Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
I love living in a historic town, and this week it's even moreso... a gorgeous replica of the Santa Maria is parked in the neighborhood and open for tours. (I enjoyed touring a much larger Spanish Galleon in Port Royal a few years ago, too.)
If the photo above whets your appetite, you might enjoy this video of the gracious little ship arriving in our bay.
What does any of this have to do with Poetry Month? Bear with me....
Our little town, Beaufort South Carolina, vies with St. Augustine, Florida (part of my growing-up stomping grounds), as the nation's oldest city. Well, here's the thing - St. Augustine IS the nation's oldest continually inhabited city, while the Port Royal area of my current fair county was settled first. Politics, bad manners with the native neighbors, and other factors contributed to its demise, and there was a spell of years before the next settlement got settled. Of course, all of this jabber refers to European settlement/conquest; there were civilizations here long before "we" arrived, thank you very much.
I've always loved St. Augustine, and I can't wait to make a little trip there next month for the Haiku Society of America's Spring National Meeting, with the theme, "The Eternal Now: Haiku in the Ancient City"! It's May 17-19. I'm especially delighted that I'll get to see some Florida poetry friends including our own Michelle Heidenrich Barnes and my pal Stephanie Salkin. (Be sure to check out Michelle's recent post here featuring her honorable mention winning entry in the Triangle/D.C. area Golden Haiku contest; she also shares winning poems by Elizabeth Steinglass and Diane Mayr! CONGRATS all around!)
I am honored that at the St. Augustine meeting, I'll be leading a session. The historic setting got me thinking about my own history running wild in the woods of Florida, and then about family history, especially with the ancestry research and travel you've all been kind enough to indulge me in this past year or so. I believe haiku can connect us with our own family histories as well as with our corporate human family around the globe. Both the Florida setting and my Lowcountry SC environs reminded me of this poem I wrote a few years back:
twists and turns
of the live oak
Acorn, Spring 2012
Biscuit Crumbs, HSA SE Anthology, 2018
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
That poem came about before I knew we would be moving to the coast of South Carolina; I wrote it on a trip home to see my folks in Orlando. But I found it applied, somehow, after we moved here, too - these live oaks make me feel right at home.
ALL this to say, that haiku is where the title of my session comes from:
"Reach of a Live Oak - Haiku and Our Family Tree." I'm enjoying putting my talk/workshop together!
The conference will also feature Michael Henry Lee, Southeast Coordinator & Host (& one of my favorite poets!); the Coquina Haiku Circle of St. Augustine, helping to host; HSA President Fay Aoyagi; Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro); Antoinette Libro; and Tom Painting. A fun outing or two are in the works as well! For a detailed schedule, please see the Haiku Society of America and click the link, currently on the front page.
(Amazing to think that the original Santa Maria sailed the seas almost 200 years before haiku existed as we know it today, as its own short form championed by Basho in the 1600s.)
If you can't make the meeting, be sure to raise a glass and a pen on Wednesday, April 17, for International Haiku Poetry Day! Click here for more info from The Haiku Foundation.
And enjoy all the wonderfulness to savor this Poetry Month, including our Kidlit Progressive Poem, which lands here on Monday. (Click that link to see the schedule at founder Irene's blog. Matt started the whole thing off this year as a found poem, and it's been fun to unfold a new found line each day.)
Speaking of Irene, who is Speaking of Art again this year for Poetry Month, she has the Roundup today. Thank you, Irene!!