Per tradition, Wanda handed out individual 2008 Writing Goal Sheets at the January meeting.  Each of us stated one goal we were going to make a concerted effort to accomplish this year.  This was followed by a lively session of haiku writing and critiquing.  What a great way to start out the New Year!

Spring 2008. This has been a very long New England Winter. We had a storm or two nearly every week. We are all looking forward to spring and new inspiration for poems. At our January meeting we worked on our personal "Goal Sheets."  Wanda Cook had one for each of us. These sheets have become a New Year's tradition in our group. The sheet forces each of us to give definition to his or her individual goals for haiku in the coming year and opens the avenue to make a plan for achieving each goal. 

We recieved a gift of books and related haiku material from the estate of Vera Crane, a 10-year member of our group. In her memory we have named our lending library The Vera Crane Memorial Library. Her wit and humor, as well as her poetry, is greatly missed in our group. Our February meeting was can-celed for that famous wintery mix - snow, sleet and freezing rain. Karen Reynolds is celebrating National Poetry Month at the Tilton Library in South Deerfield April 24 and May 1 with a two evening workshop on haiku. The first evening will focus on the elements of haiku and writing poetry. The second evening will give each poet the opportunity to make a laminated bookmark with of one of his/her own poems or with a classic favorite. Maybe we can even recruit a new member.

The autumn saw our members busy sharing haiku around the New England area. In October our newest member, Erik Arthen, presented a workshop, "Nature Observation and Haiku," at the Earth Spirit Community Gathering on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Karen Reynolds and Wanda Cook gave a short presentation on haiku as a poetry form and read in tandem at the Florence Poets' Society Poetry Day at Look Park in Northampton. 

In November Wanda Cook and Karen Reynolds were the featured readers at The Spoken Word in Greenfield. They did a dual reading and short presentation on the fundamentals of haiku. 

—Karen Reynolds

Northeast Metro

Lake Champlain-Adirondack, New York

January 2008. The Lake Champlain-Adiron-dack Haiku Society is excited to host, along with the State Univer-sity of New York at Plattsburgh an International Haiku Conference & Festival. The conference dates are Tuesday, July 29 through Saturday, August 2, 2008. The theme of the conference is ba, or “place,” and is intended to celebrate the beauty of the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountains. The Lake Champlain-Adirondack Haiku Society has been meeting for the past four years, and developed from a group of community poets and Honors Student participants in a series of haiku courses at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Conference planning members include Naromie Ganesh, Elin O’Hara, Elaine Leavitt, Jacob Lamitie and Rich Schnell.

During the past year members have participated in the bi-annual St. Michaels College (Vt.) Madori Festival (Japanese Festival of Spring), sponsored trips to Montreal’s Botanical Gardens to visit Japanese and Chinese Gar-dens, and traveled to see ikebana, bonsai and penjing exhibits and share each other’s poetry. The society has also co-sponsored visits by haiku poet John Stevenson, who has made several presentations at SUNY Plattsburgh, most recently on renku poetry. During each visit to Plattsburgh, John would spend time meeting with aspiring haiku poets, giving them useful feedback on their poems. During the past year the society has given several readings of their work on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus and in the community.

The society is sponsoring an Conference anthology, ba, with each conference participant encouraged to submit (by email) five previously unpublished haiku for consideration. The editors will select at least one haiku from each participant. Submit poems to haiku@plattsburgh.edu . In-hand deadline: May 1, 2008. For registration information, please see the conference section of this newsletter. Members are completing a collection of their haiku, senryu, haibun and renku works in Voyaging, Lake Champlain Regional Haiku and Related Forms. For information about the Lake Champlain-Adirondack Haiku Society contact: richschnell60@hotmail.com.

Spring 2008. The Lake Champlain-Adiron-dack Haiku Society is excited to host, along with the State Univer-sity of New York at Plattsburgh  an International Haiku Con-ference & Festival. The conference dates are Tuesday, July 29 through Saturday, August 2, 2008. The theme of the conference is ba, or “place,” and is intended to celebrate the beauty of the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountains. The Lake Champlain-Adirondack Haiku Society has been meeting for the past four years, and developed from a group of community poets and Honors Student participants in a series of haiku courses at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Conference planning members are Naromie Ganesh, Elin O’Hara, Elaine Leavitt, Jacob Lamitie and Rich Schnell.

The society is sponsoring a Conference anthology, ba, with at least one poem from each con-ference participant who submitted (by email) five previously unpub-lished haiku for consideration by the May 1 deadline. Registration information: See Conference section of this newsletter. Members are completing a collection of their haiku, senryu, haibun and renku works in Voyaging, Lake Champlain Regional Haiku and Related Forms. For information about the Lake Champlain-Adirondack Haiku Society contact: richschnell60@hotmail.com .

—Rich Schnell

Rochester, New York

Spring 2008. The Rochester Area Haiku Group started out 2008 by looking at humor and at journaling. At our January meeting, Carolyn Dancy presented ideas from Stephen Addiss’ book Haiku Humor on how parody, fantasy, puns, caricature, exaggeration, etc. are possible in haiku.

Liza Dalby’s book East Wind Melts the Ice piqued Dennis Burns's interest and inspired his presen-tation at our February meeting, where he explained that the Japa-nese and Chinese year is divided into 72(!!) seasons of 5 days each.  What if we tried this in Rochester? How many “seasons” could we identify? To help us find out, at our March gathering we explored one way to increase our obser-vation skills by keeping Nature journals. Whenever we take a walk or even just look out the window, we can jot down what we observe and see what inspirations pop to mind. (A good resource for getting started is Keeping a Nature Journal by Leslie and Ross.) To quote Thoreau, “What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”

In April in honor of National Poetry Month, RAHG joined the poetry celebration and readings at Lift Bridge Book Store in Brock-port, New York. Our May plans include attending the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York annual show.

Several Rochester Area Haiku Group (RAHG) members have won competitions recently. In the August 2008 Shiki online Kukai, Tom Painting took a sixth place with his poem –

a spider web nets
the setting sun

and Carolyn Coit Dancy’s haiku shared 1st place –

our marriage
falling apart
he patches the roof

Earlier in the year, Pamela A. Babusci (jointly) won 3rd place in the First With Words Inter-national Haiku Online Competition 2008 –

changing kimonos
between seasons...
my ordinary life

Among the comments were the following: “...an example of a well-crafted poem that invites thought... [It] contained a delicate poignancy, of sabi (Japanese non-sad sadness/aloneness) and I was very moved by this poem....”

—Deanna Tiefenthal, Coordinator

New York, New York

Spring 2008. We greeted a dawning spring in New York, with a lovely meeting highlighting the theme of “Life-links: Haiku of Personal Memen-tos.”  We began with a group read-around in which we shared our own personal memento haiku. Then our featured presenter, Roberta Beary, shared her haiku and haibun, plus her insights into the process of creating these in the unique genre of personal memento. She had prepared a special handout for our meeting, which included four poems from her well-loved book, The Unworn Necklace: 

Father’s day                                
teeth missing
from the pocket comb

Roberta pointed out that a personal memento haiku does not have to be about someone who is dead or close to you, but can be about simple everyday things, as   illustrated by her next haiku:
all day long
I feel its weight
the unworn necklace
Here we learned the story behind the necklace, which was so mem-orable in its absence, and also how she convinced her editor to let the haiku’s last line become the title of her book. Another haiku she shared:

mother’s red hat                           
short years of wanting it                 
long years of having it

About this haiku, Roberta says she still sees the shelf with the hat box. And the 1940s style red hat that her mother wore to work – a sort of “Casablanca” Ingrid Bergman type of hat which Roberta coveted. She added that haiku and haibun of mementos can come from remembered conversations about objects as well as the objects themselves. She related a conver-sation about hats with her older sister. Then again, personal memento haiku can come from a remembered gesture:
funeral home
here too she straightens
his tie
It is not the tie which is important, but what that act of straightening it makes her think about -- the part of her that sees the person as still living and receiving her mother’s habitual caring gesture. 

As though exactly in synch, the current paintings on display at Tenri Cultural Institute, where we meet, were quite closely related to our theme.  These paintings were of plain textured human figures set in front of simple grid-like back-grounds. The paintings directly behind the speaker had figure and background of equal importance, but those on an adjoining, more distant wall, showed the same figures, with the background larger and the people grown smaller -- as if they had receded into the passage of time, and yet the objects or materials associated with them had grown larger. It was a magical backdrop for our exploring haiku of personal mementos.

Roberta Beary also read and discussed the two haibun in-cluded in her handout: “How Strange the 3 Rooms Look” and “Inheritance.” An extra bonus for us from Roberta’s graceful presen-tation was the growing awareness in our group of just how much human memory transcends time and space – and can become a vital creative resource.

Following intermission, John Stevenson led a stimulating workshop to help us rediscover and play with our personal mementos. First, we gathered in a circle for some theatre games, where we identified such simple but personal issues as “Who is wearing something in their favorite color?” “Who is wearing something given to them by someone else?” Each time, those who did, stepped into the center, sometimes, briefly commenting. We then did a movement game based on words we all wrote and later picked randomly. After this warm-up, we paired off to tell each other childhood stories and create haiku based upon them.  Haiku prizes (for this and future meetings) were haiku books kindly donated by Red Moon Press.                         

Cor van den Heuvel judged our haiku of personal mementos. Here are some of our winners:
 a girl with a bag
 covered with peace slogans
 beginning of fall
                   Michele Laroche
opening a drawer – 
the small book of child martyrs
slamming it shut
                     Marilyn Hazelton  
African bracelets
words hidden inside
old secrets
                   Elizabeth Bodien  
long-john bulges
in my stockings at school
- waiting for spring
                   Miriam Chaikin
In attendance: Roberta Beary, Elizabeth Bodien, Miriam Borne, Nina Blustein, Miriam Chaikin, Marilyn Hazelton, Pud Houstoun, Michele Laroche, Scott Mason, Dorothy McLaugh-lin,  Frank Joseph Routainu, David Synder, Glenn Synder,  Mary Ann Snyder, John Stevenson, Cor van den Heuvel, and Leigh Wright. Following our meeting, nine of us went on to talk over a deliciousJapanese dinner, in a special private room, at the nearby Ariyoshi restaurant.

—Miriam Borne, Metro NE Regional Coordinator

Mid Atlantic Region


February 2008. Ellen Compton hosted Fonda Bell Miller, Lee Giesecke, Kathleen O’Toole, Roberta Beary, Audrey Olberg, Mary Wuest, and Penny Showell in her Washington Apartment. The round robin reading included Ellen's

I center her punch bowl           
on antique lace                                     
 day of the wake

from the summer 2005 issue of Modern Haiku.

