2020 Appearances

This was the year of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, causing dozens of events I had planned for this year to be cancelled, all out of An Abundance of Caution. But fortunately I also enjoyed a bumper crop of online Zoom replacements, many of them newly possible around the world.
  • February 2020:
     Coordinating the tenth annual National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) and providing daily writing prompts on the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook, with more than 3,000 participants. Please join us in writing at least one haiku a day in the month of February—the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry! See the Poetry Department blog post.     +     +     +

  • 3 February 2020: My chapbook, For a Moment, first published in 2009, is the featured digital book on the Haiku Foundation website.
  • 17 February 2020: Announcement of the winners of the Backbone Press haiku chapbook contest, which I judged. Congratulations to Susan Antolin and Renée Owen.
  • 2 March 2020:
    Featured Per Diem poem on the Haiku Foundation website, on the theme of unconventional beauty.
  • 7 March 2020:
    CANCELLED [may be rescheduled]. Ekphrastic writing workshop, Centro Cultural Mexicano, 7945 Gilman Street in Redmond, Washington, 2:00–4:30 p.m., free. With Lana Blinderman​ (photography), Kevin Boček (poetry), and​Tanya Dean​ (painting and zine art) of Blue Cone Studios. ​See Facebook event.
  • 9–13 March 2020: Cojudging, with Claudia Castro Luna, the 2020 Washington State Ferries third annual haiku contest, via Twitter, with the
    winning haiku to be featured on the cover of thousands of summer ferry schedules. Public voting on four top selections will take place March 23 to 27. See submission details on the WSDOT blog and final public selection details. See also the King5 news report. The winner was #4 (shown in the image to the right).
  • 21 March 2020: ONLINEGoing Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer phone-in virtual presentation for the Southern California
    Haiku Study Group, with Tanya McDonald and Lori A Minor as featured readers
    , 2:00 to 4:00 p .m., free. Private online event.
  • 21 March 2020: CANCELLED [may be rescheduled]. Visual Poetry Zines: community reception and celebration, with a reading of ekphrastic writing (from 7 March 2020 event), Centro Cultural Mexicano, 7945 Gilman Street in Redmond, Washington, 6:00–8:00 p.m., free. ​See Facebook event.
  • 26 March 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers Circle, Kirkland Library, conference room, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 27 March 2020: CANCELLED [will be rescheduled]. Featured poet, with Lorraine Healy, in the Pelican Bay Reading Series at Pelican Bay Books, at 520 Commercial Avenue in Anacortes, Washington. Free. 7:00 p.m. Music by Erik Christensen.
  • 1 April 2020: Results announced for the 2020 “Sharpening the Green Pencil” haiku contest in Romania, for which I served as the judge and commentator.
  • 3 April 2020:
     CANCELLED [rescheduled to 21 August]. Opening reception for “Ars Poetica: Fiber Art and Poetry,” where my poem “How to Respond to a Haiku” appears in a fiber-art interpretation by Mary Ann Tollefson as part of a National Poetry Month exhibit sponsored by the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN), 8890 Three Tree Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., free.
  • 4 April 2020: CANCELLED“Not for Mostpeople: E. E. Cummings Comes to Town” keynote lecture on E. E. Cummings (the featured poet this year) at the Inland Poetry Prowl, Ellensburg, Washington. Free.
  • 5 April 2020:
     CANCELLED [may be rescheduled]. Opening reception for the APex (Artist’s Personal Exchange) “No Criticism” art exhibit (including one of my photographs) at Centro Cultural Mexicano7945 Gilman Street in Redmond, Washington, 5:00–7:00 p.m., free.
  • 8 April 2020: ONLINEPico Iyer and the Poetic Art of Going Nowhere phone-in virtual presentation, King County Library System. 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free. See log-in details. See the recorded video on YouTube.
  • 9 April 2020: ONLINEGoing Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer virtual presentation as a featured part of a Haiku Northwest Zoom meeting, 7:00–9:00 p.m., free.
  • 11 April 2020: CANCELLED. Staffing a haiku table for the Family Saturday event at the Seattle Japanese Garden, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Activities free with garden admission. See garden website.
  • 11 April 2020: CANCELLED [will be rescheduled]. “Haiku and the Art of Forest Bathing” presentation, Redmond Library, 15990 NE 85th Street, Redmond, Washington. 3:00 p.m. Free.
  • 12 April 2020:
     
    CANCELLED. “My Haiku Academia” workshop at the 2020 Sakura-Con anime festival at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (room Panels 5 - 401). Kaminari and Mina from the My Hero Academia anime series (played in cosplay by my daughter and her friend) have to pass their haiku exam to keep from being expelled from school. This workshop (back by popular demand from last year’s “Haiku or Haikyū?”) teaches them—and the audience—about haiku poetry. Free with Sakura-Con admission.
