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* ARCHIVE * Events at Haiku North America 2007 *

Updated: September 3, 2012

Public Readings and Panels

The following readings and panels will be open to the public as part of Haiku North America 2007. See our Schedule page for the times and locations of the events below.

An Evening with Sonia Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez will read some of her haiku and will discuss African-American haiku with Lenard D. Moore. Sanchez is a major poet who is primarily known for her influential role in the Black Arts Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. However, she is also well-known for her innovative melding of musical formats—like the blues—with haiku. She can speak with authority about her own approach to haiku, as well as the approaches that various African-American poets have taken with these brief poems. Lenard D. Moore is Executive Chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society and founder of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective (CAAWC). Admission Charge: $5.00 or an HNA conference badge.

Head-to-Head Haiku Competition. A hip, oral competition of haiku as spoken word, in a format mastered and now conducted by Tazuo Yamaguchi, the leading artist in spoken haiku in America (three-time national champion). Free.

African Americans Writing Haiku. Tara Betts, Kalamu ya Salaam, Derrick Weston Brown, and Lenard D. Moore will discuss the impact of writers like Richard Wright, Sonia Sanchez, and Etheridge Knight on the haiku tradition in English. The panelists will also discuss their own experiences with the poetic form and other haiku written by African Americans. Some ideas the panelists will consider include politics and urban themes contrasted with the natural emphasis of haiku and the form's potential for deep connections with Black Southern writers. Free.

Baseball Haiku. A reading and discussion based on Baseball Haiku: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on the Game, edited by Cor van den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura (Norton, 2007). Van den Heuvel will talk about the relationship between haiku and baseball. Alan Pizzarelli, and possibly others, will read and discuss haiku from the book. The presentation will stress that haiku are the ideal type of poetry for capturing the essence of the game of baseball. Baseball and haiku both present moments in which Nature is linked to human nature. Baseball haiku are ideal for building bridges between sports and poetry. And between the American and Japanese fans of both games. Free.

Across The Pond: Transatlantic Haiku. American, Canadian and British poets present a joint performance of haiku and tanka from collections published by the British independent publisher, Snapshot Press. Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the press, the readings explore the many ways in which bridges are extended through this poetry: from the necessary resonance forged between poets and audience, to that created between sequential poems, to the intricacies of human interaction, both with each other and nature. After the presentation the audience is invited to contribute readings of their own poems published by the press, or to read other work in response to featured poems. Featured writers include John Barlow, Roberta Beary, Ferris Gilli, Carolyn Hall, Matthew Paul, and George Swede. Free.


Public Exhibits

The following events will be open to the public, free of charge. See our Schedule page for the times and locations of the events below.

Hailstones and more... haiga and sumi-e by Lidia Rozmus. Rozmus’s paintings and haiku have been exhibited and published in the U.S., Japan and Poland. She has written and designed three portfolios/books of haiku, haibun and haiga: Twenty views from Mole Hill (1999), My Journey (2004) and Hailstones: Haiku by Taneda Santoka (2006) (collective publication).

Haiga by Raffael de Gruttola. Haiga in the United States has become a unique and different approach than what has been the tradition in Japan. It has followed the trends in the visual arts of the last half of the 20th Century. De Gruttloa’s haiga, in collaboration with visual artists Wilfred Croteau and Peggy McClure, follow the styles of abstract painting; however, though the picture is abstract, the haiku suggest a poem-picture relationship which is new in the understanding of the haiga art. De Gruttola will also display works from Concrete Renku: Linking Words and Images, his collaboration with Carlos Colón, as well as his haiga with photographs by Boston photographer, Robert Castagna.

Vision/Voice: Exploring Connections Between Art and Haiku. Art by Alan Dehmer, Edwin White, and Steven Fishman, curated by Kate MacQueen for the Haiku North America conference. North Carolina artists working in a variety of mediums will exhibit original work; art forms include photography, printmaking, sculpture, and multimedia work. The public is welcome to see the art exhibit. Those with an HNA conference badge are encouraged to write haiku in response to the art and attend a panel discussion about the Vision/Voice project. For more information about the panel, see the description of the Vision/Voice panel discussion. Location: RJR Gallery in the Sawtooth building at 226 N. Marshall Street.

