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.