The Inside Story:
Haiku Northwest’s First Twenty-Five Years

The following hisory of Haiku Northwest was first published in No Longer Strangers, the organization’s 25th anniversary anthology, published in 2014.

by Connie Hutchison

The history of Haiku Northwest is one of joy and friendship, making art, learning craft, and creating a community of haiku writers. What’s the glue—the factors that influenced our growth and vitality over twenty-five years—and what did we do? What has enabled us to add new members, improve our craft, expand our audience, and explore new directions? Three key elements have made this possible: personality, the traits that attract people to the group; process, the noncompetitive, positive sharing and critiquing of poems; and synchronicity, the dynamic of talented people influencing each other and creating opportunities that benefit the group.

Haiku Northwest was founded by Francine Porad in 1988. Through our mutual friend, Nixeon Handy, I met Francine when she was transitioning from successful painter in oils and aqua media to successful poet, around 1982. The short form of haiku and the quick replies from haiku editors suited Francine perfectly. When she arranged with Alexis Rotella to take over as editor/publisher of Brussels Sprout, she asked me to be associate editor. Francine’s production of this art and haiku journal, from May 1988 to September 1995, is an important factor of synchronicity for Haiku Northwest. Issues of the journal contain the only written accounts of meetings, guests, and activities of the early group. In these days before the Internet, the telephone and printed flyers were our primary means of spreading the word. Francine also used the journal’s “Letter from the Editor” section to announce meeting dates and recap events. Brussels Sprout gives us a reflection of the early years until 1993, when Washington and Oregon became the Northwest region of the Haiku Society of America. Ruth Yarrow, who later moved to Seattle from New York, was one of the guest editors of the journal in 1989. With many poets sending Francine haiku and other work, she quickly established herself as a personable and supportive editor. Christopher Herold recounts that his haiku were first published by Francine. For many, meeting Francine was a touchstone for involvement. Here is one of Francine’s poems, which so often celebrated human interaction:

open house

my children, their children . . .

joy is my middle name

Haiku Northwest’s inaugural meeting took place on September 15, 1988, and is described in the January 1989 issue of Brussels Sprout. Guests were British Columbia poets anne mckay, Anna Vakar, and Beth Jankola, and local poets attending were Eve Triem, Sarah Singer, Nixeon Civille Handy, M. Anne Sweet, Connie Hutchison, and editors George Klacsanzky (Haiku Zasshi Zō) and Michael Kettner (Catalyst). Our Canadian guests each gave a reading, other poets shared their work, and all enjoyed refreshments and a publications display. Beth Jankola’s art was later featured in Brussels Sprout (September 1999), and Francine and anne mckay wrote linked verse together for several years. This first meeting took place in a building shared by the Bellevue Library and the Bellevue Police Department on Main Street, which has since been replaced by a Lexus dealership.

Regular meetings have been a core factor of our group’s cohesion. From 1989 to 1992, they were held every other month in a variety of places, including the Bellevue Library and the Mercer Island Library. Seattle meditational artist Richard Kirsten-Daiensai was a guest in January 1989. He generously brought a packet of his art cards for each person attending. They featured his painting and writing, which he produced during the six months of each year that he lived in Japan in a Buddhist monastery. He was on the University of Washington art faculty and had a gallery in Seattle. His art was featured in Brussels Sprout (January 1991). When George Klacsanzky hosted us at his home in the spring of 1989, a dozen poets attended, with special guest Jean Dernberger, the artist featured in Brussels Sprout in January of 1989. Again, attendees shared their work, and the group discussed elements of haiku, with good fellowship.

