Getting Used to Haiku & Senryu

You can often find me speaking about haiku and senryu about three times a month somewhere. The forms are getting noticed.

When I recently spoke to the Chicago Women’s Alliance, I could tell that haiku and senryu  looked a bit strange to people when I passed out sample poems. They looked curious or even intrigued, but I must admit these poetic forms take awhile for many people to get used to.

I think people, at first, have trouble seeing them as poetic forms, until I point out common poetic devices in them, and how they evoke an emotional reaction with images that pop into the readers’ minds.

But, when I tell people that they have to imagine haiku and senryu poets like visual artists who paint a picture– only with words– they start to gain appreciation for the forms.

I don’t think most people can get hooked on haiku and senryu unless they start to read a lot of them. When I got started writing haiku in the early 90s, there was no internet to search for haiku and senryu information, let alone haiku journals online.

Today, however, there are both good and bad postings of haiku and senryu online, but you have to know where to look. There are some really good online postings and you can scroll down to their archives, too.

For example, I love rereading the archives of these two sites: the Mann Library Daily Haiku of Cornell University and the Tobacco Road Poet blog by Curtis Dunlap. The latter site even includes interviews with haiku poets.

And for free, you can join the United Haiku and Tanka Society online and submit haiku and senryu to cattails, its journal.

Further, with The Daily Haiku on my site, there is no excuse not to explore haiku and senryu. Here, there are also articles and interviews with “haikuists.”

There are other good online journals and print journals of haiku and senryu, the latter you can subscribe to. If you’ve read any of the articles on this blog, you’ll get a lot of suggestions.

One print journal, in particular, that I recommend subscribing to, is Stanford M. Forrester’s bottle rockets for experienced and beginning haiku and senryu poets alike.

Always send away for a sample issue before subscribing to a journal, so you’ll get an idea of what it’s like.

For those who are curious, all you have to do is start reading right at your fingertips online. Then go for a walk with a notepad and pencil, and breathing the fresh air, write down images you see and your emotional reactions to them–sizes, shapes, and colors. Or start thinking about moments during the day that impacted you.

At some point later on, you can create some interesting haiku and senryu with those thoughts. Remember you are capturing a moment, the awe or aha moment of things before you. That’s the fun of haiku and senryu. It’s a creative discovery, not a “record” of moments.

And, if you further want to explore haiku and senryu, go to your library. There, or through inter-library loan, ( the latter with no cost), check out my book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. It will teach you the simple steps to appreciating and writing the forms with its sample poems and commentary.: q

Yes, anyone can write haiku and senryu, regardless of education or work background, but you must become a thoughtful and regular reader of the forms and practice writing them.

Copyright 2017 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. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner 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 five non-fiction books: 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; and Your Original Personal Ad. 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." 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 a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve 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 Beginning Writers, Haiku, Instruction, micropoetry, Poetry, Senryu, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Getting Used to Haiku & Senryu

  1. Reblogged this on Memorie di una Geisha, multiblog internazionale di HAIKU e di ispirazione giapponese and commented:
    Un articolo meraviglioso sullo haiku e il senryu che vi invito a leggere. Un viaggio davvero emozionante tratteggiato con maestria e sapienza, dalla scrittrice americana Charlotte Digregorio.

  2. Charlotte,
    lovely article, I share it on Memorie di una geisha.
    Garzie mille Charlotte!

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