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Midwest Region 2012


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Midwest Region

This region includes Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The Midwest region has traditionally been a focal point of American haiku activity with publications such as American Haiku, the world’s first English-language haiku journal (started in 1963), and Modern Haiku, which has been published here for most of its existence, among others. In addition, we are also home to Brooks Books, the country’s oldest publisher devoted to books of haiku, and its journal Mayfly. The region hosted the landmark Haiku Chicago event in 1995 (the first-ever joint conference of the Haiku Society of America and Japan’s Haiku International Association), the 1999 Haiku North America conference, the 2000 Global Haiku Festival, and, more recently, the “Cradle of American Haiku” festivals. In addition, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, hosts the country’s only university haiku studies program.

The Midwest region has a wealth of talent, with HSA members in eight states, and strives to grow in its knowledge of haiku by holding informative readings and critiques, with presentations by excellent poets and speakers, to which the public is always invited. Additional activities include outdoor walks, such as visiting the Japanese garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Members often meet for dinner after events to socialize.

If you’re not already an HSA member, please come to one of our gatherings or free programs, and give us a try. We encourage haiku poets throughout the Midwest to start a new group (the Midwest regional coordinator is always happy to help), or to join an existing group:

See the 2011 Midwest Archive of Events.

See the 2010 Midwest Archive of Events.

—Charlotte Digregorio

Regional Links

Brooks Books

Cradle of American Haiku

Haiku Habit

Haiku Michigan

Millikin University Haiku

Reeds: Contemporary Haiga

Raymond Roseliep

Virtual Haiku

White Lotus

Join the HSA


Regional Member News & Events 2012

October Meeting

Midwest Region Holds Critique Meeting in Chicago Area

The Midwest Region held its Chicago autumn critique meeting at the Winnetka (IL) Public Library, Saturday, Oct. 27. Ten people attended, seven of whom were guests, new to haiku. Three members in attendance were: Charlotte Digregorio, Alicia Hilton, and Tomoko Hata. We helped guests understand basic elements of haiku, and we critiqued four samples of each poet’s work.Guests were: Sonja Velins, Susan Auld, Pam Larson, Ron Daiss, Francis Alexander, Mary Sass, and Marla Nitti. A few guests had learned of HSA when they attended our Haikufest last spring at Skokie (IL) Public Library. Other guests learned of us through publicity and our affiliations with other poetry organizations that we network with.
During the meeting, we stressed how haiku avoids commentary and uses adjectives sparingly, and how we must learn to recognize the layers of meaning in good haiku.

The meeting began with a brief discussion of the basics of haiku style and content. Next, Charlotte offered ten examples of good, published haiku by HSA members from throughout the U.S. Charlotte selected examples based on their “accessibility” to beginning haiku poets. She emphasized the need to constantly read haiku in good print and online journals and blogs, including: Frogpond, Modern Haiku, bottle rockets, Heron’s Nest, Cornell University Mann Library’s Daily Haiku, <haiku.mannlib.cornell.edu/haiku>, Tobacco Road Poet, <tobaccoroadpoet.com>, and Asahi Haikuist Network <ajw.asahi.com>.
Two samples of good haiku, offered by Charlotte, were particularly well-received by attendees:

drinking alone—
night rain
streaking down the window

--Yu Chang

saggy arms
firm embrace

--John Stevenson

Guests who had attended previous meetings found that the online sources discussed were particularly helpful in orienting them to haiku. In fact, they had made great strides in writing haiku that was enjoyed by attendees.
Our critique meetings are held primarily for the benefit of new members and guests—beginning and intermediate haikuists. Experienced poets also enjoy coming to network, share their haiku, assist with critiques, and learn of new sources for publication. Charlotte encourages experienced poets to continue coming.

-- Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

August Event:

Haiku Critique - Winnetka Public Library - August 11

Haikuists in the Chicago Metro area met Saturday, Aug. 11 for a critique session at the Winnetka Public Library in Winnetka. Many newcomers to haiku attended, some of whom had heard about the group through a lengthy interview article about haiku and the HSA with Charlotte Digregorio. It appeared in “The Winnetka Current” a widely-circulated newspaper, a few days before the meeting.

In attendance were members: Charlotte Digregorio, Alicia Hilton, Tom Chockley, Joanne Crofton, and Mike Schoenburg. In particular, Alicia and Tom helped critique newcomers’ and members’ work. Guests who participated were: Ron Daiss, Susan Auld, Pam Larson, Debby Rosen, and Annemarie Gramm.

For the benefit of beginners, the basic elements of haiku content and style were reviewed. Charlotte brought in samples of excellent haiku published by HSA members throughout the country. Among haiku samples that the group particularly liked were:

the wildlife activist
flashes her teeth

--Tom Painting

spring twilight—
walking home with a neighbor
who wanders

--Peggy Willis Lyles

Following this, there was a lengthy critique of participants’ haiku, as many brought multiple samples of their work. As always, Charlotte stressed the need for beginners to read haiku constantly. She mentioned many helpful haiku websites featuring excellent haiku.

The group discussed how skillful haiku often has layers of meaning. They shared very thoughtful ideas about their interpretations, and guests contributed a lot to the discussion as they were experienced poets of other forms.

Although the meeting lasted three hours, participants brought many more haiku than the group had a chance to critique. Charlotte said that members and guests who attended were welcome to email her with haiku they are having difficulty revising.

--Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

July Event:

The Cradle of American Haiku Festival Draws a Crowd

What a time we had in Mineral Point, WI for The Cradle of American Haiku Festival #3! Dozens of poets from several states and Canada spent Friday through Sunday, July 20-22, learning and networking with new and longtime haikuists.

Our host, Gayle Bull, at The Foundry Books, who organized the fun event with Francine Banwarth and Jerry Cushman, welcomed haikuists for yet another festival. This time, it was held to celebrate American Haiku journal. The journal was founded and edited by the late Jim Bull and Don Eulert, University of Wisconsin-Platteville English professors.

We consider Southern Wisconsin to be “The Cradle of American Haiku,” because the journal was founded there in 1963. It was the first publication devoted solely to haiku in the English language.

The weekend included an opening reception and reading on Friday. Saturday morning, these events took place: a presentation by Charlie Trumbull, “Black Haiku: The Uses of Haiku by African-American Poets; and the American Haiku panel with Co-Editor and Founder Don Eulert (who had worked with the late Jim Bull), Gayle Bull, and Charlie Trumbull. The latter was moderated by Jerry Cushman.

Saturday afternoon’s events included: a memorial reading by Marjorie Buettner, “There is a Season;” a workshop, “Polish Your Haiku for Publication” by Charlotte Digregorio; “Why Did My Teachers Lie to Me?” by Aubrie Cox; and “One brush stroke: sumi-e, and traditional haiga,” by Lidia Rozmus.

Late in the afternoon, Francine Banwarth, Melissa Allen, Bill Pauly, Charlie Trumbull, and Jerome Cushman held a haiku workshop with critique of participants’ poems and an informal talk about haiku. There was also a haibun presentation by Mike Montreuil, Haibun Editor of One Hundred Gourds—Tell Me a Story.

Saturday evening, there was much socializing with a Midwest style picnic at The Foundry Books, and later, with an open reading by poets at a wine bar in town.

Sunday morning, there was a brief Ginko walk led by Jerry Cushman on the grounds behind Pendarvis Education Center, an historic site built for Cornish coal miners of the 1800s. Following, Melissa Allen led a thought-provoking discussion on “Gendai Haiku.” The closing event was lunch at Gray Dog Deli.

It should be noted that Jim Kacian, HSA Virginia member attended the event and interviewed prominent people in haiku for The Haiku Foundation’s special project. Among those interviewed were Gayle Bull, Francine Banwarth, Bill Pauly, and Charlie Trumbull.

