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 http://www.paulbjaneczko.com
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December 19, 2013
HSA President David G. Lanoue and Regional Coordinator Terri L. French at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Curtis Dunlap
Thanks to everyone who's been tagging along for the adventure in our WE HAIKU HERE series, featuring speakers from our recent Haiku Society of America (HSA) Southeast Region's
"ginko haikufest" in Atlanta. Today I'm thrilled to introduce Terri L. French, our hard-working, organized, and oh-so-talented regional coordinator.
Shortly after I stumbled into the HSA, and started looking around for a tribe in my area, magical emails appeared from this go-getter poet in Alabama. Terri had volunteered to take the reins in this part of the country with a history of terrific poets. She coordinated a regional meeting/weekend retreat in the Alabama mountains in 2012 (I couldn't make that one), and another this year in Atlanta (I did make this one!). What a special treat to meet people in person whom I'd only known by their bylines in journals, and a few by email. We are all grateful for Terri's vision and follow-through!
First, let's meet Terri:
Terri L. French referred to herself as a Massage Therapist who writes, but she has come to realize that she is truly a Writer who does massage therapy. Terri’s degree in journalism helps her to appreciate the short, concise elements in haiku and other haikai forms.
Her work has appeared in various journals, such as Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Daily Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, A Hundred Gourds and Moonbathing. She serves as the Southeast Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America and is editor of the online senryu and kyoka journal, Prune Juice. Terri and her husband, Ray, have four grown children and reside in Huntsville, Alabama.
Now, please enjoy some of Terri's poetry:
a fly climbs the stairs
on an Escher print
3rd Prize 2012 HSA Gerald C. Brady Memorial Contest
from the pansies' faces
Feb. 18, 2011 DailyHaiku
on the tao of the next wave
, Issue 12-2, 2011
he brings flowers
the same shade—
2011 The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Award
the sound of an ellipsis
commendation The Haiku Foundation HaikuNow! Contest, 2013
smothered in face cream
A Wrinkle in Time
A Hundred Gourds
, 2:4, September, 2013
this summer he wades
from Terri's book, A Ladybug on My Words
, available on Amazon. [Bought and recommended by yours truly!]
All poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.
Finally, I asked Terri, "Why haiku?"
I tend to be a planner and often find my thoughts centered on the future. Haiku, much like my yoga practice, or performing massage, helps me to stay focused and to pay attention to what is happening in my current environment.
Thank you, Terri, for joining us today, and for all you do to promote haikai arts. And thank you for sharing your fine work here this week!
For more wonderful poetry, visit the wonderful Buffy at Buffy's Blog
for this week's Roundup.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! Next week I'll be sharing my special treasures received, poetic and otherwise, during the Winter Poem Swap.
November 28, 2013
Dave Russo speaks at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Raymond French
Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you're settling into some time for reflection after the big day - or at least moments of noticing between all the Black Friday sales.
In our WE HAIKU HERE series, speakers from our recent HSA (Haiku Society of America
) Southeast Regional “Ginko Haikufest” in Atlanta have graced my blog. We've gotten to know poets Curtis Dunlap
, Tom Painting
and Laurence Stacey.
Today's guest hails from North Carolina, and if you've enjoyed the great resources on The Haiku Foundation
website, you have him to thank.
At our weekend gathering, Dave and Bob Moyer led a fun and lively interactive session on "Haiku from Scratch."
Dave Russo’s haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Acorn
, and other journals. He is included in the New Resonance 5
anthology from Red
Moon Press. Dave organizes events for the North Carolina Haiku Society and is the web administrator for the NCHS
and The Haiku Foundation
Now, I know you saved some room for haiku. Please enjoy these examples of Dave's poetry. (Those haiku poets among you might appreciate the progression from the "5-7-5" structure of his earliest published poems to the shorter, more condensed recent works.)
All through the meeting,
your calm face by the window.
