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New to Haiku – Meet Our Volunteers in Our Garden: The Haiku Foundation Volunteer Anthology 2022

Here at The Haiku Foundation, September 17, 2022 marked our second THF Volunteer Appreciation Day!

Our Volunteer Appreciation Initiative was started by THF Board Member Theresa A. Cancro. THF Volunteer Appreciation Day is set aside yearly in September to honor the many volunteers who make the work of the Foundation – including this website – possible. Without our volunteers, there would be no Haikupedia or Haiku Registry. We wouldn’t be writing together in the Renku Sessions, Haiku Dialogue, and the Monthly Kukai, or sharing our thoughts about haiku in the Forum or re:Virals. Without our volunteers, there would be no Touchstone Awards, because we would have no one to review books and poems. We wouldn’t even have a community gathered here to read this post on Troutswirl, our blog! Everything you see on this website was once someone’s idea, which amazes me when I really sit back and think about it.

At Theresa’s prompting, our THF Board discussed various ways to honor our volunteers this year. I thought it would be fun to create a volunteer haiku anthology. Knowing nothing about this process, I have enjoyed watching Our Garden: The Haiku Foundation Volunteer Anthology 2022 come together under THF Founder and President Jim Kacian‘s direction. Jim and I co-edited the collection via Zoom. I found the editing process delightful because the quality of submissions was so high.

Our Garden presents haiku (and senryu) from 105 of our many volunteers. Their English-language haiku submissions hailed from around the world, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. Amazing! This collection is available to read as a .pdf through our digital library (or you can order a hard copy here via Amazon).

Some poets sent in signature haiku poems; others chose to submit brand-new pieces. Jim thought we might include photos along with the poems, and I think this has made a lovely collection that much richer. Many folks submitted pictures of themselves, so you can now see some of the people working behind the scenes. Areas of service were listed as well, highlighting the types of volunteer work we do here: content creator, editor, moderator, Touchstone panelist, digital librarian, photo editor, administrator, coordinator, digital project manager, board member. (If you’d like to volunteer with us, please let us know using our contact page, and thank you in advance for your interest!)

Thanks to Theresa, we now have a dedicated THF Volunteer Appreciation Page, and an updated Service List, which includes our volunteers past and present. On behalf of the THF Board of Directors, my sincere thanks to all of our volunteers.

I hope that everyone enjoys meeting some of the many haiku poets who make our THF community so special.

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 One Comment

  1. What a great collection of work from THF volunteers, Julie—great to put faces and haiku to names!

    Well done to all featured and to those who put this special anthology together.


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