August 05, 2015   



News from the President





Last month I was happy to participate in a joint meeting of HSA and the Haiku Poets of Northern California at Santa Rosa, hosted by Carolyn Hall. After lunch at a nearby restaurant and a tour of the Paradise Ridge Winery organized by Fay Aoyagi (including, for many of us, a wine-tasting), everyone was in fine, high spirits for the conference, held on Carolyn's poolside patio. We began with an HSA Business Meeting. I reported on the upcoming elections and announced that the Nominating Committee consists of myself, Angela Terry, and Jim Sullivan. I also announced that five of the eight officers on the Executive Committee plan to step down after this year, leaving the following posts vacant: President, 2nd VP, Frogpond Editor, Newsletter Editor, and Secretary. I added that the Nominating Committee had already identified candidates for three positions: Aubrie Cox, Frogpond Editor; Ignatius Fay, Newsletter Editor; and Sondra Byrnes, Secretary.


When I asked for nominations, only one was made: Debbie Kolodji to continue in her role of California RC. She accepted this nomination.


Although it may seem that the meeting produced little results, it was in fact enormously successful, since it encouraged HSA members in attendance to talk among themselves in the days that followed, and to convince a well-respected, talented member of HSA and HPNC to consider running for the presidency. A week later, Fay Aoyagi accepted the nomination of her peers, and convinced Patricia Machmiller to run for 2nd Vice President. Now we have at least one candidate for each position on the EC. 


If you'd like to nominate yourself or some other member for any position on the EC or for the post of Regional Coordinator for your region, let me know, and I'll share this with the Nominating Committee. We plan to have nominations settled by September 30th, so that the online ballot (with candidate bios) can be prepared in October, with the online voting taking place the first three weeks of November.


The Business Meeting in Santa Rosa continued with a discussion of the possibility of reducing required HSA meetings from four to three per year. The EC plans to discuss this proposal during our August conference call and, if we approve it, add it to November's ballot so that all members can vote on it.


The proposal originated at our previous meeting this year, in Orlando. A member suggested that we should move to thrice-yearly meetings, in light of the fact that the EC's monthly conference calls have lessened the need for physical meetings to conduct business. However, at the Santa Rosa meeting, a member noted that four meetings each year, scattered across geographical regions, makes possible more personal contacts among poets; she said that she would hate to see our meetings dwindle from four to three. I replied that members would probably still have at least four meetings to attend each year, if they like, thanks to regional meetings. I pointed at recent joint meetings in Atlanta and Orlando that would have happened anyway, even if national HSA had not co-sponsored them. Another member observed that reducing the number of required meetings will make life easier for the next HSA president. I encouraged members to continue discussing this among themselves, and, in November, to vote for whatever they feel will be best for HSA. I offer this same encouragement to you.


An interesting topic then came up: Does Twitter own the haiku that we tweet? Could a "Twitter Anthology of Haiku" be published one day, without recognizing the rights of the poets? I was skeptical, but we decided that we had better make sure about this, especially since we're preparing to tweet (with the permission of the poets involved) selected haiku from past Frogponds, thanks to volunteer Dianne Garcia. I hope that one of our legally informed members will clarify this for us and put our minds at ease.


The meeting continued with a featured reading of haiku by Susan Antolin, and my "Write Like Issa" workshop (its sixth incarnation). A dinner and party followed.





A member in Nebraska asked the EC to consider re-drawing our regional map in accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau, so that Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas would shift from Mountains and Plains to the Midwest region. Recently, I polled the six current members who live in these four states. So far, five have voted to move to the Midwest region. I'm waiting to hear from the other one. I also favor this change; the EC will be discussing it soon. If you have strong feelings about this, one way or the other, let me or another EC officer know.


In an effort to drum up more interest in the HSA in Nebraska, I plan to feature Omaha member MaryLouise Knight later this year in our "Meet a Member" profile on the website. When this profile appears, I hope to use social media to spread the word about HSA in the state. There's no reason for HSA to have only one member in the great city of Omaha (where I grew up). This must change!


Footnote: People are selected for the "Meet a Member" feature on the HSA website by the Regional Coordinators. If you would like to see one of your region's members profiled, contact your RC.





So far, the Planning Committee for HSA 2018 consists of me (Louisiana), Angela Terry (Washington), Julie Warther (Ohio), Amy Losak (New Jersey), and Rita Gray (New York). We plan to begin our work in the fall. If you have ideas about meetings, publications, and special events that we might plan to honor HSA's fiftieth anniversary--or if you'd like to join the Committee--let me know.






The EC has decided to make the HSA newsletter a monthly publication. Earlier this year, we decided that the newsletter should be 100% online, saving the expense and hassle involved in sending hard copies to a handful of members. As I have mentioned in previous bulletins and in the last newsletter, if a member has a disability that prevents access to e-mail and the Internet, we'll find a volunteer to print and mail hard copies of the newsletter to that person--but this will no longer be the responsibility of the Newsletter Editor.


