Haiku North America 2005

A message from Michael Dylan Welch, about the Haiku North America conference:

The following is information about the Haiku North America conference. For those of you who have been waiting for this information, thank you for your patience. Registration is now enabled on the www.centrum.org Web site (scroll down to see the information about HNA, and then click the More button to get to further information). A summary of conference information appears below, but do visit the Centrum site for further details and to register.

If you haven't been to a haiku conference, do consider coming to Haiku North America. Everyone is welcome. And do join us on the boat cruise from Seattle to the conference location -- it promises to be one of the highlights of the conference!

A complete conference schedule will be available very soon. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I hope to see you at the HNA conference!

Michael Welch
Haiku North America

P.S. We're particularly looking forward to having Harumi Blyth with us at HNA. She'll be talking about her father, R. H. Blyth, with family stories, and background details on his relationship with haiku. In fact, we're looking for questions to ask her in her informal presentation. If you have questions you'd like to ask (even if you can't come to HNA), please send them to Michael Welch at WelchM@aol.com. We also welcome donations for the silent auction to help offset HNA expenses, so if you might have something to bring or send, please contact Sara Brant at sarabrant@earthlink.net.

Haiku North America

September 21-25, 2005
Fort Worden Conference Center
Port Townsend, Washington

Yes, Haiku North America is happening. Although it's already rather late for some people to plan to attend from a distance, we hope you will still be able to come, as we have a fantastic long weekend of haiku events lined up amid the spectacular setting of Port Townsend, Washington, about 60 miles (about two hours, including a ferry or boat ride) north of Seattle. Port Townsend is a picturesque Victorian seaport surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade mountains and the San Juan Islands-a beautiful location ideally suited to the exploration and celebration of haiku poetry. It is home to the Northwest's premier literary conference, the Port Townsend Writer's Conference (running more than 30 years), and is also home to Copper Canyon Press, America's largest independent poetry publisher. Haiku North America will be hosted by Centrum, a center for the arts and creativity at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.

Come and meet many of the leading haiku poets and enthusiasts writing in North America, and enjoy inspiring and informative readings, workshops, presentations, panel discussions, and more, including a chartered boat trip, conference banquet (included with conference fee), and haiku book fair!

To register, and to find out all the details about the 2005 HNA conference, visit www.centrum.org, scroll down to the HNA information, and then click the More button for further information.

Here is some basic information about the conference for you to rely on:

Registration Fee: $175 until September 7 ($210 after that). Single-day fees are also possible for $65 for either the Thursday or Friday, and $89 for the Saturday (includes banquet). After September 7, these day rates rise to $70 and $94, respectively.

Accommodations: We have booked all the accommodations already-more than we need-so there is plenty of selection reserved just for us. The options include inexpensive private dorm rooms, as well as private rooms in what are called "officer houses." The facility is an old army base, and the Victorian officer houses are now conference living facilities, much like bed-and-breakfast inns, though not quite as fancy (no televisions, for example). Like bed-and-breakfast inns, most rooms or houses have bathrooms shared with one or two other rooms. Meal plans are included with the housing option prices. The first meal on the meal plan is breakfast on Thursday, September 22; the last meal is breakfast on Sunday, September 25. You can also order meals only without housing. On Wednesday, September 21, and after breakfast on Sunday, September 25, and for any meal times you have not preordered, it is also possible to purchase meals in person on a per-meal basis. Meals are offered in a superb new dining facility at the conference center, and this includes a private banquet on Saturday night.

Here is pricing information for accommodations (nights of September 21, 22, 23, and 24) and meals (September 22, 23, 24, and breakfast on the 25th):

  • Private Dorm Room with full meal plan: $215

  • Private Dorm Room with two meals daily (lunch/dinner) $180

  • Officer's House with full meal plan: $450

  • Officer's House with two meals daily (lunch/dinner): $415

For those not needing accommodations, it is also possible to buy a meal plan separately. Camping is also possible on the conference grounds (please inquire).

Transportation: We expect getting to Port Townsend to be one of the highlights of the conference. We have chartered a boat, the "Glacier Spirit," to get you from Pier 69 at 2701 Alaskan Way in Seattle to the conference facility (which has its own dock where the boat will deliver everyone). This will be on Wednesday, September 21, departing the Seattle waterfront at 5:00 p.m. (ready for boarding at 4:30 p.m.). The trip takes two hours, and you may see bald eagles, orcas, and other whales, plus views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. Olympus, and other Cascade and Olympic mountains. The return trip will be on Sunday, September 25, leaving at 9:00 a.m., arriving at the Seattle waterfront two hours later. The roundtrip cost for this trip is $89, including a box dinner on the boat on September 21. For timing purposes, please note that it takes about 30 minutes to get from the Seattle airport to the waterfront (by taxi or airport shuttle). It could take only 20 minutes, but allow a bit of extra time in case traffic is slow. It will also be possible to book one-way boat trips, and on the Centrum Web site you will find all the information you need to get from the Seattle airport to the waterfront dock via taxi or airport shuttle.

If you drive to Port Townsend, it's about 60 miles north of Seattle, a scenic drive that requires a ferry ride and takes about two hours (plus time waiting for the ferry). If you are not driving your own car or renting a car, the most fun way to get to HNA from Seattle will be to join us on the chartered boat, but additional options are chartered van pool (good for those who arrive or leave at times that won't let you go by boat), car rental, and by small plane. Information on each of these options will be available on the registration site, but we hope most of you will come by boat, as we expect the boat trip to be one of the social and scenic highlights of the entire weekend.

Alternatives: Most conference activities will be on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (September 22-24), so if you came a little late or left early, you wouldn't miss much on the Wednesday or Sunday, but you'd have to figure out transportation other than the boat (we can help with that if you let us know when you register).

Conference Anthology, T-Shirt, Silent Auction, Book Fair, Regional Readings, and Haiga Exhibit: A conference T-shirt will be available for $16.00, which you can order online as part of conference registration at the Centrum site. There you will also find details about the anthology, haiga exhibit, silent auction, book fair, and more.

Presenters: HNA conference presenters and readers include Harumi Blyth (daughter of R. H. Blyth), William Higginson, George Swede, Cor van den Heuvel, Margaret Chula, Christopher Herold, Emiko Miyashita, Pamela Miller Ness, Garry Gay, Penny Harter, Anita Krumins, Jim Kacian, Paul Nelson, Carlos Col·, Abigail Friedman, Kimiyo Tanaka and Manabu Sumioka (of the Shiki Team in Japan), Michael Dylan Welch, David Crandall, Jeanne Emrich, Charles Trumbull, Dietmar Tauchner, Paul Miller, Ruth Yarrow, and many others from around North America and Japan (this is only a partial list). We will also be having butoh dance, noh drama, a taiko drum performance, and many other surprises. More details on the full list of presenters and the conference schedule will be available on the Centrum Web site soon.

I wish to extend my personal apologies that information about Haiku North America has not been readily available on this site, and that online registration has not been ready long before now. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you're thinking of coming, I'm sure we can make it work! Thank you for your exquisite patience.

Michael Dylan Welch

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