Following is a summary of each presentation that I was able to attend:

Black Haiku: The Uses of Haiku by African-American Poets.

Charlie Trumbull spoke about how African-Americans have been writing haiku from the first days of the English language haiku movement in the U.S. In fact, their work has been a constant presence throughout the history of North American haiku.

Charlie thinks it’s probable that Lewis G. Alexander introduced haiku to African-Americans. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, blacks knew about haiku, and they liked the conciseness of the form.

Alexander, who studied at Columbia University, was the first black person to write critical articles about haiku. He enjoyed writing images, and published haiku and also haiku sequences.

In the late 50s and early 60s, there was black awareness and black protest haiku by Robert Hayden, Richard Wright, and Etheridge Knight. The best-known African-American poet, Richard Wright, who wrote about civil rights issues, was not well-known for his haiku. However, he wrote about 4,000 haiku in 18 months. Charlie said that many of Wright’s haiku weren’t very good, but that he did write some excellent ones.

In the following haiku by Wright, Charlie said that there were perhaps overtones of being black in Wright’s nature images:

The sudden thunder
Startles the magnolias
To a deeper white

Further, Rita Dove, who was U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995, also wrote haiku. However, Charlie considers HSA member Lenard D. Moore to be the most well-known black haikuist who writes “stunning” haiku. After the death of his daughter, Moore wrote:

hot afternoon
the squeak of my hands
on my daughter’s coffin

Charlie believes that black haiku is especially vigorous today in the form of “blues haiku” and “jazz haiku” that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. He said Sonia Sanchez who wrote her book, “Morning Haiku,” is one of the most important black haikuists writing both haiku and jazz and blues haiku. In addition, Kalamu ya Salaam forges haiku and blues together.

American Haiku Panel

“American Haiku” was published for six years, beginning in 1963, twice-yearly. It published notable poets, such as James W. Hackett, Nick Virgilio, Clement Hoyt, Robert Spiess, Virginia Brady Young, Harold Henderson, and Elizabeth Searle Lamb.
Articles were included, along with book reviews. Jim Bull, Gayle’s late husband, who died in 2005, was co-founder and co-editor, with Don Eulert.

On the panel, Don said he was interested in American Transcendentalism that related to Zen, and that “good haiku arises from the Zen experience.” Don said Emerson was the first natural haiku poet.

Jim became interested in haiku while serving in the army. He started reading it when he was a patient in a Japanese hospital. Don said that as a professor, he became interested in haiku due to Jim’s influence.

For the first issue of the journal, they received 10,000 submissions. The advertised in “Saturday Review” for submissions, stating that they would be reviewed for a contest, and that they might start publishing a journal. They also began contacting educators of writing at universities.

Gayle said “American Haiku” became self-sustaining with its printing and artwork expense, as they were able to get many subscribers, including libraries. She said, however, that it was strictly a labor of love. They received no support from the University for the journal.

Don, who still writes haiku, was more interested in writing haiku than in editing it back in the 60s. Jim wrote haiku, but never published it. Don left the publication after the first year to focus on writing haiku. After he left, Jim published some of Don’s haiku. The second year, Clement Hoyt who was rigid about 5-7-5 haiku, edited the journal, but Jim didn’t feel the same way about the 5-7-5 style. The third, fourth, and fifth years, Jim and Robert Spiess edited it. The sixth year, Jim and Gayle were co-editors. Gayle also did the “grunt” work such as mailing off the journal.

Polish Your Haiku for Publication

Charlotte Digregorio led a haiku workshop of about 15 participants, many of whom had no experience writing it. HSA members Mike Rehling and Tom Chockley, experienced haikuists in the audience, helped critique and comment on particpants’ haiku and on the form, in general.

