National Haiku Poetry Day

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National Haiku Poetry Day, April 17, is our national celebration of haiku. Registered by Sari Grandstaff in 2007 and implemented as a project of The Haiku Foundation since 2012, it occurs in the heart of the United States’ celebration of National Poetry Month. The Foundation encourages public events, including readings, exhibitions and competitions on this day, and culminates the celebration with the announcement of winners from our annual HaikuNow! Contest and highly coveted Touchstone Awards.

Here’s what’s happening on and around NHPD in 2014. Want to host an event? We’d love to have you participate! Contact us to make arrangements.


Hopewell, New Jersey (Coordinator: Jeff Hoagland)

National Haiku Poetry Day Ginko

Sunday, April 13, 3:30 – 6:00PM
Celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day during an afternoon focused on this traditional Japanese form of poetry, with its luminous focus on nature. Meet at the Nature Reserve of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in Hopewell Township, NJ, where Education Director and haiku poet Jeff Hoagland will facilitate a ginko (haiku walk) on behalf of the Haiku Foundation. Adults and teens are welcome regardless of experience. Explore the Reserve, observing (finally!) the emergence of spring, and craft your own haiku. Dress for springtime trail conditions – bring boots. Consider bringing a favorite haiku book or journal for the Sharing Table, where an assortment of haiku literature will be available for viewing or purchase. Finally, if you like, bring two favorite haiku to share, yours or someone else’s: one to honor the spirit of winter and one to celebrate spring. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP in advance – for more information or to register call (609) 737-7592.


Huntsville, Alabama (Coordinator: Terri French)

Terri French will hang haiku weathergrams in the trees at Lowe Mill Center for the Arts in Huntsville for National Haiku Poetry Day. They will be up from the 16th to the 19th. Come visit to read the poems, and write some of your own! The Lowe Mill Center for the Arts is located at 2211 Seminole Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35805.


Los Angeles, California (Coordinator: Debbie Kolodji)

The Southern California Haiku Study Group celebrated National Haiku Poetry Day by hosting an open haiku mic at Bean Town Coffee Bar in Sierra Madre, California.

Open Mic poets were accompanied by Chris Wesley on acoustic guitar and Rick Wilson on shakuhachi. Dalton Perry set up the sound system. Deborah P Kolodji was the Open Mic emcee.

Open mic readers:

1. Maria Baird 
2. Dalton Perry & Kathabela Wilson (tanka sequence)
3. Giancarlo (an audience member who read Issa from The Essential Haiku as translated by Robert Hass).
4. Don Baird 
5. Taura Scott and Kathabela Wilson (tanka sequence)
6. Deborah P Kolodji 
7. Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin
8. William Hart
9. Gregory Longenecker 
10. Kim Esser
11. “River Song” by Martin Lucas read by Deborah P Kolodji 
12. James Won 
13. Jonathan Vos Post 
14 Yvette Nicole Kolodji 
15. Kathabela Wilson 
16. Winners of the HaikuNow! Traditional Category announced & read by Chris Wesley. (William Hart read his Runner-Up haiku)
17. Winners of the HaikuNow! Innovative Category announced & read by Don Baird. (Deborah P Kolodji read her commended haiku)
18. Winners of the HaikuNow Contemporary Category announced & read by Don Baird. (William Hart read his commended haiku).



(left to right): William Hart, runner up in the 2014 HaikuNow! Traditional Category and commended in the 2014 HaikuNow! Contemporary Category
Don Baird, winner of the 2013 HaikuNow! Contemporary Category
Deborah P Kolodji, commended in the 2014 HaikuNow Innovative Category


Back Row: James Won, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, Jonathan Vos Post, Taura Scott, Kathabela Wilson, Chris Wesley, Rick Wilson, Deborah P Kolodji
Front Row: Kimberly Esser, Gregory Longenecker, William Hart, Maria Baird, Don Baird


The remainder of the evening was spent socializing and enjoying the coffee & food at Bean Town.  The Southern California Haiku Study Group meets monthly on the third Saturday of the month, at 2 pm, at the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.  Visitors are welcome.

See additional photos of this event on Debbie’s Facebook page.


Mineral Point, Wisconsin (Coordinator: Gayle Bull)

We will have a haiku poetry reading open to the public starting at 7:00PM. This year we will have no featured readers — we want everyone to feel free to read and encourage new poets to come and participate.
Traditional Foundry Books refreshments will be served (cheese, sausage, beer and wine).


Minneapolis, Minnesota (Coordinators: Marjorie Buettner and Donald Skrivseth)

















Attendees of the Minneapolis area National Haiku Poetry Day Event included (back row, left to right): Marsh Muirhead, Kenne Thomas, Carolyn Banks, Gary Lee Joyner (musician), (front row): coordinator Marjorie Buettner, and Irene St. Onge.


New Orleans, Louisiana (Coordinator: David Lanoue)

The New Orleans Haiku Society will sponsor a National Haiku Poetry Day “Haiku and Cupcakes” event on Monday, April 21st, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Bring your poems to read!


Seattle, Washington (Coordinator: Michael Dylan Welch)

April 17, 2014
7:00 p.m.

SoulFood Coffeehouse
15748 Redmond Way
Redmond, Washington

Celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day at SoulFood Coffeehouse, 15748 Redmond Way, Redmond, Washington, 7:00 pm, April 17, 2014. Free. Featured readers will include members of Haiku Northwest, plus open mic.


Shreveport, Louisiana (Coordinator: Carlos Colón)
On April 17, 2014, Shreve Memorial Library’s Broadmoor Branch, 1212 Captain Shreve Drive, will be celebrating National Haiku Poetry Day with an open mic from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The reading will feature members of the Northwest Louisiana Haiku Society, a co-sponsor along with the library and the Haiku Foundation. The reading is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to read up to five haiku. A haiku critique will be available if you wish to have your poems evaluated. For more information or to sign up to read, contact Carlos Colón at 868-8932 or 678-3889.


Washington DC (Coordinator: Elizabeth Black)

Join us for a Ginko walk though the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on May 14. We will be meeting as a Towpath group at 3pm, the moment of the full moon.