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Frogpond 46.2 • 2023

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - Quilts & Blankets

Essay 2 - Gengoro Senryu

Essay 3 - Famous Japanese Haiku Narrators

Essay 4 - First Haiku Course



Book Reviews

Haiku Society of America


My First Haiku Course: Reflections on Teaching & Learning

by Mark Forrester

My First Haiku Course: Reflections on Taching & Learning
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

I have been teaching in the English department at the University of Maryland for more than twenty-five years. I have taught a variety of literature courses, as well as classes in academic and professional writing. However, I had never gotten to teach an entire course devoted to the study of haiku—until two years ago.

When I daydreamed about teaching such a course, I imagined having several months to prepare: going through my collection of books, reading additional books and articles, selecting readings on a variety of topics. I imagined marketing the course to students who might be interested: English majors, poets, and those interested in the Japanese language and culture.

Here’s how it actually unfolded: Five days before the semester started, I received an email from the director of our campus’s Honors Humanities program (known on campus as “HoHum”). A professor slated to teach one of their “Second-Year Seminars on Global Humanities” had pulled out to accept the head curator position at a prestigious museum. Would I be interest- ed in teaching my own course in that spot? Of course, I said!

I had previously submitted a proposal to Honors Humanities, for a course audaciously entitled “How Haiku Conquered the World,” only to have my proposal rejected. Now I had five days to turn that proposal into a complete 15-week syllabus, with set topics and readings, along with the assignments students would complete. Of course, my proposal had involved some thinking about these requirements. Nevertheless, a brief proposal is very different from a fully designed course.

[feature continues for several more pages] . . .

Forrester, Mark. "My First Haiku Course: Reflections on Taching & Learning." Frogpond 46.2, Summer-Spring, 2023, 93-102.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the feature: page 93. The complete feature includes pages 93-102. To read the complete feature, click on the link to the PDF version:

My First Haiku Course: Reflections on Taching & Learning
(complete PDF version)