On May 23, 2014, Adjei Agyei-Baah, Kumasi, Ghana, submitted his haiku for the English section of the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest.

 

leafless tree―

lifting a cup of nest

to the sky

 

Adjei’s haiku was judged and selected for Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award by Fay Aoyagi.

Fay Aoyagi: A naturalized US citizen living in San Francisco. She is President of HAIKU SOCIETY OF AMERICA (http://www.hsa-haiku.org), Webmaster at Haiku Poets of Northern California (http://www.hpnc.org) and a dojin of two Japanese haiku groups: Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima and Aki (Autumn) led by Mr. Masami Sanuka. 

Her two haiku collections, “Chrysanthemum Love” (2003) and “In Borrowed Shoes” (2006) were published from Blue Willow Press.

Her English blog (http://fayaoyagi.wordpress.com) includes a daily haiku translation and she has a Japanese blog (http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/fayhaiku), as well.

 

On October 25, an award ceremony was held with the results announced at the Akita International University, part of the international haiku conference in celebration of the 29th National Cultural Festival in Akita 2014.

  Adjei Agyei-Baah delightedly spoke to attendees via Skype from Ghana when he received his award from the president of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He shared his great delight and honor with academics, such as Dr. Akito Arima, the president of the Haiku International Association, David McMurray, professor at The International University of Kagoshima, Alexander Dolin, professor at Akita International University, and haiku poets and students from Russia, UK, USA, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan.

 Saying,  “Congratulations!”,  we, attendees, wished if Adjei would invite his haiku friends to submit haiku for the contest the following year, with haiku spread further throughout Africa.

 

 

Adjei Agyei-Baah also presented his photo haiku to the Akita International Haiku Network.

 

 

On October 26, Adjei sent his e-mail to the Akita International Haiku Network as follows.

Dear Sir,

I am most grateful for the honor done me on the event. I hope all went well. I will still continue to read and delve deep into the haiku aesthetics and get back to you someday with good news to share.

I look forward to receiving the certificate and the cultural artifact.

Once again, thanks to members of the organizational team for making this grand event happen.

Sincerely,

Adjei

 

On November 18, Adjei sent his e-mail to the Akita International Haiku Network as follows.

Dear Mr. Hiruta san,

I have finally received the parcel and once again, i am grateful to you and all the organizers of the event.
This laurel has come to boost my moral in the haiku art and also to spread it in my country Ghana.
I am yet to frame the certificate for my wall.  Though I could not read the content, it’s still of a treasure to me.
I hope to come up one day with a haiku collection to share my African settings with the world:

getting my pen worth

of me

Thank you Akita
Adjei

 

Part of Interview with Ghanaian Poet, Adjei Agyei -Baah.

 
On December 5, Geosi Gyasi, a young Ghanaian book lover and also a poet, interviewed with Adjei as the brain behind Geosi Reads, a web space where he features reviews of books, literary news and author interviews.


 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Adjei Agyei -Baah

 

Biography:

 

Adjei Agyei-Baah is a founding partner of Poetry Foundation Ghana, a language examiner and a part-time lecturer for West African Examination Council and Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, respectively. He is also the co-editor of Poetry Ink Journal, a yearly poetry anthology in Ghana. As part of his duties, he also serves as a supporting administrator for http://www.poetryfoundationghana.org. He is a widely anthologized both home and abroad and among his outstanding works includes the praise songs:“Ashanti” written and presented to the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutut II and “Ghost on Guard’ , for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana. At the international front, his poem, “For the Mountains”, was selected by the BBC to represent Ghana in a Poetry Postcard Project for the just ended Commonwealth Games 2014, held in Glasgow, Scotland.

He is a devotee of the Japanese poetry form haiku and has written and published in e-zines and international journals such as Frogpong, World Haiku Review, The Heron’s Nest, Shamrock and is one of the winners of 3rdJapan – Russia Haiku Contest 2014, organised by Akita International University, Japan, making him the recipient of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award. Adjei is currently working on ‘’KROHINKO’’-an anthology of poems from Ghana Poetry Prize contest, 2013 and looks forward in coming out with his two poetry collections. Some of his poetry artefacts can be found in Manhyia Museum and Centre of National Culture, Kumasi. 

 

Geosi Gyasi: First, congratulations. You are the 2014 winner of Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award for the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest. How excited are you to have won this award?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It’s a great feeling and I have every reason to be happy for this promising news of our time. I thank God for these streak feats this particular year. This is global laurel and it puts my country (Ghana) and Africa as a whole on the world haiku map. Though some of my haikus had earlier on been given merit and honourable mentions in international haiku journals, this one comes in to crown the effort made so far. At least assuring me that my commitment to this Japanese art form has finally paid.

Geosi Gyasi: When did your love for haiku begin?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It started about three years ago when I chanced upon the works of my fellow writers like Emmanuel-Abdalmasih Samson (Nigeria), Nana Fredua-Agyemang (Ghana), online and Prince K. Mensah (Ghana) who had come out with an experimental collection (Haiku For Awuku) on this poetry form. I must say I was moved by the brevity of this genre. To make it short, to say more in few words is something that really fascinated me to try it. But not ending there, I moved further on to learn from the originators of art: I mean the Japanese masters like Basho, Buscon, Shikki, Issa etc. who have been of great influence in my haiku career.

Geosi Gyasi: Tell us about the inspiration behind your winning haiku?

Adjei Agyei -Baah:

leafless tree—

lifting a cup of nest

to the sky

The above haiku is a scene captured in one of the harmattan season in Ghana as I was traveling in a bus from Kumasi to Accra. In the middle of our journey, our bus got stuck along the road, and upon getting down, saw this naked tree from afar with an outstretched branch with a nest as if requesting for help from above. Immediately an imagery came into mind of a desperate fellow (a waif perhaps) looking up to God to fill his cup with some kind of manna, just as He did provided the Israelites on the desert, on their way to the Promised Land.

