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Frogpond 39.1 • 2016

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - Teaching Haiku
in American Higher Education, Part 1

Essay 2 - Raising Haiku Literacy


Haiku Sequence


Book Reviews

From the Editor


Teaching Haiku
in American Higher Education, Part 1

by Randy Brooks, PhD

Teaching Haiku in American Higher Education, Part 1
(complete PDF version)

The following is based upon the author’s keynote
at Haiku North America 2015 at Union College.

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

I come today wearing two hats. I have my dean’s uniform—a necktie—but below the podium I am wearing my haiku poet’s jeans. In this talk I will mostly take a dean’s perspective—looking
at an overview of teaching haiku in American higher education. One of the joys of being a dean is that I get to visit many different classes and see students and faculty from several academic disciplines. Today I am going to give you an overview, sort of a dean’s perspective, of all the different approaches to research and teaching haiku currently evident in American higher education. I am giving you a broad perspective of the academic landscape, and then I am going to focus more narrowly on how I teach haiku at Millikin University to undergraduate students.

I don’t write too many haiku with my dean’s hat on, but I should start this talk with a haiku, of course. Here is probably the only haiku I have written about being a dean:

evening walk
after office politics
lilac scent

It is important to understand that I don’t see a significant separation between teaching and research. Outstanding professors are very passionate about what they are teaching because they have engaged in lifelong learning themselves as students and researchers. They have learned a great deal and are eager to share what they have discovered with their students. When they are engaged in research they are shaping new understandings, and they are eager to share with students in their classes and with others beyond their campus community. The best faculty members urgently desire to share what they know through presentations and publications. Professors want to teach people in any way possible. So I really see research and teaching as the same thing but with different audiences.

So my question is: what scholarship on haiku is underway in American higher education right now? In addition to my broad dean-like appreciation of diversity of approaches, this talk is based on my long-term bibliographical project related to scholarship and publications available in English. I am by nature a collector, a gatherer, and synthesizer. I try to find every specimen possible, then analyze, organize, and classify the collection. This overview talk is the result of a heavy two-year stint of trying to find all of the articles, theses and dissertations on haiku currently available in English through your typical academic library databases and resources.

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Brooks, Randy. "Teaching Haiku in American Higher Education, Part 1." Frogpond 39.1, Winter, 2016, 53-64.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the essay: page 74. The complete essay includes pages 53-64. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

Teaching Haiku in American Higher Education, Part 1
(complete PDF version)


Dr. Randy Brooks is the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Millikin University. He teaches courses on book publishing and haikai poetry traditions. His students’ work is online at: <http://performance.millikin.edu/haiku>. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks, are publishers of Brooks Books and co-editors of Mayfly haiku magazine. Randy is on the Executive Committee of the HSA as the Electronic Media Officer. He also serves as the webmaster for Modern Haiku Press and as web editor of Modern Haiku magazine. He is on the board for the American Haiku Archives and the editorial board for the Red Moon Press Haiku Anthologies.