The origin story of The Haiku Foundation concerns a poet who couldn’t find what he was looking for, and asked “why not?” THF was built around that simple premise: what if there were a place where all the materials of haiku that could be assembled were gathered in one place, at anyone’s disposal. Sixteen years later the question is no longer “why not?” — it has been replaced with “what else?” We have no idea what the answer to this latter question might be, but we do know it is going to be much much larger than we originally thought.
To that end, The Haiku Foundation reaches a landmark in its existence with the first public appearance tomorrow of Haikupedia. Haikupedia is The Haiku Foundation’s haiku encyclopedia, a gathering place for as much information, lore, history, ephemera, biography, trivia and all other things haiku as we can fit. We would like this repository to become your go-to place to find out whatever you want to know about haiku and its personages for years to come.
Over the next few days and months we will highlight our first entries. They comprise primarily reports from a variety of countries and haiku cultures from around the world; a series of biographies, long and short; articles on contests and awards; an example from the gazeteer; and other items as they are developed. We hope this will illustrate the range of entries to be featured here, along with the level of scholarship and completeness that is our aim for each. Of course what we release at this time is nothing close to its final iteration — an enterprise of this magnitude actually can never be completed so long as poets continue to write haiku. But we can try to approach currency as near as possible, and a good deal of this will depend on you, the haiku poet and reader. We will count on you to keep us apprised of what is happening in haiku to you, your groups, your fellow poets around the world. And we hope many of you are so attracted to the idea of Haikupedia that you will wish to participate in its creation. There is a great deal to do, and we will welcome as many helping hands as we can find.
Haikupedia is the quintessential THF project, and we look forward to a long agglomeration and presentation — nothing short of the world of haiku itself. We look forward to having you join us at the beginning of this great new chapter in the history of The Haiku Foundation, and, we hope, of haiku.