First, Charlotte gave a talk on haiku, stressing the basic elements of it and pitfalls that many poets face when writing it. Included in her talk were several excellent examples of haiku that illustrated its basic elements. She said that one of the most difficult things to master about haiku is the minimalist aspect of it, using an economy of words. She also said beginners mistakenly use explanation and commentary.

Several questions were raised about its form, including the use of the first person pronoun and whether it should be avoided. Charlotte used a couple of examples of effective haiku that included the first person pronoun.

As far as content, Charlotte stressed the need to avoid a clutter of images which she sees as being a pitfall of many beginning haikuists. In addition, she said that the role of observation is key in writing haiku, and that poets must appeal to the senses, emotions, and imaginations of the readers. She emphasized the avoidance of abstract images. And, poets should strive to include images that express the relatively humble condition of human beings.

Charlotte offered several examples of haiku where there is a focus on man’s oneness with nature, and several others that were great examples of the understatement in haiku style.

Questions were raised about senryu’s use of humor. Charlotte said that senryu requires as much dedication to write as haiku does. She suggested that poets should avoid some online sites that run silly senryu about vampires and other offbeat themes.

Charlotte offered an extensive bibliography of haiku books, websites, and helpful resources for participants for self-study.

There is a Season—A Memorial Reading

Marjorie Buettner gave a moving presentation with a short introduction on esteemed haiku poets who had died in the past few years. She included their perceptions on the artistry of haiku. For each, she offered samples of their haiku with a power point presentation with music. In all, there were 22 poets featured, including Sono Uchida, Evelyn Hermann, H. F. Noyes, Geri Barton, Robert Aitken Roshi, Peggy Willis Lyles, and Arthur Stein.

One particularly moving haiku example was of Arthur Stein’s death poem:

my shadow
now includes
a cane

Tell Me A Story—Writing Haibun

Mike Montreuil gave an excellent workshop on haibun, prose followed by a haiku, introducing it as a Japanese form that appears to have begun with Basho in the 1600s. Haibun began as travel diaries with haiku interspersed with prose. Issa, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, continued the form during his travels in Japan.

In the U.S. in the 50s, the Beat Poets, Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder, wrote haibun. In the 60s, haibun appeared infrequently in the U.S. In 1972, Robert Spiess produced a book of haibun, “Five Caribbean Haibun.”

In the 1990s, there appeared to be a resurgence of interest in the form. In 1996, the anthology “Journey to the Interior: American Versions of Haibun,” edited by Bruce Ross, was one of the first English language anthologies of haibun.

In modern English haibun, any style of prose is permitted, whether it is in the form of a diary, a section of someone’s travel journal, a reflection or a dream remembered. Often, haibun appears as just a short paragraph followed by a haiku.

Mike said that in haibun, haiku finishes the story and adds value to the prose. He said haibun can even finish with a tanka, instead of a haiku. The title should not give away the story nor the haiku. In fact, Mike often uses one-word titles in his haibun.

Become A Motorcycle: Understanding and Writing Gendai Haiku

Gendai, pronounced with a hard “g,” is a Japanese word that means “modern.” Melissa Allen explained that this word signifies that a poem has moved away from traditional haiku poetics, whether in subject matter, structure or language use. Gendai began in the 1920s. In the late 30s and 40s in Japan, those who wrote gendai were arrested. However, in Japan today, there is not just one accepted opinion of what haiku is.

Melissa first asked participants how they would describe gendai. Responses included: fad, science fiction, obscure, pushing the edge, far freaking out, and intriguing.

Gendai explores subjective states of emotion, in contrast to the haiku we are used to. She said we shouldn’t try to neatly compartmentalize gendai.

An example:

After a heated argument
I go out to the street
and become a motorcycle

--Kaneko Tohta

In reading gendai, we see that metamorphosis is common, that is, the “I become.”

Melissa said that whether we like gendai or not, we must accept that it exists. She said that the haiku of the late Nick Virgilio could be conceived of as gendai, though he didn’t know the term.

