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Today Is International Haiku Poetry Day!




Today is our global day of celebration of all things haiku, International Haiku Poetry Day 2016. Here’s the schedule of events:

HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2016

badge_haikulifeThe Haiku Foundation screens HaikuLife offerings in 4 modes: HaikuLife Format (17 segments of 17 seconds each: view our demo); Video Haiga (treatments of individual or short series of poems); Free Format (pretty much anything goes); and Feature Format (anything longer than 10 minutes).

EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration

badge_earthriseJoin poets from around the world by contributing to the world’s largest collaborative poem. This year’s theme, in acknowledgment of the United Nations’ decree that this is the Year of Pulses, is Foodcrop Haiku, with a poem by Basho to lead us off. We began at midnight at the International Dateline and will run until midnight here on the East Coast of the US.

Local Haiku Celebrations

badge_ihpdMeet with fellow poets to share the genre we all love. Here’s the schedule:

Bulgaria, online

Shoshin is an online Bulgarian haiku group. For IHPD we have prepared a short collection of haiku that include the kigo “spring wind”. During the week of April 17 we will be hosting a series of online workshops on the topic of regional season words:

Monday, April 11 — The poets are invited to share a favorite Bulgarian haiku. We will be looking for the seasonal reference in each poem and discussing how it helps (or not) the reader relate to the personal experience of the poet. We will also give examples of Bulgarian poems outside of haiku, where the human feelings and mood are in unison or in contradiction with the changing nature.

Wednesday, April 13 — The poets are invited to share their own verses for workshopping. Do all haiku need to have a season word? Are two season words too many for one haiku?

Friday, April 15 — There are more than 60 dialects of the Bulgarian language. The poets are invited to share words for plants, animals or events from their native region that can be characterized as seasonal phenomena.

Sunday, April 17 — We will be composing seventeen-wagon haiku “trains” (the last word of each verse becomes the first in the next one).

Contact: Tzetzka Ilieva at vidahaiku [at] gmail [dot] com

Hopewell Township, New Jersey

A ginko (aka a haiku walk) is planned for Saturday, April 17, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve, 31 Titus Mill Rd., Hopewell Township, NJ.
Celebrate and explore haiku, a traditional Japanese form of poetry with its luminous focus on nature. Education Director and haiku poet Jeff Hoagland will provide a brief overview of the haiku tradition before facilitating a ginko or haiku walk on the Watershed Nature Reserve. Adults and teens are welcome regardless of experience!
Enjoy the emergence of spring, crafting your own haiku from observations on the trail. Bring a writer’s journal and dress for springtime trail conditions – possibly wet or muddy. Also bring a favorite haiku book and/or journal to share on the haiku table, and a haiku to share as a warm-up. Light refreshments provided.
FREE admission.
Please RSVP in advance – for more information or to register, please call (609) 737-7592. This event is co-sponsored by the host, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.
Contact: Jeff Hoagland at jhoagland13 [at] aol [dot] com

Los Angeles, California

The Southern California Haiku Study Group is holding its monthly workshop at the USC Pacific Asia Museum on Saturday, April 16, 2016, followed by a festive dinner afterwards in honor of International Haiku Poetry Day. The meeting will be one hour longer than usual, starting at 1:30 and ending at 4:30, in order to have a mini-haiku book fair with titles remaining from the haiku booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, held April 9th and 10th on the USC campus. We have a wide variety of haiku titles available, over 100 different titles. The USC Pacific Asia Museum is located at 47 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA.
Contact: Debbie Kolodji at dkolodji [at] aol [cot] com)

Mount Angel, Oregon

Johnny Baranski will be giving a reading at the Mount Angel Abbey Bookstore on Sunday, April 17.

Contact: Johnny Baranski at jbsgarage [at] aol [dot] com

New York, New York

Amy Losak will be reading a selection of Sydell Rosenberg’s work at a poetry event organized by the Queens Botanical Garden in the borough of Queens, NYC. This public event is geared to an all-age audience, and may be complemented by a tour of the QBG. Click here for tickets and information.

Contact: Amy Losak at losak [at] optonline [dot] net

San Francisco, California

On April 17 from 1 to 5 p.m., the Haiku Poets of Northern California will gather at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Our featured reader will be local San Francisco poet Sharon Pretti, followed by a presentation by Abigail Friedman entitled “Reading Haiku Across Borders”.”\ Abigail is traveling to the Bay Area from Washington DC to be with us. She is the author of The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan (Stone Bridge Press, 2006), I Wait for the Moon: 100 Haiku of Momoko Kuroda (Stone Bridge Press, 2014) and Street Chatter Fading(Larkspur Press, 2015). This and all of our events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!
Contact: Sue Antolin at susantolin [at] gmail [dot] com

Seattle, Washington

Haiku Northwest will stage a Haiku Day at the Seattle Japanese Garden on April 17 in celebration of International Haiku Writing Day. Here’s the info and schedule. Should be fun, if the weather cooperates!
Contact: Michael Dylan Welch at welchm [at] aol [dot] com