By 1992, our bimonthly meetings shifted to Francine’s Mercer Island home, which was decorated with many paintings and art objects, including Francine’s work. Francine was a gracious, welcoming host. In this inviting setting, our group learned and honed the craft of writing haiku, shared and supported each other’s efforts, and discussed publications where we might send poems. Each person brought a page of haiku with copies so everyone could see the work that we read. We could count on Bob Major to represent a traditional form (three lines in 5-7-5 syllables), while most of us practiced less traditional forms (one to four lines of fewer than seventeen syllables), all concentrating on the aha! moment and sensory imagery. Inclusiveness and respect for the spectrum of styles was a principle of our critique—a vital part of our process that demonstrated mutual support. We commented on what we liked most, sometimes made suggestions, and asked each writer if he or she had any questions about the writing. An early participant, Anne Voegtlen, expressed our process this way: “In our poems and discussions, the group tries to get beyond the cloud of surface facts, to see the deep stillness within the everyday.” Awareness of other haiku writers and groups expanded, and we printed “Haiku Northwest Greetings,” a haiku sheet, to represent us. It was illustrated with a tree sketch by Francine and featured poems by Carol Edson, William Scott Galasso, Steve Harris, Tom C. Hunley, Connie Hutchison, Mary Fran Meer, Bert Noia, Alice Nelson, Dan Orr, Francine Porad, Sarah Singer, Dean Summers, and Richard Thompson. In 1993, Francine began a two-year term as president of the Haiku Society of America, and Washington and Oregon officially became the HSA’s Northwest region, with Mary Fran Meer as its first regional coordinator.

Under Mary Fran’s leadership, we had many firsts. The Northwest Region meeting of May 22, 1993, at the Bellevue Library (still on Main Street), featured Paul O. Williams as guest speaker, William Scott Galasso as workshop leader, and a display of books and periodicals. Participants made many new acquaintances. We scheduled monthly readings at North Seattle Community College and at two bookstores: Other Voices in Seattle and Waverly Books in Kent. Beginning in October, we met alternately at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Bellevue for readings and at Francine’s for sharing and critique. In December of 1993, we hosted a national quarterly meeting of the HSA in the spacious new Bellevue Regional Library, where many of our area events have been held ever since. Our featured speaker was vincent tripi, and William Scott Galasso led a workshop. As Haiku Society of America president, Francine Porad was supposed to have chaired this meeting, but unfortunately, Francine dislocated her shoulder when she and another library patron collided. HSA secretary Doris Heitmeyer chaired the meeting, assisted by Mary Fran Meer. Afterwards, many of us visited Francine at Group Health Hospital. In 1994, we published our first regional anthology, Echoes Across the Cascades, with original cut-paper art by Carol Edson.

As HSA president, Francine encouraged national and international discourse and friendships among haiku practitioners. These came to fruition in the next decade. Our early meetings with Oregon poets developed into enduring friendships and collaborations. Ce Rosenow and Brad Wolthers accompanied Wilma M. Erwin, the featured speaker at the second regional meeting, held on May 21, 1994 at the Bellevue Library. Jean Dubois from Colorado was the featured reader, Bert Noia led a workshop, and Carol Edson performed. We dubbed October 1994 “Super October.” Members read at the dedication of the Yao Japanese Garden at Bellevue Botanical Garden. At the third regional meeting, Margaret Chula gave a reading from her book Grinding My Ink, reflecting the years she lived in Japan. In addition, awards for a Washington Poets Association haiku contest, judged by Francine, were presented at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Kristin Deming, returning to the United States after living thirteen years in Japan (where Francine met her in 1994), read her poems at the Haiku Society of America quarterly meeting in March of 1998, in Federal Way. We enjoyed a video of her poems set to music and performed at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Ruth Yarrow was the featured speaker on “Haiku at Work” and Marc Thompson’s workshop posed the question, “If the Way of Poetry is an alternative to the New World Order, then is writing haiku a subversive act?” A performance by Carol Edson, Maris Kundzins, and Munio Makuuchi concluded with participants tossing colorful “aerogami” birds. In January 1999, visiting teacher and poet Kris Kondo led renku workshops at the Kirkland Library and at Francine’s home. This was our group’s first experience writing together in a linked-verse form. Enthused, we decided to meet every month. Tadashi Kondo, a guest at our meeting in February 2000, shared copies of Wind Arrow, the 1999 Association of International Renku’s anthology in Japanese and English. The twenty-link renku written at that meeting was published in Chiyo’s Corner in the spring of 2000. We continued to improve our craft and make new connections. Oregon poets Margaret Chula and Ce Rosenow presented workshops to high school students and gave a radio interview and reading in 1999. Margaret Chula, John Hall, and Elizabeth Falconer presented a program of haiku with photos accompanied by koto at the Portland Art Museum. Margaret Chula and Christopher Herold gave a workshop at the Olympia Zen Center in 2000. Several garden walks, regional meetings and the December 2002 HSA quarterly meeting, including workshops and presentations, were coordinated by Ruth Yarrow.

