If you’ve been following my posts, I was busy June, July, and August doing many haiku and senryu presentations. (Senryu has the same style as haiku, but it is written about human nature, rather than about nature and the seasons, as haiku is.) I will continue to do more presentations during the fall months leading up to the holiday season.
This month, I will have two special events, presenting haiku in the Chicago metro area. One is sponsored by Highland Park Poetry and the other, by Rush University Medical Center in conjunction with Cancer Survivor’s Day. Wherever you live, chances are, you are within driving distance of a local haiku group through the Haiku Society of America. I am Midwest Regional Coordinator of HSA, and when local HSA groups meet, the programs are free and open to the public.
The word is spreading about haiku and senryu, and they are written in about 56 languages worldwide, according to David McMurray, haiku scholar and author. McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is also the editor of OUTREACH, a bi-monthly column featuring international teachers in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teacher (JALT).
McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.
McMurray’s books include: Canada Project in Kyushu Vol. 1 (2006) – Vol. 7 (2011), Pukeko: Fukuoka; and Haiku in English as a Japanese Language (2003), Pukeko: Kitakyushu. McMurray won the R. H. Blyth Award 2013 from the World Haiku Club for his book, Canada Project: Collected Essays & Poems, 2013 Volume 8.
The following is a press release I have written for my upcoming event sponsored by Highland Park Poetry:
Experience the delight of capturing your life’s moments with haiku and senryu–short insightful poems–at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27 at Madame ZuZu’s Tea House, 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, IL. Sponsored by Highland Park Poetry, there will be a short presentation and reading by Charlotte Digregorio, author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, followed by an audience haiku contest. The winner will be awarded a haiku journal of poetry/essays. An open mic will follow. Digregorio is Midwest Regional Coordinator of the Haiku Society of America.
Haiku and senryu originated in Japan centuries ago and are becoming a fad worldwide, written in about 56 languages. Haiku focuses on nature and the seasons, and senryu, with the same style, focuses on human nature and is often humorous. During the open mic, participants may read up to six of their poems on any form.
For more information, contact Jennifer Dotson, founder of Highland Park Poetry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Sept. 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m., I will be doing a haiku workshop at Rush University Medical Center. Since haiku and senryu have such a healing nature for all who write them, they are a particularly relevant topic for Cancer survivors.
The purpose of any workshop is to have people try their hand at the topic under discussion. That is why my workshops always include writing time. Participants get the chance to try out their work on other participants, if they wish to.
Attend haiku gatherings in your area, whether you are a beginning or experienced haikuist. I just got through judging the annual Gerald Brady Memorial Contest for Senryu, sponsored by the Haiku Society of America. The contest was open to the public, and we received hundreds of entries. It was interesting to read so many voices of senryu.
I’m sure those who write haiku and senryu would agree that the two forms captivate those who write them!