One of the things that can be overwhelming as a new English-language haiku poet is trying to navigate the wealth of educational information out there. Even The Haiku Foundation can seem overwhelmingly large at first. One of my goals at New to Haiku is to help everyone discover the many amazing things that our THF volunteers are working on behind the scenes. Hopefully, this will aid new (and returning!) readers in finding their place within the larger haiku community.
For this first interview, meet Dan Campbell: THF’s friendly and enthusiastic digital librarian. He posts blog entries for two features to Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation’s blog. (If you go to the footer of most THF webpages, there will be a place to sign up for our newsletter, and you will get updates when there are new posts on the blog.)
Welcome to New to Haiku, Dan! How did you get involved with The Haiku Foundation?
I am a haiku novice and had been visiting The Haiku Foundation website on a regular basis for several months to learn more about haiku when I saw a notice about volunteering to assist with the website and digital library.
How long have you been a volunteer?
For a little over a year, I began in December 2020.
What is your current area of THF volunteerism? Can you tell us about it?
As the digital librarian, I am continuing the excellent work that was done by Garry Eaton on the Book of the Week and Librarian’s Cache features. The goal for the Book of the Week feature is to promote and share haiku from cultures across the globe. For the Librarian’s Cache articles, we feature haiku journals that are no longer in print and other THF resources. I hope we can also use the Book of the Week and Librarian’s Cache features in 2022 to feature non-traditional haiku forms such as monoku, speculative haiku, science fiction haiku, noir haiku, etc.
What do you like best about volunteering with THF?
It is rewarding to correspond with haiku poets and publishers from around the world and I am always amazed at their enthusiasm and devotion to haiku. I also read each and every haiku from the Book of the Week selections so that is kind of like being a student at the International University of Haiku! It is also a great experience to work with Jim Kacian on the Digital Library. Jim puts in a lot of time and effort to update the library on a regular basis.
What’s something that you wish more people knew about THF?
We welcome suggestions on how to make the Book of the Week and Librarian’s Cache features more interesting and useful. Be sure to contact THF if you have a haiku chapbook, essay, video, etc. that you would like to donate to the Digital Library. In addition to the Digital Library, check out additional THF resources. Just some of these include: Education Resources, Haiku Dialogue, Haikupedia, Haiga Galleries, Haiku Music Challenge, Juxtapositions, New to Haiku, re:Virals, Renku Sessions, THF Monthly Kukai and the THF YouTube Channel.
To learn more about how you can volunteer with The Haiku Foundation, please visit this page.
Dan’s career has been dedicated to international development which began with the Peace Corps in the 1970s and he and his wife Zoila hope to spend part of their retirement years sharing poetry and music with the wonderful people of El Salvador. Dan appreciates the intensity of haiku and how “seeing through the lens of haiku” makes you more aware of life and the world around you.
We’d love to hear from you in the comments. The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy for more information.