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
The next meeting of the Chicago Haiku Study Group will take place on Saturday, April 18th from 2-4pm at
We will briefly review the principles of Japanese aesthetics we have been discussing and continue our analysis of interesting contemporary haiku. 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 If you would like your haiku critiqued, please bring 10 copies of up to 6 unpublished haiku.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, or to be removed from this email list, please contact Lee Gurga at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is free parking available about a block from the D&Z Bookstore. The address of the garage is at 3140 N Central Ave.—right around the corner!
March 13, 2015
Dear Midwest Members,
Please note these two lectures which will be held in conjunction with the "Views from Mole Hill" exhibition at the Polish Museum of America: one by Lee Gurga and one by Lidia Rozmus.
Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 3:30 p.m.
Views from Mole Hill
The opening of a retrospective, multimedia exhibition of artworks by Lidia Rozmus will be held on Friday, March 20, 2015, at 6 p.m. to 10. p.m., at The Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL.
The exhibition, entitled, "Views from Mole Hill," includes 20 oil paintings, 20 sumi-e paintings (ink on rice paper), 20 haiga paintings (ink on rice paper with haiku poetry), approximately 100 photographs showing the beauty of the Republic of Mole Hill, and the promotion of an anthology of haiku poetry by 18 American and Japanese poets entitled, Climbing Mole Hill. Also planned is a performance by the trio led by Mieczyslaw Wolny, who composed musical pieces for Mole Hill.
Admission: A voluntary donation to the PMA - $10 ($5 for members).
Also on March 19th, Lee Gurga is presenting "21st Century English-Language Haiku" at the University of Milwaukee:
Thursday, March 19, 2015, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Van Hise Hall, Room 383, 1220 Linden Drive, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706.
Synopsis: Haiku is the world’s most popular form of poetry, accessible to beginners yet maddeningly difficult for accomplished poets to master. Come on a tour of Haikuland and find out why. While you are there, you will discover that the speed limit is hardly ever 5-7-5!
February 15, 2015
Dear Midwest Members,
I hope this news will be as exciting to you as it is to me! I've just received the go-ahead for the creation of a Haiku Path on site at The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio. The owner, Jason Nies, is in the process of fundraising for an Open Air Art Museum.
The Haiku Path will be one of its first installations. A mini-grant provided by HSA will cover the cost of the metal haiku plaques and the Inn will supply the stones and publicity. What we need from you is the haiku!
Here is an example of what a haiku stone will look like:
As many as twenty poets will have their haiku included on stones along the Haiku Path in a permanent display. The Haiku Path and Open Air Art Museum will be free and open to the public. An anthology of selected haiku will be made available for purchase on site. All poets of selected haiku will receive one free copy of the anthology.
Please send no more than five unpublished haiku in the body of an email to <email@example.com> with "Haiku Path" in the subject line. Deadline: March 31, 2015.
Please include your name, full mailing address and email address with your entry.
Submissions are open to Midwest Regional members of HSA only. (If you haven't renewed your HSA membership for 2015, please do so before the entry deadline to be eligible. Join online with paypal.
Some considerations when sending:
This path winds through an Ohio woodlands. Please match your haiku to this setting. You can view some photographs on the inn's website at <http://www.innathoneyrun.com>.
We would like all four seasons to be represented in the haiku, so please send a variety. For the hikers, this Haiku Path may be their first exposure to contemporary English-language haiku. We will be looking for quality, accessible haiku with a seasonal aspect. Three lines only, please.
Submission to this project is deemed to be acceptance of these guidelines and conditions.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 <email@example.com>.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
• • •
See previous year event reports in our Midwest Web Archives:
• • •
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).