291days until
National Haiku Writing Month starts in February 2015

Comments

National Haiku Writing Month is a hit! The following are selected comments from 2011–2014 participants contributing to the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page, which has turned into a growing year-round community that shares poems written every day, often in response to daily prompts. Such geographical diversity, too! If you have a comment or suggestion you’d like to share about NaHaiWriMo or this website, please contact Michael Dylan Welch. See also Kathabela Wilson“NaHaiWriMo: It’s a Trap and Annette Makino’s appreciation for NaHaiWriMo, titled “Blossoming,” on her blog.
 

“NaHaiWriMo is my very favorite haiku site on Facebook! The daily prompts are the best—I’ve written haiku I never would have ever thought of without them.”

        Vivian Moore MacKinnon, Tucson, Arizona

 

“This is a great site for everyone to learn from each other, and for newcomers to learn about haiku.”

        Alan Summers, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England

 

“NaHaiWriMo appealed to me as a site to join—now it is addictive, I fear—am in awe of the talent displayed here—and intrigued by the challenge of composing haiku—NaHaiWriMo is an oasis in the sterile environment of the Internet—I am very grateful to have found this site!”

        Mary Sheridan, Dublin, Ireland

 

“NaHaiWriMo is indeed an oasis—functioning exactly the way social media should—and I hope it continues for a looonnnnggggg time. It’s like an all-level yoga class—you go at your own pace, model your efforts after those who are more experienced, sense the bigger-than-sum-of-parts feeling, expand into the moment.”

        Susan Murata, Marlborough, New Hampshire

 

“I found out about the daily prompts, and now seven months and more than 200 haiku later, I’m very happy to be an active member of this group. Thank you so much!”

        Freddy Ben-Arroyo, Haifa, Israel

 

“It’s great to have external prompts and to see the different/similar lines of thought in each response. I would write haiku anyway, but regular reading is even more important and inspirational.”

        Terry O’Connor, Tullamore, Ireland

 

“I’m having lots of fun writing, getting to everyone through their words, and just taking up the challenge of the daily prompts.”

        Christina Nguyen, Hugo, Minnesota

 

“Thank you for this wonderful site and for friends I’ve met here whose support I can’t thank them for enough. Posting a haiku a day and reading excellent ones others have shared has fast-tracked my haiku writing. A community as open and ‘loving’ as NaHaiWriMo, I now truly believe, is the best way or the only way to learn haiku. Didn’t the haijin of old Japan write together?”

        Alee Imperial Albano, Vancouver, British Columbia

 

“I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I could write a haiku a day for so long a period. I would almost say that NaHaiWriMo is addictive. Here I can challenge myself in a safe, playful, and friendly environment. For a novice like me, it has been an invaluable gift to be inspired by talented haiku writers every day.”

        Annie Juhl, Svendborg, Denmark

 

“Writing on an almost daily basis has helped me see where I need to tune up my haiku skills. Also, writing with a group is very rewarding to me—seeing other ‘takes’ on a theme.”

        Pris Campbell, West Palm Beach, Florida

 

“I enjoy the community spirit of writing on a theme. It’s interesting to read the haiku of others, and it’s not a kukai, so the element of competition is eliminated.”

        Gillena Cox, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

“This is why I love NaHaiWriMo: challenge, inspiration, community, opportunity, learning, sharing, safety/good hosting, and for all the other reasons I myself don’t even know about.”

        Stella Pierides, London, England

 

“When a haiku gets one vote, it’s ‘born’—the perfect use of the Facebook Like button. So many haiku are born at NaHaiWriMo. It’s a joy to participate.”

        Linda Papanicolaou, Stanford, California

 

“NaHaiWriMo gets me writing every day.”

        Johnny Baranski, Vancouver, Washington

 

“I enjoy the challenge and constraints of a daily prompt—much like restrictions imposed by a (less than) 5-7-5 syllable count! I look forward to everybody’s interpretations each day. NaHaiWriMo has added a new dimension to my life!”

