The Haiku Foundation: An Organization for Haiku Poets of All Levels

The following information was submitted by Jim Kacian, Founder of The Haiku Foundation:

The Haiku Foundation is a nonprofit organization chartered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA, on Jan. 6, 2009. Its mission statement identifies two major directives: 1) to archive the first century of achievement in English-language haiku and 2) to create new opportunities for its second.

THF was conceived of and initiated by Jim Kacian in 2004 as an organization designed to serve English-language haiku’s growth and aims. This was intended to contrast with the majority of haiku (and other arts) organizations whose focus is on individual artists and their needs. THF is, therefore, a non-membership, project-driven organization. It  focuses on six major areas of activity.

Poetry: Haiku, both historical and contemporary, can be found throughout THF site. “Per Diem” features daily haiku drawn from themed-collections produced by monthly guest editors; THF Haiku App gathers Per Diem offerings along with winners of haiku contests and awards programs into a single, mobile-friendly application. Interactive features, including “Haiku in the Workplace,” ” Haiku Windows,” and “The Renku Sessions,” invite and encourage participation, and results are archived and made a permanent part of THF’s collections.

Archives & Libraries: THF possesses the largest hard copy library of haiku materials outside of Japan with holdings of more than 10,000 books and journals, and an extensive collection of haiku ephemera. THF digital library complements this collection with rare and unusual books; a collection of significant essays on the genre; an audio/visual library; and the Cor van den Heuvel Archival library. THF houses the archives of nearly a score of the most important poets working in the genre, including Cor van den Heuvel, James W. Hackett, Alexis Rotella, Martin Lucas, George Swede, and Penny Harter. It also hosts a video archive featuring readings, interviews, lectures, and other short films of haiku poets, a haiga (haiku painting) gallery, and a haiku book cover art gallery.

Awards: The Touchstone Awards, conferred annually, are the most prestigious awards in the genre. “The Touchstone Award for Individual Poems” acknowledges the best poems published in English from around the world each year. “The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award” does the same for published books.

Events: International Haiku Poetry Day, each April 17, is a world-wide celebration of the genre. THF sponsors three specific events: the “Haiku Life Haiku Film Festival,” screening short films and animations of and about haiku; the “Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaborative,” that gathers hundreds of poems interactively by poets from around the world in a 24-hour timeframe; and “Local Events,” featuring and sponsoring haiku gatherings at diverse places around the globe.

Social Media: The Haiku Registry gathers poems, biographical data, and contact information from poets from around the world. THF Forums are arranged by skill level, from beginner to expert, where poets can find community and assistance. THF blog, “Troutswirl,” (named after a coinage in a famous poem by one of the best-known practitioners of the genre, John Wills), features news, information, updates on events and other happenings, including themed-offerings and a “Book of the Week.” These items, plus news and events, are further broadcast through various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Publications: To date, offerings include Montage: The Book (2011), edited by Allan Burns: the largest haiku anthology extant (featuring more than 1100 poems organized by weekly theme); Raymond Roseliep: The Man of Art Who Loved the Rose by Donna Bauerly, a biography of a leading English-Language haiku poet of the 20th century; from the top of the ferris wheel, the collected haiku of Cor van den Heuvel, one of the pioneers of English-Language haiku; and Juxtapositions, the annual journal of haiku research and scholarship.



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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