putting poetry on the map

December 20, 2018

Poetry is in the landscape. Go see some.

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image: A Sky View of Earth From Suomi NPP

haiku update

February 22, 2016

Jenny Holzer - Meijer Gardens

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 Each poet may submit two unpublished haiku poems.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of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the 2016 Haiku Invitational will begin accepting haiku submissions (up to two unpublished poems) from around the world beginning March 1, 2016.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.

winter poetry getaway

September 7, 2015

San Miguel Poetry Week

If the combination of holiday fatigue and short, dark days seems an inauspicious way to begin the new year, consider Mexico.

San Miguel Poetry Week, in scenic San Miguel de Allende (a UNESCO World Heritage City), begins Saturday, January 2 and continues through January 8, 2016. Classes, readings, workshops, lectures, plus time to enjoy San Miguel, add up to a welcome respite from winter gloom. The 2016 faculty includes Jennifer Clement, Toi Derricotte, Paul Muldoon and others.

Both published and novice writers are welcome. Enrollment is limited and priority is given to early applicants and prior participants. Learn more on the San Miguel Poetry Week website and Facebook group.

poetry travel

July 25, 2015

Writing ManhattanA good travel guide can help you see more of what interests you. So, for your next trip to New York, consider tucking a copy of Writing Manhattan into your pocket.

The city guide is one of the “witty, pretty, curious and opinionated” publications of Herb Lester Associates, who also offer (non-literary) guides to Seattle, Portland and other cities around the world.

Poets’ Corner

June 19, 2015

Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey

Here’s another entry for your poetry travel files.

Should you find yourself in London, England, visiting Westminster Abbey, take some time to explore Poets’ Corner. Surrounded by medieval carvings and stained glass windows, Poets’ Corner is in the South Transept. There you’ll find monuments and plaques marking the burial or commemoration of writers, playwrights and poets dating from Chaucer to the present day. Ted Hughes was the last to be so honored, in 2011, and Westminster Abbey has just announced that a floor stone will be dedicated to Philip Larkin on December 2, 2016, the anniversary of Larkin’s death. For more information on Poets’ Corner and a list of memorials, visit the Westminster Abbey website.

poetry bookstore

Go over to Brooklyn and hang out at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, the only all-poetry bookstore in New York City. Owned and operated by poets Jared White and Farrah Field, the store is located in the neighborhood known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

In addition to an extensive selection of poetry books and chapbooks, the store has an exhibition space (which in March displayed a quilt chapbook, Laked, Fielded, Blanked, from a poem/chapbook by Brooklyn Copeland). They also offer readings as well as what they call Poetry Take Out: curated poetry titles available by subscription.

Visit Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop online, on Facebook and, most especially, in person.

Plan ahead….WAY ahead!

August 6, 2014

Haiku North America

You’ve always wanted to see the fall colors in New England. Why not put a trip on your radar for October 2015? Yes, that’s more than a year away, but “leaf-peepers” book early, so it’s time to start planning.

Of course the perfect anchor for your trip is the 2015 Haiku North America conference, October 14-18, 2015, at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Watch for information on the Haiku North America website and on the HNA Facebook page and spend a few minutes watching the 2015 HNA Conference teaser video. Then get out the maps!