Geosi Gyasi: How easy is it to write a haiku?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It is not easy to write a haiku. First one has to learn the aesthetics of the art before he or she can write a ‘good’ haiku. It may look simple in appearance and yet difficult to write. Haiku has to capture the ‘aha’ moment (moment of delight) which come with keen observation. Besides, it packaged in lines of three or two or sometimes in one stretch of line in approximately 17 syllables with seasonal and cutting words. These are but few rules which one has to observe in writing an ‘acceptable’ haiku. This is all what I can say for now, as I am still humbly learning at the feet of the contemporary haiku enthusiasts like Hidenori Hiruta, Robert D. Wilson, John Tiong Chunghoo, Aubrie Cox, Anatoly Kudryavitsky and others.

Geosi Gyasi: Your poem was selected out of some 1,130 haikus from 46 nations. Now, could you imagine emerging as the ultimate winner?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: No! I had some doubts for sure, for we Africans are not noted for this art form. The Westerners have the upper hand since they started exploring this poetry genre decades of years ago. Aside this, haiku opens itself to a myriad of interpretations, and when your imagery is not familiar to the reader’s environment, its likely to be misunderstood or misrepresented. Ogiwara Seisensui puts it succinctly: “haiku is a circle, half of which is created by the poet and the other half completed by the reader”. So it takes the composer and the reader to dig out a winning haiku. Approximately, the judging team was able to see what I saw, felt what I felt upon this encounter and selected my haiku as one of the best. In fact no one can ever admit that his/her haiku will surely win upon submission, for the eyes that look are many but the ones that see are few.

Like Loading…

 

In January, 2015, Adjei sent a few e-mails to me, telling of his intention to publish a haiku collection and his wish that I would write a foreword to accompany his book.  

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for accepting to write the foreword to my haiku collection. This is really great news and a dream comes true.
 I will forward the manuscript made up of my 60 best haikus to enable you to start right away.
Besides, your suggested time frame (February 2015) for completion will be okay for me. Please kindly look forward to the book by the close to tomorrow.

I am once again grateful for your time and assistance.
Sincerely,
Adjei Agyei-Baah

 
Foreword by Hidenori Hiruta

 

FOREWORD

 

Adjei Agyei-Baah is the winner of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award in the English section of the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest. The award-giving ceremony was held as part of the international haiku conference at the Akita International University in Japan, October 25, 2014.  Adjei delightedly spoke with attendees via Skype to share a word or two with the audience and other participants when he received his award from the president of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Akito Arima, the president of the Haiku International Association in Tokyo, Japan, was very delighted to hear that Adjei would spread haiku further because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature, and that he would continue to read and to delve deep into haiku aesthetics and get back to us someday with good news to share.

A few months after the president heard these good intentions, to my great delight, I excitedly received the news from Adjei that he was going to publish a haiku collection, strongly believing haiku is a beautiful genre which can be used to tell their African story and wonderful settings. He intuitively and creatively describes his natural surroundings in haiku, the shortest form of poetry. For example, he takes up in his haiku “harmattan, egret, kapok, mango, Afadjato, cocoa, eagle, and cocoyam ” as the objects in nature that are particularly interesting and influential to him in his surroundings.

He wrote this haiku about harmattan (A dry dusty wind that blows along the northwest coast of Africa) in his haiku collection “Afriku ” :

 

harmattan peak

not only does trees’ bark crack

the heels too!

 

He also describes what he sees in his daily life in his own way of writing haiku or senryu from his own viewpoint:

 

pavement beggar—

on his lips

the footprints of harmattan

 

Here is an excerpt from ASAHI HAIKUIST SPECIAL by David McMurray, professor at The International University of Kagoshima in Japan, November 17, 2014.

Akito Arima, an avid haikuist and former education minister, addressed academics at the Akita International University in an effort to convince them that haiku should be added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. He reassured students in the audience that haiku can be composed by everyone, from the man in the street to the likes of Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, the Nobel laureate of literature in 2011 who penned at age 23: disappearing deep in his inner greenness/ artful and hopeful. Later in his career he penned in Swedish:

My happiness swelled

and the frogs sang in the bogs

of Pomerania

By stressing that haiku can deepen mutual understanding and enjoyment of different cultures between those people who read or compose the poem, Arima garnered support for his idea that “haiku can help make the world peaceful.”

Adjei Agyei-Baah has great interest of pioneering this art, haiku, in his country and further takes it up as his Phd thesis (Haiku in Africa). Haiku tells their African stories and wonderful settings in nature, and also connects people in the most wonderful way we can think of.  Adei’s haiku is in truth beneficial for us, mankind:

morning dew―

perhaps heaven weeps

for mankind

-Hidnenori Hiruta  

                                                      February 2015

 

AFRIKU FINALLY PUBLISHED

 

On October 12, Adjei sent his e-mail to me as follows.

Dear Hidernori Hiruta san.

It’s been a while Sir but the good news is that Jim Kacian’s Red Moon Press is done with the publication of my maiden haiku collection “Afriku” and I would like to send you a signed personal copy. 

So please kindly provide me with you postal address that I can forward to you anytime I have the opportunity to do so.

Once again, i am grateful to you and Dr. Akito Arima for your support and inspiration. I really appreciate every role that you have played in my haiku career.

Sincerely,

Adjei Agyei-Baah

 

Here is part of AFRIKU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjei’s comment on the AFRIKU cover page concept.

