HNA sizzles

August 24, 2019

This is a guest post by Michael Dylan Welch.
Photo by Garry Gay.

I’ve just returned from the 15th biennial Haiku North America conference, which took place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from August 7 to 11, 2019. A huge bow of thanks to Bob Moyer who led the local organizing committee.

This year’s conference featured many dozens of presentations, readings, workshops, a conference anthology titled Sitting in the Sun (which I coedited with Crystal Simone Smith, with artwork by Kate MacQueen), a banquet with honky-tonk music and dancing, a memorial reading for haiku poets who had died in the last two years, dance performances, tours of nearby historical sites (Reynolda House and Old Salem), an insect walk, letterpress printing workshops, writing sessions, my own haiku workshop for beginners, a book fair that sold more than $8,000 worth of haiku books, a silent auction, HNA-branded T-shirts and tote bags, a contest for haiku printed on a custom artisan chocolate bar (won by Terri L. French with “slowly melting / a square of chocolate / on my lover’s tongue”), and more. You can view the complete schedule on the Haiku North America website. And in case you might think haiku poets are a stodgy and conservative bunch, a dozen of them even went skinny-dipping in the hotel pool on the Saturday night. We have pictures.

Standout events included readings by haiku poets with recently published haiku books, Kala Ramesh visiting from India and sharing haiku activities in India (including dance charades where we tried to guess which haiku was being performed), a renku performance led by Issa translator David G. Lanoue, late-night collaborative renku writing, a panel about Haiku Society of America activities, an academic presentation by Richard Gilbert on philopoetics (poetic-philosophical exploration) and diversity in haiku, my celebration of National Haiku Writing Month, and the official “Higginson Memorial Lecture” by Jay Friedenberg on “Presence and Absence in Evocative Japanese Haiku.”

We had a haibun slam, a stirring reading by African American haiku poets, a jazz poetry reading by Lenard D. Moore (with the band staying on stage for an hour after that for improvised music during an open-mic reading — mostly not haiku). Other highlights included a discussion and reading of senryu poetry by Alan Pizzarelli, Alexis Rotella, and Michael Rehling, an editing presentation by Susan Antolin, and a panel on the upcoming “Haikupedia” website project coordinated by Charles Trumbull, Jim Kacian, and Dave Russo for the Haiku Foundation.

So much more, such as two workshops on effectively reading your haiku aloud (by Kala Ramesh and Jerome Cushman), presentations on meditation and the moon and their influence on haiku writing, a presentation on copyright and fair use, a workshop on writing “death haiku” led by Terri L. French, qigong sessions, lectures on community building by Makoto Nakanishi from Japan and on allusion in Japanese haiku by Shinko Fushimi also from Japan, a reading of haiku written by nearly 200 contributors to the Red Moon Press New Resonance anthologies, a reading of the conference anthology, a group photo by Garry Gay, a regional reading, an origami session, my own presentation on haiku and tea ceremony, a haiga workshop by Patricia J. Machmiller, and Lori A. Minor’s remarkable presentation on social awareness in haiku, about mental illness, gender equality, and the #MeToo movement in haiku.

We also had a hospitality suite all week with free snacks, wine, and beer. And we managed to brave the 90-degree temperatures and high humidity outside to enjoy nearby restaurants for lunches and dinners. As thick as all the presentations and activities were, the chief benefit to attending, as always, was to meet fellow haiku aficionados and to socialize as much as possible.

All of this was followed on Sunday evening and all day on Monday with readings, workshops, and presentations for Tanka Monday, sponsored by the Tanka Society of America.

I’m on the board of directors of the nonprofit foundation that runs these HNA conferences every two years (starting in 1991). The event moves around the continent, and the previous one, in 2017, was in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was my pleasure at the banquet to announce that the next Haiku North America conference in 2021, for our 30th anniversary, will be in Victoria, British Columbia.

on poetry

June 15, 2017


words
are a waste of time…
poppies

Kobayashi Issa
(June 15, 1763 – January 5, 1828)

. . . . .
image
text

Poetry series

February 18, 2017

Poets Wanted: Dead or Alive

Join Michael Dylan Welch for another new series of FREE “Poets Wanted: Dead or Alive” presentations this year, starting soon at the Redmond Regional Library, 15990 NE 85th Street in Redmond, Washington. Here’s the line-up for 2017:

Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 pm
Issa: Japanese Haiku Poet

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 pm
William Carlos Williams: American Poet

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 pm
Denise Levertov: Seattle Poet

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 pm
Dylan Thomas: British Poet

All presentations are free! Plus on March 1 (7:00 pm) Michael will be doing a Dr. Seuss presentation for children and families, also at the Redmond Library.

These presentations will feature biographical information, videos, poems, discussion, and more! You are also welcome to bring your own favorite poems by these authors to share, perform, and discuss.

Basil Antone - accept the rain

Olympia, Washington, has a new stretch of public art: about 1,500 feet of sidewalk and wall along West Bay Drive that offers safer passage for pedestrians along with haiku poetry. “Walking on Land by Water” is a collaboration between Seattle artist Carolyn Law, who designed the project, and poet Lucia Perillo, who interpreted and wrote haiku inspired by the writing of Kobayashi Issa.

Read more about the West Bay Sidewalk Project in The Olympian and Thurston Talk.
. . . . .
photo by Tony Overman, The Olympian

meet and haiku…

June 3, 2013

Haiku Northwest

The Haiku Society of America invites you to its second quarterly national meeting of 2013, hosted by Haiku Northwest at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, Friday through Sunday, June 21-23, 2013.

Open to the public, the weekend’s agenda includes numerous talks, readings and workshops. HSA president David Lanoue will talk about the 250th anniversary of Issa and lead a “Write Like Issa” workshop. Novelist David Patneaude will explore the role of haiku in his novel Thin Wood Walls. Bashō researcher Jeff Robbins, visiting from Japan, will highlight the humanity of Bashō and also explore Bashō’s known vs. unknown work. HSA vice president Michael Dylan Welch will celebrate the haiku of Seattle haiku pioneer Francine Porad. In addition, Haiku Northwest will launch its 25th anniversary haiku anthology, No Longer Strangers, with a reading of haiku from the book. The Puget Sound Sumi Artists will also display recent haiga.

For more information, including the complete schedule, directions, recommended accommodations, and more, visit the Haiku Northwest website or email Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com.

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