Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

Hannah enjoying poetry workshop

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko

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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Heads Up: Earth Day Weekend Haiku Meeting and Workshop - by the Sea!

December 1, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, HSA, haiku, workshops, conferences, HSA Southeast Region, 2017

Greetings, Friends!

Before my actual post, I'd like to convey fervent thoughts and prayers for those here in the Southeast who have suffered unspeakable losses because of the recent fires and tornadoes. I was born in Knoxville, and though I only lived there as a baby, my childhood was laced up with treasured family excursions to Gatlinburg ("the Burg" as my grandmother would call it), and Pigeon Forge, and the greater area. We took our own kids there for family vacation time and a birthday weekend or two. The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation has a donation button at to benefit those affected by the fires.

In more cheerful news, I know it's not even officially winter yet, but if you have fallen under the spell of haiku, I invite you to think about spring... . Specifically, April 21-23, when I'll be coordinating a Haiku Society of America meeting and Earth Day celebration weekend here in the Southeast Region.

Here, it will be easiest just to share all the details I have so far:

HONORING THE EARTH – HSA Meeting and Earth Day Celebration

Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017
Epworth by the Sea (a Methodist Conference Center – meals included from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.)
St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

TENTATIVE Schedule (subject to fine-tuning!)

Friday – Check-in at Epworth by the Sea begins at 4 p.m.
Welcome by HSA SE Regional Coordinator Robyn Hood Black, introductions, mingling. Robyn will kick off our Earth Day theme with a brief look at Robert Epstein’s new animal rights collection and anthology. Kukai/contest introduction by Dennis Gobou.

Those so inclined might visit a local watering hole on the island for continued socialization.


Pack your walking shoes – workshop and a birding ginko with Tom Painting!

Bird is the Word – Tom Painting

“We will explore the magic of birds in memory, imagination and the here-and now,” says Tom. “Participants will call upon some the many fine haiku written in English about birds to act as models and inspiration. A discussion of how birds are linked to seasonal awareness will further enhance our understanding.

“With spring migration at its peak, participants will be invited to go on a bird-walk. We will identify birds in a wide range of breeding plumages and especially through their vocalizations, which make every species that much more unique.
Those interested in the walk should bring binoculars. I will have a number of pairs to lend out for those not owning them.”

ALSO, Tom would like everyone to bring a bird haiku (written by someone else).


HSA Business Meeting– HSA President Fay Aoyagi

Imaginary Creatures in Haiku – We’ll follow Fay Aoyagi straight from the business world into a fanciful one.

Write Like Issa Workshop– HSA Past President David G. Lanoue
David will lead us in the ninth workshop in this series. He says: “Explore Issa's poetic style to see what he has to teach us about writing haiku in 2017.”

Late afternoon break – Enjoy the natural surroundings, polish those haiku drafts, or finish a conversation with a new friend over a cup of tea.

More socialization – informal visiting at the conference center or carpooling to a local spot for grown-up beverages.

Breakfast (Eat your Wheaties – Some high-level thinking ahead….)

Issa and Being Human: a Discussion– David G. Lanoue
Based on examples from Issa, a sharing of ideas about what it means to be human on this planet. Here's a question from David to ponder: "What does it mean to be alive, and how can haiku help answer this question?"

Sidewalk Daisies: Haiku in the Context of Social Ecology (tentative title) – Laurence Stacey

A discussion of contemporary haiku poetry within the context of Social Ecology. This lecture will examine the ways that haiku allows us to enter ecological "contact zones."


Kukai Results

Lodging and meals (2 nights + 6 meals) plus $50 contribution to slightly offset speaker travel and cover coffee/snack breaks:

Single Occupancy: $372 total per person for weekend

Double Occupancy: $272 total per person for weekend (Please let me know name of person you’ll be sharing a room with.)

Contact me if you will be coming during the day only; I'll need to collect money in advance for meals, workshop contribution, and a small Epworth fee.

