Welcome to troutswirl, the official blog for The Haiku Foundation.
Since this is my first posting for troutswirl, I would like to share a number of my own personal wishes and goals for the blog, as well as my reasons for accepting this position of Blogmaster (what a title!).
First and foremost, I would like to deeply thank Jim Kacian for asking me to consider the position. I open this door with humbleness and excitement.
Excitement is a good place to begin. So let me tell you why I am so excited about both the Foundation and this blog.
For me, the haiku poem is it. I only recently discovered the work of the scholar and teacher Joseph Campbell, but his advice to “follow your bliss,” immediately rang true for me. Since I discovered haiku in my mid-teens, I have hunted it with an almost singular, cyclopean eye, and a whale’s hunger to boot. And I have found, as Campbell suggests when one follows their bliss, that doors do indeed open, doors one never imagined possible. The door of The Haiku Foundation, this door named troutswirl, seems to me one that leads into a mighty interesting house—a house that can only expand: new doors, windows, rooms, floors, wings, skylights. There is a ping-pong table in the kitchen. There’s a jukebox in the basement.
So, one of the major appeals for me, and one of the many things that excites me about running this blog is its unique ability to constantly broaden (one of the Foundation’s two main goals) and evolve. And not just the blog. And not just the website.
Listen to this:
The Haiku Foundation’s potential to change and influence the English-language haiku community, the haiku world and, ultimately, the mainstream, is what I find most exciting about it, and it can do this in the most positive ways: by archiving, analyzing, and deepening our collective past, while influencing, educating, broadening and expanding our collective present and future. What a monumental resource it could become for poets, students, teachers, and enthusiasts alike! The potential for troutswirl and The Haiku Foundation to elevate haiku as a respected and important part of English literature is staggering. And, though the blog is not about me, I also take great joy and excitement in the possibilities for my own growth as a person and poet. Because of the blog’s capabilities as a free, interactive platform, everyone can learn from each other—from the youngest beginner to the oldest, most experienced and dedicated enthusiast.
This blog’s evolution, and the poetry of haiku as well, are dependent on you, the reader. I invite you to participate, contribute and comment as often as you like. One of the greatest things about the Internet is its democratizing character. All, in a sense, become equals. So I encourage everyone to share their unique voices, to share one’s experiences, knowledge, questions and wonderings, and help each other learn and grow. While kudos and such are always appreciated, I encourage you also, when constructing a comment, to ask yourself a few questions before clicking “send”: how does it contribute to the conversation? Does it truly deepen and contribute in a meaningful and critical way? And does it allow the discussion to grow and remain open? Part of my responsibility is to make sure that it does. A difficult task, but I relish the opportunity, the interaction and the possibilities.
Though some things I write and share might be controversial, please don’t take it personally. I have no intention of making troutswirl a repository of work that only interests me. The goal is to be open and welcoming to all schools, to diversity. I am looking to create a kind of dialogue where ideas, opinions, feelings and thoughts can be shared, all for the betterment of haiku and literature. So, do not hesitate to disagree, question, or be critical or controversial. From dissent comes ascent.
The blog’s content will unfold slowly. So, to keep it constant, healthy, and fresh, I ask not only for your participation but also your patience and your ideas. I hope to present posts regularly, and that troutswirl and the website will be and become something you are not only interested in but look forward to and eagerly await.
Please help me in making The Haiku Foundation and troutswirl the go-to place for anyone remotely interested in haiku: for poets of all stripes, teachers, and students. The more it grows and deepens, the more we grow and deepen as well.
The Haiku Foundation and this position as Blogmaster for troutswirl allow me to follow my bliss. I hope that it will be a place and source for you to follow yours as well.
So, let us begin this experiment, this adventure. And as the rock and roll chameleon David Bowie once sang, “take your protein pills, and put your helmet on.”