Seabeck Haiku Getaway 2017

Our TENTH ANNUAL Haiku Northwest haiku retreat will happen in October of 2017! We'll be staying in comfortable accommodations across the lagoon from Hood Canal at the Seabeck Conference Center—hope you’ll join us!

October 26–29, 2017

2017 Haiku Northwest Retreat

Haiku, haiku, and more haiku . . . and maybe a wee bit of socializing! Join the Haiku Northwest group on the weekend of October 26–29, 2017 (Thursday through Sunday), at the Seabeck Conference Center by the water on Washington State’s Kitsap Peninsula. Our featured speaker is Scott Mason, a long-time editor of The Heron’s Nest, and author of the new book, The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes. We also look forward to welcoming many other presenters. Only $240 for a long weekend of meals, accommodations, and all the haiku you can carry! Enjoy the lagoon, waterfront, woods, mountain views, stimulating presentations and workshops, and fine haiku camaraderie. Early registration deadline: Must be postmarked by September 22, 2017 (rate increases after this date, and please also email to say you're registering if you register after September 22). NOTE: Discount registration deadline is now extended to September 28, 2017.

Registration Form

Click here for the 2017 retreat registration form (numerous options available, including day rates with no accommodations). Registration opens August 1, 2017, and closes October 20, 2017, with the discounted early registration deadline postmarked by September 22, 2017. Discount registration deadline is now extended to September 28, 2017. Please note that these are postmark dates. Do not register before August 1. Registration may be possible after October 20, especially for day visitors, but please inquire first. See you at Seabeck!

Cancellation Fee

Reservations cancelled by September 22, 2017 are entitled to a full refund, minus a $25 cancellation fee. After this date, partial refunds will be given at the registrar's discretion, minus at least a $50 cancellation fee. You must email or phone us by September 22 to cancel your reservation. Note: It is possible that we may not be able to make any refunds after the cancellation date, but if we can, any refunds will be subject to at least a $50 cancellation fee.


Events will include anonymous workshops, haiku walks, discussions, presentations, slideshows, haiku and renku writing time, and more! The schedule provides a mix of relaxation and stimulation, with plenty of breaks and variety. Click here to see the 2017 retreat schedule. For planning purposes, please know that check-in starts mid Thursday afternoon, in the Historic Inn, with dinner at 6:00 p.m. (please arrive at least by 6:00 if coming on Thursday). Our events end at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at the conclusion of lunch, with an optional afternoon outing to a nearby state park at about 2:00 p.m. Come join us!

More Photos

Click here to see photos of Seabeck conference facilities and nearby attractions. For photos of our previous retreats, by Michael Dylan Welch, click the following options:

To see a delightful short video of 2009 attendees reading their haiku, click here. And read Penny Harter's report of attending the 2009 retreat (with links to additional photos and reports of the retreat), in which she says "The Seabeck Haiku Getaway was among the most enjoyable haiku events I’ve attended." And see a photo and description of the three publications produced to commemorate the 2009 retreat.

2016 group photo.

2016 group photo.

2015 group photo, on the historic bridge over the Seabeck lagoon.

2014 group photo, in front of the Seabeck Historic Inn.

2013 group photo.

2013 group photo.

2012 group photo.

2011 group photo.

2010 group photo.

2009 group photo.

2008 group photo.

Getting to Seabeck

Click to read extensive advice on how to get to Seabeck from SeaTac Airport, from Victoria or Vancouver in British Columbia, or from Portland, Oregon by various ferry and road options. For those who are new to the Pacific Northwest, our ferries can be confusing or intimidating. Explore the preceding link to learn about your many options, depending on where you're traveling from. And do take a ferry if you can—the trip can be wonderfully scenic! You can also read more about Seabeck at the Visit Kitsap Peninsula website.