 

Here it is. To the curious mind who wants to unravel the AFRIKU cover page code (concept). It’s simply made up of an inverted greening baobab tree with egrets flying on top. The upturned root of the tree symbolizes Europe/Asia from where haiku is spreading down to Africa. The beautiful orange background also brings to mind the serene sunset setting on the savannah plains where wild animals graze and roam freely.
#AFRIKU
#AFRICANHAIKU
#BAOBAB
#AFRIKUCOVERCONCEPT

 

Book Review

 

“Here is a review of AFRIKU by a fellow haijin from home, Nana Fredua-Agyeman. Please enjoy his analysis and share comments with us”, says Adjei in his facebook page on February 16, 2017.

Art is dynamic. Art is adaptive. And regardless of where it originates, and with what rules, it is bound to transform and adapt to different cultures. The debate has always been to stick within the rules, be novel with the rules, or to break the rules entirely. But it is these debates, and how they are treated by active-passive artists and the critics alike, that makes art simply ART. It is what has kept it valuable and relevant in an age where the computer is determined to take over our lives and transform everything into a virtual non-reality.

Haiku is just one poetry form. It is perhaps the shortest poetry form, albeit with the longest set of rules. One Haijin (a Haiku poet), Jane Reichhold wrote in her book that one must learn all the rules, practice them, and break them. This is such a difficult thing to do, breaking them. Nevertheless, it is what one must do to remain relevant or to adapt the art form to a given culture. And Haiku is one poetry form that requires a lot of adaptation. 

And this is exactly what Adjei Agyei-Baah did in his book Afriku – Haiku & Senryu from Ghana (2016). As its name suggests, it is a collection of haiku and senryu poems, but with a ‘difference’. Adjei has translated each poem into his native Twi language. The Twi language has short syllables and so these translations did not take much away from the original. The question here is: Are the Twi versions the originals or the translations? This is a question Adjei will answer some day.

The collection opens with an adaptation of one of the most popular Haikus of all time, Basho’s Frog by Matsuo Basho. There has been numerous adaptations of this Haiku, yet Adjei found a way to bring it home. He writes

old pond – 

the living splash

of Basho’s frog

And even for this, he managed to write a Twi version. At this stage, I am assuming the Twi versions to be translations.

sutae dadaa – 

nkaedum a Basho

apotrɔ gyaeε

However, the importance of the collection does not lie in just one simple adaptation of a great work. There are several others that do exactly what Haiku should do: to live someone’s captured moment. For instance who does not feel the hot breath, the tiredness, the sweat droplets, and the pain of this farmer?

drought – 

the farmer digs

into his breath

Or the sole egret playing catch-up with the swarm in

 

season of migration

the lightning dash

of a late egret

Haikus are meant to show and not tell. They are like art pieces. The reader-viewer must make his own explanations, must live the artist’s moment in his own personal way, must bring to the art his own interpretation. However, Haiku – the classical Haiku  – do more. For instance, they must indicate the date or period within which the event occurred using seasonal markers (Kigo). In the ‘drought’ piece above, one can easily feel the harmattan and can geopin it to the northern part of Ghana where the harmattan is severe and the drudgery of farmers become palpable in their breaths. In fact, if one has a broader and deeper knowledge of the landscape of the country, one can easily say that this farmer is in the Bongo District of the Upper East where the land is rocky and the soil is laterite and extremely difficult to cultivate. 

However, for Haiku writers in the tropics, the use of kigo has become the dry season of our arts. It makes writing difficult since the changes in the season is not dramatic. Adjei faced some of these problems and manoeuvered around it. For instance, 

gust of wind…

the crow takes off

in a zigzag line

shows that we are in the rainy season but not in July, when it only drizzles. This could be the period just after the dry season, early March to April, where the rainfall is preceded by heavy winds and squalls. 

But Adjei did not tie himself with the entire range of Haiku rules. There are times that he preferred the moment to the classic rules.

traffic holdup

the absurdity of politics

served fresh on the airwaves

or this

school memories – 

all the farts concealed

by shifting chairs

could be argued to be non-Haiku. In fact, I am tempted to believe that these ones are the Senryu the title is referencing. But can one not relate to the issue in the piece? Adjei attempted to make his Haiku tell a story, the story of Africa. He managed to introduce old narratives into new formats. Take this piece

stone meal…

mother fakes supper

to put the kids to sleep

Anyone who knows the story told behind this will easily relate to this piece. Recently, I was explaining how we used to light up cooking fire to a late nineties colleague and it was as if I was an ancient being, but Adjei captures and packages it in a way that makes my story verbose

childhood memories

the wood shavings that light up

mother’s charcoal

There are some really beautiful gems in this collection including the one-liner 

a dragonfly pausing the wind

or 

smiling pond…

a dragonfly dips

its tail

I like the fact that Adjei broke the rules, sometimes. There are many who consider Haiku to be just 5-7-5 syllable poem or Short-Long-Short. If Haiku were just these then it is not an art form. It is this and more. Just as you cannot write a 15-line poem and call it a sonnet but can write a sonnet of straight 14 lines or of a sestet and octet, so too can you play within the rules, break them entirely, and still keep the Haiku identity. In several of the pieces, Adjei did this. In the ones he did not, where he sought to carry a story through, or lighten up things, the Senryu in the title is there for cover.

Adjei’s collection is important for several reasons. One, it brings home an art form that is very difficult to tame. It encourages several individuals to consider alternative forms of poetry. The bold attempt at translating into Twi is important for reasons beyond just Haiku. Like many other things, the African is comfortable writing in English or French than his native language. Yet, he thinks first in his native language even when speaking these languages. Writing in the native language then has the capability to free the writer. And the more writers we have doing this, the better it will be for our writing.

