Author Topic: Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?  (Read 3331 times)

Dave Russo

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Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?
« on: December 21, 2010, 06:55:02 AM »
Haiku North America is one of the largest gatherings of haiku poets in the United States and Canada. You might have seen the news item on our blog about the next Haiku North America 2011 conference in Rochester, New York from July 27-31. Please see that post for contact information and other particulars for HNA 2011.

If you have been to an HNA conference, please share your experiences so that others will know what they are like. Feel free to ask anything you want, of course! Although if you have a question about the particulars for HNA 2011, you'll probably get a better answer if you contact the organizers mentioned in the blog post above.

Dave Russo

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Re: Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 11:25:31 PM »
While we're waiting for others to add to this thread, allow me to give a few impressions of my first HNA conference, HNA 1999 in Evanston, Illinois.

I met Francine Porad, A.C. Missias, Yu Chang, and Paul MacNeil right off the bat, in a little cafeteria in a dorm where we were all staying. It was good to meet them and many others who I had known only from their poems in the journals. You could start a conversation about haiku with almost anyone around you, at any time of the day or night. That would be maddening to some, I suppose, but that's what we came for.

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In the spirit of haiku conversation, I walked up to Tadashi Kondô, not knowing who he was, and said, 'Hi Tadashi, I've been writing haiku for about six months."

"Six months" . . . he said slowly, looking seriously puzzled as to why I would be telling him this.

So much for my career as a renku master's apprentice!

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We heard a seminal lecture by Haruo Shirane in which he debunked a number haiku myths, such as the near-equivalence of haiku and zen, an idea that is popular in the West. Others had made these points before, but because of his books, lectures, and essays, Shirane went on to make a significant impact on haiku in English. Or so it seems to me.

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We heard a really good open mic reading. No, that is not an oxymoron: it really was a good reading. I remember Ruth Yarrow in particular--how simple, direct, and clear her haiku sounded.

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After that first HNA conference, I felt that I was a part of a loose community of poets and scholars who were trying to see what could be accomplished with haiku in English. We didn't always understand each other, agree with each other, or even like each other, but we were all trying to understand and perhaps create these little poems.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 05:45:19 AM by Dave Russo »

Don Baird

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Re: Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 01:04:36 AM »
It sounds like a great time, honestly.  The story with Tadashi is classic!  Thanks for sharing.  I have yet to go to one of these events.  But, I appreciate your posting it here as a heads up.  Possibly I can make it this year. 

many blessings,

Don
I write haiku because they're there ...

through
the hole of a cheerio,
spring!

Michael Dylan Welch

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Re: Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 05:18:05 PM »
The HNA conference began in 1991, and was first held in the San Francisco area. At that time, practically all of the HSA's quarterly meetings had been held only in New York City (since 1968), and there had never been a national conference for haiku poets writing in English. One of the great pleasures of this conference, in addition to the stimulation of all the presentations and readings, is meeting so many different haiku poets in person. You may known a person by his or her poems, but it's always an extra pleasure to meet face to face. I remember first meeting Virginia Brady Young in 1995. She told me she was surprised to discover that I was so much younger than she expected. She thought I would have been at least sixty, but I was in my early 30s. For those of you who have attended HNA, what have been some of the best rewards for you, including people you've met (tell us some stories!) and presentations or events you attended?

kafkasaxe

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Re: Haiku North America Conference: What's It All About?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 02:00:21 PM »
As a complete noob at my first conference in Boston, I remember staying up past 3am talking about authenticity in haiku with Michael Dylan Welch and Alan Pizzarelli! They were still going strong when I had to go to bed ...

 

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