Fall Poems

Originally posted on Haiku Prayers - Poetry And Other Art:

summer to fall
willow branches
in sun and shadow

sweeping gold leaves
from the walkway
the years that are past
drew me closer
to God

gold leaves
drift to ground
sunbeam on water

* * *

I’m rereading the Fall 2013 Time Of Singing, as I await the new issue.  Lora H. Zill included a note about The Haiku Foundation Education Wall, which includes the work of many people.

Also this haiku, that was simply a gift to me:

late November
sun fills a glass
for a time

Lora Zill’s website, with a blog, is the blue collar artist.

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Haiku Is Healing

Every week, I give a haiku workshop somewhere, mainly at libraries, bookstores, and through writer’s organizations. I’m celebrating my new book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. I guess you could say I live and breathe haiku. Two major workshops in the near future are: (1) Sponsored by Poets & Patrons, at Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. (2) Sponsored by Glenview (IL) Public Library, Sunday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. (The latter will include an audience haiku contest with prizes. Register at http://www.glenviewpl.org)

Why am I so enamored of haiku? Mainly because it is so healing. I discovered haiku in 1994 when I was going through a difficult time in my life. Capturing the moments of our lives–which is what haiku is all about–calms us. It doesn’t matter whether we are happy or sad, capturing our life’s moments validates us.

I have written haiku about funny moments, joyful moments, and serious moments such as illness, death, and aging. When we put something down on paper, the moment becomes all the more real, we face the dilemma, and even if it is a sad moment, we have a sense of freedom. We got that thought out on paper, faced the problem, and found that it was a little less scary.

I have written a few thousand haiku in the past twenty years. About 10 percent have been published, which is normal for any writer. Only a fraction of what we write usually gets published. But, we often need to share what we write, because when we share, people often respond to it, and let us know that they feel the same way we do or at least, they can relate to it. Then, we don’t feel alone in the world. Being a writer is a solitary activity, but sharing our writing makes it less of a lonely life.

Here are two haiku I published:

taking refuge
from torrential rain . . .
gray inside

shoveling snow . . .
the weight of
his words

The next time you feel lonely or have a problem to face, write a haiku–something thoughtful and insightful, not a “so what” (trite) haiku. Make sure it has some literary value, so it just isn’t a random thought. If you don’t think haiku has literary value, then check out my book from your library. It is a how-to book, and it discusses the literary elements of haiku.

You can write haiku with literary devices that is thoughtful and get it published. But, you must educate yourself about it. Investigate haiku!

Copyright 2014 by Charlotte Digregorio.

Posted in Haiku, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Haiku Book, Japanese Style Poetry, Language Arts, Poetry, Poetry Books, Poetry Workshops, Poets, Publishing Haiku, Senryu book, Short Poetry, Teaching Haiku, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Books | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capture Your Life’s Moments through Haiku and Senryu

If you’ve been following my posts, I was busy June, July, and August doing many haiku and senryu presentations. (Senryu has the same style as haiku, but it is written about human nature, rather than about nature and the seasons, as haiku is.) I will continue to do more presentations during the fall months leading up to the holiday season.

This month, I will have two special events, presenting haiku in the Chicago metro area. One is sponsored by Highland Park Poetry and the other, by Rush University Medical Center in conjunction with Cancer Survivor’s Day. Wherever you live, chances are, you are within driving distance of a local haiku group through the Haiku Society of America. I am Midwest Regional Coordinator of HSA, and when local HSA groups meet, the programs are free and open to the public.

The word is spreading about haiku and senryu, and they are written in about 56 languages worldwide, according to David McMurray, haiku scholar and author. McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is also the editor of OUTREACH, a bi-monthly column featuring international teachers in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teacher (JALT).

McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.

McMurray’s books include: Canada Project in Kyushu Vol. 1 (2006) – Vol. 7 (2011), Pukeko: Fukuoka; and Haiku in English as a Japanese Language (2003), Pukeko: Kitakyushu. McMurray won the R. H. Blyth Award 2013 from the World Haiku Club for his book, Canada Project: Collected Essays & Poems, 2013 Volume 8.