An example of Virgilio’s haiku:

out of the water . . .
out of itself

Melissa further stated that Virgilio uses a lot of the gendai characteristics, that is, of the “external state.”

Gendai is intuitive, and Melissa said she doesn’t think we have to understand it. Melissa explained that surrealist haiku are a subset of gendai. She suggested that when reading it, one needs to focus on what one’s emotional reaction is to it. Lidia Rozmus agreed. Lidia, an artist, said that gendai is like abstract art, and that you must experience it.

Jim Kacian, who writes gendai, said we must reoriente our thinking to appreciate it. “Good gendai must move people.” One of Jim’s gendai is:

in a tent in the rain I become a climate

Jim said he doesn’t categorize a poem as “haiku” or “gendai haiku.” And, he doesn’t set out to write a gendai. It just happens.

Melissa concluded that we must stop labeling poetry as haiku or gendai haiku, and that we should focus on “looking at the poem and seeing if it works.” She recommended Richard Gilbert’s book: Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese & English- language Haiku in Cross-Cultural Perspective.”

--Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

April News:

Haikufest Draws a Crowd in Metro Chicago

About 45 people attended Haikufest, Saturday, April 28 at Skokie Public Library in Skokie, IL. They came from throughout the Chicago Metro area to hear a variety of haiku written by our members.

Ten members read their thoughtful and moving poetry which was well-received by the audience. The readers were: Amelia Cotter, Lidia Rozmus, Mac Greene, John Han, Tom Chockley, Alicia Hilton, Joanne Crofton, Tomoko Hata, Heather Jagman, and Dan Schwerin. Readers who traveled the longest distance were Mac Greene from Indianapolis, John Han from St. Louis, and Dan Schwerin from Greendale, WI.

First, the readers told about their backgrounds, and next, how they discovered haiku, why they like to write it, and what inspires them to write. Tomoko Hata not only read her haiku in English, but also held up copies of the poems written in Japanese.

Lidia Rozmus captivated the audience’s attention with a display of her selected haiga, along with an explanation of her artistic vision and process.

The program began with a Welcome Address by Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Regional Coordinator, to celebrate National Poetry Month. Charlotte gave an introduction about HSA’s purpose and member benefits including publications. In particular, she spoke about the variety of haiku activities offered throughout the Midwest Region. The audience was encouraged to log onto HSA’s website to learn more.

Charlotte then highlighted the stylistic elements of haiku and discussed what makes it poetry, besides being a meditation. She also gave a handout with beautiful samples of haiku from members throughout the country for analysis and commentary. The audience offered some very thoughtful interpretations of these haiku.

Charlotte gave an overview of haiku’s history in Japan and the visibility and prominence of it there today, noting the activities that inspire poets in Japan to write. Among them are, cherry blossom viewing picnics, watching the harvest moon, and visiting rivers at night to watch fireflies. She spoke of the ever-growing interest in haiku worldwide, and what inspires haikuists in the U.S. to write it, such as taking Ginko walks. She briefly discussed the practical methods haikuists use to compose their poems. Charlotte mentioned books that library patrons can easily find to stimulate haiku writing, such as works by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The question and answer segment drew thoughtful questions from the multi-cultural audience. Among questions were: “How does Japanese haiku differ from American Haiku?” and “Does Haiku, when translated, lose a lot in the process?”

The audience haiku contest, judged by Heather Jagman, John Han, and Charlotte, drew eighteen entries from library patrons. HSA members were excluded from the contest. First, Second and Third Place winners each received an issue of “Frogpond,” and the winner of the Honorable Mention received a copy of “Confluence,” an anthology by the Mississippi Mud Daubers, published by HSA member John J. Dunphy in Alton, IL.

John Han, who is also a member of that group, gifted the anthology. It includes work from HSA members living in Southwestern Illinois and Southeastern Missouri.

