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Haiku North America 2009


HNA 2009 in Ottawa, Canada, concluded this past weekend, with over 100 poets in attendance. Please share your experiences, thoughts, favorite moments and anything else of interest here with your fellow poets and troutswirl readers.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. after the conference
    starlingss too
    leaving the city

    I thought of all of you leaving; it seems strange that you are gone. It was a wonderful time!

  2. Yes, folks, please check out all the HNA photos at Comments welcome, especially if you can help fill in missing names and other details. The dance on the boat cruise will live on in haiku infamy for years to come!

    There was something magical about this HNA conference that set it apart, something warmer, more inclusive, and even more stimulating than previous haiku conferences. Perhaps it was the combination of great facilities, tremendous tourist attractions nearby, fine organization, and above all the attendance by a truly great bunch of poets. What a great time it was, with many highlights, only some of which have already been pointed out.

  3. Enjoyed more poetry READING than usual and freed-up time for chatting with old and new friends. Good mix of mainliner haikuists and “avant-garde” fringe. Almost the sixties forty years out from WOODSTOCK!

    Liked the eighties disco boat with FIREWORKS!

    Good vibes throughout.

    Who could ask for more.

    Bruce Ross
    (aka Party Animal via Mike Dylan Welch)

  4. Eve, When you get the renku video “experiments” up and running, will there be a link to it? Sounds fascinating.
    Yes, I’ve been every shade of green short of blue!
    Thanks for great posts. Merrill

    1. thanks to all who have commented so far about their experiences at HNA 2009. please keep them coming!

      Penny Harter just wrote about her experiences at HNA on her blog HERE.

      and Deborah P. Kolodji wrote a post on her blog about her experiences at HNA as well HERE.

  5. John,

    Thank you again for the open mindedness with which you looked at my renku video “experiments”. I’m excited to keep going with them.


  6. Merrill,

    I love deep saturated greens!

    I wish you could have been in Ottawa too;

    at least I get to hear your voice regularly here on this site, and as Roberta
    mentions, “talking” to other poets is the best part.

    Thanks for all you offer in these conversations.

  7. HNA 09 was a wonderful conference and the organizers did a terrific job of making everyone feel welcome. The city of Ottawa was a beautiful backdrop for the many presentations and activities.

    Lenard D. Moore and I had a lot of fun doing our anonymous haiku writing workshop; the Hexagram Series book launch with Marco Fraticelli was also a very good time. A big thanks to all who attended. Hearing poets talk about the impact Nick Virgilio has had on their work at Kathleen O’Toole’s panel presentation was inspiring. Rich Schnell’s presentation on train haiku was fascinating, from the conductor’s hat he wore to the train posters and train sets that served as background to his slide show. Other presentations are too numerous to detail here. I agree with the other commenters who have posted before me. Overall, the presentations and talks were outstanding.

    I especially enjoyed being part of “New Resonance Readings” a 10-year anniversary reading and celebration organized by Jim Kacian of Red Moon Press. What a great way to sit down with Carolyn Hall, Paul Miller, Judson Evans, Scott Mason, Deborah Kolodji, Carmen Sterba, Eve Luckring, Francine Banwarth, Michele Root-Bernstein, Janelle Barrera, Glenn Coats, DeVar Dahl, David Elliott and of course, Jim Kacian. Hard to believe that even though Jim Kacian lives less than an hour’s drive from me, it is at these conferences that we really have time to talk about haiku.

    For me, the best part of HNA 09 was the time spent talking to other poets. This is the reason I encourage all of those reading this to attend a Haiku North America conference at least once.

  8. I have attended or participated as a lecturer in many Haiku national and international conferences, in English, since 2004. I daresay that the HNA 2009 in Ottawa is the finest of them all.

    Favourite presentations: Patricia Donegan’s Pause for Peace; this North American poetess is THE reason why I registered to this conference. The presence of Emiko Miyashita (Japan), Angelee Deodhar (India) and Claire Dufresne (Montreal) – all of them I had already met in other circumstances – were also a determining factor.

    Favourite experiences: Being able to speak with the Canadian organisers and feeling them being so relax and efficient. Being the bilingual emcee on a cruise of dancing / reading baby-boom poets. Being part of the homage, so positive and joyful, rendered to Bill Higginson – when I die, I want an homage, if there will be one, as uplifting as this one.

    Favourite moments: The personal encounters with guest speakers and Conference participants whom I sometimes knew about only by reading them; the getting to know each other better in such a privileged environment (National Library and Archives); the fact that this Conference afforded presentations and readings in both Canada’s official languages.

    Thank you for having this 10th HNA Conference in Canada.

    Janick Belleau from Montreal South Shore, Quebec

  9. I enjoyed many of the highlights listed above by Eve Lucking and more. One thing in particular – I enjoyed a preview of a video presentation that Eve is preparing for gallery exhibition, based upon renku techniques of “link and shift.” The project is about half complete at this point and extremely promising. I look forward to hearing from others in the haiku community when they have had a chance to experience the finished work and I predict that many will be as delighted with it as I was.

  10. “What is shasei?”

    The Root of All Evil in Haiku!!

    Actually, “shasei” means “sketching (from nature or life)”. It was a term popularized by Shiki and important to the development of modern haiku…but has become something some later poets have reacted against.

  11. Oh, Eve! Thank you for that description. If I was green with envy before – the more I read the greener I get. I see conferences like that moving haiku in so many directions and planting seeds for new directions. What you have experienced is priceless. I can only hope that sites like this THF will pick up on some of the subjects and present them to us who may never be able to attend a conference.
    Thanks so much. Merrill

  12. In the Ottawa airport at 6:30am Sunday morning, we were waiting for our flight home when a man with a large cup of coffee and a look of astonishment hovered in front of my husband long enough for both of us to look up from our books. “Are you from the Haiku conference?” he asked. The book in my husband’s hands was Patricia Donegan’s Haiku Mind.
    “I never heard of such a thing before,” he said, as he explained that he had met a couple at his bed and breakfast who were also attending. I could identify “a guy who teaches at a small college in Pennsylvania” as someone I had just met, and really enjoyed talking with, David Elliot, and the guy with the cup of coffee left mumbling that this haiku stuff might be bigger than he thought.

    This was my first Haiku North America conference, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been to a conference that was nearly as invigorating since graduate school. This might speak to my newbie-ness and the opportunity to meet other poets; I was warmed by the friendliness of the other participants. The whole thing was a refreshing bath, to paraphrase keynote speaker, John Brandi, whose words were more nourishing than the banquet meal before me.

    What was impressive to me was the range of practice represented and the comittment of those involved.
    There were many wonderful talks and it is difficult to narrow down to favorites. There were many things I missed due to the multi-track design of the conference.

    I enjoyed the animated discussion of “the new haiku” led by David Lanoue, Michele Root-Bernstein’s “left brain” analysis of “right brain” antics, Emiko Miyashita’s incisive explication of kigo and the translation process, Jim Kacian’s structural performance of anti-story, Charlie Trumbull’s thoughtful examination of shasei, Deborah Kolodji’s delightful expedition into fantasy and speculation, Michael Dylan Welch’s presentation on haiku publications in Japan, Judson Evans’ instructive haibun workshop, and Patricia Donegan’s timely reminder of what it means to pause.

    The music performance of Debbie Danbrook and Catriona Sturton was a beautifully embodiment of the spirit of haiku, and Jerome Cushman’s terrific guidance on performing a reading was especially meaningful to me as I nervously anticipated my first public reading as part of the New Resonance reading. The surprise of this experience was that I found myself breaking into a smile or two and even laughing as I heard the work of others despite being overwhelmed with my own anxiety. And therein lies the power of poetry…

    I had to return to LA early so I could not attend the celebration for Bill Higginson, the loss of whom resonated throughout the conference.

    Many thanks to Terry Ann, Guy, and Claudia along with the many other volunteers that made Ottawa happen.

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