TO RESERVE A SPOT: Please send a $40 non-refundable per-person deposit, made out to Robyn, as soon as possible:

Robyn Hood Black
PO Box 1022
Beaufort, SC 29901

Balance will be due (to Robyn) in early March. (After the holidays, I’ll make a registration form available for balance/full payment and to collect dietary needs info, etc. I can email or post on the haiku page of my author website for download.)

Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis as long as the conference center can accommodate our numbers.

Epworth's cancellation policies:
Any individual cancellation after March 24 will result in a forfeiture of $20 per person. Any individual cancellation within 72 hours of arrival will result in forfeiture of entire per-person charge.

Birds of a haiku feather flock together!


I didn't realize until I went looking that a large percentage of my own published haiku are about birds! Here's one to leave you with:

lingering afternoon
the ebb and flow
of birdsong

©Robyn Hood Black
This World - Haiku Society of America 2013 Members' Anthology

Now, be sure to fly on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones, where our generous and lovely Bridget has this week's Roundup, and some thoughtful comments about "community." Makes me thankful to be a part of this one!


  1. December 1, 2016 11:58 PM EST
    Sounds like an inspiring program - if only Georgia wasn't so very far away! I will look forward to experiencing the highlights of the program on your blog.
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  2. December 2, 2016 1:28 AM EST
    Thanks, Jane - you know I'll share! :0)
    - Robyn Black
  3. December 2, 2016 8:06 AM EST
    Dear Robyn, this sounds amazing! And i know it will be, because YOU are organizing it! (PF friends, Robyn puts on the BEST workshops/conferences. Don't miss!) Plus Epworth by the Sea is a gorgeous gorgeous place. There is a small chapel on the grounds that I absolutely love. And yes, my heart goes out to East Tennessee. xo
    - Irene Latham
  4. December 2, 2016 8:34 AM EST
    It sounds like heaven! (And it'll be spring!) I'm tempted...
    - Diane Mayr
  5. December 2, 2016 8:39 AM EST
    This sounds like such a fun event, Robyn! I especially love the way you play with the format. Haiku is my favorite poetic form! Praying for all of those suffering because of the fire. My family and I spent a week camping in Gatlinburg this August, and the pictures make me so sad.
    - Becky Shillington
  6. December 2, 2016 9:09 AM EST
    Thank you, Irene - those are some encouraging words! I think it's going to be a glorious weekend.

    Diane - would LOVE to see you there, of course... ???

    Hi, Becky! When I first got serious about haiku several years ago, I had to "unlearn" what I had been taught in school about it.... Give me an email shout if you're interested (, or check out some of the resources on my HAIKU page.
    --and those pictures are heartbreaking.
    - Robyn Black
  7. December 2, 2016 10:49 AM EST
    Wish I could be a part of this program, Robyn - it looks amazing. Lovely haiku today - it seems to be the day to hop around Poetry Friday and feast on haiku gems. Lucky us!
    - Tara
  8. December 2, 2016 11:50 AM EST
    Sounds like a lovely event, Robyn! As Irene mentioned, with you helping to organize it, it will be a resounding success! Love your birdsong haiku . . .
    - jama
  9. December 2, 2016 12:47 PM EST
    Oh, Robyn,
    This program sounds wonderful. Epworth is a great environment for it too. I love all the Spanish moss dripping from the trees.
    - Joy Acey
  10. December 2, 2016 1:57 PM EST
    I wish you could join us too, Tara! Haiku seems to be in the PF air today, doesn't it?

    Many thanks, Jama. Here's hoping you hear some lovely birdsong today.

    Joy, I'll tell the Spanish moss you said hello! Wish you could join us, too, but I understand that would be QUITE a ridiculous amount of miles....
    - Robyn Black
  11. December 2, 2016 3:09 PM EST
    Why yes, the sea is indeed calling. I'd LOVE to join you in April...will have to look into the feasibility of such an adventure. Thank you for giving this early heads up and your beautiful birdsong haiku, Robyn. You always make the PF world a welcoming place. =)
    - Bridget Magee
  12. December 2, 2016 6:12 PM EST
    I'm so sorry for the fires, Robyn. We've had our own destroyed places and it is sorrowful to see. This conference sounds amazing. I'm going to bookmark it and at least think about it. Being at a retreat and writing is such a good thing, as you know I believe! Thank you for sharing, and for all the work that must entail.
    - Linda Baie
  13. December 2, 2016 9:06 PM EST
    Of course your haikus are mostly about birds--you're living up to your name. "the ebb and flow of birdsong" is gorgeous.
    - Buffy Silverman
  14. December 3, 2016 1:49 AM EST
    Hi, Bridget - I hope you might be able to answer! :0) Thanks for the kind words, and for hosting us all this week with such panache.