Bright, darkening trees
, xx:2 1997
It's late, the office
almost empty. Your bare feet
whisper by my door
, xxvii:3, 1997
ice melting the shape of the branch it fell from
The Heron’s Nest
, June 2013
olive blossoms . . .
the sound of a hive
in the abbey wall
Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar for 2013
, Runner Up for August
All poems ©Dave Russo. All rights reserved.
In response to the question, "Why haiku?" - Dave's words are likewise concise and meaningful:
"Because haiku can express a depth of feeling with an economy of means that is not often found elsewhere."
Amen! Many thanks, Dave, for joining us today and sharing your work.
Next week the Poetry Friday Round Up is HERE with poet, author, Issa scholar and Haiku Society of America president David Lanoue.
For today's poetic feast, please take your plate over to Carol's Corner
[AND (blatant commercial warning): should you want to do any Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday shopping between poetry stops, feel free to use Coupon Code PFPEEPS13 in my artsyletters Etsy shop
for 15 percent off now through Monday! Poet Gift Packs, notecards, altered vintage books, typewriter key jewelry, bookmarks, and more!] :0)
November 21, 2013
Top: Laurence delivers a talk at our recent HSA SE regional haikufest. Below: I appreciated a nice long walk and talk with Laurence; we discussed poetry, animal rights, and education – among other things!
photos by Raymond French
Welcome back! I’m glad so many folks are enjoying our end-of-the-year haiku journey, led by some of the speakers at our recent HSA (Haiku Society of America
) Southeast Regional “haikufest” in Atlanta.
Have you missed the introduction to the series, or any of the fun so far? Please click here
to get to know poet Curtis Dunlap and click here
to meet Tom Painting, poet and teacher extraordinaire.
Today we have a special treat. And, continuing along an educational theme, we have a poet who is also a teacher.
Laurence Stacey lives in Marietta, Georgia, and is an English Instructor and tutor at Reinhardt University. In his spare time, Laurence enjoys hiking and is an avid student of the martial arts. His educational background includes an MA in Professional Writing, with an emphasis on poetry. He is interested in incorporating haikai into the high school and university curriculum. (RHB note – “haikai” generally refers to haiku and related arts, including senryu, haiga, and haibun.)
Laurence’s poetry has been featured in Prune Juice, Simply Haiku, Tinywords, The Heron’s Nest
, and several other journals. He is also the coeditor of Haiku News
, a journal dedicated to engaging sociopolitical events through haiku, tanka, and senryu poetry.
Please visit Haiku News at http://www.wayfarergallery.net/haikunews/
. (another RHB note: Poetry Friday regulars, you can find several poems by Diane Mayr in the
Haiku News archives.
At our weekend conference, which celebrated the 250th birthday of haiku master Issa, Laurence delivered a lecture that was enthusiastically received Saturday morning. His talk, “Issa and the African American Perspective in Haiku,” invited us to explore poetry by African American writers as well as to think about ecology , and to consider these subjects in the context of haiku. An enlightening and inspiring morning!
I look forward to more of Laurence’s work on these themes in the future.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy some of his poetry, shall we?
deep in debt…
I answer the phone
as my son
, issue 13.2, August 2013
choosing the devil
, Vol 1 No. 22
beyond our care
The Heron’s Nest
, September 2011, Vol XIII
spreading my cards
the gypsy covers
, Autumn 2009, Vol 7 No 3
the phone line rocking
, Winter 2010
All poems ©Laurence Stacey. All rights reserved.
In response to “Why haiku?”, Laurence shares the following:
My reasons for studying and writing haikai (haiku, senryu, and tanka) continue to evolve as I learn more about the art. However, the reason that most quickly comes to my mind is joy. For me, haikai is a way of connecting to the people around me and recording the stories that make us unique. In addition, haikai encourages what I believe is a true respect for the natural world and the creatures that live in it.
What more could you ask for as a reason to pursue a discipline? We are very grateful to have Laurence in our region, and I’m grateful he took the time to visit us here today! Thanks, Laurence.