Four Towpath members had work selected for this year's Red Moon anthology: dust of summers. Roberta and Ellen read their haibun from that collection: "Open House" (Roberta) and "a little while ago" (Ellen). From the collection we also heard Kristen's

distant stars—                        
the scrape                                 
of snowplows

and Jim Kacian's

splitting wood—                        
for a moment                            
the log holds the axe

A high point in the meeting was Kathleen's presentation on "The Life and Work of Nicholas Vir-gilio." Kathleen knows the Virgilio story well. We could have listened for hours as she shared memories and personal reflections on Nick's life and poetry. She described the poet's monastic work space in a Camden, New Jersey, basement—bare light bulb overhead, an old Remington manual typewriter on the desk. She told us how the poet worked long, often for years, to find just the word or words that would bring a poem to life. She spoke of his exuber-ance, his search for meaning in each day's experience. Kathleen read a selection of Nick's haiku, including

raising their voices            
discussing Reaganomics:       
hookers on the bus                  

flag-covered coffin:                     
the shadow of the bugler            
slips into the grave

out of the water . . .                   
out of itself

The lily haiku was a favorite of then Crown Prince Akihito (now Emperor) of Japan, who worked with master Kazuo Sato to trans-late the poem. Nick once said he believed his work was more widely known and admired in Japan than in his home country.

April 2008. Towpath met at Fonda Bell Miller’s home, not far from Mt. Vernon, on a perfect spring day. Fonda's large picture win-dows revealed the fresh new foliage, flowers, and birds of the area. Attending were Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton, Kristen Deming, Lee Giesecke, Penny Showell, Laquita Woods, and Mary Wuest. For the round robin haiku, Laquita read her

walking with him                
through cherry blossoms    
remembering you

which received an honorable mention in the 2008 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

Fonda raised the question of who is the judge of what is a good haiku. We discussed the "grading" or "point" systems that some editors apparently use. On what do editors/ judges, singly or in groups, base their decisions for top anthol-ogies, journals, or contests? Lee Giesecke noted that “we can usually tell which of two haiku we prefer, but we cannot always say why. . . . We can rank as many as a hundred haiku by personal preference—and it is a personal preference . . . ." The group concurred that the point system, in particular, eliminates subtle aesthetic judgment in favor of a cumber-some "method" approach, and may not result in the best choices. Why a poem does or does not work is interesting, but there is no straight-forward way to go from grading constituents to grading the whole poem. What we admire in a poem varies from poem to poem.

Towpath highlights. Martell & Associates again sponsored a private, docent-led tour of a special exhibition at the Smith-sonian's Sackler Gallery for Tow-path members and their guests. Titled "Patterned Feathers Pier-cing Eyes," the exhibition featured the Etsuko and Joe Price collec-tion, regarded as one of the world's finest collections of paintings from Japan's Edo period (1615-1868). The paintings of the Edo period announced new ways of encountering the world. From the Smithsonian web site: "By paying heed to the structure of nature, the structure of beauty would be revealed. While the Price collection offers exceptional examples of the traditional and divergent styles of the period, it was assembled with an eye to beauty rather than encyclopedic aims." The exhibition explored three major areas of the collec-tion: legend, spirit, and myth in everyday life; the multiple meanings of landscape; and the preternatural presence of birds and beasts. Laquita Wood and Roberta Beary received honorable mention for their haiku in the 2008 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Roberta Beary's entry placed second in the 2008 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Competition.

October Meeting. Kathleen O'Toole and husband John hosted Towpath members Mary Wuest, Ellen Compton, Kristen Deming, Lee Giesecke, Penny Showell, and Roberta Beary. Fonda Bell Miller participated in absentia. Following the round robin haiku readings, poets paused to honor the late Bill Higginson, remembering his many gifts to haiku study and to the haiku community worldwide. Then Ellen passed around a copy of Bill's 4 Sequences broadsheet, and each person read a haiku from the collection.

The group explored ideas for future programs and discussed the possibility of holding a meeting in a nursing home or retirement community. We noted that a number of people prominent in the literary world, including leaders of the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s, live in such homes nearby, and might welcome a haiku program.

Lee had given us a homework assignment with handouts on counting on, or Japanese sounds, in English-language haiku. We were to write haiku in English using the 5-7-5 form, but counting on instead of English syllables. Several brave poets gave the homework a try, and we agreed that counting on in English is much harder than it looks, with only Fonda making the cut. Next closest, with a count of 4-10-5, was Lee himself, for "sunset / on each piling / a seagull."

December Meeting. Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton, Kristen Deming, Audrey Olberg, Kathleen O’Toole, Penny Showell, and Mary Wuest gathered around Kristen's Christmas tree. The group marked the publication of dandelion clocks, the 2008 HSA Member’s Anthology, edited by Ellen and Roberta. Each editor read some of her favorites from the collection, then each read the other's haiku. Members who were present followed with their own poems and took turns reading those of absent members.

Kristen led a lively discussion on the poetic thought of a modern haiku master, the late Yatsuka Ishihara. She spoke about the poet's three basic principles for writing haiku: telling the truth as if it were fiction; introspective shaping; and instant illusion.

Of the first principle Ishihara said, “I believe the basic nature of haiku is humor, that is, expressing the truth as if it were false. Through the expression of truth with humor, a rich space is created to enjoy a wider meaning.”

The second principle, introspective shaping, states that we should not simply "sketch" what we experience, but create something tangible out of reality as it is apprehended by our thoughts. Ishihara believed that we must look inward to bring our feelings and thoughts into the haiku: "You will know your true self by reading your own haiku."

The third pertains to temporary illusion, which could be akin to the immediacy of an experience or inspiration and its elusive nature. In an article about this principle, Shosaku Ohya, a disciple of Ishihara, said that the master spoke of a poet's breath-taking experience as "a sign of matching oneself with a thing or an event one has been looking for all the time. But this event does not appear from nowhere. It is the result of the art of constantly searching for the poetic spirit. . . . when one encounters a scene beyond the human or familiar landscape, his/her poetic spirit is ignited" (Modern Haiku, 30:1, winter-spring 1999, p. 45).

Kristen described Ishihara's generosity in sharing his understanding with other poets and leading them on haiku walks—not just to the local park, but to places around the globe. She distributed handouts on the master's work and thought, and presented each of us with a copy of Red Fuji: Selected Haiku of Yatsuka Ishihara (Santa Fe, NM: From Here Press, 1997). The was translated by Tadashi Kond? and William J. Higginson, and begins with Kristen's essay, "Ishihara Yatsuka, Portrait of a Haiku Master."

Member Highlights. Kristen Deming's haiku was awarded 2nd prize in HSA's 2008 Harold Henderson contest. A haiku by Fonda Miller appeared as part of Peace Mural by Korean artist Huong. The mural was displayed from early December through January in Georgetown, DC. Ellen Compton received 1st Honorable Mention for her haibun, "Epitaph," in the Jerry Kilbride Memorial 2008 English-Language Haibun Contest. In the San Francisco International Competition 2008, Ellen was awarded Honorable Mention in the haiku category.

—Ellen Compton

Central Maryland

Spring 2008. The most recent meetings of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland were held on Saturday, January 26, 2008, and Saturday, March 1, 2008, both at Beth Edelstein’s home in Timonium, Maryland.  Members present for the January Meeting were: Beth; Elizabeth Fanto, Timonium, MD; Tim and Julia Singlet-on, Columbia, MD; and Cathy Drink-water Better (Walker), Eldersburg, MD. Sending poems via email or snail-mail were members: Roberta Beary, Bethes-da, MD; Edith Bartholomeusz, Phoe-nix, AZ; Susan Sanchez-Barnett, Glen Burnie, MD; Maria Steyn, Johannes-burg, South Africa; Kirsty Karkow, Waldoboro, ME; Joan Murphy, West Hempstead, NY; Sophia Cliffe, Staun-ton, VA; and Ellen Compton, Wash-ington, DC; along with guest poet Pamela A. Babusci, Rochester, NY. A sampling of the poems read aloud (an [*] denotes work submitted by email or snail-mail):

in her hand                          
stained blueberry blue                               
her daughter’s hand
                   Edith Bartholomeus*

Sunday afternoon                                
a buzzing fly                                   
finds its shadow
          Tim Singleton

another layer                                 
between us                                 
winter night
                  Susan Sanchez-Barnett*

cupping blossoms                              
in her pink parasol—                    
foster child
                Pamela A. Babusci*

After opening poems, Tim, Julia, and Beth shared stacks of creative handmade haiku cards received from poets around the world during their participation in a New Year’s haiku project organized by poet Billie Wilson, of Juneau, Alaska. Also on-hand for perusal were: the 2007 Haiku Society of America Anthology, flower of another country, edited by Wanda D. Cook and Linda Porter; the winter issue of TSA’s journal, Ribbons; and the latest issue of the ac-claimed Little Patuxent Review. (Tim is a member of the editorial board; visit the journal’s website at littlepatuxentreview.org.)

HPCM received a charming handmade card from The Haiku Poets Society of Western Mass-achusetts, decorated with a frog and dated on the Winter Solstice, wishing us a “Happy National Haiku Day.” It was signed by coordinator Wanda Cook. Member Joan Murphy wrote to share that she’d presented the eulogy for her aged uncle, who had died on October 15, and had prepared a lovely haiku remembrance card for everyone present: mid-October/a withered branch/falls from the tree. The January meeting ended with a haiku workshop. Julia, our resident haiga artist, illustrated each poem as she wrote it on The Big Pad.

March 2008. Present for the March Meeting were: Beth Edelstein; Susan San-chez-Barnett, who brought along her husband Dave; Tim Singleton; Elizabeth Fanto; and Cathy Drink-water Better (Walker). Members submitting poetry and notes by email, snail-mail, and phone were: Edith Bartholomeusz; Ellen Compton, Washington, DC; Nancy Rouse, Baltimore, MD; Joan Murphy; Kirsty Karkow; Maria Steyn; and new members Joan C. Sauer, Berlin, MD; Pamela A. Babusci, Rochester, NY.

Opening poems included (an [*] denotes work submitted by distant members):

dandelion wind                               
I trace the letters                        
of another’s name
         Ellen Compton* (pub., Chrysanthemum, Oct. 2007)

wooden cup with pens             
dried ink, blank paper                
no haiku
                  Beth Edelstein

sodden mound                      
under melting snow—   
yesterday’s newspaper
         Elizabeth Fanto

the sweet heat                             
of pepper jelly                              
full winter moon
                  Cathy Drinkwater Better

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, on Monday, February 25, Tim gave a talk on haiku at the Colum-bia Art Center. He spoke on the history of haiku and its construc-tion, and took questions and com-ments from the audience. This was the first in a series of arts-themed salons planned by the Little Patuxent Review in conjunc-tion with the art center. (Read the complete article online at http:// www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/howard/balho.salon29feb29,0,6702126.story.)     