Thanks to Ignatius Fay, professional-looking e-bulletins have appeared like clockwork on the fifth day of each month, making much of the content in Ripples

start to seem redundant. The EC would like to transform our existing e-bulletin into a monthly newsletter, which will require some reformatting and, perhaps, the assistance of a volunteer Associate Editor, who would contact RCs on a regular basis, asking for reports. We explained this idea to Ignatius and asked him to consider running for the post of Newsletter Editor, given the fact that Adrienne Christian decided to step down after this year. Ignatius enthusiastically agreed to run. Expect monthly news from HSA starting on January 5, 2016.





An HSA member has pledged to donate $500 each year, for the next three years, toward scholarship money for the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition. I told this individual that I would send an appeal to members: Would anyone else

like to donate to this cause for the next three years? It would be great to offer a first prize of at least $1,000, and perhaps smaller scholarships for second and third places.


If we have other interested and willing donors among us, I can imagine that the already successful Virgilio Competition would attract even more students and their teachers, which in itself would be a victory, since those teachers would be likely to consider the HSA approach to haiku, breaking out of the 5-7-5 straight jacket. If you think this is a good idea and would like to contribute tax-deductible gifts for young, college-bound poets (and potential future HSA members), contact me. Thanks!



David G. Lanoue

HSA President




Bangor Haiku Group

A small group of us met late May at Quoddy Head State Park and walked the Bog Walk, identifying the various flora and fauna, including leather leaf, new pitcher plants, May apple, sheep laurel, and soft green tamarack. We also saw a spruce grouse taking a dust bath right on the trail, an old rock covered with dried out lichen in the shape of spirals, an intricate child's fairy house, and impressive waves reverberating back and forth along the shallows rocks, putting us in a deep meditative mood.


The BHG will sponsor an August event at Central Maine Botanical Garden with featured readers as a launch for "A Vast Sky, An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku," edited by Bruce Ross, Koko Kato, Dietmar Tauchner, and Patricia Prime (Tancho Press, 2015). Those in the anthology will be welcome to read as well as any other haiku poets. Specific information will be available at a later date. The Botanical Garden should have impressive blossoms and examples of fairy houses.

 Bruce Ross
 Hampden, Maine


Ruth Yarrow Appointed as New Honorary Curator of the American Haiku Archives


The advisory board of the American Haiku Archives, which houses the Haiku Society of America archives, is pleased to announce the appointment of longtime Haiku Northwest member Ruth Yarrow as the 2015-2016 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento ( This honor recognizes Ruth's four decades of devotion to haiku poetry and its innate environmental concerns, together with her surefooted work in teaching haiku in classrooms, workshops, and essays. It also honors the example of her poetry, which excels in both domestic and nature-focused subjects. Allan Burns has described Ruth as being "among the most acclaimed haiku poets of [her] generation." Yarrow succeeds Marlene Mountain, who was the honorary curator for the previous year. We are pleased to bestow this honor from the American Haiku Archives, which seeks to preserve and promote haiku and related poetry throughout the North American continent.

For more information about Ruth Yarrow as the archives' nineteenth honorary curator, including sample poems, a biography, photo, and additional web links, please visit 

- Michael Dylan Welch, for the American Haiku Archives Advisory Board




2015 Porad Award
Haiku Northwest is pleased to announce the twelfth annual Porad Haiku Award. The contest is named for Francine Porad, founder (in 1988) of Haiku Northwest, former president of the Haiku Society of America, and editor for eight years of Brussels Sprout, an international journal of haiku and art. We welcome your haiku submissions!

Deadline: Postmarked by August 15, 2015 (late entries may be accepted, but only at the discretion of the contest organizers).

Prizes: $100 for first prize, $50 for second prize, and $25 for third prize. Poems will also be published on the Haiku Northwest website. Winners will be announced at Haiku Northwest's annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway, to be held October 1-4, 2015.

Adjudication: Our 2015 judge is Carolyn Hall, former editor of Mariposa and Acorn haiku magazines, and officer of the Haiku Poets of Northern California.

Fees: $1 per poem (unlimited entries), payable in cash or by check or money order in U.S. funds to "Haiku Northwest."

Submissions: Please submit your previously unpublished poems on 8.5x11-inch or A4 paper (multiple poems on one sheet is preferred, more than one sheet is acceptable; do not use other sizes of paper or index cards). Poems posted on public Facebook pages, blogs, or other websites are not eligible for submission. By submitting, you assert that your entries are previously unpublished and are solely your own original creations. Please submit one copy of each sheet with your name, address, and email address and another copy without author identification for anonymous judging.

Submit your entries with payment to "Haiku Northwest," postmarked by August 15, 2015, to:

Porad Haiku Award
c/o Richard and Kathleen Tice
27049 118th Place SE
Kent, WA
98030 USA


Ignatius Fay 
HSA Bulletin Editor
Haiku Society of America

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