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06 October 2009 @ 11:40 pm
Looking Back - Haiku North America (August 6th)  
It was the first full day of Haiku North America. I stopped back by The Scone Witch for breakfast and it turned out that Charlie Trumbull had the same idea. So after a breakfast of haiku talk and the world’s best scones, I made it back to the Library and Archives Canada in time to join Naia for Emiko Miyashita’s talk “Feel the Word.”


Naia, Emiko Miyashita


Emiko talked about kigo and how much can be translated from culture to culture. She gave us handouts with a list of Japanese kigo and we were supposed to write down the appropriate season for each. It was surprising how many I didn’t get. She talked about kidaishumi, the art of writing haiku in the spirit of kigo, and I came away from her talk with a quote from Basho ringing in my head, “Every change in the universe is a seed of a poem.”

Next on my agenda was the Nick Virgilio panel, “Nick Virgilio: Crossing Currents of Form & Inspiration.”


Raffael de Gruttola, Kathleen O’ Toole, Michael Dylan Welch


Virgilio was described as the First Great American Haiku Poet, using the following definition:

1. Must write about the human condition
2. Must be aware of the state of letters
3. Must know craft
4. Must have shown vision over a period of many years
5. Must have an unique voice
6. Must have moved haiku forward

One of the highlights of this discussion for me was when Jerome Cushman got up and signed Virgilio’s famous lily poem in American Sign Language:

lily
out of the water
out of itself

- Nicholas A. Virgilio

After this panel, I headed straight for the bookroom and bought a copy of Virgilio’s Selected Haiku.



At lunch, I dashed off to the print shop to order the scifaiku brochures Josh Gage designed for me, so I'd have them the next day. Unfortunately, this meant I missed having lunch with Roberta Beary. I made it back in time to catch Rich Schnell’s presentation on “Train Haiku: Crosscurrents Along Iron Rails.”


Rick Schnell


Schnell presented a wonderful selection of train haiku ranging from Kerouac to Shiki to Richard Wright. There were haiku from Cor van den Heuvel’s Haiku Anthology and Tom Clausen’s website of train haiku.

It made me want to take another train trip so I can write some more train haiku of my own. I think I have only one published train haiku:

train ride home
the empty seat
next to me

from Brevities, September 2006

After the train haiku presentation, I caught the very end of Emiko’s “JAL Reading,” a reading from an anthology of children’s haiku from around the world sponsored by the Japanese Airlines Foundation.

This was followed by a presentation bu Michael Dylan Welch called “Fuyoh Observations: Seven Lessons we can learn from Japan.” Basically this was a presentation of the comparison of scale. The fact that there are 7-10 million poets writing haiku seriously in Japan. That Japanese haiku journals focus on poets and American haiku journals focus on poems. That haiku in Japanese journals are printed in a tighter space. That Japanese journals publish far more haiku than we do. After presenting all these facts, he asked the audience what we could learn from Japan and I was sort of flummoxed, completely overwhelmed by the difference in scale. I suspect this was probably the idea.

Next was Jerome Cushman’s “Haiku in Performance” presentation which he did with several members of the Rochester area haiku group. He exhibited a completely different way of presenting haiku – through haiku performance and short dramatizations. It was stunning. The whole day was stunning.


first row: Angelee Deodhar, Penny Harter, statues, kris kondo
second row: Angela Leuck, Claudia Coutu Radmore, Marilyn Hazelton, Sheila M. Ross
third row: Rick Black, Deborah P Kolodji, Henry’s wife, Henry Brann
 
 
 
ozarqueozarque on October 7th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this so much; thank you for posting it.
Deborah P Kolodji: Starfishdkolodji on October 8th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
Thanks Suzette, for letting me know. It was a wonderful experience and it was fun looking back and blogging about it.
poetry, inc.norm_milliken on October 7th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
You lead an interesting life, Deb.
Deborah P Kolodji: DancingEgretsdkolodji on October 8th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Norm - I guess the disclaimer I need to make is that I blog about my poetic life, not about my family or close friends. I've chosen to be public about my life as a poet but that doesn't mean my friends and family want to see their lives displayed on my blog.
poetry, inc.norm_milliken on October 8th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
Of course, but all the travel you are able to do, meeting poets and interacting with them. Not too shabby, in my humble opinion.
Lisa M. Bradleycafenowhere on October 7th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
I love it when ASL interpretations are provided. It just takes me to another level, ya know?

Always interesting and inspiring to read your con reports! Thanks.
Deborah P Kolodji: TreeSunsetdkolodji on October 8th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
It was beautiful - definitely added another dimension to it.