New additions to this website include “All the News,” a rengay I wrote with late Paul O. Williams five years before he died, new on the Rengay page. And in the “Poems About Haiku” section of the Poems by Others page are Sengai’s “On Bashō’s Frog” and an untitled poem by John Vieira. Please spend a moment with each of these pieces.
One of the most satisfying essays I’ve written in a decade is now on the Essays page. “This Perfect Rose: The Lasting Legacy of William J. Higginson” first appeared in the Haiku Foundation journal Juxta in May 2015. I’ve slightly updated and corrected it here. William J. Higginson was a writer and mentor whose influence extended to many thousands of poets writing haiku—not just in English-speaking countries but around the world. My tribute explores the poems, essays, translations, criticism, and personal influences of one of the most important commentators on English-language haiku writing in the twentieth century. I was honoured to count him as a friend.
Just added to the Reports page are the 2015 Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award Winners, a contest I judged for the North Carolina Poetry Society. The results appeared in Pinesong Awards 2015 (Southern Pines, North Carolina: North Carolina Poetry Society, 2015). My commentary on the winners was not included in the book, and thus are first published here.
I’ve just updated the Poets in the Park page with the complete schedule for this year's festival, plus lists of all the groups and organizations involved, and the names of more than 110 poets and other performers who will be sharing their poetry. Here’s an announcement about the event, which I’m putting on as part of my poet laureate activities for the city of Redmond, Washington.
Poets in the Park: June 20, 2015, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm—FREE
Anderson Park, 7802 168th Ave NE, Redmond, Washington
Join us for a free day of poetry! More than 110 scheduled readers, plus workshops, exhibitors, the King County Metro poetry bus, poetry installations, chalk poetry, art activities, mini-golf, hula-hoops, open-mics, free ice cream, and more. Contribute to the lunchtime potluck (participants receive a free poetry book), and bring poetry books to sell in our book fair (no commission taken). See complete schedule, parking info, and other details at Poets in the Park. Questions? Email Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com. Bring friends! See you there!
Sponsored by the Redmond Arts & Culture Commission and the Redmond Association of Spokenword, with support from 4Culture and Poets & Writers, Inc., directed by Michael Dylan Welch, Redmond poet laureate. Additional thanks to Parkplace Books, Kiwanis, and all our volunteers.
A new addition on the Essays page is “Laughing with Karumi,” published in the British Haiku Society journal Blithe Spirit in May of 2015. It explores the notion of “lightness” in haiku, which was one of Bashō’s highest aims with his poetry. For me, writing a haiku with karumi is like catching a soap bubble without popping it. Learn more about this challenging haiku technique.
Well, most of the world, anyway. Or at least they visit. Graceguts has had hits from 193 countries and territories in the world, including the following smaller or more obscure morsels, which have provided exactly one hit each: Andorra, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Caribbean Netherlands, Côte d’Ivoire, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Lesotho, Martinique, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands Antilles, Palau, Réunion, Senegal, Somalia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Tajikistan, and Vanuatu. Still no hits from Greenland, Madagascar, Cuba, Spitzbergen, North Korea, Turkmenistan, little countries like Liechtenstein, Monte Carlo, San Marino, Nauru, Tuvalu, and the Seychelles, and the following additional countries in Africa: Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea. And Vatican City. Gee, doesn't the Pope write haiku?
When was the last time you carried a notebook with you on a walk in the woods? Haiku poets do that all the time, using their notebooks to record impressions, seasonal awarenesses, and other seeds for writing haiku. Learn more about “Notebook Walking,” a short blog posting of mine that recently appeared on the Sammamish Walks website, just posted to the Essays page.
Just added to the Reports page are my selections and comments for the 2013 Haiku Poets of Northern California Haiku Contest. First place went to Roland Packer. Congrats to all the winners, and thank you to HPNC for the honour of judging this contest.
Five new additions to the “Appreciating Haiku” section of the Essays page are “Comments on Frogpond,” featuring dozens of poems by various poets from issues of the Haiku Society of America journal published in the summer and autumn of 2003, and in the winters of 2006, 2011, and 2013. These personal reactions may show you a side of these poems you might not notice at first.
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