And hearty thanks to hearty Katya, hosting our Roundup for Poetry Friday this week. Go unpack all the great poetry over at Write. Sketch. Repeat.
(And be sure to return here next week, as our series continues...!)
November 14, 2013
Welcome back, Poetry Friday Friends! Our haiku series continues today. In late October, The Southeast Chapter of The Haiku Society of America
met in Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest: “gazing at flowers” in celebration of Koboyashi Issa’s 250th birthday. (We’ll revisit Issa in a later post with HSA President and Issa scholar David G. Lanoue.) I’m shining a spotlight on our speakers here, week by week.
Last week, we kicked off the series with North Carolina poet Curtis Dunlap
, who kindly provided some thoughts on haiku and several fine poems. This week, I’m thrilled to introduce Tom Painting. (If you already hang in the haiku world, Tom needs no introduction.)
One of the highlights of our recent weekend was welcoming Tom’s current and former students from The Paideia School in Atlanta, where Tom teaches junior high. (He taught my niece Olivia in fact, and she has penned some award-winning haiku, which I’ve featured here the last two years.)
These eighth and ninth graders each shared a few thoughts on haiku and then some of their own poems. I cannot adequately describe how articulate, thoughtful and talented each student was – or the tangible impact they had on us grown-up listeners! There were many moist eyes in the room during the readings. Beyond impressive.
Since 2000, Tom’s junior high and high school students have had winning haiku in the Nicholas Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest. His students have also been recognized in the United Nations International School Haiku Competition.Tom is obviously an amazing teacher, and he is eager to share his students’ work.
For today, I convinced him to let us meet him first! This teacher, husband and father is one of our best haiku poets writing today.
In addition to regular inclusion in the top haiku journals,Tom’s haiku have appeared annually since 1998 in The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku
, published by Red Moon Press. He was the 2012 winner of the Haiku Society of America haibun contest. One of his poems is included in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years
recently published by W.W. Norton and Company (see last week’s post for my aside raves).
Here are some examples of his work:
the pulse in a hollow
of her neck
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out
she returns my hand
to the wheel
the weight of pennies
in the mason jar
bison graze the shadow
of the Bitterroots
my children ask me
to name a favorite
The Heron’s Nest
, June 2011
All poems ©Tom Painting. All rights reserved.
Now, to the question, “Why Haiku?” – Tom’s insightful answers runneth over. In fact, I’ll feature just a few of his helpful thoughts about haiku here today and try to work in more in future posts.
“In haiku circles you’ll often hear reference to the haiku moment,”
Tom explains. “In so short a form as haiku the poet must get right to the point and show the particular thing that captures her or his attention- the one among the many, the close-up in the general scene, the last, the first, the opposite.
"Haiku work with the ordinary facts of life. One of the great surprises of this form of poetry is that in the ordinary, the every day, one can find the sublime. Haiku poets write in present tense to help the reader feel as if the haiku moment were happening now. Simple, uncomplicated images, common language, objective presentation and musical sensitivity to language are additional hallmarks of a successful haiku."
Told you he was a teacher. As to why he teaches haiku:
“I teach haiku because I love it. I teach haiku because kids of all ages generally like it and some love it. I teach haiku because I feel it provides a cornerstone to literacy.”
Tom even makes his students a promise: “ If you commit yourself to the practice, you’ll learn more about the world, about writing and especially about yourself.”
If you scan the 7th through 12th grade winning entries in the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Contest
at the Haiku Society of America website, you’ll see how Tom has inspired many of the winners.
But wait! There’s more! I will be featuring one of Tom’s students each month beginning one month from today! That’s right, a student haiku poet of the month. You will be blown away, I guarantee it.
The accolades of placing in a contest are all well and good, but beyond that - when a young writer is able to engage in the world in an authentic way and express his or her experience in just a few profound words… I told you you’d be blown away, right? So stay tuned in coming weeks for more haiku from our featured speakers, and then keep circling back for our bright and shining student of the month.
