April is National Poetry Month, and chances are good that no matter where you live, you can find some free poetry events.
One spring haiku event down for me, two to go! I just finished judging a haiku contest in Metro Chicago, and for those of you who can’t get their fill of haiku, there are two more events that you may be interested in.
Haiku is a short form which I often blog about, dealing with nature, seasons or human nature. It originated in Japan in the 1600s, and is becoming popular worldwide in more than 25 languages.
Haikufest will be held Sunday, April 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Winnetka (IL) Public Library, 768 Oak St., in Winnetka. Free and open to the public, it is co-sponsored by the Haiku Society of America and the Library. There will be 13 readers of their haiku, all who are members of the HSA.
As Midwest Regional Coordinator of HSA, I will start the program by giving a brief introduction to haiku, and also offer commentary about some excellent examples of haiku that I have found. Next, the 13 readers will introduce themselves and first speak about how they got interested in writing haiku, what inspires them to write it, and what they enjoy about it, before reading their own poetry.
There will be a question and answer session, either about haiku in general or directed to the readers, followed by a raffle of haiku books.
The HSA always gets a good crowd in Metro Chicago when we offer our annual Haikufest. Please join us for a fun and educational event. Call the Library at 847-446-7220 to register or visit http://www.winnetkalibrary.org.
If you can’t make that, the following Sunday, April 14, I will be giving a free haiku workshop at Vernon Area Public Library District, 300 Old Half Day Rd., Lincolnshire, IL. It is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The workshop will include a presentation covering writing basics with a review of samples of published haiku; an exercise in writing one haiku as a group; and a critique of a haiku that individuals bring to share, if they desire. There will also be a question and answer period. Handouts will be provided, and two free issues of “Frogpond,” the journal of the HSA will be raffled.
“Frogpond” is really a book, with not only haiku, but interesting essays about it. To register for the Lincolnshire event, call 847-634-3650.
As I previously mentioned, I just got through judging a haiku contest. What I found was what I often find when I read haiku submissions. People don’t really know what it is. They think haiku is a pretty image that has a thought behind it, and that it must be written in three lines, with five syllables in the first, seven in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.
Such is not the case. Haiku is often not a pretty image, but it is insightful and subtle, with no explanation of the thought. It can be one to four lines, and is 17 syllables or less.
If you are interested in pursuing haiku, please visit the HSA website, http://www.hsa-haiku.org. HSA is not-for-profit and has a diversity of poets from many professional backgrounds.
Of course, read my blog posts on haiku. I have written some posts with samples of poems that many HSA members have written. Also, their comments about haiku are also interesting.
If you really want to write haiku, read, read, read it. Good haiku, that is. In my previous posts, I give suggestions on where to find good haiku. For example, I don’t consider vampire haiku good haiku!
Copyright 2013 by Charlotte Digregorio.