There was also an article passed around concerning HPCM member Alexis Rotella’s recent grand-prize win in the 12th annual international Kusamakura Haiku Competition, for which she trav-eled to Japan to receive her award. (Read the article in the Bay Weekly by Googling “Bay Weekly” and “Alexis Rotella.”) There were numerous recent haiku journals on-hand, as well as the premiere issue of a new poetry magazine, Magnapoets (Cathy had work there-in); and a delightful poem-sheet by HPCM member Maria Steyn, of Johannesburg, South Africa, entitled, the lightness of bird feet. Elizabeth gave a well-researched presentation on “punctuation in haiku,” including several comprehensive hand-outs of articles on the topic by recog-nized haiku poets and scholars, and led a discussion on the topic. The meeting ended with our usual workshop, with haiku by those present and from afar, and one ringer: a poem by Elizabeth’s husband, Bob, which she slipped into the mix just for fun. It was a very good haiku, so we will likely be bothering Bob for more!

Reminder: Copies of HPCM’s 2007 poemsheet, luminous whiskers, edited by Tim and Julia Singleton, are still available. Contact efanto@verizon.net or cbetter@juno.com, subject line “Poem Sheet” for information; or send one SASE (or SAE + one IRC for orders outside the U.S.) to: Black Cat Press, 2007 Poem Sheet, 613 Okemo Drive, Eldersburg, MD 21784 USA, for three copies. Copies are available free, in bulk, for distribution conferences and other gatherings.

November Meeting.

The Haiku Poets of Central Maryland met on Saturday, November8, at the home of Beth Edelstein in Timonium, MD. In attendance were Elizabeth Fanto and Tony Nasuta of Timonium; Tim Singleton of Columbia, MD; and Cathy Drinkwater Better of Eldersburg, MD. Sending in poems to share were Kirsty Karkow, Waldoroboro ME and Susan Sanchezs-Burnett, Glen Burnie, MD. A few of the haiku read aloud:

hazy autumn moon
another round
of election debates

Elizabeth Fanto

a leaf skitters across
hopscotch squares

Tim Singleton

November wind
the campaign sign
leans left

Cathy Drinkwater Better

autumn leaves
racing ahead of the wind
toward the finish line

Anthony (Tony) T. Nasuta, Jr.

election day
the sighs that emanate
from behind his paper

Kirsty Karkow

opening your wallet
one more time
seventh inning stretch

Susan Sanchez-Barnett

Member News: At a literary arts event sponsored by the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society at the Howard County Conservancy on Sunday, October 5, Tim and daughter Julia Singleton led a children’s program while the adults were listening to readings by a guest poet. They took the kids on a ginko, or nature walk, and then helped them write haiku about their experiences. (See the HPCM scrapbook for a copy of the news article; or visit the Howard County Times archives online at http://www.theviewnewspapers.com/

In addition to Joan Murphy (as reported last time) several other members of HPCM also took Honorable Mention awards in the 2008 Saigyo Tanka Awards competition: Pamela A. Babusci; Kirsty Karkow; and M. Kei. Congratulations to all!

The 2008 Seashell Game results came out recently, and Cathy Drinkwater Better came in third with a poem originally published in the Haiku Canada Newsletter: sun’s warmth/I mark the page/with a blade of grass.

Poemsheet: Our latest poemsheet, Lunch Break: The Haiku Poets of Central Maryland Members’ Collection No. 3, was distributed at this meeding. A sample of the contents:

half moon
the night shift’s
lunch break

Susan Sanchez-Barnett

November wind
we encircle
the first of us widowed

jennie townsend (Echoes: Red Moon Press, 2007)

elephant exhibit
he remembers
it’s Mother-in-Law’s Day

Tim Singleton

in your sunglasses
the full moon

Geert Verbeke

There are still some copies available, free for the asking. Send a No. 10 SASE to: Elizabeth Fanto, 51 Gerard Avenue, Timonium, MD 21784 USA. (Send SAE + 1 IRC if outside the USA.)

New Publications: Geert Verbeke has a new book out, Hermit, about haiku-writing from his perspective. For information on purchasing or swapping for a copy, email Geert at haikugeert@skynet.be or go to his website at http://www.haikugeert.net . Black Cat Press just landed its latest book: In the Company of Crows: HAIKU and TANKA Between the Tides, by Carole MacRury, with sumi-e illustrations by Ion Codrescu, edited by Cathy Drinkwater Better. For more information email Cathy at cbetter@juno.com or to obtain a copy, contact Carole at: macrury@whidbey.net .

—Cathy Drinkwater Better (Walker)

Richmond Haiku Workshop

Spring 2008.


 Hot Springs, Arkansas

Fall 2008. Welcome to all haiku poets in Kentucky and Tennessee. We want to welcome you to the South Region. Previously you were in the Southeast Region. I would hope that you might select a represent-tative for each state to send news to me so that I can forward it to our HSA Newsletter Editor. We have an excellent South Region Conference each year in Hot Springs at the municipal airport. I do hope you will make an effort to join us October 31st - November 1st. This will be our 12th annual conference. As Woody Allen says, "Ninety percent of life is just showing up."
dogwood blossoms
the sound of horses hooves
Arkansas Derby
          Howard Lee Kilby

New Orleans Haiku Society

Spring 2008. The New Orleans Haiku Society was featured at the weekly Maple Leaf Bar Poetry Readings on April 6, 2008. The group read poems about the environment as part of the V-Day Celebration hosted in part by the Katrina Warriors, an organization formed after Hurricane Katrina to unite, activate, involve, and transform the women of the New Orleans and Gulf South after the disaster. The Society will host a haiku moon viewing and tea party on April 20 at a newly renovated tea house owned by one of our members. Please visit our blog for the latest information about our meetings and events: http://neworleanshaikusociety.blogspot.com/   

— Johnette Downing

Shreveport, Louisiana

Spring 2008. Shreve Memorial Library recently updated The Electronic Poetry Network (EPN) web page: http://www.shreve-lib.org/ poemofday.htm. If you wish to have your poems considered for the EPN, please send 5-10 short poems (no longer than about 50 words each) to Carlos Colón at: ccolon@shreve-lib.org. The poems do not need to be haiku. They just need to be short and suitable for the general public. Previously published poems are acceptable.  Poets whose work frequently appears in electronic haiku journals or who have their own web pages with haiku listed may opt to submit this infor-mation instead. Poets repeat on the EPN every 8-9 months now.

Carlos Colón was featured in an article in The (Shreveport) Times, October 26, 2008. The article focused on Colón's appearance in the DVD Haiku: The Art of the Short Poem by Tazuo Yamaguchi and on how the DVD can be used to correct misconceptions when teaching the elements of haiku.

—Carlos Colón


North Carolina Haiku Society

Spring 2008. The North Carolina Haiku Society will host the winter quar-terly meeting of the Haiku Society of America from Friday Decem-ber 5 to Sunday December 7, 2008 in Winston-Salem, North Caro-lina. This will be the second time that the NCHS has hosted an HSA quarterly meeting. Please see the NCHS Meeting page for details: http://www.nchaiku.org/meetings.htm#hsa_2008

Haiku Holiday: April 26, 2008

The NCHS celebrated its 29th annual Haiku Holiday on April 26, 2008. Highlights included: Roberta Beary read from her recent haiku collection, The Unworn Necklace, which won the Snapshot Press Haiku Collection Competition. A number of us read from Beneath the Willow Tree, the recent anthology of haiku by members of the North Carolina Haiku Society. Lenard D. Moore read a selec-tion of Richard Wright's haiku, in honor of the Richard Wright Centennial. Fleur-de-Lisa, an a cappella group from Durham, North Carolina, gave an a cappella performance of haiku.Lenard and Dave Russo led haiku workshops in the afternoon.
Visit the NCHS Blog and see what we’re up to: http://nc-haiku.blogspot.com/

— Lenard D. Moore

North Georgia Haiku Society

Spring 2008.

—Marilyn Appl Walker

Robert Frost Poetry Festival 2008 at Key West, Florida

Spring 2008. Haiku was again extraordinarily well represented at the 14th Annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival in Key West, Fla., April 9–13, 2008. Three of the ten featured Festival workshops were devoted to Japanese-style poetry, and haiku and tanka were read at the various social events surrounding the Festival.

Lee Gurga returned to the RFPF after a year’s hiatus and led a well-attended workshop entitled “The Essential Haiku” in the Robert Frost Orchid Garden, during which he challenged the parti-cipants to select a line or image from a haiku on a page of examples and write their own haiku. Charles Trumbull held forth on the subject of “Writing Haibun” on the lawn of the Truman Little White House. He separated the prose and haiku elements of a number of published haibun and encouraged the attendees to create a haiku by supplying the missing part. Barry George’s “Writing Tanka,” also at the Little White House, focused on the common themes in tanka of loss, longing, and celebration. Participants examined and discussed a range of classical Japanese and contemporary American tanka before taking up their pens to write a few of their own. Other haiku-related events were poetry readings (including a memorable one at sunset in the Gulf of Mexico on the foredeck of the catamaran Fury) and the annual haiku contest (see results elsewhere in the Newsletter).

In addition to the Festival presenters, the haikuists who took part in the events included locals Elsa Colligan, Janelle Barrera, and Fran Masat and a few refugees from the snow and cold of the Upper Midwest: Natalia and Igor Rudychev and Marsh Muirhead. Progress can also be reported in our mission to force longpoets to try haiku!

For information, registration, and contest details, write to The RFPF, 410 Caroline Street, Key West, Florida 33040, USA, or visit <http://www.robertfrostpoetryfestival.com/>

Charles Trumbull


Spring 2008. About 30 people attended an afternoon of information about haiku and a haiku reading at the Vernon Area Public District on Sunday, March 2, 2008. The event was the brainchild of Lidia Rozmus, who works as a graphic artist at this large, modern facility, which serves a fast-growing area of northwest suburban Chicago.
The first half of the afternoon included five 10-minute presentations, with sample haiku: “Definitions and Origins of English-language Haiku” (Charles Trumbull), “Haiku Subject Matter” (Natalia Rudychev), “Image in Haiku” (Joseph Kirschner); “Season and Other Aesthetics and Poetics in Haiku” (Heather Jagman), and “Sumi-e and Haiga—The Haiku Aesthetic in Art” (Lidia Rozmus). Following a short break, Charlie Trumbull reviewed the characteristics of a haiku and invited the attendees to write haiku.  These were then read blind by a panel of judges, who com-mented on each submission and selected a few favorites. Haiku books were given out as prizes. Finally, the panelists and others (who included Charlotte Digre-gorio, Scott Glander, Michael Nickels-Wisdom, and Igor Rudichev) read their own haiku to an appreciative audience.  Following such a meaty meal, the refreshments provided by the Library were a welcome palate-cleanser.