        —Pamela Cooper, Montréal, Québec

 

“I like the challenge. It’s a good practice. Plus responses give you an indication about the quality of the haiku you post. But above all, NaHaiWriMo provides the opportunity to read beautiful haiku every day.”

        Vincent Hoarau, Lyon, France

 

“NaHaiWriMo offers a sense of community and belonging and sharing—it is just wonderful!”

        Daphne Purpus, Vashon, Washington

 

“NaHaiWriMo is a no-fail way to develop an ear for writing and reading haiku in community with like-minded others. And it’s fun!”

        Cara Holman, Portland, Oregon

 

“From the prompts, I’ve learned to write haiku on random topics by refreshing my memories. Reading other people’s haiku also reawakens beautiful memories that have been here all along. NaHaiWriMo is a great place to share and learn, a place where you may find friends to help you on your path in writing haiku.”

        —Christine L. Villa, Sacramento, California

 

“NaHaiWriMo has literally kept me going, despite being ill. Doing a haiku a day has lifted my spirits and given me just the right thing to make for which I could make a commitment. I am so pleased to have discovered NaHaiWriMo—thank you!”

        —Liz Rice-Sosne, St. Louis, Missouri

 

“I’ve enjoyed this month of crazy challenges like nobody’s business. NaHaiWriMo has been invaluable for me in many ways. Thanks so much!”

        —Sanjuktaa Asopa, Belgaum, India

 

“NaHaiWriMo has such great posts, especially for a beginner like me who is trying to understand haiku. I have NaHaiWriMo bookmarked on my browser! I am loving it. Social networking may have its flaws but here it seems to be a blessing. I enjoy reading all the entries and hope that by doing so I am learning something too. I am glad that I took part in NaHaiWriMo this year. There is no better way to learn than actually writing a haiku regularly and sharing with others here, learning on the way. Thank you everyone for your encouragement.”

        Jayashree Maniyil, Melbourne, Australia

 

“NaHaiWriMo is a grand place to hang out. It has become my first visit and read of the day as I drink my morning coffee. It also often acts as the first off-spring for my writing—it gets me started as I don’t have to do much to find a subject to write about. It’s served here. Thanks for setting this up, and for all the work and material you’ve put into providing us with a combo of a greenhouse, playground, and friendship.”

        —Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Højby, Denmark

 

“NaHaiWriMo has been a lesson in discipline and I think my haiku has improved. I’ve enjoyed having new friends, reading a variety of styles, wandering along with my imagination, and mixing haiku and senryu. Thanks to everyone.”

        —Ida Freilinger, Bellevue, Washington

  

“NaHaiWriMo has been a wonderful experience. I believe we are all growing from the cross-pollination of words and friendship. I’ve read so many fantastic haiku this month.”

        —Claire Everett, Northallerton, United Kingdom
 
“I did it—one haiku a day throughout February! And now I’m not sure if I can stop . . .”

        —Tore Sverredal, Göteborg, Sweden

 

“I don’t have time to do NaHaiWriMo this month, so I’m doing it. There is something about that innocent little prompt that has the mysterious power to jar me out of writer’s block, even if temporarily. And once I’ve written my one haiku for the day I feel absolved of all guilt for not writing for another 24 hours, which I believe actually saves me time in the end.”

        —Melissa Allen, Madison, Wisconsin

 

“Being a writer is solitary. It’s good to be able to tap into a community of like-minded/hearted people. NaHaiWriMo makes me feel just a bit less odd.”

        —Sheila Windsor, Worcester, England

 

“You have made a great difference in my life with NaHaiWriMo!”

        —Dawn Apanius, Hudson, Ohio

 

“NaHaiWriMo is a wonderful and supportive group. The prompters and writers have helped me ease into a practice of paying attention and writing more or less every day. Thank you.”

        —Michelle Angeles, Palm Bay, Florida

 

“A fantastic opportunity to grow as a writer, along with other writers.”

        —Stuart Zobel, Seattle, Washington

 

“A wonderful forum for art and community. Wish I would have started participating sooner.”