The following is a press release I have written for my upcoming event sponsored by Highland Park Poetry:

Experience the delight of capturing your life’s moments with haiku and senryu–short insightful poems–at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27 at Madame ZuZu’s Tea House, 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, IL. Sponsored by Highland Park Poetry, there will be a short presentation and reading by Charlotte Digregorio, author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, followed by an audience haiku contest. The winner will be awarded a haiku journal of poetry/essays. An open mic will follow. Digregorio is Midwest Regional Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America.

Haiku and senryu originated in Japan centuries ago and are becoming a fad worldwide, written in about 56 languages. Haiku focuses on nature and the seasons, and senryu, with the same style, focuses on human nature and is often humorous. During the open mic, participants may read up to six of their poems on any form.

For more information, contact Jennifer Dotson, founder of Highland Park Poetry, jennifer@highlandparkpoetry.org.

Also on Sept. 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m., I will be doing a haiku workshop at Rush University Medical Center. Since haiku and senryu have such a healing nature for all who write them, they are a particularly relevant topic for Cancer survivors.

The purpose of any workshop is to have people try their hand at the topic under discussion. That is why my workshops always include writing time. Participants get the chance to try out their work on other participants, if they wish to.

Attend haiku gatherings in your area, whether you are a beginning or experienced haikuist. I just got through judging the annual Gerald Brady Memorial Contest for Senryu, sponsored by the Haiku Society of America. The contest was open to the public, and we received hundreds of entries. It was interesting to read so many voices of senryu.

I’m sure those who write haiku and senryu would agree that the two forms captivate those who write them!

Posted in contest, Creativity, Haiku, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Haiku Book, Haiku Society of America, Humorous Haiku, Japanese Style Poetry, Language Arts, Poetry, Poetry Books, Poetry Readings, Poetry Workshops, Poets, Publishing Haiku, Senryu book, Short Poetry, Teaching Haiku, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Happy Presidents Day” by Carl D’Agostino

Originally posted on I Know I Made You Smile:


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First Book Available

Originally posted on I Know I Made You Smile:

Endured a lot of set backs and disappointments last five years but my first book is finally out. Published December 11, 2013 Covers home-made, images and text hand drawn. 100 full color images is VERY expensive to manufacture. Thanks to Rick Flynn tech support.  Available estore: https://www.createspace.com/3914969  and amazon books: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477699988

Endured a lot of set backs and disappointments last five years but my first book is finally out. Published December 11, 2013
Covers home-made, images and text hand drawn. 100 full color images is VERY expensive
to manufacture. Thanks to Rick Flynn tech support. Available estore: https://www.createspace.com/3914969 and
amazon books: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477699988


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“Spinach-Artichoke dip pasta sauce” by Carl D’Agostino

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Schedule Released for The Cradle of American Haiku Festival

Here it is! The schedule/description of events for The Cradle of American Haiku Festival to be held Friday through Sunday, July 25-27 at The Foundry Books, 105 Commerce St., Mineral Point, WI.

It is being combined with the National Meeting of the Haiku Society of America and the public is invited. The events are free, but there is a nominal fee for the reception on Friday night and dinner on Saturday night. Sunday’s events will be informal with a gingko walk (nature walk) to inspire the writing of haiku, along with haiku readings at Sunday lunch.

The main events are on Saturday. Please read below and be in touch with Gayle Bull at The Foundry Books, info@foundrybooks.com to register.

Incidentally, I will be giving a workshop on writing haiku and senryu, the latter humorous haiku. I will also be selling my book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All.


2 pm– Registration at THE FOUNDRY BOOKS
Set up and begin selling poets’ books.
Coffee, tea or iced tea on the porch

5:30 pm–Opening reception at THE FOUNDRY BOOKS

(Lee Gurga, Randy Brooks and Charlie Trumbull)
Copies of their haiku will be distributed and we will take turns reading them.



Breakfast on your own.

Farmer’s Market, Water Tower Park

Presented by Aubrie Cox
While photographic haiga follows many of the same principles as traditional haiga, today’s technology often makes it easier for poets to attempt haiga through contemporary mediums. This presentation will explore not only the fundamentals of haiga, but also address key principles poets and artists should keep in mind when composing and creating photographic and digital haiga, such as typefaces, color, negative space, arrangement, and image editing programs. Attendees will have the chance to apply what they learn in the presentation with a hands-on activity.