Haiku Featured at Oak Park, Ill., Open Mic
Charles Trumbull was the featured reader at the Third Saturday Coffeehouse Open Mic on April 19 at the Unity Temple, Oak Park, Ill. His presentation was titled “Haiku—Is It Really a Poem?”, and he read two dozen haiku by Japanese- and English-language masters to support his contention that a haiku is essentially not a poem in the usual Western sense. Charlie also read a number of his own haiku. The monthly open mic is run by Charlie Rossiter, himself a mean haiku poet, longpoet, and performance poet. The event was extremely well publicized and drew about 35 poets, writers, and musicians. About 10 people participated in the open mic portion, and many of them read haiku, either their own or—in one case—those of Richard Wright. Coincidentally, this is the second occasion in a few months that haiku has been celebrated in a Frank Lloyd Wright building. In September 2007, Charlie Trumbull and Lidia Rozmus brought haiku and sumi-e, respectively, to the Wright Now Festival at the 1906–08 Frank Lloyd Wright Westcott House in Springfield, Ohio. Unity Temple, Wright’s 1905 Cubist concrete structure owned and still used by the Unitarian Universalist Church, is a major attraction in Oak Park, a city that also prides itself on being the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway.

Charlotte Digregorio gave two readings of her haiku in March in Highland Park, Illinois. She read at Borders Books and at the Highland Park Public Library.

December 2008. In the wake of the largest winter storm in a long while, the annual Chi-ku holiday party on December 21 was smaller than it had been in years past. Besides our always gracious hostess, Lidia Rozmus, only seven irrepressible haiku poets ventured out into the cold and snow: Natalia and Igor Rudychev, Christopher Patchel, Heather Jagman and husband Arik, Scott Glander, and Charlie Trumbull. The low turnout meant more Glühwein and fine Polish and Russian delicacies for the braver souls. The fun and fine haiku flowed freely. A small sampling of some of those haiku:

new ring
“this too shall pass”
engraved in gold     


the parrot
is too green
for this snowy morning     


deep autumn
a lone hoot
through the hollow     


condo building
Santa and Mrs. Claus
outside on a ledge    


—Charles Trumbull

Mississippi Mud Daubers at Edwardsville, Illinois.

Spring 2008. The Mississippi Mud Daubers met on March 29 at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Edwardsville, Illinois. It was our first meeting in 2008. Members shared poems they recently had published and discussed the haiku scene in southwestern Illinois and nearby St. Louis, Missouri. We again considered the possibility of creating a chapbook of members' work. The chapbook would be published by Second Reading Publications, which is owned by MMD founder John J. Dunphy.

December 2008. The Mississippi Mud Daubers Haiku Group met on December 19, 2008 at Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Edwardsville, IL. Members in attendance were Gretchen Graft Batz, Ruth Bell, John J. Dunphy and Lisa Porter. Nancy Wiley is wintering in Florida. We shared recently-published works, including Zen Koanhead, a new senyru chapbook by John J. Dunphy. Gretchen Graft Batz expressed an interest in publishing a chapbook of her work, possibly through Second Reading Publications. 

It was agreed that Haiku Harvest, an exhibit of members' work that opened in September at The Second Reading Book Shop in Alton, IL, has been so successful that it will remain at the shop. Members will periodically change their displayed works.

—John Dunphy


Haiku Poets of North Texas

Spring 2008. Thursday, March 27. Tony A. Thompson had one of his haiku picked as Poem Of The Day at Shreveport Memorial Library. His haiku was on the Library's website and on the outside electronic board. Here are the winners of the 2008 Pinewood Haiku Contest sponsored by Wisteria. First place received $100.00. The contest was judged by Roberta Beary.

1st Place: Cherie Hunter Day

         winter rain
         my employment history
         all on one page

2nd Place: Ernest J. Berry

         my old maternity gown

3rd Place: Kath Abela Wilson

         in the bamboo garden
         I listen
         to the weight of snow

Haiku Poets of North Texas held their quarterly meeting on December 13, 2008. Susan Delphine Delaney read her paper on the new science of Literary Forensics, based on the book, Author Unknown. Afterward, a Winter Solstice Ivory Elephant Gift Exchange took place. Lovely, haiku-y handmade gifts were in play in a spirited exchange marked by laughter and 'stealing'.

—Submitted by Susan Delphine Delaney MD, MS

Forth Worth Haiku Society (Texas)

January 2008. Fort Worth Haiku Society is gearing up to host the HSA's Spring Quarterly meeting. We have a number of excellent programs lined up. The meeting will be at the Residence Inn by Marriott in the Cultural District near downtown Fort Worth.  They offer a shuttle for 5 miles around the hotel so people can easily get to the museums, the Japanese Garden, shopping etc.  If you haven't reserved your room at the hotel, you need to do it soon.

small canyons II has been published and we have copies available for sale. This anthology showcases the variety of talents of the poets of our Southwest Region. They sell for $10 and are available from Jim Applegate or Cliff Roberts. Information on ordering is available on the Southwest website: http://hometown.aol.com/graphicfantasy01/haikusouthwest.htm or email brephoenix@aol.com for more information. The Spring Festival at the Japanese Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth will be April 5 and 6, 2008.  Fort Worth Haiku Society will once again take part in this event.

Brenda Roberts 

January 2008. On January 19 the Fort Worth Haiku Society had the largest group we've had in a while. Cliff and  Brenda Roberts, Shirley and David Crow, Christina Dansby and her baby, Johnny, Robin Polizzi, Carrie Mabry, Christi Davenport, and Peter Weber. We had a fun program over the Year of the Rat greeting card list which generated around 60 haiku from all over the world. The kukai kigo was 'snow' and the favorite haiku was written by Robin Polizzi. The February 16 FWHS meeting was canceled due to snow and ice.

Spring 2008. In March, Texas Christian University published two of Michael Moore's haiku. [“A Students' Treasury of Texas Poetry is published as an interdisciplinary resource for Texas and American history teachers --- and for English teachers who find a place for Texas culture within their American literature curriculum." ISBN-13: 978-0-87565-353-2 http://www.prs.tcu.edu/ ]

On March 9th the FWHS had an HSA Conference Committee meeting at a local Denny's. Attending were Brenda and Cliff Roberts, Shirley Crow, Christi Davenport, Robin Polizzi and Peter Webber. David Crow volunteered to be the airport shuttle for those flying in and needing a ride to the hotel. Other duties were assigned. Robin showed off the goody bags she had worked hard on getting donations for. Peter added some postcards for the bags and donated a haiku book for the Raffle. He then told us that he read in the business section of the paper that the Four Star Coffee Bar is closed for an undetermined time, so we will have to find another venue for our meetings.

Dr. Marvin Hirsh is currently ill and in the hospital. We wish him a complete and speedy recovery. Marvin Hirsh, poet, and Stan Richardson, flutist, present a wonderful program called 'The Art of Haiku' where Dr. Hirsh reads his haiku and Dr. Richard-son plays the shakuhachi flute. Marvin Hirsh, a past president of the Poetry Society of Texas, has written poetry for many years and studied with Pat Stodghill at SMU in 1978. He has two poetry books: In The Eyes of the Children and Haiku Concert. His work has won awards and has been published in poetry journals and anthologies. He has written several experi-mental poems and has presented programs of experimental poetry and haiku.

The HSA Spring Quarterly Meeting was hosted by the FWHS March 14 - 16. Shirley Crow was at the Registration Table where she greeted everyone, sold Raffle Tickets, told about the Haiku Contest, and handed out the goody bags that Robin Polizzi worked hard to pack to the handles for the guests. The conference room table decorations were Japanese bowls filled with small rocks, one silver spoon and a single bamboo stalk. Around the Stone Soup and Bamboo, acknowledging St. Patrick's Day Monday the 17th, were plastic gold coins and tiny green shamrock confetti scattered on the table. On the walls around the room were large shamrocks with Fort Worth Haiku Society member's haiku printed on them. Christi Davenport worked the Book table where there were books being sold by Lenard D. Moore, Dave Russo, Michael Moore, Jim Applegate (small canyons) and Brenda Roberts. David Crow had a "Mr. Pocky" Dealer Table selling fans, chop-sticks, a Buddha, Butterflies (cookies), Pocky with free samples and some small dream catchers (this is the Southwest, after all). Friday was mostly Registration and browsing the Book and Mr. Pocky Tables, leaving the attendees to do some Fort Worth Cultural District sightseeing. Some checked out the “Butterflies In The Garden” exhibit while others went to The Modern Art Museum. From 7 - 9 PM we had a Meet and Greet Haiku Reading where Susan Delaney brought a vase of yellow tulips her staff had given her to share with us. Readers were Christi Davenport, Johnye Strickland, Brenda Roberts, Shirley Crow, David Crow, Lenard D. Moore, Robin Polizzi, Dave Russo, Susan Delaney, Cliff Roberts, Peter Webber, and Marlene Egger. We also talked quite a bit and got to know each other.

After a complimentary hotel breakfast buffet, Saturday was a day of programs, readings and workshops. FWHS president Cliff Roberts welcomed everyone with "Haiku 101," which included  handouts of “Haiku Relations” terms for the newer haijin present and encouraging comments from the more experienced haijin. He also read a few of his own haiku and passed out the greeting card he made as part of a World Haiku Club list card exchange. HSA President Lenard D. Moore and Newsletter Editor Johnye Strickland excused themselves to have the Executive Committee Meeting. Southwest Region haijin printed in small canyons I and/or II read, meaning most everyone in attendance: Brenda Roberts, Cliff Roberts, Robin Polizzi, Marlene Egger, Susan Delaney, Michael Moore, Beth Ann Applegate, Jim Applegate, Peter Weber, Helen Jones and Shirley Crow. At 11am Helen Jones gave a workshop on 'Six Degrees Of Conception’-- how to look at a Haiku Moment from six different perspectives. Afterwards Lenard D. Moore reported on the HSA Executive Committee Meeting. Noon was the Haiku Contest deadline and Lunch -- bar-b-que from Hickory Stick delivered by FWHS member Christi Davenport. After lunch Dr. Susan Delaney presented her program 'Proprioception in the Perception of The Haiku  Moment’. (Proprioception is the sixth sense, as defined by physiologists.) After a brief break Lenard D. Moore and Dave Russo read one haiku per poet from the North Carolina Anthology. Attendance, Appreciation, and Member Certificates were given out. In the Haiku Contest Honor-able Mentions went to susan delaney, Robin Polizzi and Marlene Egger. 3rd place was Michael Moore, 2nd - Lenard D. Moore and 1st Place went to Helen Jones. A raffle consisted of 18 Prizes. Johnye won the tickets for Billy Bob's Bull Ride. Next Marlene Egger encour-aged everyone to enter the HSA contests then presented a Renku Workshop, creating 4 groups of 3 or 4 poets each to craft renku. For supper most of us went to a local Vietnamese restaurant, eating, talking, a few finishing their renku from Marlene's workshop. Sunday breakfast was at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden restaurant for Christin, Dave, Robin, Beth Ann, Christi, Brenda, Susan, Johnye, Shirley, Jim, Cliff, Lenard, and Lynn. The food was excellent, the view wonderful, the music was even great; however, the waiter was a little snooty. Dave took pictures of Bre and Lynn out front talking under the trees as the others finished eating. Brenda went home to rest but everyone else went to the Japanese Garden for a ginko. The heron doing some expensive koi fishing kept a lot of people’s attention for quite a while, even more than the turtles sunning themselves or the duck paddling around [and nipping at the koi-Ed].

small canyons III is now taking submissions for the new issue. Anyone in the Southwest Region can submit up to 10 haiku. 3 -5 haiku will be used per haijin. It costs $10, which pays for one copy of the book. (Specialized: regional haiku and senryu.) E-mail: japple@dfn.com.  Contact: Jim Applegate, editor, 601 Fulkerson Drive, Roswell, NM  88203-4127. (505)623-8267. small canyons is digest sized, desktop published, saddle stapled, and has a heavy card stock cover with a graphic. It is published by members of the Southwest Region and is not an HSA project.