The slam scene also enveloped haiku. Haiku Northwest members have faced other poets in the Seattle Poetry Slam’s annual Haiku d’Etat competition at various locations numerous times. At the Sit & Spin tavern and laundry in Seattle, Ruth Yarrow and Bob Major were the finalists one year. Their poems fell into the raunchy spectrum, with Bob winning by audience acclaim. He became the featured reader the next year. Francine was featured in 1999 and Michael Dylan Welch has been the featured reader twice.

Synchronicity is the dynamic of people influencing other people, using their talent to create opportunities that enable the group to grow in experience, skill, and enjoyment of haiku. Our members are talented in many areas such as visual arts, music, photography, teaching, bookbinding, publishing, and networking. Some have become editors and publishers of books and chapbooks, while others have produced periodicals that gave haiku writers the opportunity to see their work in print and to learn from excellent examples. Editors and publishers active in the group’s first twenty-five years include Margaret Chula (Katsura Press), Cherie Hunter Day (Sundog Press), Kathleen P. Decker (Laughing CyPress), Wilma Erwin and Brad Wolthers (Mountain Gate Press), Ce Rosenow (Irving Street Press, North Lake Press, Mountains and Rivers Press), Dean Summers (Holly House Productions), and Michael Dylan Welch (Press Here). Some of those who established periodicals in the region include an’ya (Moonset), Kathleen P. Decker (Chiyo’s Corner), Lorraine Ellis Harr (Dragonfly: A Quarterly of Haiku—published in Portland, Oregon from 1972 to 1984), Christopher Herold (The Heron’s Nest), George Klacsanzky (Haiku Zasshi Zō—the first haiku journal in the Seattle area, started in 1984, and published until 1988), Francine Porad (Brussels Sprout), Edna Purviance (Portals—the first haiku-related journal in Washington State, published in Bellingham for three years in the 1970s), Ce Rosenow (Northwest Literary Forum), and CarrieAnn Thunell (Nisqually Delta Review).

A copy of The Swinging Grasshopper, a hand-sewn chapbook, was Bob Major’s surprise gift for each of us a month after the August 12, 1995 regional meeting held at the Bellevue Library. This “experiment” contained haiku and haiku-like musings by attendees of the workshop he led using a quote by the Mississippi artist Walter I. Anderson as a prompt. This little Japanese stab-bound book and Bob’s experience in the publishing industry, including at the University of Washington publications department, were the beginning of our development as a group in the area of making hand-bound books. For our regional anthology, To Find the Words (2000), edited by Connie Hutchison, Christopher Herold, and Mary Fran Meer, we invited haiku poets in British Columbia and Alaska who share our mountain and ocean landscape to participate. The book was awarded first place in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards. We issued a second limited edition in 2002 after we learned of the award. In 2008, our cadre of bookbinders partnered with poets from Vashon Island’s “Mondays at Three” haiku group to make a chapbook for Helen Russell, our eldest member, for her 99th birthday. We enjoyed a special camaraderie as we sewed with linen thread into handmade paper covers. This chapbook, Distant Sounds, won the Merit Book Award for best chapbook published in 2008.

Regional coordinators have played an important role in shaping the group experience. For the Haiku Society of America quarterly meeting at Hugo House in Seattle, organized by Michael Dylan Welch in June of 2008, Connie Hutchison and Marilyn Sandall made collages to honor each coordinator and to illustrate activities during his or her term (photographs of these collages are available on the Haiku Northwest website). These were placed under glass at each table in the room, and have been displayed at several events since Hugo House. Their photos, anthology covers, programs, and other memorabilia remind us of haiku walks we shared in beautiful gardens, anthologies produced and prizes won, readings at bookstores and the Seattle Japanese Garden, beach walks and potlucks at Hood Canal, and performances at the Northwest Folklife festival, Bumbershoot, Aki Matsuri, and other venues. An appendix in this anthology lists all regional coordinators from 1993 to 2013, whose dedicated leadership has contributed to our growth as a haiku community.

