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Newsletter #69 (Spring 2013)

Minutes of the Spring Meeting of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, Room C-210, Fort Mason, San Francisco CA, April 21, 2013:

The meeting was opened by president Fay Aoyagi at 1:40 p.m. Present were the following people: Susan Antolin, Fay Aoyagi, Betty Arnold, Lynda Beigel, Claudia Chapline, Bruce Feingold, Garry Gay, Kate Godsey, David Grayson, Johnnie Johnson Hafernik, Carolyn Hall, Janis Lukstein, Patricia Machmiller, Leena Prasad, Joseph Robello, Michael Sheffield, Carol Steele, and Marian Yap. The meeting began with a round of poems.

Fay introduced our featured reader, Joseph Robello, who published his first haiku in Frogpond in 2007. Joseph’s varied background includes a degree from San Francsico State University in biology, extensive experience in journalism and creative writing, as well as two decades spent teaching elementary, middle and high school in Vallejo. In addition to Frogpond, his work has also appeared in Mariposa, Modern Haiku, and the Red Moon Anthology (2007), and his senryu took the first prize in HPNC’s 2011 San Francisco International Competition. From his reading:

my parents’ room
two cigarettes
talk in the dark

fog filled valley
the shape
of a dog’s bark

scarlet pimpernel
as if it were important

Following the reading, Fay made several announcements and invited others to share their news of upcoming events and new publications. Fay reminded us of the dates for the next Haiku North America conference, which will be held August 14-18 on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Details are online at Fay also noted that HPNC members Susan Diridoni and Joan Zimmerman are featured in the latest edition of the New Resonance series published by Red Moon Press (see for purchasing details).

Claudia Chapline shared her rewarding experience in teaching haiku to the docents at the Sonoma Valley Museum. Thanks to Claudia’s guidance, the docents were able to introduce haiku to groups of students visiting a special exhibit there. Claudia enjoyed the experience and had positive feedback from the museum. Many thanks to Claudia for volunteering to do this on behalf of HPNC! Also in the category of sharing haiku with young people, Sue Antolin led haiku workshops for teachers in Richmond for the third year in a row as part of Richmond’s city-wide poetry contest for kids and adult education students. She judged the entries in the haiku category and presented certificates to the winners at an award ceremony at the Richmond City Hall.

After a break for refreshments, Sue Antolin presented a workshop on editing haiku. Working from a handout she prepared entitled “Tips for Editing Haiku” (available from Sue at if you would like a copy), she outlined six basic considerations for evaluating haiku that the writer wants to improve. The goal of the workshop was to allow poets to collaborate in the editing process so that a variety of suggestions could be considered for each haiku presented for editing. After working on a haiku in solitude, it is sometimes amazing what a set of fresh eyes can do for a poem that is close but not quite in its most satisfying shape. We broke into small groups and allowed plenty of time for in-depth consideration of at least one haiku per participant. The discussions in the small groups were constructive and enabled poets to leave the meeting with ideas for new directions to take in revising their work.

The meeting adjourned at 4:40.
Submitted by Susan Antolin

The 2013 HPNC Moonviewing Party will be held on Sunday, June 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Carolyn Hall’s San Francisco home (219 Brannan Street #8D). Dinner will be $12 for take-out Chinese food. RSVP to Carolyn at Street parking is free after 6 p.m. on that night in that neighborhood. Note: June 23 is the Super Full Moon. Not to be missed!

On exhibit through July at Sometimes Books at the Eubank Studio in Point Reyes are handmade artist books with original haiku by Renée Owen as well as books by Claudia Chapline. The studio is located a few doors down from Gallery Route One and is open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.