This region includes Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, 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:
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Regional Member News & Events 2018
Hello HSA Midwest!
National Haiku Writing Month is upon us! The shortest month for the shortest poetic form. Consider the challenge of writing a haiku a day for the month of February. Daily prompts are posted on the NaHaiWriMo site if a little nudge is needed. http://www.nahaiwrimo.com/
A number of our Midwest groups will host February meetings. My wish is for each of you to have a nearby haiku study group where you can share haiku and encourage each other along your haiku journeys. If you are looking for a study group, there are a number listed below.
If you don’t see anything in your area but would be interested in meeting with others to talk haiku, send your name and location to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to put you in contact with others in your area. Sometimes haiku groups begin with two people sharing their poetry over a cup of coffee!
MIDWEST MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
From Ben Moeller-Gaa: “I had a wonderful book release party for my new book, Wishbones (Folded Word 2018), at John D. McGurks in St. Louis on January 31. We had a packed house and the music by Keeping It Reel and verse from St. Louis poets Shine Goodie, Dwight Bitikofer and Erin Quick warmed up the crowd before my set of haiku and senryu from the book.
Charlotte Digregorio's haiku was recently featured in the Top Ten Section of the Asahi Haikuist Network, and the column's artwork featured her theme. In other news, Digregorio has a haiga (a haiku sequence with graphic art) exhibited through March 4 at City Hall in Highland Park, IL. It was selected by The Art Center of Highland Park for a group show.
MIDWEST STUDY GROUPS
Evergreen Haiku Study Group
Evergreen Haiku meets again at the Center for Poetry, Michigan State University on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 1 to 3pm, Room C301, Snyder Hall at 362 Bogue Street in East Lansing. Typical meetings include some mix of read-around, craft exercise, inspirational exploration, writing time, anonymous critique, and linked form collaborations.
Additional monthly meetings will take place on the following dates: March 16 and April 13, 2019. Poets of all persuasions are welcome, whether novice or seasoned, student or community member. Note: Parking is free on Saturdays in campus lots (Faculty/Staff parking spots only). Some
The Haiku Chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society
The Haiku Chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society is meeting next on February 17, 2019 from 1pm-4pm at the Northbrook Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, Illinois. In addition to our critiquing we share resources and discuss published haiku from the perspective of those that delight and those that mystify. Contact Jim Sullivan at email@example.com for more information.
Haiku Waukesha (Wisconsin)
The January meeting of Haiku Waukesha was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. We meet next 5-7pm on February 6th. The meetings are held at First UMC Waukesha. Direct questions to: Dan Schwerin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Ohaio-ku Study Group (Ohio)
The Ohaio-ku Study Group met Saturday, January 12 with the following in attendance: Joshua Gage, Sharon Ohnmeiss, Tia Haynes, Barbara Sabol, Larry Shircliff, Joe McKeon, Phyllis Lee, Barb Smith and Julie Warther. We held a kukai with the theme of “fire”. Barbara Sabol and Tia Haynes won book awards. Joshua Gage gave a presentation on the various kigo categories. Joe McKeon announced his forthcoming book from Red Moon Press, “oars up”. We celebrated Tia Haynes, Joshua Gage, and Elliot Nicely being selected for the upcoming A New Resonance 11. Barb Smith shared information on the Northeast Ohio Christian Writers Conference coming up April 6 in Amherst, Ohio. Sharon Ohmeiss brought some of Richard Wright’s “fire” haiku to share with the group. Others shared favorite haiku from various journals. The remaining time was spent workshopping poems.
The next meeting of the Ohaio-ku Study group is scheduled for Saturday, February 9 from 10am-noon at the Cuyahoga Falls Library. 2015 3rd Street, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The kukai theme is “heartbreak”. Bring along haiku to workshop and some of your favorites from recent journals to share in a reading. All are welcome! For more information, contact: Julie Warther email@example.com
Columbus Haiku Group (Ohio)
The Columbus Haiku Group meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. Locations around the Columbus area vary. Please contact Jennifer Hambrick firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cincinnati Area Haiku Group (Ohio)
The next installment of the Mercantile Haiku Workshop will be held at noon on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at The Mercantile Library located at 414 Walnut Street, 11th Story, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. The Workshop is free and open to both members and non-members of the Mercantile Library. Please contact Amy Hunter at the Library (513-621-0717) to make a reservation. Lunch will be provided.
Northwest Ohio Haiku Group (Ohio)
meets monthly near Findlay, Ohio. Sharon Hammer Baker facilitates, with assistance from a small but dedicated group of haiku students and writers. Visitors are welcome. Dates and times vary. For more information, contact Sharon Hammer Baker at email@example.com.
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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).