poems plus the airfare less
The conference takes place annually in the fall, on the Kitsap Penisula at the Seabeck Conference Center, across the lagoon from the Hood Canal. As my plane landed in autumn, the fall colors of the trees were glorious upon my approach to the SeaTac airport, and my anticipation grew.
the heavy coat I wear
Naia and Genie Nakano were on my flight and we met up with Jerry Ball and Billie Dee in the baggage claim area and rented a car together for the 90 minute drive to Seabeck.
Genie Nakano, Jerry Ball, Deborah P Kolodji, Naia, Billie Dee at Barbie's in Seabeck, WA
Haiku poets gathered in the lobby of the Historic Inn at the conference center. The California contingent was among the first to greet organizers, Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch. Charles Trumbull, this year’s guest speaker, and Deborah Adams arrived from New Mexico. Priscilla Van Valkenburgh arrived from Utah. Poets from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Utah, California, and New Mexico attended the conference this year:
Jerry Ball, Joshua Beach, Jane Boone, Susan Callan, Terran Campbell, Frank Cole, Susan Constable, Nancy Dahlberg, elehna de sousa, Billie Dee, Ida Freilinger, Dianne Garcia, Jay Gelzer, Kerry Hamilton, Katharine Hawkinson, Christopher Herold, Connie Hutchison, Nicholas Klacsanzky, Deborah Kolodji, CR Manley, Dorothy Matthews, Vicki McCullough, Tanya McDonald, Naia, Genie Nakano, James Rodriguez, Ce Rosenow, Barbara Snow, Carmi Soifer, Carmen Sterba, Dean Summers, Doris Thurston, Charles Trumbull, Priscilla Van Valkenburgh, Michael Dylan Welch, Sarah Zale
After dinner, Michael Dylan Welch welcomed everyone to the conference and kicked off a haiku read-around. Charles Trumbull did a reading of “Haiku on the Road.” Tanya McDonald led us in a sharing of “Favorite Haiku.” Participants brought haiku written by others that they found meaningful and explained why they liked them. I chose a haiku by Tom Tico from the most recent issue of Modern Haiku.
One of the things I find fun about the Seabeck Conference is the preparation in the weeks before the conference. Several weeks in advance, Tanya mailed participants a list of things to bring. Many of these were optional, but all were designed to allow all participants to contribute in some way to the conference. We could design our own nametag, bring a favorite haiku written by someone else, trifold handouts to pass out, something to share for the “haiku show and tell,” digital or physical haiga to share, or bring silent auction items.
leaves changing —
the nametag my daughter
The first evening ended with an anonymous haiku workshop focusing on revision. Die-hards had the opportunity to stay later to compose rengay.