Japanese Embroidery, an exhibit and demonstration by Carl Newman, Pam Reading and Cynthia Woodsong of the Japanese Embroiderers of North Carolina. Bridges that have allowed haiku to traverse the globe originated in Japan, where traditional imagery inspired both verbal and visual expression. This visual imagery, as portrayed in Japanese embroidery is particularly salient for those who appreciate the sensibilities of Haiku. Traditional Japanese embroidery, executed in silk on silk, will serve as a visual bridge to beloved haiku, and perhaps inspire new haiku. Japanese embroidery is unlike the Western embroidery familiar to most North Americans in its subject matter as well as the materials and stitching techniques performed to an exacting standard. The public is welcome to see an exhibit of finished pieces of embroidery and a demonstration of stitching techniques. (Even twisting the silk in preparation for stitching is a physical art not easily mastered!).

The Haiku North America book fair. The Haiku North America book fair has haiku-related books, artwork, and other items will be for sale. Time and location: see Book Fair.


Conference Presentations

The following papers, readings, and presentations require a HNA conference badge. See our Schedule page for the times and locations of the events below.

100 Bridges, 100 Traditions, a paper by Charles Trumbull. Other cultures have been enjoying haiku as long as we Anglo-Americans have—but their concepts and practices of haiku are often much different than ours. Each tradition harks back to the Japanese classics but interprets them in its own way and brings its unique literary history to bear on haiku. The result has been great worldwide diversity. Recently, some people have tried to reconcile these several traditions and create a “global haiku.” In this presentation we propose to look at key countries’ haiku history and influences, read a selection of haiku from each, and thereby illuminate Anglo-American haiku traditions.

A Walk on the Path of Our Ancestors: American Indian and Alaska Native Interpretations of the Japanese Haiku, a discussion and reading by Donna Foulke. The Native American experience is that we are taught that all things are alive. The environment and sacred geography determines the wildlife, mountains, trees, and, therefore, which plant and animals became important to particular tribes. There are songs, prayers, and ceremonies tied to these spiritual landscapes. This 45-minute presentation shares a native perspective on haiku from the mythical to simple traditional ways of life. Richard Gilbert of Kumamoto University states that haiku with both mythic and anthropomorphic qualities has typically been dismissed as “deficient” due to reliance upon the surreal; however, the impact of a realized mytho-archaic reality is undeniable. I believe it is necessary for some mythic thinking and anthropomorphism to exist in haiku because of my indigenous views on nature and the animal world. With over 10,000 years of Native knowledge of this continent I believe the voice of Indigenous people should be heard in the evolution of the American haiku movement that has existed for about 100 years. “We listen to the pinon and watch the ways of the spiders,” say the old Navajo men. “From the ancient creatures came our life and our love of the land.” Nigel Pride, Crow Man’s People: Three Seasons with the Navajo, 1982.

Bridges to the Afterlife: Death Haiku—Alive and Well, a paper by George Swede and Anita Krumins. The “jisei” or “death poem” has a long history in Japanese culture. While such a poem can take different forms, this paper will focus only on death haiku and will try to answer a number of questions. What kind of death do such haiku generally anticipate--peaceful, sudden, violent? Do they involve a typical mood—meditative, Zen—or not? What are some personal motives that seem to underlie the composition of death haiku? Are there death haiku from other cultures and do they differ in outlook from the Japanese?

Butterfly Dreams: The Seasons through Haiku and Photographs, a slide show and talk by William J. Higginson and Michael Lustbader. Butterfly Dreams combines stunning nature images by Michael, whose work has been published by the National Geographic, Sierra Club, and Oxford Scientific Films, with Bill's fresh translations of striking haiku by Japanese masters, many never before seen in English. The duo will present a selection of images and poems from their recently published interactive CD-ROM of the same title, and comment on fine points of photography and translation, similarities between photographic and haiku composition, and the aesthetics involved in pairing images and poems. The show will include a meditative viewing of paired images and poems, comments by Bill and Michael, and opportunities for questions and comments from the audience.

Did the Frog Jump Into the Old Pond? A presentation by Richard Gilbert. Several literary and cultural elements of haiku which Bashō instituted are now just beginning to come to light, as Hasegawa Kai discusses, in "Did the Frog Jump Into the Old Pond?" (furuike ni kawazu wa tobi konda ka, 2005). Matsuo Bashō created a hokku style which introduced radically disjunctive acts of “cutting through” realism in order to express consciousness. Yet due to an overemphasis on the direct image and other factors, Bashō's achievement lies partially concealed, in Japan and elsewhere. As Hasegawa's work has not been made available in English, his freshly creative insight provides enticing bridges to shared and deepened understanding.

