One of the good things about publishing a book is that you get invited to speak at many events, and that you meet a lot of other writers, too.
Last weekend, I gave a haiku presentation at The Buddhist Temple of Chicago’s Summer Festival. Besides meeting other poets and Japanese culture aficionados, I also enjoyed the other events at the Festival, such as the entertainment by the fabulous taiko drummers.
Tuesday, July 15 from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Winnetka (IL) Public Library, 768 Oak St., Winnetka, I’ll be leading a haiku discussion and critique of participants’ work. I’ll give examples of excellent published haiku, taken from my new book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, to include in the discussion. Senryu, incidentally, is human nature haiku that is often humorous. (Please read other posts in this blog that are about haiku and senryu as a primer.)
Saturday, July 26 from 9:30 to 11 a.m., I will be at The Foundry Books, 105 Commerce St., in Mineral Point, WI, giving a presentation, “Polish Your Haiku/Senryu to Be The Best for Publication.” My presentation will be held in conjunction with The Cradle of American Haiku Festival and the National Meeting of the Haiku Society of America. At the Festival, there will be attendees from many states. I have served for the past five years as HSA Midwest Regional Coordinator.
Saturday, Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Winnetka (IL) Public Library, I’ll be leading another discussion and critique. I expect a significant crowd at this one with participants coming from a few states.
Saturday, Aug. 23, it will be fun to MC the poetry open mic at Madame ZuZu’s Tea House, 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, IL, beginning at 8 p.m. It will be sponsored by Highland Park Poetry of which Jennifer Dotson, poet extraordinaire, is the founder. (Read her new book Clever Gretel.) Although it’s an open mic, I and a few friends will be reading some haiku along with other poetry forms. Come join us and read any poetic form of your choosing.
Saturday, Sept. 27, I’ll be giving a special haiku reading, beginning at 8 p.m. at Madame ZuZu’s in Highland Park. The whole evening will be a celebration of haiku. This will, again, be sponsored by Highland Park Poetry. I am honored to be invited.
Saturday, Oct. 25, beginning at 1 p.m., I will giving a haiku presentation at the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, 20 E. Maple St., Hinsdale. The event is sponsored by Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and my presentation is being held in conjunction with the annual awards program.
Sunday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., I will give a haiku presentation, followed by the judging of an audience haiku contest (with prizes) at the Glenview (IL) Public Library, 1930 Glenview Rd., Glenview, IL. It is sponsored by the Library.
As you see, I try to give a haiku presentation each month, so there is plenty of opportunity for the public to participate in haiku. This is how haiku comes into the mainstream, by having haiku poets expose not only poets of other forms to it, but also the general public who vaguely remembers hearing about it in school when they were youngsters.
Also this year, I am honored to be judging the Annual Gerald Brady Senryu Contest of the Haiku Society of America. It is open to the public. Please submit your unpublished work. To learn more, log onto the HSA website, http:// www.hsa-haiku.org.
Looking ahead to 2015, on Saturday, April 25, I will be in Chapel Hill, NC giving a haiku presentation, sponsored by the North Carolina Haiku Society for its Annual Haiku Holiday. I am excited to be invited and to meet my fellow Southern poets, many of whom I’ve read the work of for several years, but have never had the pleasure of seeing in person.
Please join me whenever you can, and experience the joy of reading and writing haiku and senryu. And, best wishes for your success as a writer! Remember that for some who really work at it, writing becomes a career, and a very rewarding one.