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Thanks for Haiku North America 2013 And best of all…?

I always learn, grow and come home with way too many books! I was sorry it came to an end. And judging by how late we lingered after the banquet, I wasn’t the only one. Thank you everyone for the lectures, art and conversation.

Best of all, the announcement that the next HNA conference will be in New York! That will save me a lot of money.

What were your favorite things about HNA 2013 aboard the Queen Mary?


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  1. John Stevenson’s workshop was a delight – and a revelation about how haiku may be “distilled” from a larger narrative. Jim Kacian’s talk on organic forms for haiku. Steven Carter’s talk on hokku …. and all the great people I met, including some of my haiku heroes. I came away with some new heroes, new friends and a sense that I’m more or less on the right path – and can take comfort in knowing that others share the same ups and downs along their paths.

    My only regret is in being a little bit too shy to engage with some of the more intimidating (to me, anyway) participants.

    A marvellous occasion that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Super well-organised and a distinctive venue (indoor waterfall, anyone?).

  2. One of the top HNAs I’ve been too—although I think I say that each time (no pressure, NY). A big kudos to the organizers: Debbie, Naia, and team. A great event on a great venue

    What I always enjoy are the surprises, in particular the lecture on the Lemon Notebooks (which I’d seen a reference to years ago but was never able to find anything more) and Yone Naguchi (learned interesting things about him which changed my perspective on him). The Norton Anthology reading was a delight. A nice view of ELH’s history; much to think on there. And of course, meeting fellow poets and getting to know them better which adds so much to my reading of their work. Unfortunately there were a few folks I only had a chance to nod to (Gene, you are one of them… sorry. Hopefully NY?).

  3. I just wouldn’t know where to begin to list my favorite moments from HNA 2013; there had to be fifty contenders over the five day period and another two hundred runners-up. But, first of all, it has to be the people that this thing brings together. Just wonderful.

  4. Gene was my ‘partner’ at John Stevenson’s workshop.
    I wrote the following haiku based on his story.

    watering roses
    to make my son
    a butterfly

    I noticed later, this haiku has 2 kigo and ‘rose’ is not quite right
    for Gene. His story (and himself!) was sweet without no ‘thorns.’ ^ ^;

  5. My number one highlight (among many) was being paired with Victor Ortiz in John Stevenson’s wonderful workshop. We shared stories and then wrote haiku. I received a signed haiku he wrote that was inspired by John’s presentation and our conversation.
    Lucky me!

  6. My favorites include: reconnecting with many friends from previous HNAs and meeting a bunch of new friends, attending the various sessions on the Japanese American incarceration camps, and walking the decks of the Queen Mary.

    Great disappointments include: missing the Nick Virgilio film and missing what I’m sure was a fascinating “Editors’ Panel.”

  7. so wonderful to meet Gene Myers (and his lovely wife) as well as all the other HNA 2013 presenters. (now am spending a couple of days in Ventura, California in search of more haiku inspiration!)

  8. Hi Ellen,
    I noticed you taking part. And, yes, books are amazing that way. Over time books are seen differently. They can be re-read and gain value. Websites don’t have that advantage.

  9. I was fortunate to attend as well. If not the finest it ranks very near the top of my, now, 7 HNAs (since 1999). Back in ’99 (Evanston, IL) I was very green as a haiku or renku writer. And there, not only on the program, were the authors of books on my own shelf — the leading editors and prize winners. Yes in person. I shared meals with them, walked to the next venue, and had a glass of wine or beer at table sometimes late into the night. The whole effect then, and now, keys me up to a pitch like graduate school –bull sessions, classes, playing too hard. I might liken a few HNAs as an earned-equivalent Masters Degree in the haiku arts. Those leaders and champions I first met, some still with us, were very high types… brilliant but personable and generous. Francine Porad, Bob Spiess, Claire Gallegher, and Bill Higginson are no longer with us, but so many others are and it is a pleasure, always, to renew acquaintance and to meet and make new friends.

    Such a conference is intellectually stimulating and fun, as well.

    The Book Room was a great highlight this year. Huge selection; great writers. The Old Queen Mary was a wonderful place — stroke of genius to use the hotel/tourist attraction as a base for the bi-ennial conference.

    Naia and Debbie were the chief organizers who, together with their good committee, deserve our kudos and applause!

    Well, I’m stopped in Denver on the way back to Maine. Wallet light; suitcase heavy.

    Until we meet again, – Paul (MacNeil)

  10. At least a couple of my students were present at HNA2013 which was a sublime delight for them being quite new to haiku.

    I also enjoyed taking part in all the five twitter prompts. As New York is the next venue I am tempted re budget, and as it’s in October there’s a further two months to engage in a HNA fund experience. 🙂

    warm regards,

    Alan, With Words

  11. Hi Gene,

    As you know, I wasn’t there in person but enjoyed visiting the nice HNA website and blog, which welcomed all to share haiku in response to prompts.

    books on the shelf
    supported by each other
    kindness of friends


    PS Aren’t books a mystery? They can be unread for a long time, and then the day we read a certain book, a poem or thought means the world.

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