    Linda, thanks on all accounts. And glad you can put the HSA adventure into your pot of possibles for next year. :0)

    Buffy - I DO have a few about robins! ;0) Thank you for the kind comments.
    - Robyn Black
  15. December 3, 2016 8:20 AM EST
    SOOooo tempting...
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  16. December 3, 2016 8:31 AM EST
    Well look at you, Madam Conference Organizer! This sounds amazing, Robyn. Can you email me info about the Saturday only option when you have details? In the meantime, I'll keep basking in your lingering birdsong. xo
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  17. December 3, 2016 6:18 PM EST
    This conference sounds wonderful, Robyn, and I love your haiku. "the ebb and flow/of birdsong" was with me as I traipsed around our woods this afternoon!
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  18. December 3, 2016 6:31 PM EST
    Mary Leeeee, Come on over to the sssssea.... ;0)

    Hi, Michelle - years of SCBWI conference coordinating come in handy. Of COURSE I'll email you re. the daily option (remind me if I drop the ball) - would love to have you make the trek over!

    Oh, Catherine, that so makes my day. (Well, night, now.) Thanks so much. Enjoy those woods before they fill up with snow! XO
    - Robyn Black
  19. December 3, 2016 8:27 PM EST
    I hope your conference is well-attended and fun, too. Makes me wish I was somewhere nearer you. I am sad for those affected by the fires and storms. I hope everyone is safe from here on out. Bridget made me thankful for the community of Poetry Friday, too. Even if some weeks, it because Poetry Weekend! :-)
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  20. December 4, 2016 10:06 AM EST
    So many things to say to you. First, thank you immensely for the beautiful package of necklace and earrings. I love your etsy shop and have been letting my friends know about it. The poetry workshop sound absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing details early so that I can dream and scheme. Finally, the ebb and flow of birdsong is a brilliant last line. So often when I see birds in flight I think of water currents....and this element of sound and song adds to my delight.
    - Linda Mitchell
  21. December 4, 2016 3:29 PM EST
    Hi Robyn! Your Earth Day Weekend Haiku Workshop sounds wonderful! Good for you for organizing such an event! I also loved your haiku!
    - B.J. Lee
  22. December 5, 2016 12:54 AM EST
    Dear Brenda, Thanks for all of the above. And sometimes my Poetry Friday not only becomes Poetry Weekend, but Poetry-Next-Week or beyond... I'm often late to the party at other blogs! ;0)

    Linda, you certainly know how to make my day! Thanks so much for all those warm thoughts. I appreciate the artsyletters shout-outs, too! I've thought the same thing re. birds in currents of air resembling currents of water - such amazing creatures.:0)

    Howdy, B.J. - hope all is well with you. And thanks!!
    - Robyn Black
  23. December 6, 2016 3:26 AM EST
    Sounds like you are putting together a very special weekend! Isn't it funny how we are drawn to the same subjects over and over? Your haiku is beautifully accurate (or maybe I should say accurately beautiful?).
    - Tabatha
  24. December 7, 2016 9:15 AM EST
    Tabatha, thank you - I've been thinking of you this week, and how I need to go camp out at your blog to catch even a few of the treasures I've been missing by being too busy!
    - Robyn Black
  25. December 9, 2016 2:10 AM EST
    Your words always provide a good dose of comfort, dearest Robyn:
    lingering afternoon
    the ebb and flow
    of birdsong

    - so stark, so simple, yet so effective. I lovelovelove it.
    Have fun on the haiku/earth day gathering, wish I could join!
    - Myra from GatheringBooks

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