This region includes Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The Midwest region has traditionally been a focal point of American haiku activity with publications such as American Haiku, the world’s first English-language haiku journal (started in 1963), and Modern Haiku, which has been published here for most of its existence, among others. In addition, we are also home to Brooks Books, the country’s oldest publisher devoted to books of haiku, and its journal Mayfly. The region hosted the landmark Haiku Chicago event in 1995 (the first-ever joint conference of the Haiku Society of America and Japan’s Haiku International Association), the 1999 Haiku North America conference, the 2000 Global Haiku Festival, and, more recently, the “Cradle of American Haiku” festivals. In addition, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, hosts the country’s only university haiku studies program.
The Midwest region has a wealth of talent, with HSA members in eight states, and strives to grow in its knowledge of haiku by holding informative readings and critiques, with presentations by excellent poets and speakers, to which the public is always invited. Additional activities include outdoor walks, such as visiting the Japanese garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Members often meet for dinner after events to socialize.
If you’re not already an HSA member, please come to one of our gatherings or free programs, and give us a try. We encourage haiku poets throughout the Midwest to start a new group (the Midwest regional coordinator is always happy to help), or to join an existing group:
See the 2012 Midwest Archive of Events.
See the 2011 Midwest Archive of Events.
See the 2010 Midwest Archive of Events.
Join the HSA
Regional Member News & Events 2015
January 10, 2015
HAIKU WORKSHOP TO MEET January 17th.
THE FOUNDRY BOOKS will sponsor a haiku workshop on Saturday, January 17 at 2:00 PM at THE WALKER HOUSE in Mineral Point. This workshop features Lee Gurga. His topic is "Japanese Aesthetics and Junk Haiku".
Lee Gurga is a widely published haiku poet and essayist. His service to the haiku community includes a term as president of the Haiku Society of America. His books of haiku, IN & OUT OF FOG and FRESH SCENT, were awarded “First Prize” in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards. His primer on haiku writing, HAIKU: A POET’S GUIDE, was recognized by the Haiku Society of America as the “Best Book of Criticism” for 2004. His HAIKU 21, co-edited with Scott Metz, was honored as “Best Anthology” by the Haiku Society of America and given a Haiku Foundation “Touchstone Distinguished Book Award.” He has been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Poetry Fellowship, the Japan-America Society of Chicago's Cultural Achievement Award, and an American Red Cross Healthcare Heroes Award. He was associate editor of the journal MODERN HAIKU from 1997-2002 and editor from 2002-2006. Since 2006, he has been editor of MODERN HAIKU PRESS. He is a general dentist and practices in the farming community of Lincoln,Illinois.
We welcome new as well as established haiku poets, and those who just want to learn about haiku and Japanese culture. Please feel free to come, learn, listen and join the discussion. We learn by reading and talking about haiku. Our discussions are designed for both novice and accomplished haiku poets. We will also discuss any questions you may have about haiku. Everyone interested in haiku is encouraged to attend. Phone 608-987-4363 or email <email@example.com> for more information.
January 7, 2015
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as this is my first letter as the new Midwest Regional Coordinator. I live in Dover, Ohio with my husband and two-and-a-half teenage children (My oldest started college 45 minutes away this fall.) I used to write for children's magazines until I discovered haiku. Now I am singularly focused. I have been a member of HSA since 2009, a relative greenhorn, for sure. I wrote those first few years in isolation until I realized an incredible community of helpful writers were as close as my keyboard. I enjoy entering contests and finding new journals. And I particularly enjoy the collaborative process of writing rengay. This is the first position I've held in HSA. I hardly see myself being able to fill Charlotte's shoes. (Having them bronzed seems a better idea.) But I will do my best to keep you updated on the happenings of HSA in the Midwest.
Already, I have some great news to pass along. Our president, David Lanoue has asked us to host the Fall Quarterly Meeting this year. This is in the early planning stages, but please mark the dates on your calendars now. It will be held September 18-20, 2015 at The Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek, Ohio <http://www.dhgroup.com/en/seg/inns.php> (the heart of Amish Country). We are in need of presenters for this meeting, so if you or someone you know would be interested in speaking or conducting a workshop, please let me know as soon as possible. There will be dinner and a tour at The Warther Carvings Museum in Dover on Saturday night <http://www.warthers.com> and hiking and kayaking the Tuscarawas River for those who wish to stay on Sunday. I'll keep you posted as the schedule comes together! Below are some other haiku happenings:
The Chicago Haiku Study Group:
The next meeting of the Chicago Haiku Study Group will take place on Saturday, January 24th from 2-4pm at
We will continue our exploration of haiku aesthetics. Following this, the group will critique individual haiku. If you would like your haiku critiqued, please bring 10 copies of up to 6 unpublished haiku. We will also discuss possible future programs. For further information, contact Lee Gurga at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Haiku Writing Workshop in Findlay, Ohio.
Sharon Hammer-Baker will be presenting a Haiku Writing Workshop at the Findlay-Hancock Public Library http://www.findlay.lib.oh.us on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 3:00-4:30 as part of National Haiku Writing Month. The public is welcome to attend.
Ohio Haiku Meeting
The newly formed Ohio Haiku Group will be meeting Saturday, April 23 from 10am - noon at the Mansfield Public Library in Mansfield, Ohio http://www.mrcpl.org/. Sharon Hammer-Baker will be presenting a program on writing ekphrastic haiku. A critique session will also be held. Please contact Julie Warther at email@example.com with questions.
I'm very excited about this upcoming year! I hope you are too. I'd love to hear your ideas for promoting haiku in the Midwest and please keep me posted on any haiku happenings in your area so I can forward them to our members.
All the best,
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See previous year event reports in our Midwest Web Archives:
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Julie Warther lives with her husband and three teenaged children in Dover, Ohio where she works for the local school system as a home instruction tutor and serves on the board of trustees for The Dover Public Library. A member of HSA since 2009, her haiku have appeared in many print and online journals and won a number of awards including the Gerald Brady Memorial Award for Senryu (2012), the Robert Frost International Haiku Award (2012), the Polish International Haiku Competition (2013) and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational (2014). Julie's haiku have been included in the Red Moon Anthology (Red Moon Press 2012-2015), Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press, 2014), and A New Resonance 9 (Red Moon Press, 2015).