9 pm “Polishing Your Haiku to be The Best for Publication
Presented by Charlotte Digregorio
This workshop for beginning and intermediate haikuists will give you everything you need to write your poems with a critical eye and publish them successfully. There will be a general presentation on the content and style of haiku/senryu, analysis and discussion of excellent examples of it, followed by the nuts and bolts of submitting poems that will catch the editor’s eye. Handouts provided.

Presented by Randy and Shirley Brooks
Randy & Shirley Brooks, co-editors and publishers of Brooks Books (formerly High/Coo Press) will be sharing their experience of publishing haiku over the last four decades. In this presentation, they will share the experiments, shifts, and long-lasting traditions established through their publishing efforts and how that history corresponds with broader trends in the English-language haiku community.

Presented by Melissa Allen
In this workshop, we’ll spend some time talking about the relationship between prose and haiku in haibun, and then try a couple of exercises to build, or begin to build, a haibun from an already existing haiku. You can bring a haiku or two of your own, or I’ll provide some of mine for your linking pleasure.

Noon to 1pm– LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1 pm– Between Bashô and Ban’ya (Bypassing Barthes): A New Brand of Haiku
Presented by Charlie Trumbull
In recent years a new style of haiku is being used by some of the leading English-language haikuists, They are clearly grounded in the Japanese- and
English-language traditions, yet bear resemblances to the “gendai” style of haiku that is much in fashion these days. We will examine the evolution of this innovative style of haiku and present a number of examples for critique and discussion.

Presented by Marjorie Buettner
Ten words of prose, once set down, do the duty of only ten words. They are frozen to the piece of paper. But two words of poetry, with their suggestive power, can create a mood or paint a picture that in prose would require perhaps five hundred words to effect. –Jun Fujita

This presentation will try to glimpse into Fujita’s world beyond the surface revealing a true renaissance man. This Power Point presentation will show photographs of Fujita’s cabin which I visited in 2007 and some of his art which was donated to the Chicago Institute of Art in 1963.

2:30 pm– Newku for Old?
Presented by Lee Gurga
Haiku 21 and Haiku 2014 as Guides to the Experimental and the Traditional in Haiku (with an extended digression into Disjunctive Dragonfly).

2:30 KUKAI
Presented by Randy Brooks and Aubrie Cox
Kukai is a playful competition in which anonymous haiku are read and appreciated, with favorites being selected by participants. In this session we will experience two approaches: (1) a “seashell” matching contest tournaments starting with 8 pairs of haiku and ending with a grand champion, and (2) traditional kukai with anonymous haiku being discussed and voted on as favorites in the competition. Participants will receive haiku book prizes from the competition coordinators.
Note: to participate as haiku writers in these kukai, please send your haiku to Randy <brooksbooks@gmail.com or Aubrie <aubriecox@gmail.com by July 18. The traditional kukai is open topic and open style of haiku. The matching contest will pair haiku related to summer in the Midwest—the heat, summer foods or drinks, etc. Please don’t submit haiku that will not be anonymous through workshops, blogs, readings or previous publication. Part of the fun of kukai is hearing how participants love a haiku even though they have no idea who wrote it. Only after an anonymous haiku has been loved by readers do we ask who wrote it.

Presented by Jerome Cushman

Presented by Randy Brooks and Aubrie Cox
This presentation is designed for those who may not have experience teaching, but would be interested in non-academic based instruction. With education outreach being a recent push within the haiku community, we will be discussing how poets can create and conduct quality workshops on haiku and related forms for various age groups.

5:30 pm– HSA Board Meeting

6:30 pm– Dinner at Historic Walker House
7:30 pm– Panel Discussion
Presented by our honored guests: Randy Brooks, Lee Gurga and Charlie Trumbull

8:30 pm– Critique Session with Panel.

Attendees may submit haiku on Friday during registration on 3 X 5 cards.

9:30 pm– Open Reading

Posted in Art, Artists, Books, contest, Cradle of American Haiku Festival, Creativity, Festival, Haiga, Haiku, Haiku Conferences, Haiku Society of America, Japanese Style Poetry, Poetry, Poetry Books, Poetry Readings, Poetry Workshops, Publishing, Publishing Haiku, Teaching Haiku, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments