Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people around the world celebrated International Haiku Poetry Day 2016 in a variety of ways. Here’s a brief recap:
HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2016
The Haiku Foundation screened HaikuLife offerings in 4 modes: HaikuLife Format (17 segments of 17 seconds each: view our demo); Video Haiga (treatments of individual or short series of poems); Free Format (pretty much anything goes); and Feature Format (anything longer than 10 minutes).
Results: Over 300 viewings of more than 2 hours’ worth of haiku film.
EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration
Poets from around the world contributed to the world’s largest collaborative poem. This year’s theme, in acknowledgment of the United Nations’ decree that this is the Year of Pulses, was Foodcrop Haiku, with a poem by Basho provided as the “seed” poem.
Results: More than 225 postings of nearly 300 poems. A collated version of the event is available here.
Local Haiku Celebrations
• Bulgaria, online — see some of the results of their workshops here. • Hopewell Township, New Jersey • Los Angeles, California • Mount Angel, Oregon • New York, New York • San Francisco, California • Seattle, Washington • Sherman, Texas — On Sunday, April 17 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM the Texoma Haiku Society was part of International Haiku Poetry Day at Midway Mall in the food court (4800 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas). The Texoma Haiku Society was inaugurated January 2016 by the founders of the Fort Worth Haiku Society (2002 – 2014), Cliff and Brenda Roberts, who grew up in the Sherman/Denison area. The Roberts had moved to Fort Worth 15 years ago and have now returned, eager to share their knowledge of the Japanese poetry form with their hometown. In the Midway Mall's food court there was a bonsai verse wall featuring haiku not only by the Japanese masters Basho, Issa, Buson and Shiki, but classic American poets such as Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, Richard Wright and James W. Hackett. Also included were contemporary haijin/haiku poets: Stanford M. Forrester, Lee Gurga, Christopher Herold, Cor van den Heuvel, Gary Hotham, Jim Kacian, Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Michael McClintock, Marlene Mountain, Marian Olson, Alan Pizzarelli, Alexis Rotella, John Stevenson, George Swede, vincent tripi, Michael Dylan Welch, Nick Virgilio, Ruth Yarrow, and others. The event began at 1:30 PM with a "Haiku Slam" performed by Texoma Haiku Society founders Cliff & Brenda Roberts followed by a "What Is Haiku" program including a Q & A. An Open Haiku Reading followed with everyone encouraged to read their own haiku or from the stack of haiku books on hand. At 2:00 we offered a "How To Write Haiku" workshop. Index cards and pens were supplied to the guests for hands on haiku where we wrote first on the kigo/seasonal subject "Rain" (with a lot of outside inspiration at the time); later one of the guests suggested "Unruly Children" as our Free Format topic. After we wrote for a few minutes, we shared and discussed the haiku and gave suggestions on how to make it stronger. At 2:30 we had another Open Reading to get people sharing as well as seeing and hearing what haiku sounds like. 3:00 saw another workshop on the seasonal kigo of "frog" which was shared and commented on. There was a Lunch Break at 3:30 with time for attendees to take in the bonzai verse wall. Most purchased something from the food court's Little Shogun, which has tasty Asian dishes including sushi as well as some American choices for a decent price. We held another Open Reading at 4:00 wrapping up with a Writing Workshop on "Bird Sound" at 4:30 PM. The Texoma Haiku Society meets the 3rd Sunday of each month from 1 – 4 PM at Midway Mall Food Court. It is Free and Open to the public. For more information contact Cliff or Brenda Roberts at (903) 893-8435 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. • Shreveport, Louisiana • Stockholm, Sweden • Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom • West Burke, Vermont
Results: We hope to feature write-ups and pictures from as many of these as possible. Please send!
The Haiku Foundation Announces Its Touchstone Award Winners for 2015
The Touchstone Awards for 2015 were announced on International Haiku Poetry Day, as is our practice. The Touchstone Awards are the highest honors in the genre, and this year’s group exemplifies the excellence we have come to appreciate and expect from our best practitioners.
Results: See the whole list in the Touchstone Archives.
Be a part of it — celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day, April 17.