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Deborah P Kolodji
17 December 2008 @ 11:28 pm
On Saturday, the Southern California Haiku Study Group will be having their monthly workshop and kukai at the Pacific Asia Museum, starting at 2:00 p.m.

The Pacific Asia Museum is located on Los Robles just north of Colorado in Pasadena. We usually meet in the Blue Room, a meeting room not open to the public, upstairs. When you enter the museum, go to the front desk and sign in. Haiku group participants do not need to pay admission, they only need to sign the clipboard so the museum knows how many are upstairs in case of an emergency.

We generally start out with a haiku read-around, then have a kigo (season word) discussion. I usually ask everyone to name the one seasonal thing that has stood out in their minds during the past week, whether it be the missing gloves we all suddenly need with this very cold storm we've been having, or the snow on the top of the San Gabriel mountains.

Then, we have a 20 minute writing session, and write our haiku on index cards (without names). After the writing session, the cards are collected and handed to the assigned reader. The reader reads each haiku twice, going through the stack of cards. Then, a second time, reading each haiku once and we vote on our favorites.

Some newcomers have misunderstood the reason we vote. It is not so much a contest as a way of learning which haiku resonate with the other people present. Since we are hearing the poems aloud, we might actually react to different poems than we would have if we had read them. It is meant to be a learning tool, so do not be discouraged if you don't get a lot of votes. It happens to all of us.

At the end, if there is time, we workshop some of the poems from the kukai, or others people have brought.

Hopefully I'll see some of you there?