Currently the FWHS has 23 members and 12 honorary members. Silk Tree, the FWHS website, has been updated as well as Mimosa Online, the FWHS newsletter. South West Haiku, the region's website, is being updated and a South West Haiku Yahoo Group was made so the region could put their HSA Conference pictures up and so we could send messages to one another to bring us closer together.

April 5th and 6th the FWHS was at the FW Japanese Gardens for the Spring Fest. Cliff, Brenda, Shirley and Michael manned the tables, handing out information on haiku and the FWHS and selling copies of small canyons I and II. We were visited by former FWHS secretary Tobias H. Reese who now lives in North Carolina. Crystal Dozier, publisher of the DFW Poetry Review brought out the current issue which had Brenda Roberts’ article "Why Kukai?" in the Bonsai Verse section, which spotlights haiku and related forms. Shirley won the monthly Kukai, the kigo was 'diamonds.' Sunday we were joined at the table by Christi. Lots of networking was accomplished and there were a lot of  haiku inspiring moments and photos. April is also National Poetry Month and in addition to the  Spring Fest the FWHS has an April 19 reading at Borders on Hulen and HWY I30 at Noon.

2008 is the 10th anniversary of the basho-ki website which publishes frog theme haiku/ senryu, tanka, haibun and haiga in honor of Master Basho and his famous frog haiku. New basho-ki pages are usually uploaded each November before the anniversary of Basho's death on Nov. 25 (Gregorian calendar). 2008 is also 'Year of the Frog' so we are trying to link these two events with readings at the Japanese Garden and Public Zoo, a frog haiku contest and an anthology of frog haiku. We will keep you posted as things progress.

—Respectively Submitted by Cliff Roberts


Washington State Region

January 2008. A big thank you to Terran Campbell for serving as Washington Regional Coordinator for the last two years. She made sure meeting rooms were booked, meeting reminders were sent out, and that each of our meetings ran smoothly. Highlights of the past year included a growing attendance at our meetings, and the September memorial reading we had for our late founder, Francine Porad, at the Bellevue Botanical Garden (organized by Connie Hutchison). Haiku Northwest was founded in 1988, so we’re commemorating our 20th anniversary in 2008. To celebrate, we’re planning a number of special events and projects this year. These include haiku performances, with shakuhachi and koto music by John and Elizabeth Falconer, at numerous local festivals (such as the Burning Word poetry festival, Folklife, Moonviewing, and Aki Matsuri); a haiku day at Seattle’s Japanese Garden; and hosting the June quarterly national meeting of the Haiku Society of America. We’ve also invited the growing Port Townsend haiku group to the Seattle area for a joint meeting in May, and we’ll go visit them in Port Townsend in the fall.

In addition to these events, we have also done work on the following projects:

First, we’ve been updating our Web site to include extensive features about our beloved Francine Porad. We’ve also included twenty-eight of her finest haiku, senryu, and tanka in “A Portrait of Francine: In Her Own Words,” compiled by Connie Hutchison. To read this content, please visit http://hometown.aol.com/ welchm/Haiku-Northwest-Porad-Obituary.html.

Second, we’ve started an on- line collection of haiku by our members, with a short bio and up to five poems by each Washington State haiku poet who wishes to send work. We’ve got poems from twenty-one members already, with more to come! View this online collection at http://hometown.aol.com/welchm/Haiku-Northwest-Poems-By-Members.html, or visit the Haiku Northwest Web site at http://hometown.aol.com/welchm/Haiku-Northwest.html.

Third, we’re putting together a directory of all haiku poets in Washington State (this includes quite a few more people than just HSA members). Thanks to Mike Myers for working on this, and thanks to Lane Dunlap for his help as well. We hope to increase membership, or at least let a wider number of people know about our special 20th anniversary events.

Fourth, we’re working on a new Haiku Northwest online discussion and announcement list (thanks to Dejah Léger for help with this). Anyone is welcome to join. More information will be provided on the Haiku Northwest site soon.

Fifth, this year Haiku Northwest volunteered to administer the Francine Porad Haiku Contest for the Washington Poets Association. Thanks to Angela Terry for receiving contest entries, which are due March 15, 2008 ($1 per poem). Information about entering is available elsewhere in this newsletter, or at http://www.washingtonpoets.org/2008_wpa_contest_guidelines_fpa.php.

The Haiku Northwest group met for its first meeting of 2008—its 20th anniversary year—from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 10 at the Bellevue Regional Library in Bellevue, Washington. Present were Marilyn Sandall, Curtis R. Manley, Winifred Jaeger, Connie Hutchison, Helen Russell, Michael Dylan Welch, Mike Myers, Joan Stamm, Nu Quang, Ruth Yarrow, Dejah Léger, and Ida M. Freilinger, as well as Dana Ericson, who was a first-time guest, invited by Helen Russell (Helen mentioned that she recently celebrated her 98th birth-day!). Thanks to Ida Freilinger for serving as hostess, and having everyone sign an attendance sheet.

We began with announcements and news, which included our newly posted collection of member haiku (thanks to Curtis Manley for collecting the bios and poems), Michael Myers' work on a new Haiku Northwest member directory, Dejah Léger's upcoming plans for a reading of music and sound haiku at the Folklife festival, and other upcoming events, including a potluck for our February meeting at the Seattle home of Nu Quang to celebrate the Lunar New Year. We then went around the room introducing ourselves and sharing a bit of personal news (thanks to Ruth Yarrow for the reminder that we share personal updates, which helps make our group particularly friendly!). We learned of each other’s recent operations, travels, awards, publications, and occasional family news.

Next, we began our new meeting addition, to have a featured reader. Our first feature was Connie Hutchison, who, along with Mary Fran Meer, was one of the original members of the group when Francine Porad started Haiku Northwest in 1988. Connie read a fine mix of poems, and several members commented afterwards that they particularly enjoyed hearing a body of work from Connie. For her sequence, Connie reported she “wanted to share water and garden moments, balance and vary the senses each poem evokes, and be mindful of the flow of seasons.” Connie is particularly adept at sequencing poems, something she did when working with Francine on Brussels Sprout from 1988 to 1995 and on numerous Haiku Northwest anthologies. “When sequencing,” Connie says, “I always look for the thread of connection between poems. It might be a word or subject, a feeling or mood, a season or locale. I keep in mind a definition of haiku (whose author is unknown to me)—‘two images with lightning between them’—and I apply it to every poem and the one following to find that spark.” Here are three of the many poems Connie read:

names in white marble
a pile-driver’s cadence
punctures the hush

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

in every conversation,
polished as rosary beads:
names of her children

swirling the phosphorous water
stars answer

For the bulk of our meeting, we had our usual round of haiku sharing. Each member brings photocopies of a set of haiku or senryu (sometimes tanka or haibun) and we share the copies around the room, which many members keep as a memento of the meeting. We take turns reading our poems, followed by comments and feed-back from others present. This time, because we had a well-attended meeting, we were able to read only three poems each, but they generated much lively discussion on juxtaposition, balancing objectivity and subjectivity, reordering lines, and other suggestions. Many poems this time featured topics from the holiday season, as well as the snow that had come to the Seattle area several times since our previous gathering. The meeting ended at 9:00 p.m. amid the usual loudspeaker announcement that the library was closing.

Northwest Haiku is scheduled to host the 4th Quarterly Meeting of the Haiku Society of America in Seattle, Friday June 27 – Sunday June 29. The meeting and workshops will be held on Saturday, June 28. The meeting site is the Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle. (206-322-7030).

Spring 2008. The Haiku Northwest group continues to expand its online collection of haiku by members, with a short bio and up to five poems by each Washington State haiku poet who wishes to send work. To view the collection, visit:  http://hometown.aol.com/welchm/Haiku-Northwest-Poems-By-Members.html, or visit the Haiku Northwest Web site at: http://hometown.aol.com/welchm/Haiku-Northwest.html.

Good news for Haiku Northwest is that our proposal (shepherded by Dejah Léger) was approved for us to perform at Seattle’s 2008 Northwest Folklife festival (http://www.nwfolklife.org/) on  May 26. Dejah is in the process of collecting and selecting poems on the theme of music and sound for the performance, which we also hope to reprise on June 27 at the Haiku Society of America weekend. Continued thanks to Angela Terry for receiving contest entries. To enter ($1.00 per poem), please read the guidelines at:
http:// www.washingtonpoets.org/2008_wpa_contest_guidelines_fpa.php.

On May 1, our monthly meet-ng at the Issaquah home of Helen Russell will have Helen as the featured reader. Helen is 98 years old, and her haiku always have lots of character and voice, so we’re particularly looking forward to her reading.

Haiku Northwest will be featured for half an hour on Seattle’s KSER radio (90.7 FM) at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27, with a recording session on June 7. On June 27, you can listen live at http://www.kser.org/. KSER also featured William Scott Galasso, reading mostly longer poetry, on Friday, April 25. KSER’s weekly poetry radio show is sponsored by Poets West, and hosted by J. Glenn Evans.

Michael Dylan Welch has recently taught haiku sessions to fourth-graders at Bellevue’s Cherry Crest Elementary School, for teens at a Campfire USA Japan-focused “discovery” weekend at Camp Sealth on Vashon Island, and two well-attended classes (one on haibun, another on haiku) at Seattle’s literary arts center, Hugo House.