From Haiku to the Short Poem: Bridging the Divide, a paper by Philip Rowland. The vast majority of haiku in English appear in journals devoted almost exclusively to the genre. While this practice provides valuable forums for the sharing and discussion of haiku, it also tends to keep haiku apart from the wider poetry world. This paper offers suggestions for bridging the divide, arguing, through discussion of examples, for the importance of haiku's appearing alongside and in stimulating 'conversation' with other short poetry. The presenter hopes to show how this deepens awareness of poetic language in ways that may inspire poets and haikuists alike. Note: Haiku poets, please click this link: Questions from Mr. Rowland. You can email your responses to Mr. Rowland or simply bring them to the presentation.

Haiku Personae of Raymond Roseliep, a presentation and reading by Randy Brooks. This presentation is primarily a reading of haiku by Raymond Roseliep. Brooks will provide an overview of Roseliep’s haiku poetics by exploring the several personae he employed throughout his years as a haiku writer. These personae are not exclusive to certain time periods, but represent different viewpoints, voices, subjects and approaches to the creative act of writing haiku. In his “ars poetica” essay “Devilish Wine” published in Voyages to the Inland Sea, 4, Roseliep wrote:

“The poet is an animal with the sun in his belly. He is one breed of the species cited by Luke the Physician as ‘a whole body … filled with light’ (11:36)…. He is essentially a maker—in their word for ‘poet’ the Greeks embodied that concept, and the Scandinavians named him ‘word-smith.’ The poet is himself made to the image and likeness of God, and on the highest level of his operation he imitates the Creator. With language he puts flesh on ideas and feelings; to airy nothing he gives local habitation and name.”

In this presentation, Brooks will serve as a literary tour guide following the bridges Raymond Rosliep crossed from Waldon Pond to Bashô and into the Light on his journey as an American haiku creator, a haiku poet with the sun in his belly.

Senryu, a paper and reading by Alan Pizzarelli; a discourse on the history of senryu in Japan and America. The presentation will stress the distinctions between senryu and haiku and how senryu is an ideal bridge in the preservation of the poetic principles of both haiku and senryu poetry.

The Haiku Hierarchy, keynote address at the opening session, by Jim Kacian. There has been a longstanding division in the understanding and practice of haiku between the haiku community and the general population. With the Haiku Hierarchy, I propose to unite these somewhat disparate views of the genre, emphasizing the commonality of the work that has been produced, and at the same time examining the actual level of accomplishment for each of several levels of practice. The result is a more unified view of the whole field, a means for haiku aficionado and haiku beginner to coexist happily, and a way to consider how to evaluate and value the haiku of the future, which is likely to be even farther afield than current practice suggests.

The Nature Tradition in English Language Haiku—a Bridge or a Bind? A paper and discussion by Efren Estevez. The criticism leveled by some at English language haiku is that it amounts to no more than an observation of the natural world. According to this view, the only claims to poetry are few words in three lines lacking punctuation. What differentiates haiku from nature description? Is it poetry? What is poetry? Does the contemporary interpretation of English language haiku embrace functional aspects in addition to purely artistic ones? Is this one of the bridges that connects our contemporary practice with the historical tradition in Japan, or is it a sign of derivativeness and lack of imagination? These questions will be answered by examining the work of several haiku writers whose work exemplifies these issues.

The Third R: The Role of Research in Haiku, a panel discussion with Stanford M. Forrester, Charles Trumbull, and David Lanoue. In addition to reading and (w)riting haiku, we must often do research as either reader or writer in order to fully explicate or understand a haiku. How much research does the writer need to do, and how much is the reader willing to do? What kind of reference tools do we use have in our libraries? What is the role of footnotes in haiku? This session will explore the role of research and the range of reference tools we use in composition and interpretation of haiku. Participants are invited to join the conversation and encouraged to bring examples of haiku that have necessitated research either as writer or reader.

Wing Beats: British and North American Birds in Haiku, a reading, presentation, and discussion by John Barlow and Matthew Paul. Well-known British haiku poets John Barlow and Matthew Paul present a unique multimedia presentation featuring work from Wing Beats, a Snapshot Press anthology of bird haiku. Offering insight into the behaviour, characteristics, and habitats of over 100 British species, many of which are also native to North America, Wing Beats draws together quality haiku that celebrate the everyday cultural significance of birds and the sometimes fleeting moments when our continuous use of a shared environment intersects. This will be followed by a discussion on how the project evolved, and how its geographical focus might feasibly be extended across the Atlantic.