As for today’s Round Up, please go see what the ever-surprising and insightful Jama is cooking up over at Alphabet Soup
. It’s always Mmm-mmm good.
November 7, 2013
Curtis Dunlap leads a critique panel at the 2013 HSA SE Ginko Haikufest in Atlanta
photo by Raymond French
Welcome, Poetry Friday Friends! I’m excited to kick off a series today which will feature several notable haiku poets – the speakers from a recent regional celebration of haiku. In late October, The Southeast Chapter of The Haiku Society of America
met in Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Ginko Haikufest: “gazing at flowers” in celebration of Koboyashi Issa’s 250th birthday. (We’ll revisit Issa in a later post with HSA President and Issa scholar David G. Lanoue.)
The event was organized by our amazing and talented regional coordinator, Terri L. French. (More on her later, too.) This region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the United States Virgin Islands. Our wonderful weekend included a handful of terrific poets from North Carolina as well. As you can imagine, I’m thrilled I’ll stay in this region after moving from Georgia to South Carolina!
At our conference, I had the good fortune to be on a panel with Curtis Dunlap. We read anonymously submitted haiku and then discussed/critiqued them as a large group. I was struck by 1.) the level of excellence of the drafts and 2.) the very insightful comments and suggestions from all in attendance. It was a great learning experience all around.
I asked Curtis if he would be willing to lead off with this end-of-the-year series, and he kindly obliged.
Curtis Dunlap lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. His poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies including The Christian Science Monitor, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Frogpond, Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, Magnapoets, Modern Haiku, Rusty Truck,
and The Wild Goose Poetry Review
. He was awarded the Museum of Haiku Literature Award in 2008. Click here for his tobaccoroadpoet.com
[Note from RHB: Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years came out in August from W.W. Norton & Company. Edited by Jim Kacian, it features an introduction by Billy Collins and more than 800 poems guiding the reader through the form’s development in English. I bought a copy and am enjoying it tremendously.]
Here is a sampling of Curtis’s fine haiku:
after the burial . . .
my father’s smile
on so many faces
The Heron's Nest,
Volume VIII:4 - 12, 2006
the auctioneer pauses
to catch his breath
Chasing the Sun: selected haiku from Haiku North America 2007
a rusty still
by the dry creek bed –
blood moon rising
The Heron's Nest,
Volume X:1 - 3, 2008
school closings —
the snowmen arrive
flake by flake
The Heron's Nest,
Volume XII, Number 2: June, 2010
robbing the bees
she speaks of
The Heron's Nest,
Volume XII, Number 4: December, 2010
a mercy bullet
for the rabid dog
The Heron's Nest,
Volume XV, Number 2: June 2013
All poems ©Curtis Dunlap. All rights reserved.
To the question, Why Haiku?
– Curtis responds:
To preserve, share, and savor snapshot moments that are as fleeting as the small poems used to convey the experience to the reader. Time goes by at an incredible pace, especially now that I've passed the half century mark. To me, writing haiku is akin to taking the finger off of life's fast forward button, slowing the pace down, and revisiting events that struck a chord with my artistic soul. …
You can follow the rest of this discussion here at Curtis’s blog.
While there, please peruse the “Three Questions” interviews with links in the right-hand column– a treasure-trove of interviews in recent years with contemporary haiku poets. Some of these poets, including William J. Higginson and Peggy Lyles, are no longer with us; it’s a privilege to read their thoughts from just a few years ago.
Many thanks to Curtis Dunlap for joining us today! Stay tuned – we’ll enjoy a different poet from the HSA SE Haikufest speaker’s circle each week through the end of the year.
Now, I think it only appropriate that today’s Poetry Friday host is also an accomplished (and prolific!) haiku poet, among many other things. Please go see the amazing Diane at Random Noodling.
(Oh, and let me know if you catch her napping. My theory is she doesn’t sleep.)
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