  • 18–19 April 2020: CANCELLED. Leading haiku walks and workshops, giving readings, installing Haiku on Sticks, haiku chalk art, my Haikuseum, and more, at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s “Sakura Days Japan Fair,” VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, British Columbia (garden/event admission is $12 online, $14 at the gate). Will also give a main-stage reading on both days of winning haiku from the 2019 festival, with sanshin and nagauta shamisen music by Noriko Kobayashi.
  • 22 April 2020: CANCELLED. “Attention: Celebrating Mary Oliver’s Poetry” presentation, in commemoration of Earth Day, Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 23 April 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers Circle, Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 25 April 2020: CANCELLED. Leading a haiku workshop and Zen retreat with Kate McCandless at Blue Mountain Zendo, 2952 Berg Avenue in Mission, British Columbia. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration details to come. Private event.     +
  • 26 April 2020:
     ONLINE“How to Haiku” free public workshop, in two separate sessions, sponsored by the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (choose one or the other). Click the link to register (Zoom meeting details provided in confirmation email after you register). This event replaces an in-person event originally scheduled at the Vancouver Public Library on this date.
  • 26 April 2020: ONLINEGoing Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation for the Vancouver Haiku Group, 7:00 p .m., free.
  • 5 May 2020:
    Winners of the 2020 Virgilio Haiku Contest, which I judged with Elizabeth Crocket, announced today. See the winners and commentary, also on the Haiku Society of America website.
  • 9 May 2020: CANCELLED. Featured poet at Green Lake Library, 7364 E Greenlake Drive N in Seattle, with Jayne Marek. Free. 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
  • 14 May 2020:
     ONLINE. Hosting a “Pandemic Poetry phone-in virtual sharing and discussion of poetry in this time of social isolation, King County Library System. 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Come prepared to share a favourite pandemic poem by someone else or poems of your own, or just come to listen. Free. See log-in details.       +
  • 16 May 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Fringe Myrtles haiku group in Melbourne, Australia. 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 17 May 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Haiku Poets of the Garden State (New Jersey) meeting, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 28 May 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 10 June 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Haiku Waukesha (Wisconsin) meeting, 3:o0 to 5:00 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 11 June 2020: CANCELLED. Introductory afternoon haiku workshop and evening presentation on “Haiku and the Art of Forest Bathing” at the Wordhaven writing conference, Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington.
  • 13 June 2020: CANCELLED. Hosting a national meeting of the Haiku Society of America, Hibulb Cultural Center, Marysville, Washington. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free.
  • 13 June 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Ohio Haiku group. 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus performances of some of my animated haiku sequences.
  • 13 June 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Austin Haiku Group in Austin, Texas. 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 13 June 2020:
     ONLINEFeatured poet (via Zoom) for a launch reading of the new Lights ezine from Pleasure Boat Studio. 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (Seattle time). I’ll be reading at least one solo rengay and three prose poems. See Facebook event.
  • 14 June 2020: Publication of Eyeball Kick, a free PDF ebook of hydrogen jukebox poems available from Bones.
  • 17 June 2020: Publication of Star Wheel, a free PDF micro-chapbook of crochet-pattern haiku from Origami Poems Project.
  • 25 June 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers Circle, Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 8 July 2020: CANCELLED. “Haiku and the Art of Forest Bathing” presentation, Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 11–12 July 2020: CANCELLED. Shikishi exhibit, lecture, and haiku reading at the Japan FairMeydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th Street in Bellevue, Washington. Free.
  • 12 July 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the San Diego Haiku Group in San Diego, California. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 18 July 2020 (19 July New Zealand time): ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the New Zealand Haiku Group. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 23 July 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 23 July 2020:
     POSTPONED“Haiku Targets” workshop for the 2020 Glass House Festival: Poetry Around the World in Hyderabad, India (see schedule). 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (India Standard Time); 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). ₹1,000. Registration details on schedule page.
  • 25 July 2020: 
    ONLINE.
    Featured poet via Zoom for the “S
    ynonym for the Sky” haiku readings with Akila G, Geethanjali Rajan, and Terri L. French for the 2020 Glass House Festival: Poetry Around the World in India (see schedule). 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. (India Standard Time); 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. (Pacific Time). Free. See video of reading on YouTube.
  • 25, 26 July 2020: CANCELLED. Directing the Poets in the Park festival, book fair, and poetry picnic at Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington, sponsored by the Redmond Association of Spokenword. Free poetry festival (two days this year) with readings, workshops, vendors, installations, and more (chalk poetry, Haiku on Sticks)—and free ice cream! Readings and performances will be held 25 July, with workshops on 26 July. All free.
  • 26 July 2020: ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the London Haiku Group in London, England. 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence.
  • 1 August 2020: ONLINEHosting a quarterly Haiku Northwest meeting via Zoom, with Carole MacRury as featured reader, a mystery haiku discussion, and rounds of haiku reading and critique. Free, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Ask for Zoom link.