        —Michael Henry Lee, Saint Augustine, Florida


“Thank you so much for this incredibly supportive forum.”
        —Patsy Turner, Christchurch, New Zealand

“It was lovely to be welcomed into your Facebook community, full of poets whose haiku (and stamina) I admire. I tried to read every post and about mid February I started to be grateful that February is a short month! I appreciate all the likes and comments.”
        —Eider Green, The New Forest, England


“This is my third consecutive year and this year I’m here with all the members of our Indian haiku group, so the fun is doubled! For many of them, this is the first time, but we are all enjoying NaHaiWriMo hugely.”
        Sanjuktaa Asopa, Belgaum, India


“Sometimes there are prompts that I am sure that I cannot do anything with but then I surprise myself.”
        Joleeva Walker, Dardanelle, Arkansas

“This is my first time doing NaHaiWriMo! So far, I’ve noticed two things in my own writing: First, although I average one haiku/senryu per day over the course of a year, I don’t tend to write one per day; I may go without writing for, say, six days and then get inspired and write a half-dozen poems. The act of carving out time and then writing every single day is becoming a very enjoyable part of my daily routine! That brings me to my second point: Although inspiration doesn’t come to me every day, a daily prompt does. I’m so pleased with how the prompts get my mind thinking in new directions! Many have been the warnings about writing “desk ku”—how flat and flawed they can be. What I’m finding, though, is that writing from a prompt doesn’t mean NOT writing from experience. Everything we “go through,” whether through lived experience or vicariously through books, films, etc., can be used to good effect. Not all haiku have to be true (that is, autobiographical); they just have to be real. If they’re real, there is a good chance they will resonate.”
        Bill Waters, Pennington, New Jersey

“I enjoy reading the wonderful haiku on this page. It helps me to improve and write better. I can see my learning curve going up.”
        Archana Kapoor Nagpal, Bangalore, India

“I’ve been writing on NaHaiWriMo for about four days. I completely enjoy the challenge of the prompts, the uniqueness of all the responses, and the company of the other writers. It’s just fun!”
        Cathy Placella Catterson, Vietri sul Mare, Italy

“NaHaiWriMo is great!”
        Jean-Claude “Bikko” Nonnet, Poitiers, France

“I really like NaHaiWriMo! It is challenging, fun and I feel like I’ve learned a good bit on this site just by reading the great haiku that others have written here and also reading and getting feedback. It can be addictive too!”

        Nan Bagwell Payne, Meridian, Mississippi
 

“Before NaHaiWriMo came along, I had made a resolution to write a haiku a day in 2011. Happily, I’ve managed to do so for the first time since 2005! The sense of community has been consistent and nurturing, and the daily prompts have been vital when the inspirational well ran dry.”

        —Paul David Mena, Wayland, Massachusetts

 

“I’m learning here every day, on so many levels. The most important thing I have learnt is to loosen up and relax. Only then can I develop my skills. And this is what this group is so good at. The atmosphere here is unique.”

        —Annie Juhl, Svendborg, Denmark

 

“This group has encouraged me to open my mind, the prompts lead us places where we might not otherwise wander, and I see a lot of haiku of which I can truly say WOW.”

        —Kat Creighton, Point Pleasant, New Jersey

 

“For me, the main benefit of NaHaiWriMo has been to shed the 5-7-5 straitjacket, and to get back in touch with the true sense of the haiku form. Very freeing for me.”

        Ellen Brown Rust, Franklin, Tennessee

 

NaHaiWriMo has given me more incentive to try and write some poetry every day!”

        Wendy Kaplan-Emmons, Cape May, New Jersey and Syracuse, New York

 

“This is my first month with NaHaiWriMo and it is a fantastic community. I appreciate all the prompts and the work it takes to keep this community going. The poems are thought-provoking and I learn a lot just from reading them and reading people’s comments. And the most important thing: the tone of responses is respectful and encouraging. I will definitely continue to post—and hopefully with increasing frequency.”

