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Welcome to Haiku Canada

2007 Conference Highlights

Saint John's conference accomodations
Saint John's conference registration
Betty Drevniok Award 2012
Haiku Creativity with Emiko
Montreal 2010 Conference Schedule
Montreal 2010 Conference Registration and Accomodation Information
Betty Drevniok Award 2009
Haiku Canada Vancouver 2009
Betty Drevniok Award 2007 and 2008 -- Important Deadline Changes
Betty Drevniok Award Results 2006
A Tribute to Marianne Bluger
Join Haiku Canada
About Haiku Canada
Haiku Canada Photo Gallery
Read about Haiku Canada's 25th Anniversary in 2002

Click here to read three haiku written at the Ginko at the HC Conference.

If you were unable to attend, here are some of the highlights of the 2007 Haiku Conference in Ottawa.

From Journalist to Poet, Painter and Bookmaker, by Rick Black

To start a small press, you have to feel passionate about what you want to see in print, whether it's haiku, photography or Shakespeare.  Rick Black, the founder of Turtle Light Press, will describe his journey from journalist to poet, painter and bookmaker.  He will discuss how and why he launched his new press as well as future plans to run a haiku chapbook competition.

Senryu:  Just Another Kind of Haiku? by Dina E. Cox

My presentation will include an outline of the history of senryu and will follow the form from its Japanese origins to the modern English senryu.  Through an understanding of how senryu has evolved, I will posit the questions:  What is senryu?  and:  Is it important to make a distinction between senryu and haiku?  I will also read some fine examples of senryu through the years. 

The Importance of Renku Training for Today's Haiku Poet:  An Overview by Raffael de Gruttola

Basho was a renku poet before becoming a haiku poet.  Many of his haiku were originally hokku, or the first verse of a renga (what we call today, renku).  The practice then was that three or more poets convened in an inn or place of note to stay for two or three days, and together composed a renga.  It was a communal activity where discussion among equals produced the right links for heightened meaning.  Today it's necessary for haiku poets to know the importance of discussion to produce the right meaning in the usage of language.  Renku writing sessions among small groups of friends will sharpen poets' perceptions for meaning, and will help poets who only write haiku, to gain a better understanding of the art of the hokku and its staying power. 

Convergence/Emergence:  A Mergering of Haiku and Jazz, by Michael Dudley(with soundscape composed and performed by Dustin Stendel)

A dynamic mergering and inner/inter/intra play of musical and literary tones, notes, expressions and sequences, to evoke the atmosphere, sense, and essence of human journeying. 

Tips for Starting a Haiku Group, by Abigail Friedman

Abigail Friedman first started writing haiku in Japan, as a member of the numamomo-kai, a Japanese haiku group in Numazu, led by haiku master Momoko Kuroda.  When she returned to North America, she founded a bilingual haiku group in Quebec City, which has been going strong since its inception in August 2005, and includes a membership of about 30.  Learn from Abigail how to start your own haiku group, some of the advantages of belonging to such a group, and tips to fostering a serene, enjoyable environment for contemplating haiku.  Abigail will also discuss cultural differences in approaches to haiku and haiku groups.

"Close your eyes and see with your other eyes":  Spiritual Expression Through Haiku, by Philomene Kocher & Marjorie Woodbridge

Through explorations of spirituality in a group setting with residents in a long-term care facility, the chaplain noticed that poetry (among other artistic expressions) sparked an immediate and dramatic response.  Poetry has the capacity to transport the residents back to memories that are clear and that evoke deep emotion.  The chaplain noticed that sensory images, in particular, seemed to prompt a connection.  Because of the distilled sensory nature of haiku, she invited a local haiku poet to the groups to explore this further.  This presentation will describe how we structured the sessions, our collaborative approach, and the miracles that happened.

Approaching Beauty: Writing Haiku About Flowers, by Angela Leuck

Editor and poet Angela Leuck will share her insights into the art of writing about flowers with a “hands on” workshop and discussion to follow.

Let’s Play, by Claudia Coutu Radmore

A little mystery, a little haiku, a little puzzle. Join Claudia Radmore in her fun and games approach to learning significant poems by Haiku Canada players.

The Blank Page:  Haiku or Tanka?, by George Swede

When confronted with a blank page and an urge to write a poem about a meaningful moment, we all have to make a decision about the form that we will use.  For those of us predisposed towards Japanese short-form poetry, the decision usually boils down to writing either haiku or tanka.  But what are the factors involved in our decision-making?  In this talk, Swede will try to distill what they are with examples taken from his last collection of haiku, Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000), and from his recent collection of tanka, First Light, First Shadows (Snapshot Press, 2006).