For those interested in writing and reading Haiku, please do include this in your material.

 

Newspapers Report

 

On January 8, 2017, Ayaka Kitashima, a reporter at The Akita Sakigake Shimpo in Akita, Japan, asked questions about The Japan-Russia Haiku Contests and “Afriku”, reporting her article in Akita Sakigake newspaper on June 10.

You can see the article in a copy below.

 

 

Kitashima referred to “Afriku” and Adjei’s haiku below.

 

 

Adjei’s comment on this haiku

 

Dear Hiruta san,

Matsuo Basho is the one you speak of and one of the originators of the haiku art along other masters like Issa, Shiki, Buson just to name few.

My haiku was inspired by Basho most popular haiku “old pond” and decided to dedicate my version to him for being one of the fathers who worked hard and grounded the art for we young bards of today to continue from where he and the others left. 

 

Find his original translated version here:

The old pond;

A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water

In short, Basho has been a great inspiration and I find it most appropriate for him to get a dedication in my book. So the haiku in my book is dedicated to him as he is “perceived” to be the father of the art (I stand to be corrected). Maybe it was my way of putting smile on his lips while rest peacefully in his grave.

Sincerely,

 

Adjei

 

Exciting News

 

Adjei’s facebook page says as follows on January 31.

 

 

Last week, KGCL, a school in Accra after getting a copy of my book, AFRIKU invited me to their Visiting Writers Series to come and teach haiku to their students and as well share some of the inspiration behind poems. Huh, today happens to be the event day as I leave for Accra this morning to honor this lovely opportunity, and hope to share some of the works that students will pen right here with you on my return. And would also take this opportunity to thank Mr. Geosi Gyasi for this wonderful connection with his students.

 

Lastly, we sincerely hope that Adjei Agyei-Baah will have more opportunities to teach haiku to students at school.

And we also hope that children, students, and teachers will get interested in haiku because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.

Hidnori Hiruta

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年会報『詩の国秋田 : Akita – the Land of Poetry 』第5号のEパンフレットによる発刊にあたり、「第2回日露俳句コンテスト」の選者シリーズを掲載いたします。

今回は英語俳句部門です。

 

第2回日露俳句コンテスト

 

青柳 飛選 (Selected by Fay Aoyagi)

 

1st place (特選)

 

Kala Ramesh  (India)

 

how little 

I know of bird calls

distant thunder

 

カーラ・ラメシュ (インド)

 

なんて分かりにくいんでしょう

鳥の鳴く声が

遠雷

 

Honorable Mentions (not ranked)(入選・順不同)

 

Ram Krishna Singh  (India)

 

a sleeping snake

curled between the eggs–

layers of leaves

 

ラム・クリシュナ・シン (インド)

 

眠っている蛇

卵の周りでとぐろを巻いている-

幾層もの葉

 

 

Gabriel Rosenstock (Ireland)

 

soon to become ghosts

in the wind

all the yellow dandelions

 

ガブリエル・ローゼンストック (アイルランド)

 

まもなく亡霊になる

風の中で

全ての黄色いタンポポ

 

 

June Rosen Dewis (U.S.A.)

 

how the sunlight

pierces every blossom

pink dogwood

 

ジュン・ローゼン・ドュウイス (アメリカ)

 

いかに日光は

あらゆる花を貫くか

ピンクのハナミズキ

 

 

Angela Terry (U.S.A.)

 

so many questions

but still

the river flows 

 

アンジェラ・テリー (アメリカ)

 

あまりにも多くの問い

しかしそれでも

川は流れる

 

 

Verica Zivkovic (Serbia)

 

writing the word

and it’s starting to melt …

snowflakes

 

ヴェリカ・ジヴコヴィチ (セルビア)

 

語を書いている

そして溶け始める...

雪片

 

 

Eduard Tara (Romania)

 

starry sky –

a page he never covered

with words

 

エドアード・タラ (ルーマニア)

 

星空 ―

一度も覆っていないページ

言葉で

 

 

Ciobîcă Cezar-Florin (Romania)

 

after chemo …

a closer look at

the growing buds

 

シオビカ・シザー フロリン (ルーマニア)

 

化学療法の後...

もっとよく見る

生えてくる芽を

 

 

Honorable Mentions (not ranked)

from among haiku by students  (入選順不同:学生部門)

 

 

Yuri Kojima

(ECC KOKUSAI COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Osaka, Japan)

 

autumn weather

it changes all the time

like you

 

ユリ・コジマ   (ECC国際外語専門学校 大阪)

 

秋の天気

いつも変わる

あなたのように

 

 

Mayu Tsukamoto

 (ECC KOKUSAI COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Osaka, Japan)

 

summer night

I play a game

with a sparkler

 

マユ・ツカモト (ECC国際外語専門学校 大阪)

 

夏の夜

ゲームをする

線香花火と

 

 

Saori Inoue

(ECC KOKUSAI COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Osaka, Japan)

 

early summer

bright light through

dancing leaves

 

サオリ・イノウエ (ECC国際外語専門学校 大阪)

 

初夏

明るい光

揺れる葉を通って

 

 

Saki Maruyama

(ECC KOKUSAI COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Osaka, Japan)

 

midnight

reflecting on water

waning moon

 

サキ・マルヤマ (ECC国際外語専門学校 大阪)

 

真夜中―

水に映っている

欠けている月

 

 

Airi Kimoto

(ECC KOKUSAI COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Osaka, Japan)

 

rainy day

a hopping frog plays

in the water

 

アイリ・キモト (ECC国際外語専門学校 大阪)

 

雨の日

ピョンピョン跳ぶカエルが遊ぶ

水中で

 

蛭田秀法 和訳

Japanese translations by Hidenori Hiruta

 

蛭田秀法(Hidenori Hiruta

 

Thanks to Mr. Michael Dylan Welch, I accepted the official press release announcing the HNA 2011 conference.

