1. How did you get started with haiku?
Haiku as I remember it started in third grade as 5-7-5 and only 5-7-5. That lasted through high school and college. As an adult I started writing haiku in the early 1990s. This was still 5-7-5 with a Mail Art group called Nervousness—in chains. There were calls for ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) that included haiku as well. That worked for me as I’m a visual artist. My interest in haiga and haibun probably evolved from there after Nervousness ended. I continued in Mail Art groups because it was fun. In 2008 I finally figured out that 5-7-5 was not it for haiku. My haiku improved noticeably at that point and hopefully still do.
2. Tell us more about yourself.
Currently (and for the last thirty-plus years), I live in Hawai‘i. I grew up in the Northwest (eastern Washington state) and traveled every other year to Minnesota or Arizona. I’ve traveled through Europe a couple of times, to several countries in South America, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Australia, India, and a few other places from a few weeks to a few years. I have an MFA from Washington State University in painting (acrylic and watercolor) and a minor in drawing. Mostly I’ve held part-time jobs, including asphalt laborer, museum guard, teaching art, clay studio assistant and photo lab assistant. In addition to my art career and interests, I’ve explored various other interests including bonsai, stamps, stones, fossils, flutes, old bottles/glass, and coins. I also enjoy creating with digital technology and any other way that intrigues me. Currently I’m working on a collaborative book of photos and haiku, with no particular deadline. I write haiku daily with groups on a meditation app I use, and elsewhere. And I still like to draw and paint. Please visit my website, my WordPress blog, and my (experimental) YouTube channel.
3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?
I like many aspects of NaHaiWriMo, especially meeting new people and haikuists, seeing a diversity of approaches to haiku, and learning about haiku. Enjoying prompts is reasonably easy for me because I like seeing where I go with elements outside of my usual haiku thinking. I often write several haiku to each prompt although I usually post only one in the threads of NaHaiWriMo. Getting to know Michael Dylan Welch has also been very positive. I look forward to more of all the above as NaHaiWriMo continues.
4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?
Read read read and write write write. Read all levels of haiku from beginner to master and ancient masters. Read about haiku wherever you can find it: websites, journals, articles, books, and more. Read your own haiku: in your head, out loud, after a few days, after a few weeks, and after a few years. Write haiku several times daily, or at least once a day. If not that frequently, then write haiku as often as possible. However, it’s best to write haiku daily.
5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.
dust on the road
Asahi Haikuist Network
for the first night star
Per Diem, on the Haiku Foundation website
i select the soft colors
Russian Almanac (in Russian translation)