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Survey says . . . THF Forums

Every September the Board of Directors and Associates of The Haiku Foundation are sent a survey. Their responses help to guide our growth and direction. We’d like to broaden our input, and so we’ll be asking you to respond to a series of questions, one per week, over the next half-year. Your replies will be weighed in our assessment of our performance.

Today’s question: Forums

The forums host hundreds of members. Activity is steady. We feel we’ve met the need our community has for interaction, and don’t plan to expand this offering. We have a strong group of moderators and an excellent forum administrator. Many people have emerged as leaders in wide-ranging discussions.

Please assess how well The Haiku Foundation is delivering on this topic. Indicate your assessment of our performance to date by choosing one of the options:

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Abandon

Please feel free to add additional comments. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and for helping us make The Haiku Foundation a better resource.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I have to tell you how surprised I was with the very fact that you were still here for me. Last year my world exploded… I call it another volcano explosion in my life which changed everything for me … and the long months this winter of picking up the pieces and putting my life back together again brought me to new paths and new directions. Almost everything I counted on before was gone. But slowly and surely I’m finding that THF is there… like a rock… like a bridge over troubled waters… it just is… and whatever you have done to make it so solid, I have to tell you… your work is EXCELLENT. Perhaps one of the things that makes it so enduring is that so many talented poets have come to make their suggestions… and you have enough wisdom to listen … to apply what works…

  2. I was a long-time, regular participant in the THF’s Forums and still read many posts there. I credit THF Forums for some real support in my haiku practice. The poets there helped me with early drafts with great generosity and constructive comments. A true sense of commitment to the poem.

    Something new would be good though. Peter Yovu’s right. Participation in the Forums is a commitment. Probably why we see many of the same poets there. More poets could jump in from time to time. Check in, offer a comment. Having said that, a format that also allows for a more open-ended discussion than one specific poem and its multiple revisions might attract a wider audience. An opportunity to widen the scope of what haiku is.

  3. I second Peter’s suggestions. I would, in particular, enjoy reading and possibly participating in a feature in which a specified haiku topic is discussed by an invited panel of poets, editors, and critics. Perhaps a week for each topic and panel?

    Note that this is suggested “in addition to” rather than as a replacement for any existing forum.

  4. I give high marks to THF for creating a structure within which discussion can take place. If, as I see it, the discussions are seldom truly “wide-ranging”, this can only be attributed to an unwillingness on the part of members and other potential contributors to participate. In the “old” Troutswirl days, this was also an occasional topic of conversation and concern, even in the midst of what now, by comparison with current discussions, would have to be considered pretty lively exchanges. Now, as then, there are no doubt good reasons for lack of participation: a forum can be a pretty messy place with nuance and tone easily lost and feelings hurt; it can become a soapbox for some who wish take a position and fend off all others; it takes time and care and a degree of willingness to expose oneself; and, it is difficult to challenge others and be challenged in an open-minded and respectful way.
    There are interesting discussions yet to be had. Though Alan Summers has bravely encouraged interest in the outer-reaches of haiku, it appears that many writers working in the avant-garde have generally not felt a good reason to engage with THF. To be fair, one does not see much discussion over on Scott Metz’ R’r Blog site, either.

    In one sense, I believe the Forum could be expanded– or an additional approach could be implemented– outreach. For example, I think participants would appreciate a feature where, periodically, a “guest” is invited to explore some aspect of haiku; or a given theme could be explored by a number of invited writers, some of whom are more likely to engage this way than in the hurly burly of open discussion. Comments could be welcome, with additional discussion by the invited guest(s) optional.

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