 

 

 

Haiku North America 2011 – Seattle, Washington 

 

Save the date! Haiku North America 2011 will be held August 3 to 7, 2011, in Seattle, Washington.

 

Members of the Haiku Northwest group have generously offered to host the 2011 conference and they have many exciting plans already in the works, including a harbor cruise.

 

The conference itself will be held at the Seattle Center, at the foot of the Space Needle, providing easy access to haiku writing and walking opportunities such as Pike Place Market (via the monorail), the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Experience Music Project rock-and-roll museum and Science Fiction Museum, and countless other attractions—including fleet week and the Seafair festival, with the Blue Angels performing overhead.

 

The conference theme will be “Fifty Years of Haiku,” celebrating the past, present, and future of haiku in North America.

 

The deadline for proposals has been extended to February 28, 2011 (http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/pages/2011.html), but sooner is better. Proposals do not have to fit the theme.

 

If you’ve already submitted a proposal, please confirm with Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com that you can come to Seattle on the new dates.

 

Speakers already include Cor van den Heuvel, Richard Gilbert, David Lanoue, Carlos Colón, Fay Aoyagi, Jim Kacian, Emiko Miyashita, George Swede, and many others.

 

Detailed information on registration, lodging, and the conference schedule will be available in March.

 

For further information as it becomes available, please visit www.haikunorthamerica.com. And check out the new HNA blog at http://haikunorthamerica.wordpress.com/.

 

See you in Seattle!

 

Garry Gay, Paul Miller, Michael Dylan Welch

Haiku North America

 

The official press release translated into Japanese by Hidenori Hiruta is as follows:

 

俳句北アメリカ 2011年 シアトル、ワシントン 

 

2011年8月3日から7日まで上記のような俳句大会が開催されますので、予定に入れておいてださい。

 

北西部の俳句グループのメンバーが2011年度の大会の主催を快く引き受け、湾内の遊覧船クルーズを含めた多くの楽しい企画を立てております。

 

大会自体はスペースニードルの足下にあるシアトルセンターで開催され、近くは吟行や散策に適する場所に恵まれています。たとえば、モノレール経由でのパイプ・プレイス・マーケット、オリンピック・スカルプチャー・パーク、エクスペリエンス・ミュージック・プロジェクト・ロックンロール・ミュージアム、そして、サイエンス・フィクション・ミュージアム、また他の魅力あるイベントも行われます。

 

大会のテーマは「俳句の五十年」で、北アメリカでの俳句の過去、現在、そして未来をお祝いするものです。

 

発表の申し込みは2011年2月28日までになっていますが、できるだけ早く申し込んでください。発表内容はテーマに合わなくても可能です。

 

申し込みをお済みの場合は、マイケル・ディラン・ウエルチに確認をとってください。シアトルへの訪問日程を変更することができます。

 

発表者としてすでに決まっている方々は、次の通りです。

コー・ヴァン・デン・フーヴェル、リチャード・ギルバート、デヴィッド・ラノウエ、カルロス・コロン、青柳飛、ジム・カシアン、宮下惠美子、ジョージ・スエッド、その他多数。

 

申し込み登録、宿泊、そして大会の日程に関するこれからの情報は三月に出ます。

 

これからの情報に関しては、次のサイトで確認ください。

http://www.haikunorthamerica.com

また、HNAの新しいブログでも確認ください。

http://haikunorthamerica.wordpress.com/

 

では、シアトルで会いましょう!

 

ガリー・ゲイ、ポール・ミラー、マイケル・ディラン・ウエルチ

 

俳句北アメリカ 

 

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Akito Arima 有馬朗人is President of the Haiku International Association (HIA)国際俳句交流協会(http://www.haiku-hia.com), a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting haiku globally.

Dr. Arima also leads the haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為(http://haikunet.info).

 

 

 

looking for

something lost ―       

wearing a winter cap

 

失ひしものを探しに冬帽子 

 

This haiku is Dr. Arima’s masterpiece, which was presented to the audience at the international symposium titled Haiku Worldwide – Present and Future.

The symposium was given for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of HIA on November 28, 2009 in Tokyo, informing the audience of the states of haiku in foreign countries.

The symposium became the really special forum as the audience reconsidered what haiku means to them and found a new significance of international haiku

And at last the audience realized the dawn of the new twenty-first century haiku.

In the greeting of HIA homepage, President Akito Arima says as follows:

“The Haiku International Association was established in December 1989 in order to respond to haiku’s worldwide popularity and to promote friendship and exchanges with haiku lovers overseas. Since then, our association has been continuing its activities, concentrating on the introduction of haiku culture, exchanges with international societies and the publication of a magazine.

In today’s world, political, economic and cultural walls are coming down everywhere. The world’s people have joined hands in this. Now they must mutually remove certain walls in their hearts. I am convinced that the mutual understanding derived from the love that different peoples have for haiku will prove very helpful towards the attainment of this goal.

On July 01, 2002, the Haiku International Association has opened its home page. It is my heartfelt wish that the internet will lead to increased exchanges and friendship between haiku lovers overseas and that it will provide a gateway to haiku for those of the general public with an interest in haiku.”

 

The following is the Japanese translations of Dr. Arima’s greeting.