On May 10, Haiku Northwest is eagerly anticipating a special visit from the Port Townsend haiku group. We’ll start with a haiku walk at 10:30 a.m. at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, followed by a picnic lunch. Then from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. we’ll gather at the Bellevue Regional Library for an afternoon of workshops, reading, socializing, and a special presentation as our two groups get to know each other better. Seattle-area haiku folks will visit Port Townsend for another joint meeting in the fall.

Haiku Northwest news highlights include our first-ever weekend haiku retreat, a new and expanded Web site at http://sites.google.com/site/haikunorthwest/, Ruth Yarrow running for the office of Seattle Poet Populist, celebrating the 99th birthday of our oldest member, a holiday potluck, and our usual monthly meetings, each with featured readers. Congrats, too, to two of our members for becoming HSA officers (Carmen Sterba, first vice president; Dave Baldwin, secretary).

Congratulations to Bob Redmond for receiving grants for haiku. Bob reports: “The grants were from the Office of Arts and Culture for $4,000, and from 4Culture, for $3,000, to complete my haiku/haibun manuscript, ‘publish’ selected pieces (related to food) on paper bags in grocery stores, and giving a public reading.” In June of 2008, Bob married Amy Baranski, daughter of Portland haiku poet Johnny Baranski.

October 2, 2008 Meeting
Haiku Northwest gathered at the Bellevue Regional Library. Dejah Léger brought her three-week-old daughter Zöe, who slept through most of the meeting (with burps of approval after certain haiku). Our featured reader was William Scott Galasso:

Tor in the mist—
first the whistle
then the falcon

child asleep
daddy still reading
Prince Caspian

maybe their taste
will sweeten her words

October 10–12, 2008 Seabeck Haiku Getaway
The highlight of Haiku Northwest’s 20th anniversary year was the retreat we held at the Seabeck Conference Center, on the shores of tidal Hood Canal by the snow-dusted Olympic Mountains. Our theme was “Ordinary Miracles.” Emiko Miyashita, visiting from Japan, gave an introductory talk on haiku (with PowerPoint presentation), a reading from the Gendai Haiku Kyokai anthology, The Haiku Universe for the 21st Century, and a talk on Santoka. We had anonymous workshops, a show-and-tell session by all attendees led by Ruth Yarrow, a nametag contest, silent auction, haiku walks to the beach, lagoon, and woods, and a haibun workshop by Margaret Chula. Alice Frampton performed “The Music of Haiku,” and Michael Dylan Welch showed slides on “Details of Japan” and presented “Fuyoh Observations: Six Lessons from Japanese Haiku.” Christopher Herold’s workshop was “Feathering the Moment: Spontaneous Composition Emanating from Silent Observation.” We also enjoyed pulling random workshop poems and discussion topics from the “Haiku Hat,” and visited Scenic Beach State Park, where we toured historic Emel House where Alice Frampton grew up. For details about this extraordinary weekend, please visit http://sites.google.com/site/haikunorthwest/seabeck-haiku-getaway. Present for the retreat (31 people) were Nancy Dahlberg, Michael Dylan Welch, Marilyn Sandall, Priscilla Van Valkenburgh, Connie Hutchison, Wes Lund, Becky Turnbull, Angela Terry, Curtis Manley, Terran Campbell, Connie Donleycott, Susan Constable, Ruth Yarrow, Joshua Beach, Laurette Lajoie, Carmi Soifer, Alice Frampton, Karma Tenzing Wangchuk, Amelia Fielden, Nu Quang, Bryson Nitta, Michael Evans, Frances Manley, Christopher Herold, Margaret Chula, David Constable, John Hall, Carole MacRury, Emiko Miyashita, Bethel Prescott, and Ron Tanzi. We look forward to holding our second retreat on the weekend of October 16 to 18, 2009.

Ruth Yarrow was the Haiku Northwest nominee for Seattle Poet Populist (equivalent to poet laureate), which involved several public readings and an online vote. Marilyn Sandall attended the October 27, 2008 reading, and reported that “The performances were fantastic and moving. Ruth ended the evening by demonstrating the power of alternating short-form haiku with silence. Her poems about family, nature, peace, and the city reverberated.” Ruth placed respectably, and gave haiku a voice amid mainstream poetry.

November 6, 2008 Meeting
At the Bellevue Regional Library, we shared the sad news of Bill Higginson’s passing, and each read poems he had written over many decades, and had our usual rounds of haiku reading. Featured reader was Dejah Léger.

November 8, 2008 Special Meeting
Puget Sound haiku poets traveled to Port Townsend for a meeting with the haiku group there. We started with haiku walks to the beaches and to the army bunkers at Fort Worden. After lunch, we moved to Doris Thurston’s home, where we did introductions and shared poems, and collected haiku written in the morning for a kukai. Michael Dylan Welch won the kukai, with a prize of Patricia Donegan’s new book, Haiku Mind. We also remembered Bill Higginson and Bob Major. The afternoon’s highlight was a performance of haiku by the visiting poets, performed by the hosts, using piano, voice, drums, flute, marimba, bottles, wine glasses, and singing bowls. A keepsake pamphlet, Branching Trails, collected poems. We also enjoyed an anonymous workshop, snacks, and much laughter and friendship, and reconvened at Hudson Point Café in Port Townsend for dinner. Photos appear at http://sites.google.com/site/haikunorthwest/photos/2008-11-08-1.

December 4, 2008 Meeting
Our December 4 potluck dinner meeting took place at the Seattle home of Nu Quang, featuring a cake to celebrate Helen Russell’s 99th birthday (actually on November 22). Connie Hutchison unveiled Helen’s new chapbook, Distant Sounds, which the group read aloud in its entirety. Our featured reader was Angela Terry:

ice storm . . .
even the moon is sliding
off the road

in the deserted orchard
at sunset

pink receiving blankets
stacked in the corner
budding cherry

Michael Dylan Welch, Washington Regional Coordinator

Port Townsend, WA

Spring 2008. The Port Townsend Haiku Group (which has been extant and steadily growing for more than ten years) met on Friday, April 11 at the home of Doris Thurston. It was a small meeting with fewer than half our usual attendees. Members present were Doris Thurston, Connie Donleycott, Karma Tenzing Wangchuk, Shirley Beebe, and Christopher Herold. More planning took place regarding the joint meeting of our group and the Haiku Northwest group that is scheduled for Saturday, May 10. It will be the first such meeting and we hope to facilitate two such get-togethers each year, one on the east side of the Sound in the spring, and one on the west side in the fall. Doris, as always, supplied tea and an array of snacks and we indulged ourselves in them throughout the rounds of reading and discussions that followed. Tenzing informed us that the translation of his book 90 Frogs into Japanese was recently completed by Eiko Yachimoto. Christopher made available copies of the new Heron’s Nest, Volume IX.

—Christopher Herold

Vashon Island

Members of the Vashon Island Haiku Group met off the island at the home of Helen Russell in Issaquah, Washington on Monday afternoon, April 7, for a lively session of haiku sharing and discussion, with Michael Dylan Welch as a guest. The group has been meeting regularly on the island for many years, usually attracts about eight to ten participants, and continues to feature their “Hiway Haiku” signs at the ferry dock at the north end of the island, despite the challenge that people keep stealing the haiku!

Oregon State Region

February 2008. Members of the HSA Oregon Region met February 9 in the Honors College Library at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Members came from various parts of Oregon and were joined by members of the Oregon Haiku and Tanka Society and poets from the Eugene area. The event included two round robin readings, haikai readings by featured readers Johnny Baranski and Maggie Chula, a catered luncheon, and a discussion of upcoming plans and events.

Not much news for the Oregon Haiku and Tanka Society this time around. Peter and an'ya are putting all their efforts right now into the literary newspaper moonset since the snow is keeping them office-bound. However, other members of the OhtS attended the Oregon Haiku Regional Meeting in Eugene, but an'ya and Peter were unable to attend due to snow in the mountain pass between La Pine and Eugene. an'ya has a new book entitled "seasons of a hermitess" due out in 2008.

Spring 2008. Oregon haiku poets are having a busy spring. Although we haven’t had any meetings, we have kept in touch through our haiku listserv while simultaneously pursuing our various individual projects including the following recent publications and works-in-progress:

  • an'ya's new haiku book, seasons of a hermitess, is now available at http://rosenberrybooks.com/bookinhandcatalog.html. Her newsprint publication,
    /moonset/ Literary Newspaper, has new deadlines and a free e-supplement at its website http://moonsetnewspaper.blogspot.com.

  • Johnny Baranski’s book, just a stone's throw, has been published. It is #12 in vincent tripi's Pinch Book Series. The book is available from Johnny at 3308 N. Terry St., Portland, OR 97217-6028 for $5.00 ppd (checks made out to Johnny Baranksi). 

  • Maggie Chula will be at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM on a writing residency grant for five weeks working on a haibun manuscript.

  • A  sampling of Ce Rosenow’s haiku was distributed by 25th and Poem, a project by Erik Muller that circulates work by a different poet each month on free flyers in southeast Eugene. Her selected edition of Cid Corman’s poetry co-edited with Bob Arnold, The Next One Thousand Years, was published in March by Longhouse Publishers and contains some of Corman’s translations of haiku. The book is available at:  http://www.longhousepoetry.com

In addition to the above activities and publications, we have also seen a change in the Oregon haiku and tanka Society (OhtS). Norla Antinoro will now be taking over as President and Webmistress for the OhtS and plans to take it to new heights working with Ce to bring Oregon poets from the HSA and the OhtS closer together. Finally, we would like to share the following poems from some of the members of our group:
 a silver greeting                 
between the mountains and sky
lightning dances
         Norla M. Antinoro

spring sky—                             
sun dogs unhide                     
from the clouds

much better than i                      
at flying my kite                  
gnarled old plum
          Johnny Baranski
flash of sunlight                         
on camellia buds
         Maggie Chula

cherry blossoms                    
under snow                            
when will this end?
         Maralee Gerke
wind in the salal –                        
a sparrow                              
repeats its call
                  Ce Rosenow

—Ce Rosenow and an'ya


Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

January 2008. Much fun was had January 12, 2008 when June Hymas led our kukai at the San Jose History Park. Winter season words and the “first of anything” inspired our haiku. Jerry Ball won first place, Alison Woolpert won second place and donnalynn Chase, Linda Papanicolao, Carol Steele, Judith Schallberger and Ann Bendixen had a five-way tie for third place.

Spring 2008. Our continuing inspiration, Donnalynn Chase, planned our February meeting, She gathered many art materials, papers, paints, pens, books, etc., for a memorable afternoon of creating haiga, which we poignantly shared together. On March 15, 2008, we met at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco to view the exhibit, Japanese Paintings from the Floating World, 1690-1850 titled Drama and Desire. Roger Abe organized a guided hike to Coyote Ridge on April 12, 2008.  We saw tule elk, the rare Bay checkerspot butterfly and the serpentine soils were covered with multitudes of wild flowers.

