February 22, 2016
With National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) well under way, it seems a good time for an update…
In the “poetry walk” and “poetry map” category, we’d have to add the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 158-acre sculpture and botanic garden includes the newly-opened Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Designed by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International (who also designed the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon), the DeVos Garden includes “For the Garden,” a commissioned work by the artist Jenny Holzer. Thirteen hand-carved boulders display text that Holzer selected from across the distinguished traditions of Japanese literature from the 9th century to the 20th. To see more, visit the garden (!) or go to Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden, click on Highlights, then For the Garden, and scroll down for a description and link to a downloadable PDF with photos and poetry credits.
Our next haiku update is a reminder that The Ferndale Arts Commission invites Whatcom County Poets to submit cherry blossom-themed haiku in celebration of this year’s Ferndale Cherry Blossom Festival (April 16 & 17, 2016). Each poet may submit two unpublished haiku poems. There are Youth and Adult categories and the winning haiku will be selected by Michael Dylan Welch. The submission deadline is Monday, March 14, 2016. For guidelines, see Call To All Whatcom County Poets and find the submission form on The Ferndale Cherry Blossom Festival page. For inspiration, see “Some Suggestions for Writing Haiku” on the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational page.
And speaking of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the 2016 Haiku Invitational will begin accepting haiku submissions (up to two unpublished poems) from around the world beginning March 1, 2016. The theme is celebration. Watch the Haiku Invitational page for information on how to submit.
Finally, we circle back to NaHaiWriMo. To encourage you to meet the goal of writing a haiku each day of February (29 in 2016!), NaHaiWriMo’s Michael Dylan Welch offers a daily prompt (Z-words!) on the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page. Actually, the daily prompts continue throughout the year, with a guest prompter each month. You can see the collected prompts in the Notes section of the NaHaiWriMo page.
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image from “For the Garden” by Jenny Holzer. Words by Mitsuhashi Takajo, translation by Makoto Ueda, © 2003 by Columbia University Press, from Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women, edited by Makoto Ueda.