        B Fay Wiese, Waupaca, Wisconsin

 

“I got a late start but the articles about haiku have helped me immensely with shedding 5-7-5 and finding what it actually means to write a haiku. If I don’t get a chance to do any other writing on a particular day, NaHaiWriMo still makes it possible to do something daily. A sweet lil’ ball of inspiration! Thank you.”

        Hannah Gosselin, Georgetown, Maine

 

“The exercise has made me more productive and helped me to work faster. Even if I end up only with a draft, at least I have over twenty haiku to work on after a month rather than just six or seven. Downside—waking at 2:00 a.m. and composing haiku in my head for a couple of hours every night!”

        Marion Clarke, Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

 

“This has kept me in practice with haiku. It has also taught me the idea of fewer words to express my point.”

        Donald Hargraves, Hammond, Indiana

 

“NaHaiWriMo provides inspiration and support, and gives one the opportunity to interact in a supportive environment. All very valuable for any artistic endeavor. As well, the website and articles provide a wealth of instruction and information. Thank you for all you do!”

        Robert Franson, Santa Cruz, California

 

Been a hoot! My old friends, the ones I had before February, have been wondering why I haven’t been posting on Facebook anymore! Heck, they just don’t know where to look. So glad I found your Facebook page. NaHaiWriMo this past month has opened up so many possibilities. Thank you so much, everyone, for being a part of such an exciting community! It is getting harder and harder to leave home.”

        Karla Decker, Lincoln, Nebraska

 

“I had writers block but the NaHaiWriMo prompts caught my imagination/memories. I didn’t mean to post every day, but I found that I did (to my surprise) and almost all of them to my satisfaction. It’s been good to hear voices from the other side of the Atlantic that are vaguely familiar or new to me and I have made five new Facebook friends as a result of NaHaiWriMo.”

        Dave Serjeant, Chesterfield, England

 

“A great benefit is all the inspired creativity. A few real beauties emerging as well as fun poems. The prompts require thinking on running feet—good practice for me. You can actually see growth in new poets and a freshening in some of us ‘oldies.’ And it’s all great fun, which is pure inspiration in itself.

        Andrea Grillo, Randolph, New Jersey

 

“It was good for me to have the discipline of everyday writing, and to put the poems out there. Thanks for all the interesting links and prompts. And thanks, everyone, for the wonderful community you make.

        Belinda Broughton, Adelaide, Australia

 

“Usually, to make haiku, I look at something in nature and write a spontaneous response in the moment. Because my poems on NaHaiWriMo were written to prompts, I have had to work harder. It appears to me that as a result my haiku have been better than usual.”

        Rosemary Nissen-Wade, Murwillumbah, Australia

 

“Thank you for doing NaHaiWriMo. I have enjoyed the month of haiku immensely and found that it was just the thing to get me out of the winter doldrums. I was feeling quite stale about my haiku and NaHaiWriMo seemed to kickstart things again. So I am grateful for this opportunity and also to all the people who added comments. I will use this as a new resource to generate the haiku spirit whenever it flags!”

        Heather McDonald, Ottawa, Ontario

 

“This is the first month that I have challenged myself to write haiku each day. It has been rewarding, whether I have written something good or something mediocre. There are some great writers on this page willing to offer their experience and help and I am really grateful for this—and have learned a lot. Being humble and willing to learn helps.”

        —Nancy Davenport, Menlo Park, California

 

“It is such fun to share work here with fellow writers—we need more of the same!”

        —Mary Máire Morrissey-Cummins, Bergen, Netherlands

 

“Thanks, NaHaiWriMo, for being my psychotherapist for February.”

        —Michael Nickels-Wisdom, Spring Grove, Illinois

 

“It has been such a pleasure writing in community with everyone at NaHaiWriMo. Thanks to each and every one of you. You helped to brighten my February and to get me writing every day.”

        —Anne Burgevin, State College, Pennsylvania

 

“Writing haiku, even for the occasional silly prompts, has been fun. But reading the poems of others has been simply a delight. Plus, I’m quite sure my non-NaHaiWriMo haiku have improved. Coincidence?”