Vision/Voice: Exploring Connections Between Art and Haiku. A panel discussion led by Kate MacQueen, based on haiku written in response to an exhibit of art by Alan Dehmer, Edwin White, and Steven Fishman. North Carolina artists working in a variety of mediums will exhibit original work; art forms include photography, printmaking, sculpture, and multimedia work. Blank cards or a blank book will be placed with each piece and conference participants will be encouraged to write haiku inspired by the piece. After attendees have had a day or two to observe and write, the artists will respond to a selection of the haiku written about their work, and the poets will have a chance to comment on the artists’ responses to their haiku. The moderator will keep the conversation going and provide additional commentary on this adventure in bringing different art forms together with haiku.

Women Pioneers in Canadian Haiku: 1928-1985, a paper by Janick Belleau. Some women in Quebec and several women in English Canada are haiku pioneers. We will see among these women, those which devoted a great part of their creativity to the writing of the haiku and the publication of their texts; those which devoted the major part of their creative energy to the promotion of the haiku by the writing of critical studies, by the publication of literary reviews, by the mentoring or by being elected president of the national association, Haiku Canada.


Conference Workshops

The following workshops require a HNA conference badge. See our Schedule page for the times and locations of the events below.

African American Quilts and the Women Who Make Them, led by L. Teresa Church, Lenard D. Moore. This presentation will traces a century of life, stories, and stitches pertaining to African American women in rural Virginia and suburban North Carolina. This workshop features a display of quilts made by L. Teresa Church as well as works collected from her maternal relatives during the past twenty years. Co-presenter Lenard D. Moore will discuss various artistic elements incorporated into Church’s collection, read poetry inspired by these works, and lead workshop participants in a haiku-writing exercise.

Anonymous Haiku Workshops, two different workshops over three days, led by two or more moderators. In this workshop we will submit anonymous haiku collected on note cards or note card-sized paper before the workshop. The randomly-picked haiku will be supportively discussed by the attendees and the moderators. See the Schedule for Thursday and Saturday.

A Haiku Bridge from the Unconscious: Using Dreams in Haibun, led by Joseph Kirschner. For those who would like to attend this workshop, please bring a couple of dreams (in memory or elsewhere), so you will have a spare in case one of your dreams does not work as well as you hoped. It would help if your dream contains some sense of movement, of journey, though this is not essential. Also, try to find a one with vivid imagery. Select a dream that grips you in some way. You may find it puzzling, mystifying, enchanting, terrifying, soothing, exciting, sad, or even erotic.

Bridging the Link: A Haibun Workshop with Bruce Ross. Haibun allows us to bridge in the haiku spirit our haiku moments with poetic prose narrative. What precipitated our haiku from memory, travel, personal experience, and so forth now becomes a prose-like expansion of our “flow of sensibility.” This workshop will discuss the possibilities of haibun, particularly “privileging the link” between our haiku and our prose. A short haibun exercise (title, three prose lines, one haiku) with supportive commentary will provide us with concrete examples of how haiku can poetically enrich personal prose narrative.

Concrete Renku: Linking Words and Images, led by Carlos Colón and Raffael de Gruttola. Works by Marlene Mountain will also be used. Concrete renku is a new genre of combining the art of haiga, or visual poetry as it is called in the West, and the art of renku or linked verse. The words in the links dramatize their meaning by the way they look on the page. For example, a link about the “Domino Theory” from the Vietnam era would have letters forming the shape of dominoes.

Entering the Conversation / A Bridge Between Haiku and Art, led by Marilyn Hazelton. In this session, we will follow the instruction that has been attributed to Basho: "Don't follow in the footsteps of the old poets, seek what they sought." Participants are invited to write haiku inspired by paintings of French and American Impressionists and accompanied by a reading of haibun and free verse poems written for those paintings. There will be time for participants who wish to share poems written during this reading/writing workshop.

Gibbous Moon Renku Session, a renku session and workshop by William J. Higginson and Penny Harter. The atmosphere Bill and Penny create and the refined techniques and handouts they use help even beginning haiku poets to join in with more experienced poets in writing collaborative, Japanese-style linked poems. Writing in the "New Shisan" (12 stanza) format, both beginners and experienced renku poets will gain new insight into the process of collaborative composition in this globally rising genre. Experienced renku poets interested in leading a renku group will be especially welcome. There will be prizes for the authors of the renku judged best by participants.