「このような俳句の国際化に対応するために、海外の俳句愛好家との交流・親睦を目的として、1989年12月に「国際俳句交流協会」が設立されました。以来、協会は俳句文化の紹介・国際組織との連携・機関誌の発行を中心に、活発な活動を続けております。政治的にも、経済的にも、そして文化的にも、今や世界の壁は取り払われようとしています。すべての国の人々がともに手を携えて前進するには、お互いの心の中にある壁も取り去らなければなりません。多くの民族に愛される俳句を通じての相互理解が、そのために大いに役立つであろうことを、私は確信いたしております。
 国際俳句交流協会では、2002年7月1日にホームページを開設し、インターネットを利用して、海外の俳句愛好家との交流や会員同士の親睦がますます盛んになることはもちろん、俳句に興味をお持ちになられている一般の方々からのアクセスを、心から願ってやみません。」

http://www.haiku-hia.com

info_hia@haiku-hia.com

The other day Ms. Hana Fujimoto (藤本はな, a leading staff at HIA, sent me the following mail, telling me about the news of haiku festival and haiku conference:

 蛭田 秀法様

日頃は当協会に温かなご支援を頂き誠に有難うございます。
本年もどうぞよろしくお願い申し上げます。

さきほど、カリフォルニア州のukiahaiku の資料を転送させていただきました。ご興味があればどうぞよろしくお願い致します。今年は夏に、ワシントン州でHaiku North Americaの会議があり、また、ヨーロッパでは、若い俳人大高翔さんの俳句塾を予定しています。

世界中で俳句を通じた交流が益々盛んになることを念じております。今後ともよろしくご教示下さいますようお願いを申しあげます。

国際俳句交流協会 事務局 藤本 はな

 FYI

—– Original Message —–

From: Roberta Werdinger

To: ; Haiku International Association

Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2011 9:20 AM

Subject: 9th annual UkiaHaiku competition – 2nd reminder

 

Dear friends,
The 9th annual ukiaHaiku writing competition is underway. Attached and below are reminder notices for the Jane Reichhold International Prize. Please make this information available to your community. And please consider posting a link to our festival website, http://www.ukiahaiku.org/, on your own. 
Many thanks, and happy new year… 
For the Ukia Haiku Festival and Ukiah Poet Laureates Committee. 

Roberta Werdinger 

Writer, Publicist, Editor 

RWerdinger@Yahoo.com

(707)462-5642
http://www.ukiahaiku.org/ 
 

 

ukiaHaiku festival and competition listing 

Ukiah is a northern California town whose name, backwards, spells “haiku.” In 2011 the City of Ukiah will hold its ninth annual competition and festival. 

The competition encourages local, national, and international submissions to the Jane Reichhold International Prize category.

Website Address:                              www.ukiahaiku.org

Fee:                                             $5 for up to three haiku

Limit:                                           Maximum 3 haiku per person

                                       (only 1 haiku/person/category may win an award)

Eligibility:                                            Age 19 and over

Start date for submissions:              Saturday, January 1, 2011

Postmark Deadline                            Friday, March 18, 2011

Festival Ceremony                  Sunday, May 1, 2011 (announcement of winners)

Submission Guidelines 

If submitting via the online form:
1) On or after January 1, 2011, go to
www.ukiahaiku.org, click on “submit your haiku” and then “the online form.” Follow instructions on the form.

2) If our PayPal payment form is live by then, you can send your payment electronically. Otherwise, send the fee (US check or international money order) by snail mail to ukiaHaiku festival, PO Box 865, Ukiah, CA 95482. Clearly indicate the author’s name of the haiku submission for which the payment is intended.

If submitting via snail mail:
 1) On or after January 1, 2011, go to www.ukiahaiku.org, click on “submit your haiku” and then “the printed form (pdf)”; download the form. Follow instructions on the form. Mail along with your fee.

Deadline: Friday, March 11, 2011 (postmark or email date)

Judging: Jane Reichhold will judge the Jane Reichhold International Prize category. 

Awards: $100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place, plus a small booklet of winning poems and publication in that booklet.

Festival and Awards Ceremony: Sunday, May 1, 2011, 2 p.m. Winners are strongly encouraged to attend the festival to read their poems (winners will be contacted in advance of the festival date). Out-of-towners might consider visiting the many world-class tourist destinations surrounding Ukiah–inland wine country and redwood forests, or the Mendocino Coast (a 1-1/2 hour drive from Ukiah) before or after the festival.

 

In her mail Ms. Hana Fujimoto referred to HNA 2011 conference, about which Mr. Michael Rehling (マイケル・レーリング),  founder of Haiku Michigan, also did in the following message through the Facebook page: 

 

Haiku North America!!! Same great meeting, new location!!

 

Michael Rehlingさん24 8:22 返信報告

It’s confirmed! HNA will now be held August 3-7, 2011 in Seattle, Washington, at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle. Details? Visit the HNA Facebook page or www.haikunorthamerica.com. The Blue Angels will even be performing overhead for Seafair festival the same weekend! We’ll visit Pike Place Market via monorail, and take a harbor cruise on Sunday. Great speakers are already lined up too! Can you join us?
Haiku North America
www.haikunorthamerica.com
 
  

 

Visiting the homepage of Haiku North America, to my great nice surprise, I found photos of some haiku friends of mine.

I would like to show you a few photos of them and their haiku here.

 

 

 

Ms. Emiko Miyashita宮下恵美子, a leading staff of HIA and a dojin, a leading member of haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為led by Dr. Akito Arima, contributed her haiku to New Year’s Haiku Festival by Akita International Haiku Network.

And Ms. Miyashita is going to visit India to give haiku teaching and haiku recitation at Tagore Hall for the students at Tagore University in the end of February.

