Those of you living close to Chicago may be interested in the upcoming haiku event below, sponsored by the Midwest Region of the Haiku Society of America of which I am Coordinator. People from eight Midwest states and beyond attend the five meetings we hold a year. Meetings are free and open to the public.
Incidentally, the word haiku is both singular and plural, and the Japanese pronounce it with the accent on the first syllable, HIGH-koo. Americans, of course, tend to pronounce it with the accent on the second syllable. I know that Jack Kerouac referred to haiku in the plural as “haikus.” While dictionaries say that is acceptable, we of HSA use the singular like the Japanese. Besides, “haiku” sounds more pleasing to the ear than “haikus.”
If you don’t live in the Midwest area, consult the Haiku Society of America website, http://www.hsa-haiku.org, that will give you information about haiku in your region. Contact its regional coordinator.
Haiku Society of America members will meet to share and critique participants’ poems, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11 at Winnetka Public Library, 768 Oak St., Winnetka, IL. Free and open to the public, pre-registration is required.
Those who don’t have haiku to share may attend to listen and learn.
Haiku is short meditative poetry that originated in Japan in the 1600s. It is gaining popularity worldwide in many languages. Often three lines, it has 17 syllables or less, and captures the moment with usually a reference to nature or seasons.
HSA is a not-for-profit, all volunteer organization to promote the writing and appreciation of haiku in English. Its website is http://www.hsa-haiku.org.
HSA’s Midwest Region holds five meetings a year in the north suburbs that include speakers, readings, retreats, and festivals. It will hold its 2012 Haikufest from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28 at Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, IL. There will be a brief introduction to haiku and Japanese art (haiga) that combines haiku. There will also be haiku readings and an audience haiku contest with prizes.
To pre-register for the February meeting, contact Charlotte Digregorio, midwest regional coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on haiku and tanka, the latter another Japanese-style poetic form, search other posts of this blog. It’s been my experience, that people who learn haiku, learn it from reading a lot of it on a regular basis. However, as a beginner, it is helpful to attend critique sessions, too. Since other beginners attend, too, all are in good company.
Copyright 2012 by Charlotte Digregorio.