After the program, some members drove to Vernon Hills, IL to attend a get-together graciously hosted by Lidia Rozmus. They also took a Ginko walk in cold, winter-like weather through a park behind Lidia’s home. The peaceful view of the lake and hillside will inspire us to write haiku that Lidia will feature in conjunction with an art exhibit she is planning. Lidia and Heather Jagman’s husband, Arek Dreyer, took photos of members on the Ginko walk with a backdrop of the lake. We plan to have more Ginko walks and encourage more members to join us.

One thing that the Midwest Region finds particularly helpful at programs is to have a registration table. Heather Jagman and Tom Chockley registered each attendee, having them give contact information so that we can follow-up to notify them of future meetings. Membership forms were available at the table. And, as souvenirs to keep the event fresh in library patrons’ minds, they were offered pencils with the HSA inscription. Interestingly, many library patrons lingered after the program to ask more questions.

Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

Photos from the 2012 Crade of American Haiku Festival are available online from Mike Rehling's photo slideshow.

February News:

February 2012 Critique Meeting Held in Chicago Metro Area

A small and highly productive group of haikuists met at the Winnetka Public Library in Winnetka, IL for a three-hour critique and discussion, Saturday, Feb. 11. Among others, there was one guest poet, Mary Jane Gabrielsen, and Indiana Member Mac Greene made the long drive from Indianapolis.

Each participant shared poems that were categorized by Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Regional Coordinator, as “award-winning.” Charlotte said she was pleased that participants, Tom Chockley, Mac Greene, Joanne Crofton, and Tomoko Hata who have been writing haiku for a relatively short time, are excelling in their work and getting it published in major haiku journals. Further, Carolyn Jevelian and Mary Jane Gabrielsen, who haven’t been writing haiku as long, contributed valuable critiques of others’ work and shared their very thoughtful haiku.

Charlotte reiterated that haiku poets excel when they are regularly reading haiku journals to become familiar with the style and flow of it. The poetry presented at the meeting was of such high quality that participants wanted to save their work for publication in contests and journals, rather than have poems previewed in “Ripples.”

To begin the meeting, Charlotte reviewed the basic style and form of haiku/senryu. She shared six beautiful samples of haiku from “in pine shade,” the HSA 2011 Members’ Anthology.

Among others, she selected:

spring picnic—
under the slippery elm
he makes his move

--Marsh Muirhead

summer stars
my children ask me
to name a favorite

--Tom Painting

Charlotte said that for her, Painting’s haiku illustrates the idea behind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote:

“To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.”

As for meeting announcements, Tom Chockley said that he has had some responses from HSA members in the Midwest region and beyond about joining his haiku networking email group. He still seeks more members to share and discuss haiku. Those interested, may reach Tom at <thomassem2@hotmail.com>.

Charlotte announced that Haikufest will be held in the Chicago Metro area, Saturday, April 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Skokie Public Library in Skokie, IL. Skokie was selected because there is a significant Japanese population in the area.

In a subsequent “Ripples” newsletter, details about Haikufest’s success will be included. She said any dues-paying member of the HSA with three or more haiku published in a haiku journal or “Ripples” will be eligible to read. She said readers will have the opportunity to briefly introduce themselves and their work, telling what they enjoy about writing haiku and how they began writing it.

Also scheduled for Haikufest are a brief talk about haiku by Charlotte and a brief presentation on haiga with black ink paintings by Lidia Rozmus. There will also be an audience haiku contest.

Charlotte also urged members to attend The Cradle Festival in Mineral Point, WI, Friday through Sunday, July 20-22. She said the haiku workshops and presentations will make it a very rewarding experience for beginning and experienced haikuists alike. Charlotte looks forward to sharing specifics in the coming months by the program’s organizers, HSA Members Gayle Bull, Francine Banwarth and Jerry Cushman. The Cradle will be heavily publicized and haikuists from many states will attend.

Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

January News:

We welcome 11 new members to the Midwest Region: from Illinois, Alicia Hilton, William Shehan and Amelia Cotter; from Indiana, Jerry Dreesen; from Minnesota, John Henningsaard, John Sigfrid, John Hocter, and Matthew Murphy; from Missouri, Gordon Johnston; and from Wisconsin, Philip Allen and Susan Godwin.

