winter grove –
the soft plop of snow
falling from branches
on bare branches – spring
clings to winter grove
I had the opportunity to sit in on Alan Summers’s workshop last week. It ended up being the most rousing “speed dating” session for haiku that I have ever been to! I don’t know how many audience haiku Alan got to but I’m guessing at least 60 in just over an hour.
I took down a few notes based on comments Alan made as he reviewed the haiku.
- Include specifics when you can
- Start with an expanse – a large area or item – before drilling down
- Add a movement
- Seasonal markers help save words. Interestingly he mentioned that outside of Japan the use of a season word is a choice. I’ve never heard anyone say that before, although I have seen it done many times.
- Adopt alliteration; it’s fun!
- Japanese tradition is that places don’t have to be famous to be named in haiku.
- Beware of words that repeat the same message.
- Use humour!
- There is no rigid rule for the order of things in haiku – stay flexible. He also added, “Haiku is not a police state.”
- Brevity is your friend.
There were many more ideas but I just couldn’t write any faster. The recording will be up soon on the Nick Virgilio House website if it’s not already.
Alan also mentioned the incredible haijin (haiku poet), Fay Aoyagi. I encourage you to browse through her blog here.
Finally, I want to remind you that February is National Haiku Writing Month, also known as NaHaiWriMo. It makes sense that a haiku month would fall in the shortest month! I challenge you all to write a haiku a day, even for February 29! A great source of prompts is on Facebook at NaHaiWriMo. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Michele Rule has two haiku on Five Fleas Itchy Poetry. You can read them here.
She also has a haiku in the newly released print edition of Dadaku 1, available on Amazon.
Isabella Mori had a haiku featured on The Scarlet Dragonfly:
-Isabella Mori, Canada
An Interview with Isabella Mori
Isabella Mori writes novels, short fiction, poetry and nonfiction, and is the author of three books of and about poetry, including A bagful of haiku – 87 imperfections. Isabella’s work has appeared in publications such as State Of Matter, Kingfisher, Signs Of Life, Presence, and The Group Of Seven Reimagined. An alumna of The Writers Studio, Mori is the founder of Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize which celebrates socially engaged poetry. A book of nonfiction about mental health and addiction is planned for publication with Three Ocean Press in 2024.
When were you first introduced to haiku?
My mother talked about them when I was a child. A German writer she admired, Klabund, was writing what he called “imitations of the lyrical style of the Japanese”.
Do you have a favourite time or place to do your writing?
I write haiku all the time but I absolutely love ginko – going for a slow walk and writing haiku is perhaps my favourite activity.
Upcoming Deadlines and Opportunities
For members of Haiku Canada, submissions are open for the Members Anthology until January 31.
Also open until January 31, Presence Haiku Journal
Heliosparrow Poetry Journal publishes weekly, with a rolling deadline.
Opening Feb. 1 until Feb. 15, The Cicada’s Cry, a micro journal from the UK
Worth checking out – Asahi Haikuist Network. Upcoming theme: Dragons
For members of the Federation of BC writers, Michele and Sally will be hosting a Haiku Writing Circle on the fourth Wednesday of the month. More info to follow.
Oh, and for some real fun, check out this link
This Week’s Prompt
This week’s prompt, stolen from the Monthly Tricycle Haiku Challenge is:
Send us your haiku, your news, your feedback, or the neighbor’s cat. We want it all!
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.-Basho