Edited by Johnye Strickland.
One of the great benefits of HSA membership, since Doris Heitmeyer started expanding her secretary’s report in the 1980s, has been this Newsletter, now a pamphlet of some 40 pages packed with news from all over the English-language haiku world. This issue contains:
p. 1. The “President’s Letter” in which Pamela Miller Ness reviews the year so far, comments on the election of next year’s officers, etc.
pp. 2-4. “National News” where we learn of HSA doings past and future.
pp. 4-25. “Regional News” which includes reports from the HSA’s various regional coordinators, and much info as well on smaller local groups within those regions, from Bangor, Maine, to Alaska and the Central Valley [California] Haiku Club. This is one of the best places to find out what’s happening in haiku at the grass roots!
The regional news also often includes poems written or presented at meetings by the members of the various groups reported on. So, rather than a dry recitation of meeting activities, these pages–the largest section of the Newsletter–provide a cross-section of haiku as they are being written all across America today.
p. 25-33. Contest info. Although this begins with HSA-sponsored contests, it goes way beyond that. Some 14 contests in this issue, if I counted correctly.
p. 33. Conferences, lists two, one an HSA quarterly meeting that will go for more than two days, and the other the 2008 Robert Frost Poetry Festival in Key West, Florida, which will include a number of haiku notables among its readers and presenters.
pp. 33-36 lists new books and journals, followed by announcements on pp. 36-37.
pp. 38-39. Here find an early announcement for the 2009 Haiku North America conference, an announcement of a new feature to appear in future issues of the Newsletter, a series of articles about teaching haiku by members who do that, plus revisions to membership lists and such.
If you like bang for your buck, it’s hard to imagine where you could spend the same amount as HSA dues and get as much solid and useful info on haiku activities as found in this publication. (The dues aren’t even listed here, but there’s information on how to join on the HSA website at: http://www.hsa-haiku.org/.) Note that members also receive copies of the tri-annual HSA journal, Frogpond, which I’ll take up in another post.