New members are encouraged to join local haiku groups in their area. Please check with Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Regional Coordinator,
<c-books@hotmail.com>, if you have questions about any groups meeting near you, or if you’d like to network with active HSA members close by. If you don’t have internet access, call Charlotte at 847-881-2664, so she can put you in touch with local group leaders by phone or update you on regional activities.

We have local groups meeting in these areas:

Chicago Metro: Contact Charlotte Digregorio

SW Illinois/SE Missouri: John J. Dunphy

Indiana (South Bend): Elinor Huggett

SW Wisconsin/SE Iowa: Gayle Bull

Michigan (Detroit): Mike Rehling

Mac Greene and Bruce Pfeffer of Indianapolis are interested in networking with poets in their area. They can be reached by email at <mcgreene@yahoo.com> and <brucejpfeffer@gmail.com>, respectively.

Illinois member Tom Chockley and Missouri member Jeanne Allison are interested in networking with haiku poets by email to share haiku/ideas. To join them, contact Tom, <thomassem2@hotmail.com>.

If you want to learn haiku and get published, networking helps, in addition to reading a lot of it in journals.

Further, all members who’ve recently changed email addresses or who are not receiving emails from Charlotte, please contact her.

In other news, in the Chicago metro area, we will be holding “Haikufest,” Saturday, April 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, IL. Please RSVP if you plan to attend. Members who have had three or more haiku published in a haiku journal or in “Ripples,” may notify Charlotte if they want to read their haiku at the event.

“Haikufest” will also include a brief presentation about haiku by Charlotte, and Artist-Poet Lidia Rozmus will speak on haiga, (haiku combined with her black ink paintings). Many artists like to combine haiku with their medium of choice, including photography, so Lidia’s talk will have broad appeal. In addition, there will be an audience haiku contest.

Skokie has a significant Japanese population, so we expect the program to be well-received, and we hope to pick up new members.

Members in our region are often busy getting the word out about haiku. Last September, Lidia Rozmus held an exhibit at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. At her opening reception, more than 150 people attended, and she spoke for 45 minutes about haiga. Her exhibit also featured the work of her friend and calligrapher, Masanobu Hoshikawa. Lidia’s paintings have been exhibited all over the U.S. and in foreign countries, and she has published and designed award-winning books of haiku, haibun, and haiga. She is the art editor of “Modern Haiku” journal.

Charlotte Digregorio’s 2012 award-winning haiku sequence, “Grandfather’s Death,” will appear on bus lines running along Chicago’s north shore the month of April.

--Submitted by Charlotte Digregorio

• • •

See archives of previous year event reports in our Midwest Web Archives:

2011 Midwest Archive of Events

2010 Midwest Archive of Events

• • •

Regional Coordinator

Charlotte Digregorio

Charlotte Digregorio
PO Box 25
Winnetka, IL 60093


Charlotte Digregorio is an award-winning poet of many forms, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry has been translated into five languages and is displayed in art galleries, wine shops, supermarkets, apparel shops, restaurants, and on public transit. She hosted her own radio poetry program on public broadcasting, and has been interviewed on "Poetry Today," a cable T.V. program in metro Chicago. She is also the award-winning author of four non-fiction books: You Can Be A Columnist, Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes, Beginners' Guide to Writing and Selling Quality Features, and Your Original Personal Ad. She's a media guest throughout the U.S., and her books are sold in 38 countries. She holds graduate degrees in Italian/French Literatures, and has been on university faculties teaching languages/writing. She is often a writer-in-residence at universities, and speaks professionally on topics within her expertise.

wooded hills . . .
the evening downpour
fogs distant city lights

after confession . . .
my neighbor burns leaves
in autumn’s chill

after his funeral . . .
the dogwood he planted
blossoms again

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