  • 2 August 2020: ONLINE. Hosting the honorary curator reading (Zoom link here) for the American Haiku Archives, featuring 2020–2021 honorary curator Lenard D. Moore, and giving a PowerPoint presentation of Your Haiku Archives” about the history and past honorary curators of the archives. Free, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
  • 4 August 2020 (5 August in Australia): ONLINEGuest poet (via Zoom) for the Paperbark Haiku Group in Perth, Australia. 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Seattle time). Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a performance of my Forgiveness animated haiku sequence. See event report.
  • 7–9 August 2020: CANCELLED. Speaking at the Cradle of American Haiku festival, Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
  • 15 August 2020: Judging the second annual Morioka International Haiku Contest in Morioka, Japan with Toru Kiuchi. August 15 is the submission deadline, and the award ceremony will be held in Morioka on November 8. See the 2019 results and commentary, with Japanese translations.
  • 21 August 2020:
     [rescheduled from 3 April]. ONLINE. Opening reception for “Ars Poetica: Fiber Art and Poetry,” where my poem “How to Respond to a Haiku” appears in a fiber-art interpretation by Mary Ann Tollefson as part of an exhibit sponsored by the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN), 8890 Three Tree Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., free. Register here to receive Zoom link.
  • 27 August 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 28–29 August 2020: CANCELLED. Judging a free haiku contest, and reading the winners, each night at the Seattle Japanese Garden Moon Viewing Festival, 6:00 p.m. ($25 admission). See the garden website.
  • 18–27 September 2020:
    ONLINE. Featured poet at the 2020 Perth Poetry Festival in Perth, Australia. I’m giving a workshop on “Haiku Targets” for beginners and intermediates (September 18, Perth time; see TryBooking reservation link and Facebook event), leading a “Take a Walk on the Haiku Side” ginko (haiku walk) in Kings Park (September 25, Perth time; see TryBooking reservation link and Facebook invite), and giving a “Haiku on Steroids” workshop for more advanced writers, or the adventurous (September 27, Perth time; see TryBooking reservation link and Facebook event). I’m also featuring in three poetry readings. All via Zoom.
  • 24 September 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 28 September–2 October 2020: “Sound Poetry” radio interview with David Gilmour, broadcast daily on 101.9 KTAH-FM radio, Tacoma, Washington.
  • 10–11 October 2020: ONLINE. Participating in the Japan Writers Conference (see schedule), Tokyo, Japan. Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation plus a writing exercise, at 11:00 a.m., 11 October 2020 (Japan time) or 7:00 p.m., 10 October 2020 (Seattle time). Free.
  • 21–26 October 2020: Traffic Culture Exhibition 2020 at Ueno Station in Tokyo, Japan, featuring my translations with Emiko Miyashita of train-related haiku contest winners, including commentary by the judge, Kai Hasegawa. Learn more about the online exhibition at the Japan Traffic Culture Association website.
  • 22 October 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 29 October–November 1, 2020: CANCELLED (but see immediately below). Directing Haiku Northwest’s thirteenth annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway at the Seabeck Conference Center in Seabeck, Washington.
  • 31 October–November 1, 2020:
    ONLINE. Directing Haiku Northwest’s thirteenth annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway via Zoom, with two full days of readings, presentations, workshops, and a few surprises, all FREE.  Our theme for the weekend is “vision.” See registration page, schedule, and attendee list.     +
  • 11 November 2000:
    ONLINE. “Haiku Targets workshop via Zoom for the Nick Virgilio Haiku Society, Camden, New Jersey, as part of its “Art Unboxed” program. Free! 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please register here. See video on YouTube.
  • 21 November 2020: ONLINE. Pandemic Haiku Reading in support of Behind the Mask: Haiku in the Time of Covid-19, edited by Margaret Dornaus. Free. 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Register here (by 18 November 2020). Features contributors to the book plus an open-mic reading for pandemic-related haiku.
  • 24 November 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 28 November 2020: ONLINEPublic “Haiku Targets workshop via Zoom for anyone who is interested. Free! 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. To register, please email WelchM@aol.com. Eighty people registered! Video link coming soon. 
  • 28 November 2020: ONLINEGoing Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer presentation for the Magpie Haiku Group in Calgary, Alberta. I will also perform my Forgiveness” animated haiku sequence and lead a haiku workshop. Free, 12:00 noon, Pacific Time.
  • 7 December 2020: ONLINEFeatured reader for the Striped Water Poets and Poetry at the Rainbow Cafe series (normally) at the Rainbow Cafe, 112 East Main Street, Auburn, Washington. 7:00 p.m. Via Zoom.
  • 22 December 2020 (Tuesday instead of Thursday this month): CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers CircleKirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, Washington. 6:30 p.m. Free.
  • 21–25 December 2020: “An Austrian Christmas” haibun broadcast daily on David Gilmour’s “Sound Poetry” program on 101.9 KTAH radio, Tacoma, Washington (on the website, listen from the 2:42 to 5:20 mark).