I got lucky this year. The HSA 2nd quarterly meeting, and the biennial Haiku North America conference were practically in my backyard. Okay, maybe not in my backyard, but in reasonable driving distance (Bend and Seattle, respectively). Now I didn’t do anything cool like take photos this time around, but I do have the conference program, and thought I would do a post-mortem of the conference. As Michael Dylan Welch described it in his introductory remarks, trying to take in everything at the conference was a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose. Besides the socializing, there were back-to-back sessions all day, every day, and often 2 or 3 presentations running simultaneously, necessitating difficult choices.
Upon arriving at the Inn at Queen Anne, I noticed two women on laptops in the garden, and speculated that they might be other conference attendees. I was right– they were Melissa Allen, and Debbie Kolodji, both of whom I more or less recognized from pictures I had seen of them online. Melissa has a tremendous series of posts on her “Red Dragonfly” blog about the conference, starting with her first post: “Poets in the Garden”, in which yours truly is featured. 🙂 Also, don’t miss her other posts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 (the day I missed). Reading them is almost as good as being there! Another great blog write-up of the conference, is “Old Pond Comics”, featuring the very delightful adventures of Kaeru at HNA, in comic form, by Jessica Tremblay.
Day 1 was really a blur for me, as I met so many other haiku poets, many of whom I knew from online, and struggled to keep their names straight. There was a ginko walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park, where I started working on my kukai submission, dinner, a dessert reception, and an open reading of haiku and senryu. I must admit to being a little intimidated, and almost didn’t participate in the haiku/senryu reading, but I’m glad I finally worked up the courage to read from my NaHaiWriMo posts (one haiku from each month). The atmosphere was totally welcoming. I see from the schedule that I missed the last session and the late night rengaywriting. Now having driven up, and being in my usual time zone, I can hardly plead that I was jet lagged, but still, I felt like I needed to regroup before the early morning Tai Chi session. To be continued…
we talk our way through