Conference Center Location

The Seabeck Conference Center is a warm and rustic getaway retreat center located at 13395 Seabeck Highway NW, in Seabeck, Washington (see MapQuest map). The wooded conference grounds, next to a lagoon and a marina on Hood Canal, feature lovely views across the tidal water of the Olympic Mountains. Many of the facility’s accommodations are historic or relocated heritage houses. Traveling from Seattle to Seabeck takes about 75 minutes (about 70 miles) via Tacoma (no toll northbound; toll to cross the bridge southbound only), nearly two hours if you take the Seattle-to-Bremerton ferry (about 45 driving miles), or 90 minutes if you take the Seattle-to-Bainbridge ferry (about 50 driving miles). For our haiku retreat, we’ll be meeting in the Colman Center (which can hold 80 people and also has its own bathrooms—see photos). For more information about the conference center, visit Also, get an overview of the conference center by viewing the Seabeck campus map. If it’s necessary for you to contact the conference center, their phone number is 360-830-5010, but please note that the conference center does not handle our retreat reservations.

Shuttle or Bus

If you need transportation from the Seattle airport to the conference center, please let us know. Or contact for shuttle details (phone 360-876-1737 or 800-562-7948). Contact Kitsap Airporter for prices. If you can get a ferry as a walk-on passenger from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, Kitsap Transit offers bus service from Bainbridge to Silverdale (near Seabeck), and we could arrange to have someone pick you up in Silverdale.


For 2017, we'll be staying in Reeser (our accommodations for the first Seabeck retreat ten years ago), the Historic Inn, the Annex, Madrona, and Tamarack. Rooms are limited (especially ones with private bathrooms), and we encourage you to double up if possible (we will pair you with a roommate unless you have your own roommate preference or request a private room). Read more about our accommodations, including photos and layout maps. These houses are close to each other near our dining hall, and our meeting hall, which for the first time this year will be the historic Meeting House (photo above, and see additional photos). After years in the Colman Center, we're now moving to a much larger meeting room where we'll be much more comfortable. Previously, we stayed in Reeser House, and it's typical of accommodations at the conference center (see Seabeck photos here). If necessary for additional overflow, we should be able to arrange other housing facilities on the conference grounds with more beds. Click to see a Seabeck photo gallery and the Seabeck campus map.

What to Bring

All bed linens and towels are provided (supplied once for the whole weekend). Please bring clothes for both warm and rainy weather. We’ve planned to have perfectly sunny skies, but you never know if you might need an umbrella and a rain jacket for one of our haiku walks. Make sure to bring a flashlight and a bathrobe (rooms in some buildings have a shared bathroom down the hall), and perhaps earplugs (if your roommate snores). Please bring haiku for round-robin readings, haiku sheets (see below) or other handouts to share, and items for the silent auction (see below), and perhaps bring an instrument or make other plans for our talent show. Please also bring your haiku notebook and lots of creativity and enthusiasm. And while you’re at it, bring some poet friends, too!


Free wi-fi service is available all over Seabeck Conference Center facilities, with strongest connections in all the meeting rooms and accommodations.


All meals are served family-style at the Seabeck Conference Center dining hall. Vegetarian and nonvegetarian options (including vegan) are available at every meal, and they have a superb salad bar. Soy-free meals are no longer being offered. If you have additional dietary or allergy concerns, please let us know when you register.

Name Tags

Be creative in making your own name tag. There’s no vote or prize for the best ones, but please do make your own name tag in a creative way. Click to see the first of many photos showing our 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 retreat name tags. Top these!

Silent Auction

If you’re willing to donate items for our silent auction, you’ll help us raise money to offset expenses. Books are welcome, but you don’t need to limit yourself to books (items don’t have to be haiku-related, either, but do make them of interest to fellow haiku poets).

Book Fair

Have haiku books for sale or trade? If so, please bring them to display on our book table. Please price your books and indicate who should be paid for purchases.

Talent Show

In 2012 we added a talent show to our Saturday evening festivities. Participation is optional, but please do think about how you might contribute. Sing a song! Play the piano, or electronic keyboard (both available)! Play another instrument, like a guitar or ukulele! Project some photos! Tell a story! Tell some bad jokes! Or good ones? Read a longer poem! Perform a dramatic scene from a play! Get together with another attendee or two or ten to collaborate in some way, musically or dramatically! Or think of ways to create audience participation. We’ve had all these and many other creative contributions to our very amusing and entertaining talent show, now one of our weekend highlights.

