Haikufest 2013 in Metro Chicago A Success!

Seats were filled at the Haiku Society of America Midwest Region’s Haikufest at the Winnetka (IL) Public Library, Sunday, April 7. Media publicity, including a full-page feature article previewing the event in the local paper, resulted in many new faces in the audience.

Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Regional Coordinator, began the program by telling the audience about HSA, its goals, benefits, and upcoming programs. She briefly spoke about the Annual National Meeting/Symposium to be held, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29 in Evanston, IL with speakers from throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

She then began discussing the basics of haiku, including commonly-held misconceptions about the form, such as how it only needs to be something thoughtful in three lines. She stressed writing skillful haiku with layers of meaning, juxtaposing effective images, and how to write haiku to impact the reader’s emotions. She passed out a page of effective and published haiku from various editions of Frogpond, illustrating not only the wisdom behind haiku, but the heartfelt aspects of it.

After the presentation, eleven members read their haiku: Tom Chockley, Mac Greene, Lidia Rozmus, Alicia Hilton, Susan Auld, John O’Connor, Amelia Cotter, Heather Jagman, Mike Kozubek,  Christopher Patchel, and Lee Gurga. Beforehand, the readers introduced themselves by speaking on what interests them about haiku and what inspires them to write it. To end this segment of the program, Lee read an essay he’d written about haiku. He aptly stated:

It (haiku) sometimes nudges us, sometime jars us to explore the ‘something’ that was there for us to see all along were it not for our mundane preoccupations.

A question and answer period followed with thoughtful inquiries. For example, one question was: “When is it acceptable to write a haiku with a question mark (that may deal with a philosophical question)?”

Another question was: “How can you tell if you’ve written a haiku that has the impact of being a ‘so what’ (uninspiring) one for the reader?” The person posing the latter question argued that the poem may not  be a ‘so what’ one to the person who wrote it. This question was posed in reference to a statement about ‘so what’ haiku that Charlotte previously made.

Another person asked about haiku resources online, such as essays about the form that would be a good, followup introductory guide.

After this, we raffled ten copies of Frogpond. With the program officially ended, we held a book sale of speakers’ books which was a great success with many copies sold. Members of the audience also mingled with speakers.

Many lingered to buy such titles as: Haiku: A Poet’s Guide by Lee Gurga; Lidia Rozmus’ classic, Twenty Views from Mole Hill,  Christopher Patchel’s  new book, Turn Turn, and John O’Connor’s new title, Things Being What They Are.

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.
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2 Responses to Haikufest 2013 in Metro Chicago A Success!

  1. Dear Charlotte, As I may have said before, I rejoined the HSA last year. I included the link to the HSA in an April 30 post on my Haiku Prayers site (also on WordPress).

    In the future, perhaps I can help let others know about events. I’m familiar with the good work of the poets you mention! If you are fine with re-blogging, I could share one of your posts as well.

    All the best, and thanks, Ellen

    • Ellen,
      I didn’t know you were a member. I ask for updates on memberships every few months from the Secretary of the Board, but she neglected to include your name.
      I am copying your email address from above, and will forward the email I sent off today to members.

      Welcome Aboard!


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