Sherman, Texas

The Texoma Haiku Society April Meeting (to be held at the Midway Mall Food Court, 4800 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas) celebrates International Haiku Poetry Day. A Bonsai Verse Gallery will run throughout, featuring work not only by the Japanese masters Basho, Issa, Buson and Shiki, but classic American Poets Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, Richard Wright and James W. Hackett along with contemporary haijin Nick Virgilio, Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Lee Gurga, Christopher Herold, Gary Hotham, Jim Kacian, Michael McClintock, Marlene Mountain, Marian Olson, Alan Pizzarelli, Alexis Rotella, John Stevenson, George Swede, vincent tripi, Cor van den Heuvel, Stanford M. Forrester, Michael Dylan Welch, and Ruth Yarrow etc.

Our program will be as follows:

1:00 – Haiku Slam performed by Cliff & Brenda Roberts: What Is Haiku
1:30 – Open Reading
2:00 – Program: How To Write Haiku
2:30 – Open Reading
3:00 – Workshop Kigo: Frog
3:30 – Program: Haiku or Senryu
4:00 – Open Reading
4:30 – Program: How To Read Haiku
5:00 – Haijin: Open Reading
5:30 – Workshop Prize awarded

Shreveport, Louisiana

The Northwest Louisiana Haiku Society will host an event for International Haiku Poetry Day at the Broadmoor Branch of Shreve Memorial Library on April 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Contact: Carlos Colón at ccolon423 [at] comcast [dot] net

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish Haiku Society will have it’s annual meeting and lecture with the chairman of the society, former ambassador of Sweden to Japan Lars Vargö, in Stockholm on April 17. For more information please visit or

Contact: Anna Maris
 at anna [dot] maris [at] gmail [dot] com

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Four well known Warwickshire-based poets will be performing around Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 17th April in a Haiku Hike to celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day. Led by the Stratford performance poet and artist, Wendy Freeman, the group consists of Dave Reeves (poet-in-residence at the Black Country Living Museum), Matt Black (Derbyshire Poet Laureate 2011–13), and Alison Absolute (winner of Worcestershire Litfest Poetry Slam).

There will be a very rich and varied programme of Haiku, from Traditional to New Wave, spoken, musical and visual, with humour and audience participation in the presentations. They will include the use of art objects and props, and music will come from Dave Reeves, known for accompanying his poetry readings on harmonica and squeezebox.

The Haiku Hike will start at the Stratford Picture House bar at 1.30pm, where Wendy will host a Haiku Drop-In until 2.30pm; then it will move on to the Scott Bar at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between 3.30 and 4.30pm, where all four poets will perform The Haiku Show. Finally, joined by former Director of Stratford Poetry Festival, Roger Pringle, the four will perform at the Dirty Duck pub, Waterside at 7.00 pm: there will also be a Haiku Open Mic as part of the evening performance.

All events are free and everyone is welcome.

Contact details for the Haiku Hike can be found at

Contact: Dave Reeves at www [dot] radiowildfire [dot] com/getintouch

West Burke, Vermont

West Burke librarian Judith Hishikawa will conduct the 2nd Annual Haiku Workshop at the West Burke Public Library [123 VT RT 5A, West Burke VT 05871] on April 24 at 1:00PM. This year’s theme is “Brevity: Vermont Mind – Haiku Mind – Zen Mind”. “We will discuss the concepts of Oneness, Intimacy, Emptiness, Uniqueness, and Naturalness using examples from the traditional masters, and classic Vermont conversations.” Please bring haiku that you are working on and your own writing materials. Coffee and refreshments are available nearby. We will go on an inspirational walk.

Contact: Judith Hishikawa at hishikawasensei [at] hotmail [dot] com

The Haiku Foundation Announces Its Touchstone Award Winners for 2015

badge_touchstoneWe also take this opportunity to reward excellence in haiku writing and publishing by announcing the winners of the Touchstone Awards for the previous year. The Touchstone Awards are the highest honors in the genre, and this year’s group exemplifies the excellence we have come to appreciate and expect from our best practitioners. See the whole list in the Touchstone Archives.

Be a part of it — celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day, April 17.

This Post Has 2 Comments

    Basho & the Bard

    International Haiku Poem Day is the 17th 

    and I see & enjoy the next 7 days as the week of IHPD – like Christmas Week, IHP Week

    culminating on April 23, 2016 – the finale leading us to the finale week of National Poetry Month –
    is at the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare:

    For the occasion I attended
    participated in a roundtable reading of
    Much Ado About Nothing

    Act I scene 1
    reading as the messenger
    without expecting it
    – without looking for it –
    a haiku moment delivered
    to me by the 14th line:


    In the figure
    of a lamb the feats
    of a lion

    the feats of a lion
    from the figure
    of a lamb

    I read these 11 words from the Bard and I’m seeing Donatello’s David.

    Over 400 years later, davidic perceptions rising from the pen of a literary lion.

    The pen is mightier than the sword

    Michael (MV)







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