Haiku Northwest has been a nucleus for English-language haiku activity in the Puget Sound region, but was not the first haiku group in the area. Lorraine Ellis Harr, writer, teacher and editor, established the Western World Haiku Society in Oregon in 1972. The Washington Poets Association, founded in 1971, published an annual haiku contest anthology from 1975 to 1982. EdnaPurviance led the Haiku Appreciation Club in Bellingham (late 1970s) and published books by Betty Drevniok, cofounder of Haiku Canada (1977). George Klacsanzky hosted bimonthly meetings in the Seattle area in the mid-1980s. Since 1992, when Mimi Call and Doris Thurston started the Port Townsend haiku group, other groups have formed: Vashon Island’s “Mondays at Three,” named for the time they meet, hosted by Helen Russell (1998), the Bellingham Haiku Group, founded by Seren Fargo (2009), and the Mt. Olympus Haiku Society, organized in Sequim by Maggie Jamison (2010). Christopher Herold’s publication, Northwest Haiku Gardens, produced for one of our many joint meetings, presents haiku from members of these groups. It is a welcome history of the joint meetings that began with Haiku Northwest and the Port Townsend group, and reflects strong ties that developed when the Port Townsend writers made the long drive and ferry crossing to attend meetings at Francine’s home. In 2011, Commencement Bay Haiku, founded by Carmen Sterba and Judt Shrode in Tacoma, became the area’s newest haiku group.

The 1997 Haiku North America conference in Portland, Oregon, was a milestone. Ce Rosenow (chair), with Margaret Chula and Cherie Hunter Day, gathered an impressive cadre of presenters to explore the theme of innovation in haiku. Highlights included a translation panel with Janine Beichman, Sam Hamill, Patricia Donegan, and Steven D. Carter, moderated by William J. Higginson; a butoh performance by Maureen Freehill; workshops on translation with Jerry Ball, haibun with Rich Youmans, rengay with Garry Gay, Ebba Story, and Cherie Hunter Day, and teaching haiku with Penny Harter and George Swede. We also enjoyed a reading by Lorraine Ellis Harr at the Portland Japanese Garden and a book fair and socializing at the historic Drake Hotel.

Since moving to the Seattle area in 2002, Michael Dylan Welch has widened our horizons and contributed to the synchronicity that is a key factor of Haiku Northwest’s cohesion. In our meetings, he expands our understanding of Japanese origins of haiku and its cultural context. He draws others to the haiku arena through his enthusiasm and creates new venues and experiences for sharing haiku. Some of these include establishing the “Haiku Garden” reading series in 2003 at the Seattle Japanese Garden, featuring guest poets and Haiku Northwest members; giving numerous workshops and teaching at schools, parks, and festivals; and organizing major conferences in our area, activities resulting in the addition of many of our recent new members. In 2003, in response to Michael’s proposal, the Washington Poets Association established the Francine Porad Award for Haiku to honor Francine’s leadership and craft. Michael served as the first judge in 2004, and continued to coordinate, administer, and publicize the contest until 2013 when Haiku Northwest became the sole sponsor.

Wide use of the Internet has changed how we administer contests, submit our work for publication, and publish—on blogs, websites, and social media, unimaginable when Haiku Northwest began. Thousands of people access haiku-related information and photos each month on personal and regional websites. Michael Dylan Welch’s website, titled “Graceguts,” provides access to authoritative haiku-related material. Michael established the Haiku Northwest website in 2004, the Haiku Northwest Facebook page in 2009, and he maintains both. He also founded National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) in 2010, held each February (the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry). NaHaiWriMo has more than 1,800 year-round participants on its Facebook page, and it has brought new members to Haiku Northwest and the Haiku Society of America. The Heron’s Nest, begun by Christopher Herold as a monthly printed periodical, is now a highly regarded quarterly online journal. Tanya McDonald was a savvy facilitator, using email to send periodic announcements to an extensive roster, enabling and expanding our haiku connections.

Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington was the site of Haiku North America in September of 2005, another significant event for the region, organized by Michael Dylan Welch, with Christopher Herold, Carol O’Dell, and Doris Thurston. An amazing array of talented poets, translators, scholars, performers, and artists focused on the theme of authenticity. Events included a conversation with Harumi Blyth (daughter of famed haiku translator R. H. Blyth); performances of taiko drumming and butoh dance; haibun, tanka, renku, and rengay sessions; presentations by Cheryl Crowley, William J. Higginson, Emiko Miyashita, and Michael O’Connor; teaching haiku with Penny Harter, Lenard D. Moore, Pamela Miller Ness, Bruce Ross, Carmen Sterba, and Dean Summers; haiga, photography, and origami; and readings, including a memorial haiku reading and Ruth Yarrow’s haiku about birds with her production of each one’s characteristic song. A highlight for many was the chartered boat trip between Seattle and Port Townsend under beautiful blue skies.