In November, Patrick and Claire Gallagher hosted our Yuki Teikei Haiku Society’s meeting at their home. Patrick’s program elaborated on Allen Burns’ technique (from the fall 2007 Frogpond) of using the language of cinema to analyze haiku. The Gallagher’s yard inspired many haiku during the writing portion of our meeting.

the Buddha rests
in purple companula light
autumn rain

Our annual holiday party in December was hosted by Patricia and Al Machmiller in their home and began with a delicious potluck dinner. About thirty poets, artists and guests attended and participated in the traditional sharing of our haiku gifts.

Patrick Gallagher is the web master for Yuki Teikei’s web site. http://www.youngleaves.org

Respectfully Submitted, Ann Bendixen, Secretary

Haiku Poets of Northern California

January 2008. The Haiku Poets of Northern California held their first quarterly meeting of the year January 20 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Those present: Susan Antolin, Fay Aoyagi, George Baker, Jerry Ball, Dan Brady, Terry Cerrato, Susan Diridoni, Linda Galloway, Garry Gay, Nardin Gottfried, Bernice Hunold, Tracy Karetsky, Barbara Lecus, Chiyo Miyashita, Marianna Monaco, Renee Owen, Linda Papanicolaou, Lane Parker, Ebba Story, and Paul O. Williams. The meeting began with a round of poems. Garry Gay then introduced our featured reader, Lane Parker. Lane joined HPNC in 2004, produced HPNC’s Two Autumns chapbook in 2005, and currently serves as secretary for the Haiku Society of America. A few poems from Lane’s reading:

         foghorns…                            longing for San Francisco                  in San Francisco
storm clouds                                  one red balloon                                    slowly rising
         evening breeze                    something close to Mozart                 in the chimes

After several announcements and a brief break, Fay Aoyagi gave a presentation on avant-garde vs. traditional haiku. She began by distributing a nine-page handout with definitions of “avant-garde,” “tradition,” and “surrealism,” and followed by examples of both traditional and avant-garde poems by prominent Japanese haiku poets. Fay read aloud and discussed each poem, pointing out such things as modern vs. tradi-tional word choices, unusual juxtaposition of images, and the historical context of many of the poems. Among the avant-garde poets whose work Fay highlighted were Ban’ya Natsuishi, Shigenobu Takayanagi, and Tohta Kanko.  Fay then contrasted the work of the avant-garde poets with traditional poems by Sumio Mori, Ryuta Iida, and Kai Hasegawa. To illustrate the extent to which modern and traditional styles are often difficult to distinguish from one another, Fay provided a quiz in which we were given a list of four poems (two by the avant-garde poet Ban’ya Natsuishi, and two by the traditionalist Kai Hasegawa) and were to mark which poems were from which poet. After the answers to the quiz were revealed, a lively discussion followed regarding the various elements of modern and traditional styles in each poem. In response to several questions from the group about how to read surreal poems that seem too abstract to have an immediate impact on the reader, Fay quoted the poet and editor Tetsuo Shimizu, who said that if you do not understand a haiku, “just swallow it,” and wait a while and see if you can digest it; if you cannot digest it, just “spit it out.” In concluding, Fay emphasized that haiku poets can be both traditional and avant-garde rather than one versus the other.

Following Fay’s presentation, Garry said that he thinks contemporary Japanese poets are using more metaphor in their poems than Americans allow ourselves to use, and he speculated that if we used more metaphor, we might write poems that are more interesting and have deeper meaning. He then asked that we take five minutes before the close of the meeting to attempt writing surreal poems of our own. After a quiet few minutes of writing, we went around the circle and shared our on-the-spot surreal poems. The meeting adjourned around 4:45.

Haiku Poets of Northern California’s fall quarterly meeting took place on October 26, 2008 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Present were the following people: Susan Antolin, Jerry Ball, George Baker, Garry Gay, Carolyn Hall, Bernice Hunold, Marianna Monaco, Renée Owen, Linda Papanicolaou, Shulamith Rubinfien, Michael Sheffield, Laurie Stoelting, Ebba Story, Jill Tallmer, Paul O. Williams, and Joan Zimmerman. Ebba Story introduced our featured reader, Marianna Monaco, “a storyteller with a keen sense of wit and humor, and a profound understanding of our relationship to nature.” From Marianna’s reading:

the double pleasure
of seeing you again

On a somber note, Garry announced the passing of Bill Higginson, and others in the group also expressed gratitude for the influence Bill’s work had on their development as haiku poets. Garry then congratulated Carolyn Hall for winning first place in the autumn haiku collection contest awarded by True Vine Press. Her winning chapbook In and Out of Shadow was available for purchase at the meeting. Garry said it was great to see Ebba back and in good health. Ebba will resume her post as editor of Mariposa, and will collaborate on the editing with Susan Antolin.
After a break for refreshments, Carolyn Hall led a haiku workshop on truth in haiku based on an article she wrote for Frogpond (Volume XXVIII, Number 3, 2005). Carolyn opened with an anecdote about her relationship with her siblings following her mother’s death. She found that in writing about her experiences in a fictional context, the farther she strayed from the facts of what had taken place, the closer she got to the emotional truth of the conflict. Carolyn proposed that the same principle may apply to haiku as well. The purpose of haiku, she said, is to touch us at our core. We put haiku out there to share an emotional response with others. It is often necessary to change the literal truth in order to communicate the full impact of the moment in a successful haiku.

The winter quarterly meeting was held on January 18, 2009. Present were the following people: Fay Aoyagi, Susan Antolin, Jerry Ball, George Baker, Tom Boynton, Chuck Brickley, Susan Diridoni, Garry Gay, Carolyn Hall, Bernice Hunold, Renée Owen, Linda Papani-colaou, David Rice, Michael Sheffield, Ebba Story, Carolyn Talmadge, John Thompson, Paul O. Williams, and Jim Wilson. Our featured readers, John Thompson and Garry Gay, read from their 2008 book of rengay, The Unlocked Gate. The reading provided a rare opportunity to hear a generous selection of rengay read in the voices of two long-time practitioners (one of whom is the founder) of the form.

Garry noted that this meeting marks the 20th anniversary of HPNC, and that five of the founding members were present: Garry Gay, Paul Williams, Jerry Ball, John Thompson, and Carolyn Talmadge. Garry passed around a copy of the first issue of Woodnotes (the predecessor journal to Mariposa) edited by Paul O. Williams and Vince Tripi. Garry then spoke for a few minutes about the history of the organization, including the informal gatherings of poets at Garry’s photo studio in San Francisco at that time as well as at restaurants, book stores and poets’ homes. Garry remembered a breakfast gathering of poets at John Thompson’s home and later a meeting of about 30 poets at Jerry Kilbride’s apartment. As the gatherings of poets grew, they decided to form a committee to formalize the organization, and Garry was nominated to be the first president.

John Thompson, our contest coordinator for the fall contest, announced the winners and spoke about the positive experience he had in working on the contest and contacting the winners. The winning poems will be published in the spring issue of Mariposa.

In other contest news, Renée Owen won first place for haibun in the contest run by the Central Valley Haiku Club. Renée passed around a flier with information on the Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival, which will feature Japanese poetry and music in Gualala on April 11. Renée will read her work accompanied by music at the festival. Renée also announced that Jane Reichhold will be speaking in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club on April 23rd.

David Rice passed around a copy of his recently published (and beautifully produced) book of tanka, Kindle of Green, written together with Cherie Hunter Day. The tanka were written in linked form over a number of years (6 tanka per linked strand) and then rearranged and joined to form this book.

Jim Wilson, who served as the tanka judge for the fall contest, presented a talk on tanka. He began with an overview of the history of the form and then encouraged questions and discussion. He spoke about the differences between haiku and tanka, and emphasized that tanka are not only longer, but more lyrical than haiku. Jim read (and sang) several of his own poems. He emphasized the musical quality of tanka and said he always has a melody in his head when he writes them. Jim encouraged everyone to explore the wealth of inspiration in American music, especially blues and folk tunes, and to experiment with a variety of poetic devices in writing tanka.

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

—Susan Antolin and Paul O. Williams

Central Valley Haiku Club

Central Valley Haiku Club website: http://www.valleyhaiku.org/

February 2008. After the well received Haiku reading on Saturday, October 13, 2007, at the Folsom Gekkeikan Sake Factory, the members of the CVHC were crushed by the holiday crunch and the scheduled December meeting had to be canceled.  But never fear, the members are now fully recovered and ready to meet with renewed vigor on Saturday, February 23, 2008, at the library in Antelope, California where they will forge ahead with the annual Jerry Kilbride Memorial 2008 English Language Haibun Contest, which is slated to be bigger and better than ever. In spite of the long hiatus, the CVHC members continue to share new poetry:

  winter thaw
 old and young men
  compare wars
       w.f. owen
 city street -
 the silence of the beggar
 shaking an empty cup
      Amy Whitacomb

 Orion and Mars set somewhere a wind chime
       Mark Hollingsworth
 winter moon
 everything turning
 around this still point
       Leslie Rose
Inquiries regarding the group, the next meeting, and/or the contest may be made to Bill Owen (email:  ToDrBill@comcast.net) , or YvonneCabalona (email:  YCabalona@sylvank12.ca.us).

Spring 2008. Saturday, February 23, 2008, the Central Valley Haiku Club gathered at the library in Antelope, California, after a long hiatus.  Members in attendance were Bill Owen, Amy Whitcomb, Yvonne Cabalona, Mark Hollingsworth, and Leslie Rose. Under old business, Yvonne Cabalona, our Jerry Kilbride Memorial 2008 English-Language Haibun Contest Co-ordinator, reminded us that this would be the fifth year for the contest.  After some discussion it was decided that there would not only be cash prizes for first and second place winners ($100 + $50 respectively), and honorable mention certificates, but the winning entries will be published in PDF form in the upcoming CVHC linked haibun chapbook.

The Jerry Kilbride Memorial 2008 English-Language Haibun Contest

Sponsor: Central Valley Haiku Club
*New Deadline: In hand by *October 1, 2008

Submissions: All entries must be unpublished, not under consideration elsewhere, and in English. No limit to the number or length of any submissions. Submit three copies of each haibun, two (2) copies without author information attached for anonymous judging, one (1) copy with author’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address for notification purposes. A first prize of $100 and a second prize of $50 will be awarded. Honorable mention certificates also will be given. Winning entries will be published in the upcoming CVHC linked haibun chapbook and will also be available at the CVHC website.. The entry fee $5 (US) per haibun should be paid by check and made out to: Mark Hollingsworth (CVHC Treasurer).

Eligibility: Open to the public; CVHC officers are not eligible.