Tanka of Shuji Terayama, by Kozue Uzawa

Shuji Terayama (1935-1983) is one of the most popular tanka poets in Japan.  He is also well known as a playwright and director both in Japan and in the western world.  He received many international awards for his stage plays.  However, his poetry is hardly known outside of Japan because it has never been translated into English, except the five tanka in Ferris Wheel (2006).  In order to introduce Terayama's tanka to the world, I have embarked on a journey to translate over 200 poems from his collections.  I will introduce some of his tanka in this presentation and explain the characteristics of his work.  Many of his poems read like narratives from movies, stage plays, or short stories.

Other highlights included:

Holographic Anthology Launch -- Philomene Kocher, Marco Fraticelli

Book launches by Angela Leuck, Abigail Friedman

Readings by Muriel Ford,  Dorothy Howard

Readings by Hans Jongman, Marco Fraticelli

members’ readings

late night renku party

ongoing book sales, archives, displays, and silent auction

(Please contact Claudia Coutu Radmore re: silent auction items ( )


Rick Black, a book artist, journalist and poet, is the founder of Turtle Light Press.  A professional journalist for more than 20 years, he worked in the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times from 1988-1991 and has contributed to numerous other newspapers and magazines.  He has garnered several international awards for his haiku, including first prize and honorable mention in the James W. Hackett Award Competition, sponsored by The British Haiku Society, and third prize in the Betty Drevniok Competition, sponsored by Haiku Canada.

Dina E. Cox is a poet, a freelancer, a musician and a grandmother.  She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada, and The Haiku Society of America.  She won the Betty Drevniok Award 2000, and received an Honourable Mention in the 2005 contest.  In 2006 she tied for third place in the Bulgarian International Contest "Haiku and Musik."  Dina's poetry is published in several periodicals and anthologies, and she is currently working on a manuscript of her longer poetry.

Raffael de Gruttola was a founding member of the Boston Haiku Society and past president and treasurer of the Haiku Society of America.  His haiku and renku have appeared in magazines and journals both in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan.  He formed two renku groups that have been in existence since 1999, the MetroWest Renku Association and the Immature Green Heron Group.  His MWRA group has produced a new form of renku called bluenotes and the group has read with musicians in various venues in the Boston area.  His Green Heron Group has just completed a cross-adaptation of a one act play into a renku performance piece with original music and dance.

Abigail Friedman is the authors of The Haiku Apprentice:  Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan (Stone Bridge Press, 2006) and the founder of haikuquebec, a bilingual haiku group in Quebec City.  Ms. Friedman, an Amercian diplomat, became acquainted with haiku during the latter part of her eight years living in Japan.  Her book, The Haiku Apprentice, relates her experience in a Japanese haiku group, under the guidance of haiku master Momoko Kuroda.  Ms. Friedman has been living in Canada since August, 2004.

Philomene Kocher is a haiku and tanka poet.  She has written haiku for 15 years and her work has been published internationally.  Currently, she is a graduate student in the Faculty of Education at Queen's University in Kingston where she is exploring haiku as a way of connection with people with dementia.  She is the Secretary of Haiku Canada.

Angela Leuck (with Maxianne Berger) edited Sun Through the Blinds: Montreal Haiku Today (Shoreline, 2003), Tulip Haiku (Shoreline, 2005), Rose Haiku for  Flower Lovers and Gardeners (Price Patterson, 2006), Flower Heart (Blue Ginko,2006) and Garden Meditation (forthcoming from Carve Press, 2007).  Anglea founded Haiku at the Garden in 2000, and continues to write haiku, tanka, and renku. In 2001, her haiga appeared in a solo exhibition.

Claudia Coutu Radmore

Born in Montreal, presently living outside Ottawa, Claudia Radmore has been writing poetry, in lyric and Japanese forms, since the early nineties. She has published several chapbooks, and in magazines, and has been the consulting editor for Raw NerVZ magazine and on the selection committee for Gusts, the Canadian tanka magazine.  She is currently working on lyric and tanka manuscripts.

George Swede

 Former poetry editor of Poetry Toronto and Writers’ Quarterly, George Swede has published 30 collections, 14 of them haiku and other short forms.  He has also edited 7 anthologies and published a collection of essays on haiku.  He is currently an editor with Virginia’s Red Moon Press and a columnist for the on-line periodical Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form poetry.  Swede has also published First Light, First Shadows, a winner of Liverpool’s Snapshot Tanka Competition, 2005.

Kozue Uzawa is the editor of Gusts (Canada's first tanka journal), tanka poet, translator and educator.  Her English tanka have appeared in Tanka Journal, Tanka Café, Gusts, red lights, Ribbons, Modern English Tanka, Tanka Splendor 2006, and Eucalypt (to appear).

Chaplain Marjorie Woodbridge, BA, MTS, has worked in long-term care for nine years and has an abiding interest in how the arts connect and enhance spiritual understanding and expression.  She has an interest in drama, poetry, and music and how they inspire one to be at play in the fields of God.