In December 2006, the Haiku Society of America voted to recognize the evolution of its Northwest region into two separate regions for the states of Oregon and Washington. For 2007, the new Oregon coordinator was Ce Rosenow and Washington’s coordinator was Terran Campbell. At a national quarterly meeting hosted by the Oregon region in June 2007, we once again saw old friends, read at Powell’s Books, and met at the Hoyt Arboretum for memorial readings for influential and beloved leaders Lorraine Ellis Harr and Francine Porad, both of whom died in 2006. Building on their legacies, the strong development in each region resulted in more participants, with Oregon and Washington poets holding leadership positions in the Haiku Society of America and other organizations.

Michael Dylan Welch and Alice Frampton cofounded the Seabeck Haiku Getaway in 2008. Michael has been director since its inception, and Alice was the first codirector and registrar, with Tanya McDonald admirably fulfilling these positions from 2009 through 2012, followed by Angela Terry, who took over in 2013. Held annually on Washington’s scenic Hood Canal, close to the Olympic Mountains, this long-weekend retreat has attracted attendees from around the country and internationally to enjoy Seabeck’s beachfront and forest retreat center each fall. Attendees have been inspired and refreshed by guest speakers, workshops, haiku walks, and family-style meals while renewing and expanding friendships. Guest speakers have included Emiko Miyashita, Penny Harter, Charles Trumbull, John Stevenson, Paul Miller, and Marco Fraticelli. Retreat anthologies of attendees’ poems have been produced for most retreats. One of them, Seeing Stars, edited by Michael Dylan Welch, won the Haiku Society of America’s Kanterman Award for best anthology published in 2009.

“Haiku: The Four Elements,” scripted for four readers and musical accompaniment, was a collection of member poems on the themes of earth, air, fire, and water, edited by Michael Dylan Welch. Dejah Léger secured performance spots for Haiku Northwest at two Northwest Folklife festivals. In 2005, we performed “The Four Elements” with Elizabeth Falconer on koto, repeating that performance at Bumbershoot, and at the 2005 Haiku North America conference with instrumentalist James Whetzel. It was also performed at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival with James Whetzel and at the Seattle Japanese Garden’s Tanabata festival with Silk Strings (koto performers) in 2006. For Folklife in 2008, Dejah sequenced a new collection of poems, “The Sound of Haiku,” and accompanied four readers on guitar. Another performance was recorded at Hugo House and later broadcast by KSER radio, and we repeated the performance at Aki Matsuri, also in 2008.

Under the leadership of our most recent coordinators, Michael Dylan Welch, Tanya McDonald, and Katharine Hawkinson, members have staffed tables and given workshops at Bellevue College’s popular Aki Matsuri Japanese festival, Sakura-Con, and the Skagit River Poetry Festival. For the Nature Consortium’s Arts in Nature festival in 2010, “Haiku on Sticks” were created pairing the Haiku Northwest logo, designed in 2008 by Susan K. Miller, with members’ haiku. These were placed around Camp Long for families to discover throughout the wooded area. Katharine Hawkinson organized the February 2012 HSA quarterly meeting. HSA president Ce Rosenow attended, scholar Richard Tice shared insights about haiku, and Michael Dylan Welch talked about National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo). Teruko Kumei presented a paper, “Evolution of American Senryu,” which discussed work by Yakima-area residents who, around 1911, established the first Japanese-language senryu group known to exist in the United States. From our library meeting room we posted information about our event on Facebook as it was unfolding and enjoyed being able to share our event so quickly with others interested in haiku.

Seattle-area members have facilitated programs and sponsored innovative events that highlight the interrelationship of haiku and other artistic ventures. For the Haiku Foundation’s National Haiku Day on April 17, 2011, Tracy Koretsky and Dianne Garcia organized an art and poetry event. At Seabeck 2012, the Puget Sound Sumi Artists taught a workshop, shared haiga, and graciously participated in the anthology Windfall. They also displayed recent haiga at the June 2013 national quarterly meeting at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific Experience in Seattle. We were encouraged to “Write like Issa” (HSA president David Lanoue), and to sketch “small scenes from a larger life” (novelist David Patneaude). We learned about the translation of haiku from Japanese (Jeff Robbins, Bashō researcher, visiting from Japan), and HSA vice president Michael Dylan Welch presented a multimedia retrospective of Francine Porad’s art and poetry, “Haiku Joy.” We also read poems selected for this anthology, No Longer Strangers.

