Celebrating Deborah P. Kolodji and Naia Organizers HNA 2013 Sunday Morning Aug 18

Sunday morning, August 18, 2013 marked the grand finale of the HNA conference aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It was a celebratory occasion, Deborah P.Kolodji and Naia with bouquets of applause for a fantastic conference, and a thoughtful review of the many highlights! We’ll continue to go into detail here, where Haiku Matters, discussing the impressive array of programs and give more insight into those details. Your roving reporter is just back from the trip. Because of the fantastic success and rich programs I feel energized and inspired, rather than tired, even with all the work. What better result could there be.Now we have ten days before the end of this month to share as much as possible, the poets and poetry that gave so much joy.


Here in Pasadena today, we have kris moon staying with us untol she returns to Japan Saturday morning. She gave a little continuation of HNA right here at our Red Door Workshop with a renku in action – our local poets at our short poetry-haiku -tanka meeting were delighted!


kris moon, Taura Scott, James Won, Kathabela, Joan Stern, Ross Anthony – renku with kris moon, Red Door, Caltech Wednesday Noon, Aug 21, 2013


Notes from the Gean Literary Review

Dear Readers,


Notes from the Gean Literary Review is now soliciting essays, articles, book reviews, analysis of individual poems and any other resources or material that may be of interest to our readers which does not fit within the remit of Notes from the Gean monthly haiku journal.

Please consult our submissions page


Submissions to geaneditor [@] gmail [.] com

I attended a reading by Prof Alan Spence tonight in Aberdeen:

Tuesday 20th August, 7pm, Waterstone’s, Union Bridge.

ALAN SPENCE will read from his acclaimed new novel Night Boat, set in 18th Century Japan. Just published, it has already received stunning reviews. Alan is an award-winning poet and playwright, novelist and short story writer. He is the University’s Professor in Creative Writing and founded the annual WORD Festival. Night Boat is Waterstone’s Scottish Book of the Month. Admission is free and doors open at 6.30pm

My review copy of his new book Night Boat (which tells the story of Zen master Hakuin) is coming soon and I will be interviewing Prof Spence for Notes from the Gean Literary Review which will be out in November.


Tanka Sunday Amazing Finale Tanka Poets on Site

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Tanka Sunday evening began with a ten minute performance by Tanka Poets on Site. This was such a moving experience for your roving reporter, she just had to skip to this and share as much as possible before we leave this morning for the boat excursion to Catalina Island off the coast here, at 7 am, Monday morning August 19. In the coming days I will be reviewing the many rich and wonderful programs and poets, inspirations and influences that have come into our lives here at this, the largest Haiku North America conference ever. Tanka Sunday followed the conference… with an hour break! This spectacular conference could not have a more beautiful Finale than Tanka Sunday. And for our Tanka Poets on Site to be appreciated as they were among the assembled distinguished international poets was an honor and a delight!


Friday ~The Regional Reading~ Day Three HNA

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Regional Reading, Poets of Japan, Mariko Kitakubo, You can see the shakuhachi flute projected on the screen behind. So inspiring!

“in Aoyama
an Avenue of cherry
the other world”

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The assembled group of HNA attendees, the international poets, present their regions. Each group, each region, came to the forefront and spoke the poems of their region.

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Thanks to Stevie Strang for this photo of the Regional Reading in action. Such an amazingly satisfying experience. All the international poets read beautiful haiku expressions of place. I was thrilled with the experience. The book, Rick’s music the poets came in groups of regions and read individually emerging from that sense of place, it satisfied my vision and excitement. So happy with this. Thank you, international poets on the Queen Mary!

Second Day HNA Queen Mary starts before dawn

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last night reception
6 AM
Your roving reporter was roving around her room at 4 am this morning looking out of portholes and writing haiku on the current conference theme of the day “salt air”. I love the active monitor in the book room that displays our twittered posts on the themes~ the real live twitter stream on the hashtag #HaikuNA. You too can write on the themes and post them to twitter using #HaikuNA!

Last night for the conference reception we played duets as the background as poets talked and shared. Rick played improvising on bansuri I sang and played tamboura. The instruments we played came into our hands and were carried home by us from our recent trip to India. The depth of that experience giving me a chance to float in that interior world amidst the busy times was a gift, and invitation by the organizers.

Michael Dylan Welch talking about “How Long is a Haiku Moment”

I was so happy I chose to go to this. I know Michael well but I was blissful listening because his ideas are alive, fresh, vivid, questioning, inspiring. Many of these sessions are double or triple billed. so one has to choose. When I can I will give you some photos, insights from Kris Kondo, by dear “twin” kris moon, when she goes to another session. Mostly my roving needs to be centered and poetical as I don’t spread myself thin in a situation like this… it has to be a rich and not a scattered experience.


Stuart Baker “Do All Roads Lead to Basho”

The talks I went today to were all in one room, the smaller, and the less air conditioned one. This gave a more focused experience. The talk by Stewart Baker, “Do all Roads lead to Basho” was also wonderful, with intriguing comments and examples of translation. Again I was so pleased to be there.



Haiku Journal Editors Panel

First Day Arrival HNA Conference Queen Mary


Arriving on the Queen Mary : eight hours without a break… of reunion, work as an organizer AND my roving reporter inclinations for you… in the the midst: my determination to feel the pulse of poetry as my primary heart beat and yours… How did this, can this, happen in this busy world!!?? How many of you have felt this at such a gathering? Who you are is poetry… the organizers were striving to bring out every chance for poetry to be “on board” as primary companion! Deborah P. Kolodji and Naia, strong beautiful poets themselves, gracefully working so hard because “haiku matters” It is their quest too!!

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One of the special ways they kept the poetry primary was to set a prompt theme for haiku of the day. In the book fair, registration room was a digital screen which displayed the current haiku Twittered on the theme of the day! “migration”! I loved this, all of it. The theme the contemporary nature of the approach, the way it looked and connected all the migrating poets. I wrote about ten haiku on this, some before I came because the prompt was displayed ahead. Theme for second day is “salt air”. (My NaHaiWriMo and Mijikai haiku are also influenced by this…)

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Your roving reporter’s traveling circus equipment! Our dear friend (non of these three attending the conference came to HELP us set up!)

For Tanka Sunday: the Book by Tanka Poets on Site

Prepared for Tanka Sunday Finale of the HNA Conference:


Download or Read here:


of prompts
performed for Tanka Sunday August 18, 2013
on the Queen Mary, Long Beach CA

sampling by Tanka Poets on Site

cover 1

Inspired by

Kathabela’s Prompts:

“No ordinary flower”

“What cannot be contained”

“What fruit do you identify with or talk to”

Gary Blankenship’s
“Children playing (in the streets)”

Since August 1, 2012 members of Tanka Poets on Site,
an online collaborative group on Facebook has written tanka on on 382
prompts. We archive all the poems written to the site, and estimate that we have collected close to 8,000 tanka from international poets.

The prompts are given by Kath Abela Wilson (Kathabela)
Assisted once a week now, by Gary Blankenship.

Gary is the head archivist, assisted by Kathabela, and recently joined as assistant archivist by Susan Burch.


Kath Abela Wilson
Editor and Director
Tanka Poets on Site

Sponsored for Tanka Society Of America
by Poets on Site

Last Day before Boarding Packing for the Queen Mary: A Day’s Journal

Preparing for the HNA conference, last minute details… lots of responsibility – all the organizers feel this way, but we know, it will be beautiful. The organizers have created a conference blog, which will have details on many of the programs: http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/blog.html There, a haiku prompt will be given for the conference each day. The first is (appropriately) “migration”. Tweet your haiku with the hashtag : #HaikuNA Also see recent articles on the HNA blog on the senryu workshop by Sunny Seki, and a rengay workshop by Gary Gay.

For me the poetry of it all rises strongly to my feelings. That is what I am here for. I will center on that. You will feel it here strongly the “haiku moments” the power of our poetic imagination alive in nature. We center on that here. Join me on the trail… the wake… of beauty.

kris moon us

Our beautiful friend from Japan, kris moon, (aka Kris Kondo) made the haiga of us above. She stayed in our home the last few days, a long awaited meeting of hearts, and now is with her daughter till boarding ship tomorrow. After the conference she will return to us. She will do a program Friday evening August 23, 6:30 PM of her own work, and also we will do a full REGIONAL READING with all the footnotes!


PACKING THE FLUTES! Remember Rick will be playing flutes of the world for the Regional Reading. They have to be packed and carried with us. The Anasazi (Native American) flutes will be used for the Southwest and Northern CA.


Above: Anasazi flutes now at the Arizona State Museum.

In 1931, four wooden flutes were discovered in a cave in Northeastern
Arizona. They are relics of the Ancestral Pluebloan (Anasazi)
culture and have been dated to 620-670 ACE. As such, they are the
earliest preserved wooden flutes (others were bone or cane) from
North America. They are surprisingly sophististicated instruments,
carefully constructed of of boxelder, with six finger holes. No one
can know what kind of music or signaling these flutes were used for.

An instrument modeled on these ancient flutes, but somewhat larger
and made of cedar by Corote Oldman, will accompany poets from
Northern California and the U.S. Southwest. The Anasazi flutes
are rim-blown like the Mojave Desert Flute mentioned in an earlier
post. Today, replicas are usually equipped with a chamfered
upper rim and played in the way shakuhachis are, but authorities believe
that rim-blown Native American flutes were most often played
with an “interdental embouchures”, in the style of the Persian
ney. Here the entire rim is placed within the lips and against the
teeth. It is rare to hear a rim-blown Native American flute, and
extremely rare to hear one played with the interdental embouchure, as
it will be heard in the Regional Reading.

We just finished our Tanka Poets on Site Celebrational Book for Tanka Sunday – we think it is beautiful!! I am going to make a whole new post to celebrate… continuing the day’s journal with a real accomplishment for Tanka Poets on Site!