One-on-One Haiku Consulting Sessions for Beginners, with haiku poets Carolyn Hall and Ferris Gilli. Sessions will be available for attendees who are beginners in haiku. One of these award-winning haiku poets will meet with beginners for 20-minute sessions held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sign-up sheets will be posted at the conference registration desk by the Sycamore Ballroom in the Hawthorne Inn. Participants should plan to bring two copies of 5-10 of their poems. During the 20-minute sessions, the mentors will (1) give pointers on some but not all of the beginner’s haiku, (2) answer questions, and (3) distribute handouts on haiku tips and suggestions on how to grow as a haiku poet.

Rengay Talk and Workshop, led by Garry Gay. Rengay is a short linking form. There will be a brief discussion about the form and explanation on how to write rengay. We will pair up and write some rengay, and if time permits, we will share our results.

Season Words for Places Where We Live, led by haiku poets Thomas Heffernan, Ellen Compton, and Roberta Beary. Japanese lists of season words (kigo) are not universal. Even in Japan, kigo that are fine for Kyoto might not make sense in Okinawa. More and more Western poets are discovering season words that root their haiku in the places where they live. Others are relating kigo and senryu, especially senryu about human relationships. In the workshop we will focus our attention on kigo that get to the heart of how it is where we are. Identifying local season words will jump start writing haiku by workshop participants. Beginners and "seasoned" poets welcome.

Spanning Haiku and Modern Dance: A Moving/Words Writing/Moves Workshop, led by Michele Root-Bernstein. Come build bridges between haiku and modern dance by focusing on the imaginative tools that unite the two art forms. Beginning with a nature prompt, we observe our own experience, abstract its essence and form expressive patterns—at each step of the way exploring with body as well as with words. No previous training in dance is necessary to engage creative movement skills at a deep personal level or to appreciate the transformative effects of simultaneous composition. Haiku and dance developed in this novel fashion interact as independent equivalents, bridging imagination and expression, sign and symbol, body and mind.

Stories from Haiku, Haiku from Stories, a talk and workshop by Penny Harter. Some haiku resonate more than others—haiku that, like vignettes from an autobiography, imply a larger human story behind the tantalizing fragments they offer. Harter will present such haiku, including some by Japanese masters, and briefly relate the life-stories behind each. Then she will offer haiku by others for which we do not know the background, and ask participants to suggest possible stories that may have inspired these haiku. Finally, she’ll distribute a handout offering a number of possible human stories and ask participants to write haiku based on them. The workshop will culminate with a read-around of participants’ work.


Haiku North America Traditions

The following publications and events have become traditions at Haiku North America conferences and will be part of HNA 2007 as well.

The Haiku North America book fair. Open to the public, the Haiku North America book fair has haiku-related books, artwork, and other items for sale. See Book Fair.

The Haiku North America conference anthology. All who register for the HNA conference—both full and single-day registrants—are encouraged to submit up to five previously unpublished haiku or senryu, of which at least one will be selected for inclusion in the anthology if received in time. One copy of the anthology is included with full conference registration. You can also purchase the anthology separately. For details, see HNA Anthology.

The Haiku North America banquet. A dinner that is included with full conference registration and is also available for a separate fee. The banquet will include a Memorial Haiku Reading, which will honor the memory of haiku poets who have died in the past two years with a brief biography and two haiku by each poet. The reading will be prepared and read by Jerome Cushman and Roberta Beary.

Regional readings. Readings by haiku groups from across North America and the world, organized by geographic region. See the Schedule for Thursday and Friday for details about the regional readings.

Informal poetry readings and discussions. Small, self-organized gatherings where people read and discuss poetry. Often these will take place after the evening events. The organization of these is up to you.

Demonstrations of Japanese arts. Includes the exhibits of sumi-e, haiga, and Japanese embroidery that are described in Public Art Exhibits.

Haiku handouts. A table of pamphlets, tri-fold sheets, small books, and other free collections of haiku by individuals and groups to share with other HNA attendees. Bring your own collection of haiku to share.

A silent auction. A fund-raiser for the HNA conference. People contribute various items and conference attendees bid on them. See Silent Auction.