Haiku Sheets

As a special way to commemorate the weekend, we invite you to create a keepsake trifold haiku sheet (or something similar) with a selection of your haiku or senryu, whether recent poems or best-of selections. Please make at least 50 copies (okay, 60) to share with everyone present (we’ll let you know if attendance exceeds 50, which has happened from 2012 onwards). At each retreat we have a special reading of poems from these sheets.


A tradition we’ve had at Seabeck since our retreat began is to have an annual kukai, or haiku contest. Participants offer two anonymous haiku on index cards (provided) for a voting process by attendees, with prizes given to the top poems. Participation is optional. We continue this tradition to recognize the way Japanese haiku group meetings are usually conducted, and to heighten our attention on the selection and consideration of poems. The process encourages the writing of new work, the mindful selection of poems to enter, and the careful consideration of everyone's poems for the purpose of voting. Winning poems are automatically included in the annual Seabeck conference anthology.

Show and Tell

[Not happening in 2017] Remember show-and-tell from grade school? Back by popular demand, we’ll have another haiku show-and-tell session! If you want to participate (it’s optional), bring anything related to haiku to show and describe to the group. You could read a long poem that relates to haiku, or show a favorite book or photograph. A haiga? A doormat with a haiku printed on it? Something odd or amusing? It could be something you purchased or something you made. Use your creativity and imagination to bring something (or several things!) to stimulate our thinking about haiku.

Favorite Haiku Session

[Not happening in 2017] Our "Favorite Haiku" session is always popular. If you want to participate (it's optional), please select a favorite haiku or senryu written by someone else, and come prepared to read that poem and speak appreciatively for two or three minutes about why the poem works for you. You could write out your remarks and read them to the group, or talk extemporaneously—it's up to you! We hope this session will engage everyone, stimulate some critical thinking, and introduce us to new poems, whether classics that are good to be reminded of or highly personal poems that few of us know.

We'll be meeting in the historic Meeting House, shown here [photo by Chrissi Villa].

Retreat Anthology

A big hit for our previous retreats has been the publication of haiku collections to commemorate the weekend, including hand-sewn chapbooks. Our 2009 anthology, Seeing Stars, even won the "Best Anthology" award in 2010 in the Haiku Society of America's Kanterman Book Awards (for books published in 2009). We'll do another new anthology for our next retreat, collecting poems written or shared at the retreat, plus the winners from our annual kukai (haiku contest). Click here for a description of our 2009 retreat publications (shown above).

Haiga Exhibit

Please bring copies of any haiga or photo-haiga (framed or unframed) that you'd like to display. Please note that we cannot hang them on the walls, but can place them flat on tables or on table easels. For many years, the Haiga Adventure Study Group of Puget Sound Sumi Artists has staged a haiga exhibit in the dining hall and parts of our meeting space. This has been a wonderful way to show haiku and haiga to other conference attendees also present at Seabeck during our weekend retreat.

We often also do a slide show of haiga using a digital projector, so please bring some of your haiga in electronic form on a USB flash drive, CD, or in another format. For more information about haiga, click here.


Upon your arrival on Thursday, please register with Angela Terry or Michael Dylan Welch in the lobby of the Historic Inn or the Meeting House (see campus map). On or Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, please register at the Meeting House. Please arrive by the following times, depending on the day:

  • Thursday: Please arrive and register between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. If you come earlier in the afternoon, you can explore the waterfront or other parts of Seabeck. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m.

  • Friday: Please arrive and register before dinner, which starts at 6:30 p.m. (half an hour later than usual on Friday only)

  • Saturday: For day visitors, please arrive and register at 9:00 a.m. (Meeting House). If you can't arrive by 9:00 a.m., please join us when you can.

  • Sunday: For day visitors, please arrive and register at 9:00 a.m. (Meeting House).


If you have questions, please contact the conference organizers or visit the following websites:

Seabeck Haiku Retreat Registration Form

Click here for the 2017 registration form.

See you in Seabeck!