Correspondence: No entries will be returned. Send business-sized SASE for a list of the winning entries. Please note that entries without SASE, insufficient postage, or that fail to adhere to contest rules will be disqualified.

Judges: Will not be disclosed until the contest winner has been decided.

Send entries to: Yvonne Cabalona, 709 Auburn Street, Modesto, CA 95350-6079.

The Club’s #2 linked haibun chapbook is currently within 6 entries of completion.  Members decided that  this publication will be done on Lulu in the free download PDF form. The group then discussed the pros and cons of having a Club blog versus a website.  It was finally decided that we would like to have both.  Bill Owen  has already initiated the Club’s blog and Mark Hollingsworth will be setting up our website, to be hosted by Host Monster. “Tooting their own horns,” members reported on poems that will be appearing in various publications:

-Yvonne Cabalona, Bill Owen, and Leslie Rose have tan renga in dust of summers, the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2007.
-Mark Hollingsworth and Amy Whitcomb have a tan renga in the current issue of Frogpond.
-The summer issue of Frogpond will have one of Bill Owen’s haiku.
-Yvonne Cabalona has a haibun in the spring issue of Simply Haiku.

Under new business, Yvonne reported on a reading she attended at the McHenry Museum in Modesto hosted by the Poets of the San Joaquin, a quarterly event that features a contest with cash prize awards of $25, $15, and $10. She also announced a reading that will be done by 16 Rivers Press, featuring Gillian Wegener, that will take place in March at the Modesto library. Amy shared the National Geographic that has the article about Bashô, “On the Trail of a Ghost.” With major business out of the way, Amy led the group in a workshop/critique of poems in progress, with a reminder that our next meeting will be Saturday, April 5th. At that meeting we will again try our hands at composing tan renga. 

On Saturday, April 5th, 2008, as scheduled, the CVHC met  at the Antelope branch of the Sacra-mento library.  In attendance were Yvonne Cabalona, Bill Owen, Mark Hollingsworth, Amy Whitcomb, Ricardo Debernardi, and Leslie Rose. The first item of business was to discuss the progress of the Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contest. The group reviewed and approved changes to the announcement that is being posted and then discussed additional ways to get the word out to potential entrants. Mark reported on our CVHC website. He is currently waiting to receive copies of our last two publications to post on that site. It was suggested that we add club photos and a page listing officers and members as well as a memorial page dedicated to Jerry Kilbride with a link to the contest page.  Currently we have links from our site to HPNC, HSA, SCHSG, and the Haiku Archives. Bill reported that our Blog is going well and reminded members that they may post to it at any time. Regarding our linked haibuns, Mark reported that we have 17. It was agreed that members will create 3 more haibun to link to these and then we’ll call it done. A discussion then ensued regarding Jim Kacian’s essay “Do Something Different” that appeared in Modern Haiku.  Inspired by his thoughts, the group discussed various ways to revitalize the form and keep our haiku fresh. Amy announced that she had two of her haiku appearing in the next issue of Modern Haiku. With business out of the way, members each presented a 3-line haiku to inspire a tan renga and we happily wrote and shared for the next hour. The date for the next meeting, Saturday, June 28th, was agreed upon. However, the meeting spot is not yet determined as the Antelope library will not have a room available for us through most of the summer. It was decided that at that meeting we will each bring 5-6 beginning lines for a haiku and members will each create the next two lines to complete a finished haiku. Prior to adjourning, members shared some of their haiku:

winter thaw                       
old and young men                   
compare wars                   
         w.f. owen                       
cutting in line                              
to see a past president                  
a future president
         Amy Whitcomb
new coffee mug                        
 her lipstick marks                   
extending her smile                   
         Yvonne Cabalona                   

first warm day                               
the scent of rosemary       
 ascends the steps
         Leslie Rose        
Orion and Mars set        
a wind chime
        Mark Hollingsworth

On October 4th, 2008, the Central Valley Haiku Club gathered at the Geikkeikan Sake Factory for their annual Fall Reading and meeting.  Members and presenters in attendance were Amy Whitcomb, Mark Hollingsworth, Yvonne Cabalona, Bill Owen, and Leslie Rose.  Member Ricardo DeBernardi acted as club photographer for the occasion.

Amy Whitcomb gave a wonderful introduction to an overflow audience of 36, preparing them to hear the various poetic forms. With the koi stocked lake as a background the group members shared a wonderful variety of haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, and tan renga, which were all well received. After the reading group members held a brief meeting.

Under old business, Yvonne announced that the Annual Jerry Kilbride Haibun Contest deadline has passed and judging has begun on an exciting set of international entries. After judging is completed the first place prize of $100 and second place prize of $50 will be awarded and those haibun will be published in the CVHC's upcoming linked haibun chapbook. Mark announced that our website has been updated.

The club members have been busy, busy, busy and have earned some bragging rights.  Look for their poems in the following publications:  

Amy Whitcomb announced that she will have a long haibun appearing in the winter edition of Modern Haiku.  One of her tanka will also be published in an upcoming Bottle Rockets. 

Yvonne Cabalona has a haibun that will be appearing in Bottle Rockets and she has 3 haiku that have been accepted by Mariposa.

Mark Hollingsworth will have a haiku appearing in the next issue of Mariposa.

Bill Owen and Amy Whitcomb have a tan renga that will be in the next issue of Frogpond, and Bill will also have 2 haibun and a haiku appearing in that same publication.  In addition, Bill will have 4 haiku in an upcoming Mariposa. 

Last but not least, before adjourning to sample some of Gekkeikan's fine sakes, the group set up our next meeting time, which will be the yearly Christmas/End of the Year gathering. 

On Saturday, December 13, 2008, the 20 CVHC held their annual holiday meeting at the Eastern Empire Restaurant in Sacramento. Sharing in the good food and laughter were Amy Whitcomb, Yvonne Cabalona, Ricardo de Bernardi, Bill Owen and Leslie Rose.

Under old business, Yvonne reported that the judges for the Jerry Kilbride Haibun contest had not, as yet, reported on the winners of this year's contest, but their decisions would be announced shortly. Under new business the idea was proposed that next year the end-of-the-year meeting should be changed to a beginning-of-the-year meeting in January due to the crush of holiday events in December. Several of the members announced that they will be appearing in print in the new year in various publications: Yvonne has a poem in the latest HSA anthology and Amy has a haibun that may be read on Contemporary Haibun Online and another appearing in Modern Haiku.

Before adjourning the date for the next meeting was set for February 28th, from 1:00-5:00 at the North Highlands/Antelope branch of the Sacramento Library.

—Respectfully submitted, Leslie Rose

Southern California Haiku Study Group (SCHSG)

January 2008. The SCHSG (Southern California Haiku Study Group) meets the third Saturday of each month at the Pacific Asia Mu-seum in Pasadena. Usually in attendance are ten or twelve members. Sometimes there is a side trip to a different location which is always fun.

On Sunday, January 6, 2008, the rainiest day Southern Cali-fornia has had in a decade, and although not a Saturday, a group of members met at Wendy and Tom Wright’s home in Naples, adjacent to the Long Beach har-bor. Between the raindrops, we all arrived safely. Needless to say, we canceled the beach walk. But it was delightful to sit around and visit while we engaged in the art of eating delicious food.

The following poets gathered: Michael Evans, Murray Thomas, Tom Bilicke, Inez, Janis and Ed Lukstein, Debbie Kolodji, Naia, Vic Gendrano, Peggy Hehman-Smith, and Kathy Wilson. We had a read-around of any style poetry we chose: long poetry, short poetry, haiku, haibun, cin-quain. Some authors gave out booklets of their poetry. Vic Gendrano had a contest for published poetry books. Wendy gave us small sachets from Japan. After the readings, Kathy’s hus-band Rick, a fine musician, played two lovely tunes on his antique clarinet accompanied by Kathy on hand-held drums. The evening ended too soon. And as Wendy said, we took away with us the feeling of harmony.
The following are some haiku from past meetings that were highly regarded:

snow moon
the blue shadow
of the birch tree

    Michael Evans

tai chi
a seagull dips its wings
as it passes

    Darrell Byrd

golden gingko
spirits of innocents
buried beneath the wall

    Janis Lukstein

evening warmth
shared among friends
autumn soup

    Deborah Kolodji

Spring 2008. Members of the Southern California Haiku Study Group have been busy visiting different sites around Southern California  the last two months.  It is impossible to write about them all, so I will pick out one in particular.  An active member, Kath Wilson, and her husband, who plays a magical flute, are hosts to a group called Poets on Site, working mostly in the Pasadena area.  At the end of March, members of SCHSG gathered at the Anderson Gallery in Belmont Shore, Pacific Coast Highway. Milford Zornes, known for California paintings, died in February, 2008 at the age of 100.  His water colors and oils are on display at the gallery.  People writing poems stayed for an hour or two and wrote haiku and other short poems inspired by Zornes’ artwork.  On May 10, anyone who wrote will return to the gallery and read their poems.  From this gathering, a chapbook will be published honoring Zornes and also the poetry. SCHSG is in the process of asking for entries for the 2007 anthology.  If you are interested, send a $7.00 check made out to Southern California Haiku Study Group, with 12 to 20 haiku to: Naia, PO Box 5373, Oceanside CA, 92502-5373. Haiku from the last meeting:
wrong trail turn                        
the scent and sight                     
of wildflowers
                  Vic Gendrano
the church garden                    
into the silence of prayer              
a camellia falls
                  Wendy Wright
bee to bloom                               
it needs no word              
                  Kath Wilson

—Respectfully submitted by Peggy Hehman-Smith


Spring 2008. Billie Wilson, Mark White and Cindy Zackowitz held their online quarterly meeting on April 7th. Various online lists that poets may join such as Nobo, and some of the World Haiku Club lists were mentioned.  Mark is involved in haiku readings at Second Life. They also discussed the possibility that the seasonal divisions in saijiki may have to be shifted eventually due to global warming. Until a recent cold snap, spring had seemed well ahead of schedule in Anchorage. They brought these haiku to share:

I look three ways                  
before crossing the street –
honking geese
          Mark White

first geese –                                 
a blade of grass through            
the fresh snow
         Cindy Zakowitz

global warming                             
sprigs of something with red stems   
pokes through April snow
         Billie Wilson

Hawaii Pacific Region

Spring 2008. Greetings of aloha from the shores of greenery where anything that can happen usually does. Our first HSA Hawaii Pacific meeting will be held (at a location not yet located) at a Tea Party on May 19, on the night of a full moon. We will discuss theory and technique and will have plenty of used haiku books all around – and
of course tea and maybe even a few readings. It promises to be an enlightening evening graced with plumeria blossoms, kindred souls and with a full moon, hopefully, some shinging examples of good haiku – though haiku, like sea shells, usually show up when one is not looking.

—Until later, friends ~Susan Marie La Vallee

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