 

 the first page
                       of my diary
            
  already Saturday
 

初日記すでに土曜でありにけり  

  

 from deep inside
 my down-filled pillow
         
                            the first caw                    

     羽毛枕すっぽりかぶり初鴉 

 

Here is another photo of my haiku friends.

 

 

 

Ms. Fay Aoyagi (青柳飛) is a member of Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California (http://www.hpnc.org) and a dojin of two Japanese haiku groups: Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima and Aki (Autumn) led by Mr. Masami Sanuka.  

Ms. Aoyagi also contributed her haiku to our New Year’s Haiku Festival.

 

New Year’s Day

              a rabbit arrives in the ship       

from the Moon Palace

 

元旦や月の宮より兎来る 

 

New Year’s Day mirror

                 learning how to smile         

from a potbelly Buddha

 

初鏡大黒様に笑み習ふ 

 

Mr. Michael Dylan Welchマイケル・ディラン・ウエルチ is in the photo above with Ms. Fay Aoyagi.

Mr. Welch has written haiku since 1976. He’s a longtime vice president of the Haiku Society of America, cofounded Haiku North America in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996, and founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000.

Mr. Welch also contributed his haiku to our New Year’s Haiku Festival.

 

first dream–

                           the way home                

perfectly clear

 

初夢や身綺麗にして里帰り 

 

New Year’s Day–

                 the phone ringing in time        

with the temple bell

 

元日や時鐘とともに電話鳴る

 

HNA says in the homepage as follows:

 

The conference theme will be “Fifty Years of Haiku,” celebrating the past, present, and future of haiku in North America. The deadline for proposals has been extended to February 28, 2011 (http://www.haikunorthamerica.com/pages/next.html), but sooner is better. Proposals do not have to fit the theme. If you’ve already submitted a proposal, please confirm with Michael Dylan Welch at WelchM@aol.com that you can come to Seattle on the new dates. Speakers already include Cor van den Heuvel, Richard Gilbert, David Lanoue, Carlos Colón, Fay Aoyagi, Jim Kacian, Emiko Miyashita, George Swede, and many others.

 

Last of all, we sincerely hope that haiku will spread out to the world more and more through ukiaHaiku Festival 2011 and the HNA 2011 conference.

 

 The next posting ‘Haiku World of Patricia Lidia in Romania’ appears on February 19.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

Member of HIA and haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

The New Year’s Festival has started with the arrival of Gabi Greve’s rabbit.

Gabi’s rabbit came to Akita from Okayama on New Year’s Eve, participating in the festival.

 

 

 

Gabi says in her haiku:

 

New Year preparations –
my rabbit in his coat
      我が兎正月用にお召かえ
of white

 

 

Patricia Lidia’s rabbit has got to the festival from Romania, carrying new resolutions.

 

 

 

Fay Aoyagi’s rabbit has also arrived here from the Moon Palace by ship. 

 

In addition, haiku, tanka, senryu and photos have been presented to the festival from the poets worldwide.

 

 

 

Fay Aoyagi (USA)                                      青柳飛 (アメリカ)

 

New Year’s Day

a rabbit arrives in the ship      元旦や月の宮より兎来る 

from the Moon Palace

 

 

New Year’s Day mirror

learning how to smile          初鏡大黒様に笑み習ふ 

from a potbelly Buddha

 

 

 

Shoichiro Arakawa (Japan)                 荒川祥一郎(日本)(川柳作家)

 

The first sunrise

of Mt. Fuji beaming           地デジからドカンと富士の初日の出

through the digital TV

 

 

New Year’s resolution  

Don’t be afraid of              新年へ期するものあり縄梯子 

any rope ladder 

 

 

 

Nana Fredua Agyeman           ナナ ・フレドュア ・アゲマン

 (Ghana)                                  (ガーナ)

 

 

 

rising sun –

the spider’s web catches       初日の出蜘蛛の巣虹をとらえけり

rainbow

 

 

coming in from the cold…

a trail of ants lines           寒さ避け壁に一本蟻の道

the wall

 

 

 

Wahyu W. Basjir (Indonesia)    ワヒュウ ・W.バスジア(インドネシア)

 

 

 

year end

would it be a break          年末は小康であれ胃炎かな

enduring gastritis

 

 

lie to me

this year won’t end        月は出ず年は明けずとウソ言いな

moonless

 

 

 

Roberta Beary (USA)         ロバータ ・ベアリー (アメリカ) 

 

new year’s day        元日 
the smile she saves
    彼女のとっておきの微笑み
just for him
         ただただ彼のために

 
 
 

 

 

 

Brian Birdsell (USA)       ブライアン ・バードセル (アメリカ)

 

in the evening
a field of angels
        雪の夕天使の野原残されり
left in the snow
 
 
january 1st
waiting in the pines –
      元日や松飾りの中ソバを待つ 
the taste of soba
 
 
my daughter
holds an icicle –
         我が娘つららを持ちて年を取る

one more year slips by
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

ZLATA BOGOVIĆ (CROATIA)  ズラータ ・ボゴビス (クロアチア)

 

New Year’s Eve – 

too short is this night for      大晦日抱負のいまだ実らずに

all my resolutions 

  

 

Popping corks –             コルク栓がポンと鳴る 

the New Year descended       新年が明けてきた  

the fireworks               花火があがる 

 

 

 

Helen Buckingham (UK)        ヘレン ・バッキンガム (イギリス)

  

 New Year’s Day–

woken by the number       元日や手の甲の数字で目が覚める 

on the back of my hand

 (Presence, January 2010)        (2010年1月の作品) 

 

 the century enters its pre-teens   世紀がプリティーンに入る 

…Earth looks pale          ...地球は淡い

and interesting               そしておもしろい

 (unpublished)                     (未発表)  

