Commencement Bay Haiku

Commencement Bay Haiku meets monthly in Tacoma, Washington. It’s a friendly and supportive assortment of haiku enthusiasts, usually about six to eight people attending. The group is open to contemporary, traditional, and avant-garde haiku. Come with your own questions about haiku or bring up to five haiku for sharing and discussion. The group meets every fourth Monday of the month from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at King’s Books, at 218 St. Helens Avenue in Tacoma (253-272-8801). For information, please email Richard Tice at

Here’s some history about the group: Carmen Sterba attended her first Haiku Northwest meeting, at the invitation of Francine Porad, when she was visiting from Japan in 2002. Three years later she moved back to the Tacoma area, began to attend Haiku Northwest meetings, and visited the Port Townsend haiku group in 2006. She invited both groups to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Rose Garden and Owen Beach. Eventually, in 2011, it was time to start up a local haiku group. Michael Dylan Welch had introduced Tacoma poets Judt Shrode and Jim Westenhaver to Carmen, and the three of them formed the new group together. Judt thought up the name, Commencement Bay Haiku. For the next year and a half, they met at Carmen’s home. In 2013 the group grew and King’s Bookstore in Tacoma became their regular meeting place.

See the “King’s Books rengay written at the bookstore by Jim Westenhaver, Megan Shea, Michael Dylan Welch, Judt Shrode, Burk Ketcham, and Janice Sakai in January of 2017.

The Commencement Bay Haiku Group at King's Books in Tacoma, December 2013

Left to right: Judt Shrode, Julia Cousineau, Yuki Yumide, Jim Westenhaver, Carmen Sterba, and Burk Ketcham

The Commencement Bay Haiku Group at Neely Mansion in Auburn, March 2017

Left to right: Lyle Russell (standing), Carmen Sterba, Janice Sakai, Burk Ketcham, Richard Tice, and Kathleen Tice