The August 2011 Haiku North America conference was the third held in the Pacific Northwest. This event has been held more times in our area than in any other region of the continent. The 2011 theme was “Fifty Years of Haiku,” relating to the fiftieth anniversary of Seattle Center and the Space Needle, completed for the 1962 World’s Fair. The conference was directed by Michael Dylan Welch, working with Tanya McDonald, Dejah Léger, and Angela Terry, and with key volunteers Dianne Garcia, Katharine Hawkinson, and Tracy Koretsky. More than a hundred attendees at Seattle Center were inspired by workshops, readings, the bookfair, haiga displays, panel discussions, presentations, and excursions to Seattle attractions, including a haiku walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park, a monorail trip to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum, and a boat trip to Blake Island and Tillicum Village, organized by Katharine Hawkinson. The Higginson Memorial Lecture was delivered by Richard Gilbert. Charles Trumbull and Terry Ann Carter presented histories of haiku in the United States and Canada, respectively. Cor van den Heuvel was the featured haibun reader and Marjorie Buettner delivered the memorial reading. A variety of haiku-related forms were addressed: one-liners (Jim Kacian), concrete poems (Carlos Colón), gendai (Paul Miller, Michael Dylan Welch), rengay (Garry Gay), haibun (Penny Harter), video renku (Eve Luckring), blogging (Ce Rosenow), spaciousness in haiku (Bruce Ross), and food kigo with a tasting session (Emiko Miyashita). One particularly popular event was Jim Kacian’s coordination of the “Haiku Bowl” quiz show, with trivia questions relating to haiku and its history. At the Space Needle banquet, Haiku Elvis made a special appearance, to everyone’s delight. Conference days began with tai chi and haiku led by Don Baird and culminated Saturday night with an exuberant contra dance to music by La Famille Léger.

Though we find ourselves increasingly using electronic media, we continue our tradition of monthly meetings in public settings and in private homes. When the Bellevue Library closed its meeting rooms for remodeling, we met monthly at Lake Forest Park, and this new location attracted new members. When the Bellevue Library was otherwise unavailable for meetings, especially during tax season, members hosted meetings or events in the ambience of their homes.

Margaret Chula and Ce Rosenow (in Oregon) and Christopher Herold, Michael Dylan Welch, and Ruth Yarrow (in Washington) deserve special note for their extensive contributions to the understanding and visibility of haiku in this region and beyond. Their writing practice, research, publications, teaching, workshop presentations, and public speaking have made a broad audience aware of this art form, strengthened the craft and connections among haiku writers, and promoted cross-cultural appreciation and understanding. I think of them as ambassadors of haiku. Their unique combinations of personality, attention to process, and synchronicity continue to vitalize and enrich not only Haiku Northwest, but also the greater haiku community, and we are grateful.

With an analogy, I wish to emphasize the contribution of Helen Russell to the writing of haiku in our region. A pink dogwood has been growing in my yard for three decades. Last year, a robin built a nest in its branches, transforming the old tree into something more—something deeply mature. Similarly, the death poem (jisei) of our beloved member, Helen Russell, deepens our perspective. We have had, to my knowledge, no jisei from other poets in our region. In her last hour at age 101, Helen dictated her poem to a nurse who had moved the furniture so Helen could enjoy the view:

first night in new digs

arranging furniture

I no longer have

Ann Spiers describes this poem as Helen’s last gift to us. Helen joined an elite circle of jisei writers, one usually associated with Japanese haiku masters. I admire her focus and clarity as death became imminent. While we continue to support each other in writing and sharing haiku, we too can aspire to such mindfulness and dedication.

Since we were first inspired by founder Francine Porad’s leadership, generosity, and innovation, many individuals have contributed to building the community we call Haiku Northwest. We are grateful for their involvement. Haiku Northwest has been remembered in the will of Jay Gelzer and we are thankful for the new opportunities this gracious bequest will make possible. We have flourished and matured in these twenty-five years and are confident that the art of haiku-writing and congenial, supportive relationships will continue for many years to come.