September 15th, 2006

Egrets Reading

Of handouts and haiku history....

Tonight after work, I spent most of the evening finishing my preparations for the Asian Heritage Festival at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. (I still have some extra $21 tickets to the event so if anyone local wants to go, please write me off list ASAP, realizing that I need to be in Long Beach at 8 am to set up)

I now have an even greater appreciation of samhenderson's work at WorldCon.

Besides a table we're manning with haiku information and a 6:00 pm reading with Amy Uyematsu, the Southern California Haiku Study Group is doing a haiku workshop at 2:00 pm. Since I have no idea how many people will show up, how noisy it will be (we're supposed to be in the open space near the water as far away from the main stage as possible), and what level of haiku knowledge the participants will have, I tried to draw up several contingency plans.

I decided to prepare a handout which contains a short history of haiku. While putting it together, I even learned a few things. Did you know that the first non-Japanese language haiku written in the Western world wasn't written in English, it was written in French?

According to Higginson's Haiku Handbook, Julien Vocance, Paul-Louis Couchoud and others published a book of haiku in French in 1905. The first hokku in English is considered by many to be Pound's In a Station of the Metro, published in Poetry in 1913.