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Meet a THF Volunteer: Dan Campbell

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.

Julie Bloss Kelsey is the current Secretary of The Haiku Foundation. She started writing haiku in 2009, after discovering science fiction haiku (scifaiku). She lives in Maryland with her husband and kids. Julie's first print poetry collection, Grasping the Fading Light: A Journey Through PTSD, won the 2021 Women’s International Haiku Contest from Sable Books. Her ebook of poetry, The Call of Wildflowers, is available for free online through Moth Orchid Press (formerly Title IX Press). Her most recent collection, After Curfew, is available from Cuttlefish Books. Connect with her on Instagram @julieblosskelsey.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Dan,
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful things you make available.
    I often wondered who this person, Dan, was and now I see you are into music as well.
    I really appreciate all this work.


  2. Hi Dan, I want to thank you for all the work you have done. This website and exploring books in the THF digital library were a lifesaver during a long 107-day late winter / all of spring /beginning of summer lockdown here in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021 so your efforts are very much appreciated. I am not so familiar with the Librarian’s Cache however. I see now it is under the ‘Feature Directory’ menu on the website, along with lots of other interesting features. I’m quick to click on the Book of the Week when an update comes via the emails I get from THF Blog but I can’t remember Librarian’s Cache being mentioned in the emails. Going to check it out now. Regards, Sue

    1. Ah, after I went and looked I now remember the excellent November 2021 post and the links to all those wonderful video / YouTube channel resources. Thanks again, Sue.

  3. Julie–thanks so much for this delightful interview–and for all the work you do for THF!
    And Dan, also many thanks for your hard work. I am addicted to the Digital Library.
    It was great to “meet” you in this virtual way–not to mention that banjo, star of so many renku verses!

  4. I love this volunteer segment. What a great idea to shine a light on those who make such wonderful things happen at the Haiku Foundation. Thanks for all your work Dan!

  5. All that scanning, all the books and their orchestration in your posts, Dan, make the library a tremendous resource and a congenial space. I have even read 1500 pages of Blyth thanks to the library and your links! Thank you.

  6. Great to read your back story Dan. Very much enjoy what you put up from the library and sharing verses when THF have a renku on the go.
    Keep up the great work.

  7. Kudos, Dan.

    Lovely to see the face behind all your vibrant verses.

    Wishing you all the very best.


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