 

 

  

Seisaku Chiba (Japan)                      千葉星作  (日本)

 

sitting straight                      

foreign students              留学生端座よろしき冬の舞

dance in winter

 

 

a black bullet

Ponta my late cat             亡きポンタ黒き弾丸雪の舞

in the snow

 

 

Gillena Cox                    ギリナ ・コックス
(Trinidad and Tobago)            (トリニダード・トバゴ)

the morning’s azure
a coolness against my cheek
    元旦や蒼穹の冷我が頬に 
new year’s day

 

January first
the crumble
               
元日や古いカレンダー粉々に 
of last year’s calendar
 
 
 

  

 

 

Janjalija Damir              ジャンジャリジャ ・ダミア

(Montenegro)                  (モンテネグロ)

 

The muddy road
slowly covering in snow
      大晦日泥んこの道雪の中 

New Year’s Eve
 
 
 
The landscape impressed
in the whiteness of paper
     初日の出白い紙面に風景が 

First sunrise

 

 

 

Tatjana Debeljacki Serbia)    タトジャナ ・デベルジャッキ (セルビア)

 

Aroma of the fir tree            モミの木の芳香

through the woods and fields       森と野を通って     

white covering cloth             覆う白い布

 

 

Lightening balls               照らされているボール

are twinkling the magic      マジックをきらきら輝かしている

imagination of child            子供の想像力

 

 

The cabin in the bay           湾の中の船室 

New Year’s Eve waltzing         大晦日のワルツ

of two travelers               二人の旅人の

 

 

 

The next posting ‘International Haiku New Year’s Festival 2011 (Part 2)’ appears on January 2.

 

― Hidenori  Hiruta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May, 2009,  the blog Blue Willow Haiku World (By Fay Aoyagi)  was introduced to our website as correlative through WordPress.com.

Since then I have enjoyed today’s haiku, or tanka, translated into English from the original Japanese haiku, or tanka in the blog.

In June, 2009, I became a member of the Japanese haiku group,Ten’I (Providence), thanks to Fay’s suggestions.

Fay Aoyagi, a haiku friend of mine, kindly contributed her book of haiku “In Borrowed Shoes” to me for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010.

 

 

 

First of all, we introduce Fay Aoyagi to you as follows:.

Fay Aoyagi: A naturalized US citizen living in San Francisco.    She is a member of Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California (http://www.hpnc.org) and a dojin of two Japanese haiku groups: Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima and Aki (Autumn) led by Mr. Masami Sanuka.   Her two haiku collections, “Chrysanthemum Love” (2003) and “In Borrowed Shoes” (2006) were published from Blue Willow Press. Unfortunately, both books are sold out and not available for purchasing.  Her English blog  (http://fayaoyagi.wordpress.com) includes a daily haiku translation and she has a Japanese blog (http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/fayhaiku), as well.

青柳 飛:サンフランシスコ在住。アメリカ俳句協会、北カリフォルニア俳人協会 (http://www.hpnc.org) 会員。「天為」(主宰:有馬朗人)、「秋」(主宰:佐怒賀正美)同人。英語句集:”Chrysanthemum Love” (2003)  “In Borrowed Shoes” (2006) (出版:Blue Willow Press). 英語のブログ(http://fayaoyagi.wordpress.com) では「今日の俳句」として日本語俳句の英訳を紹介中。日本語ブログは(http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/fayhaiku),

Secondly, we present some of her haiku to you.

15 haiku from “In Borrowed Shoes”   Fay Aoyagi 

 

 

ants out of a hole—

when did I stop playing

the red toy piano

 

蟻穴を玩具のピアノいつ捨てた

 

 

I always count

in my native tongue—

Buddha’s birthday

 

数ふ時いつも母国語仏生会

 

a dinosaur egg

at the top of the stairs

Easter dawn

 

階(きざはし)に恐竜の卵復活祭

 

the attic

where silk worms lived

a shadow with no name

 

蚕棲みし屋根裏に名を持たぬ影

 

summer festival—

my Astro Boy mask

has lost its power

 

夏祭アトムの仮面ゼロ馬力

 

lacy gloves

will I metamorphose

into Vivian Leigh?

 

夏手套ビビアン・リーになれますか

 

 

summer moon—

shadows with tiny horns

at the monkey bar

 

夏の月ジャングルジムに角の影

 

 

Hiroshima Day—

I lean into the heat

of the stone wall

 

広島忌壁の熱さにもたれけり

 

distant thunder

a space in the shelf

of horror movies

 

遠雷やホラー映画の棚空いて

 

morning stroll

in borrowed shoes—

split-open chestnut burr

 

靴借りて朝の散歩や栗の毬(いが)

 

night chill

rearranging the order

of canned soups

 

肌寒し並び替へたるスープ缶

 

Halloween—

I dress as the self

I left somewhere

 

ハロウィーン昔の私といふ仮装

 

I decide to act like

Pippi Longstocking

deep autumn sky

 

長靴下のピッピのごとく秋の空

 

Thanksgiving dinner

none of us on this side

are parents

 

感謝祭子を持たぬ者坐る側

 

these stones

with a story inside—

autumn deepens

 

物語持つ石たちや秋深む

 

In Borrowed Shoes,” a haiku collection of Fay Aoyagi, published by Blue Willow Press, 2006, San Francisco, CA

 

Japanese translation by Fay Aoyagi

 
 

 

 Last of all, let me decorate our on line festival with the photo birds presented by Patricia Lidia, a haiku poet, in Romania.

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Patricia Lidia for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010’ appears tomorrow on May 15.

Hidenori Hiruta