Organization of HPNC
The Haiku Poets of Northern California relies on a team of volunteers to keep the organization running. What follows are summaries of who does what in HPNC. We have also included guidelines for featured readers, workshop presenters, and the various roles and practices that support the Two Autumns reading series. We are grateful to everyone who contributes their time, talent and resources to HPNC!
The president is responsible for conducting our quarterly meetings, assisting with the planning of all HPNC events, nominating the officers and other positions as needed, and answering inquiries from HPNC members and other haiku societies. The president also selects the winner of the Chime Award, given to the author of a poem published in the previous year’s issues of Mariposa.
The vice president assists the president in all of the above as needed and steps in to conduct the quarterly meetings when the president cannot attend. The vice president also coordinates the nomination and review of the Two Autumns chapbook. This includes sending it to the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Award coordinator, the Haiku Foundation for consideration for the Touchstone Award, and to Frogpond and Modern Haiku for review.
The membership secretary maintains a database of all present (and past) HPNC members as well as when and how dues were paid, collects and mails checks to the treasurer, maintains a “public” roster for distribution to members, welcomes new members to the group, and informs the responsible parties (Mariposa editor, newsletter editor, book sales manager) what materials should be sent to new or renewing members. The Membership Secretary also maintains an email list of all members and sends periodic announcements of upcoming events and other pertinent information.
The Mariposa Editor receives submissions from HPNC members, makes selections of poems to be published, selects or creates cover art, produces a PDF file ready for printing, selects cover stock, coordinates with printer, creates mailing labels, and mails the finished book to members and to the American Haiku Archives.
The treasurer is responsible for all HPNC finances, including reimbursing officers and others who pay out-of-pocket on behalf of the organization. The treasurer deposits dues, contest fees, book sale proceeds, and other monies. The treasurer keeps detailed, auditable records, produces simple financial statements for the board, and is able to answer any queries.
The newsletter editor writes and distributes a quarterly electronic newsletter to HPNC members. The newsletter includes minutes from the quarterly meetings, submission guidelines for the HPNC sponsored contests, guidelines for submitting to the HPNC membership journal Mariposa, contact information for each of the officers and other volunteers such as the hospitality chairperson, bookseller, and web master, and the dates and scheduled programs for upcoming meetings and other events. As space allows, the newsletter may also include additional announcements such as recently published books by members and haiku related readings and exhibitions of member work.
The bookseller stores the full inventory of books held by HPNC, including those held as the HPNC historical archive, brings a selection of books to sell at each meeting, responds to inquiries regarding the purchase of books, and fulfills sales by mail as needed. The bookseller may offer discounted or free copies to individuals or organizations depending on the number of copies remaining of a particular title, and always endeavors to keep our inventory from growing too large.
The contest chairperson coordinates all aspects of the HPNC-sponsored contests. This includes publicizing our contests by contacting a wide range of publications and other organizations by email as well as through social media. The contest chairperson selects and coordinates with the judges, receives entries and distributes them to the judges, and publishes a tri-fold announcement of the winning poems. The contest chairperson coordinates with the treasurer regarding the deposit of entry fees and the disbursement of award winnings. The contest chairperson also prepares and mails award certificates to the winning poets.
The hospitality chairperson organizes a team of volunteers to bring food and drinks to our quarterly meetings and to the Two Autumns reading. The hospitality chairperson provides a list of suggested snacks, such as gluten free crackers, cheese, dips, veggies, fruit (and nothing with peanuts in it due to the severe allergy of one of our members). Small paper plates, napkins, cups, a tablecloth and occasionally flowers are also provided by the volunteers. Attendance of around 20-30 at a regular meeting and 25-45 at the Two Autumns readings is a rough estimate used for planning how much food and drink to provide. Receipts can be submitted to the HPNC treasurer for reimbursement.
HPNC invites one poet to read their work at each quarterly meeting. The featured reader should plan to read for 10-15 minutes, and the material they read should include—but is not strictly limited to—haiku. Related forms such as senryu, tanka, and haibun are also welcome. The acoustics are not ideal in our usual meeting space at Fort Mason, so the featured reader should be ready to project their voice in order to be heard. If a microphone is needed, HPNC can provide one with advance notice to the officers.
HPNC also solicits volunteers to present workshops / presentations at each quarterly meeting. This portion of the program usually takes up the remainder of the afternoon meeting following the featured reading, announcements, and break for refreshments. We encourage creative ideas for workshops that get us all writing and/or discussing haiku or related forms. If a microphone is needed, please let the HPNC officers know in advance so we can provide one. We do not own equipment other than a microphone, so if the presenter needs a projector or other equipment, they are encouraged to bring it themselves or let us know so we can work together to obtain it.
Two Autumns Reading
The Two Autumns reading is the longest running haiku reading series outside of Japan and takes place once a year at the end of the summer or in the early fall. This is the highlight of the year for HPNC. The reading features readings by four poets. A commemorative chapbook with a selection of twelve haiku from each of the four poets is printed in advance and is available for purchase at the reading. Each poet is allotted 20 minutes for the reading and the material for the reading is not limited to the twelve poems in the chapbook but may include a variety of additional work. We have an emcee for this event (generally the chapbook editor serves in this capacity) and we take a break for food, socializing, and book sales after the first two readers. Having a chapbook signed by the readers is a popular activity at this event.
Two Autumns Chapbook Editor
HPNC invites a distinguished poet to serve as the editor of the Two Autumns chapbook each year. The editor contacts each of the readers early in the year and coordinates the submission of material to the editor. The editor generally asks each poet for a significant number of poems (50 or more) from which to select the twelve that will be included in the chapbook. The editor also writes an introduction to the book and works with the chapbook producer on the layout and printing of the book. The editor may also be asked to serve as the emcee of the event, but another volunteer may fill this position if the editor declines.
Two Autumns Chapbook Producer
The producer of the Two Autumns chapbook works closely with the editor on the timing and design of the chapbook. The producer also obtains estimates from printers for printing 125 copies of the chapbook and is responsible for bringing the finished books to the Two Autumns reading. The producer consults with the HPNC officers about setting the sale price for the book, which is generally about $10 per copy. The Two Autumns readers are each given two free copies of the chapbook as well as a discounted price on pre-orders of additional copies. Copies not pre-ordered would be available on the day of the event and afterwards at full price. The chapbook producer should also plan to help sell the books at the event.