Calling All Chicago Area Haikuists for National Poetry Month!

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

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, 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!

Happy Haiku-ing!

Copyright 2013 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Festival, Haiku, Haiku Society of America, Japanese Style Poetry, Poetry, Short Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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