        —Pavel Soukenik, Bellevue, Washington

 

“Regarding the daily prompts, writing on subjects I’d never have chosen was a blast. But the greatest benefit was interacting with so many crafty and witty folks.”

        —Bret Mars, Santa Cruz, California

 

“I’ve been writing daily haiku for the past several years and posting on the NaHaiWriMo page on a daily basis since mid August 2011. The feedback received is often fun and always energizing and the sense of community I find here provides a welcome respite to writing that is essentially a lonely endeavor. Thanks to all and especially to NaHaiWriMo for creating this oasis.”

        —Susan E. Buffington, New Hartford, New York

 

“NaHaiWriMo is like a conversation among friends.”

—Merrill Gonzalez, Dayville, Connecticut

 

“NaHaiWriMo is an endless inspiration!!”

—Kashinath Karmakar, Durgapur, India

 

“After three months of writing haiku with this amazing group, I have yet to stop being amazed at the diversity and yet commonality of so many talented poets. I keep thinking, I’ll just do this month, then I find myself still writing. It’s addictive.

        —June Rose Dowis, Shreveport, Louisiana

 

“NaHaiWriMo is a platform where I can learn much more than from just reading books about haiku. It is hands-on and in the moment. The interaction, the word prompts, the versatility of each participant has given me many ideas and possibilities on how to write haiku. There is no judgment here and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. I feel at home and the sharing here is just fabulous! NaHaiWriMo has played a great part in opening up my mind and thoughts in writing haiku.”

        —Asni Amin, Singapore

 

“NaHaiWriMo represents the finest tradition of haiku as I imagine it: Poets coming together to share their delight in the power of words to evoke images and emotions; poets learning from one another and sharing their work, reading and having their haiku read. It is a gentle way of judging how your work is received (did others “like” it or not) and suggestions, when made, are kind and helpful.”

        —Jacqueline Chama, Eugene, Oregon

 
“I love the prompts that take me out of my daily rut. Thank you for an inspiring February.”
        —Peggy Hale Bilbro, Huntsville, Alabama


“I’ve been nahaiwrimoing for several years. I like to carry the writing prompt around with me for the day. Sometimes I notice something relating to it, other times it sparks a memory, but it usually takes a while to happen. I often go off at a tangent and don’t always use the prompt word.”
        Alison Williams, Southampton, England

“What does NaHaiWriMo mean to me? Discipline, focus on what matters, improvement in my work, hopefully. My favorite thing about NaHaiwriMo is the unity. People from all over the world from different cultures and experiences worry and think about the same things—love, beauty, peace, nature, and spirit. It’s a good thing.”
        June Rose Dowis, Shreveport, Louisiana

“This is my first time doing NaHaiWriMo, and I’m enjoying it because there are so many other great haiku posted here. Reading them also helps me understand how a great haiku is written and how I can improve my own.”
        Matthew Allan, West Covina, California

“Some of the daily writing prompts seem impossible at first, but stretch memories and imagination and some days I am very happy with results. Reading daily haiku is good practice, too. Enjoy the poems and learn from others. So glad my friends Carlos and June helped me find NaHaiWriMo on Facebook.”
        Dennise Aiello, Benton, Louisiana

“NaHaiWriMo encourages me to write every day. I can get caught up in the frenzy of work and life and forget to focus on the moments. Haiku is just a great way to pull out a few of those moments to enhance them in a way that touches others also. Love it! Thanks for the forum to do it in.”
        Kathy Troidle Jackson, Ghent, New York

“I started writing haiku to pass the time while deployed but have continued due to Facebook friends requesting one to start their day. NaHaiWriMo has become a good habit to open the mind in the morning.”
        Tamara Cobbiani

“I enjoy this very much. I like reading other people’s poems. I would like to have more feedback. I know many of my poems are not really haïkus, just minimalist poems, but I’m trying and it’s fun. It can even get obsessional. I sometimes find myself in the moon searching for that perfect line.”
        Polly Dritsas, Québec City, Québec