The 2013 HNA Regional Reading Live Preview Tomorrow! With Flutes of the Regions
Today’s preoccupation is the preparation for our second preview of the Regional Reading. We had our first last Friday at our home salon, local poets participating in Pasadena, CA. I am organizing the Regional Reading for the Haiku North America Conference 2013. I had no idea, when I accepted this challenge, the extent of it, and wonder of it. Part of it is because of my vision of it, and mainly it is the great number of registrations and cooperation of the poets to send their haiku! I did not send out a call for poems. There were too many calls already! Poems for a conference haiku contest, poems for the Conference Anthology. Everyone had “deadlines” – I don’t like them. Instead I wrote to every poet- over a hundred, individually and personally, as I love to do, with my plan. Send me two haiku, One with a place name of any kind in your region. (Could be a rive,r street, landmark, etc. ) And one with an interval of your region. (Intervals is the overall theme of the conference) That means a cyclic happening that is distinctive of where you live. It can be a bird migration, flowering bloom time, a festival, etc. The poems began to pour in. I also asked for a footnote for each haiku. Not because they needed them poetically, but because they would be interesting to the poets from all over the world, to know these interesting details of their friends’ environments. (We won’t have time to read the notes at the conference,) We have an hour hour and fifteen minutes. There are, at this point, about 70 poets who will be there on Friday, August 16 and have sent their haiku and comments! Local poets in Pasadena are meeting each Friday evening, after our poetry workshop at Caltech, to read through the Regional book in preparation, for timing and to appreciate the flavors. Rick Wilson, my husband will accompany the poets on flutes as appropriate to their regions as he can. I’ve invited him to tell you about the Flutes for the Regional Reading soon. So I will be posting his notes and comments. He even recently bought a flute from New Zealand, to play for this, since we have three poets in this reading, so far from New Zealand : Sandra Simpson, Margaret Beverland, and Sopia Frenz. He will tell you more, but it is a small haunting Maori flute, called a koauau.
Here are two haiku with notes by New Zealand poet Sandra Simpson. Imagine THESE accompanied by the haunting koauau .
digging for toheroa—
my grandmother’s hands
faster than mine
(When I was a child I would accompany my mother and grandmother to dig for toheroa shellfish during the permitted season. The large bivalves left identifying airholes on the low-tide sand and we would dig …. fast. My child-size hands were rarely big enough or fast enough to reach the delicacy before it burrowed deeper. My grandmother’s hands weren’t much bigger, but were heaps faster! In those days (the ‘60s) we could take 20 toheroa per adult per day for a 2-month season. However, most of New Zealand has not a toheroa season for decades. At home we put them in buckets of fresh water clean them, opened the tough shells, removed the tongue, minced it and made toheroa fritters. Delicious.)
the tui in the trees
use both their voice boxes
(The New Zealand native bird the tui, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, is known for its unusual “song” which includes clicks, rattles, coughs and squeaks, as well as melodic sounds. Tui have two voice boxes and are able to mimic human speech and sounds like telephones and vehicle reversing beeps. Tui return to my inner-city street in Tauranga in large numbers in autumn – when the banksia trees have their nectar-laden flowers – and stay until the end of spring when they move to other food sources with the new generation.)
I think you can understand from this how immense of a delight it is for me to be organizing this amazing collection and how it already has come to be realized in such beauty. Tomorrow I will share some photos of our salon preview session, On the Queen Mary the poets themselves will be reading their own work Of course you will see photos and we will try to tape the voices and music. After the conference Rick and I we plan to hold a full reading of all the poems and all the footnotes at our home, as soon as possible after we return. Thank you poets, for your overwhelming enthusiasm for this idea, and the beautiful poems you have sent. I feel I have already learned so much and I am so happy to give you a glimpse of it. Thank your especially Sandra Simpson and our other New Zealand poets, for giving the koauau something to sing about.