Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Dear readers,

About the time I wrote the last post here, I was coming down with what seemed like a bad cough that could easily turn chronic. Doctors, family, and I thought we could overcome it, but after many weeks of coughing and additional symptoms, it became evident that something more was wrong. Two weeks ago, after two weeks of testing in hospital, a substantial tumor was discovered in my chest, lodged among the organs between my lungs (rather than in any one of them), where it was pretty well hidden from x-rays, etc.

I am now engaged in treatment that includes aggressive chemo-therapy. Of necessity, virtually all of my time over the next several months will be devoted to this treatment. Unfortunately, I will have little energy for correspondence, participation in various online and organizational activities, and the like for some time to come.

Nevertheless, my excellent team of doctors, family, and I are all optimistic, and I expect to come out of this down the road to rejoin in most of my previous activities. In the meantime, your good thoughts and prayers in our direction as Penny and I work our way through this difficult passage will be very much appreciated.




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Catherine Mair, of Katikati, New Zealand, has been given a Queen’s Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to poetry and to the community. She conceived and has managed the building of the “Haiku Pathway” in a park setting along a river in Katikati. The pathway features large stones carved with haiku by poets from around the world, and is one of the region’s stellar contributions to a celebration of the new millennium. The Haiku Pathway has recently been expanded, and there is a booklet of the poems available.

Seems like Catherine, with a lot of help from members of her community—as she gracefully acknowledges—has turned “haiku” from an unknown to a household word where she lives. We should all be proud of her, not for this award in itself, but for her achievement on behalf of haiku everywhere.

For a local news story on the award, see “Medal an ode to crafter of poetry” on the Bay of Plenty Times web site, here. For more information on the Haiku Pathway itself, check out this link.

A Haikai Pub toast to Catherine Mair!


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If you haven’t heard yet, note now that a haiku book, a small haiku book, all things considered, has been named one of two finalists for the extremely prestigious William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

I won’t go into it all deeply here, except to say that I’ve just sent Roberta and Snapshot Press publisher John Barlow the following message:

Roberta, congrats, congrats, congrats! Obviously, you grabbed [Ron] Silliman’s attention not only with the well-crafted haiku, but with the carefully arranged sequence, their collective portrayal of a genuinely human reality that includes, but is obviously not limited to, what we might call “haiku stuff”. If all haiku books were so carefully crafted, we’d not have to ever make any apologies for our devotion to the genre.

This is obviously the way forward for haiku, in Japan and anywhere else, and your book becomes a guidepost along the way with this notice. Also, a bit of an answer to Paul Muldoon, Billy Collins, and others who would toy with haiku but not really enter what we might call haiku culture.

Brilliant. And brilliant, as Michael [Welch] says, that you took the initiative to enter the book in the PSA contest, for one of the most prestigious prizes in American poetry. Runner-up status here is akin to any ten awards in haiku-land combined, and more, a good deal more.

A low bow,

Here’s what this year’s PSA judge for the WCW Award has to say about Roberta’s book: http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/search/label/Roberta Beary.

Glasses raised in a toast to Roberta, John, and Ron Silliman, from the Haikai Pub!


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Good readers,

I’m a bit swamped of late, mostly with work in schools all up and down New Jersey. (You can get an impression here: http://events.2hweb.net.) Each day spent in a school entails another day or two of work in preparation and administrivia. Penny and I are in the midst of our busiest year ever at this work.

I expect to be back with another couple of items from the incoming stack in a week or so. And many thanks to all who have recently sent materials. Some very good things here.


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New Announcement

Please note that I have extensively updated the “Contribute” page (linked from the tab at the top of this page), and added a printable PDF file for those who would like a hard copy of the more complete Announcement that tells what this blog is all about.


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