September 14th, 2007

Egrets Reading

Asilomar



The Dunes at Asilomar, California


Last weekend, I attended a four day haiku retreat at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, put on by the Yuki Teikei Society. Asilomar is a wonderful place for a retreat - the name means "refuge by the sea" in a creative juxtaposition of Greek and Spanish ("Asilo" means "refuge" in Greek, "Mar", of course, means "sea" in Spanish.)

I find the ocean around the Monterey area very inspiring. I ended up writing 40 haiku, 5 tanka, 1 cinquain, and 2 haibun, but as I reflect upon my time there, this number is constantly changing as I continue to write Asilomar-inspired poetry. I also contributed to a group renku and worked on two rengay with Joan Zimmerman, who has an excellent website about the rengay form.

Next year's retreat will be from September 13-16, 2008. I highly recommend it to any interested. I'm planning to go again, if it works out for me.