I feel a “haiku moment” coming on. Inspired by reading our blogger for July, Jeff Winke’s beautiful “Haiku Epiphany” post, I remember my last haiku conference experience, in Seabeck, Washington. It was, as the approaching HNA conference on the Queen Mary will be, rich with “papers, panels, workshops, readings, performances, book sales, and much socialization with fellow poets” (from the HNA website where you can see all the details). The moment that stands out in my mind the most was a haiku moment. I slipped away from the lunchroom knowing the next interesting workshop talk would begin soon. I had ten minutes. Right across the way, was the lake. I went down by the pier all by myself and felt that chemical change that Jeff spoke of to you here, a few days ago. It was quiet, a sense of listening bliss. It was a clearing in the midst of all the talk and warmth of gathering with haiku friends, many for the first time. There were small boats tied on the pier… I could hear them being moved by a breeze and the water… I wrote:
whispers at night . . .
the uneven sway
of tethered boats
(later published in “Windfall” the 2012 Seabeck anthology)
In my reporting to you here I hope to bring you not only the inside view of the conference action but the haiku moments I can sense by those who look off into the distance, or under their feet and find the space where poetry opens. That is what it is all about. For me, for all of us.
You will sense the excitement of anticipating the conference, have inside views, interviews and reports on the happenings, and continue on with the aftermath, when we will follow the conference with themed salons and celebrations at our home, where we host weekly gatherings and readings. We are hoping to welcome visiting poets after the conference to our home, and anticipate reenactments and continuations of our week’s adventures. The haiku conference begins Wednesday August 14 and continues through the morning of Tanka Sunday August 18. Then is followed by a trip to Catalina Island on Monday.
When Colin Stewart Jones invited me to fulfill his wish for a “roving reporter” at the HNA, “Haiku North America (HNA) is the largest and oldest gathering of haiku poets in the United States and Canada“I kept a secret from him. He does not know that I am the daughter of a journalist (who was also a poet). My father inspired me from the age of five, to to write not only poetry but to be, as he was, (his whole life) a “reporter” . I’ve been a free-lance reporter before. I hope that in sharing my experiences here, you will feel a part of this adventure. And that not only information will be yours, but inspiration, moments that open up beyond the pier where the ship is anchored, into the inside of the great hull that sets us sail into poetic waters, for refreshment for poetic bliss.
Here is the website: http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/index.html years.”