This blog focuses mostly on what’s new or revised on the Graceguts site, owned and operated by Michael Dylan Welch. But it may have other occasional quiddities too. Enjoy! And if you have any comments,
please let me know.          +

A Viral Poem

posted Mar 21, 2020, 6:15 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 24, 2020, 9:57 AM ]

Just added to my Poems page is “An Abundance of Caution,” a poem written this week about the corona virus pandemic. I wish the poem were shorter, or that it did not exist at all. Strength to everyone.

Patches of Padgett

posted Mar 15, 2020, 9:49 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 18, 2020, 11:45 AM ]

Look for several new additions by Ron Padgett on the Poems by Others page:
And look for these new poems on the Poems About Haiku page, also by Padgett:
And in case you missed them, also check out Padgett’s “Haiku” (not the same as the preceding one) and “How to Be Perfect.” I find many of Padgett’s poems utterly disarming, with an unpretentious immediacy much like the best haiku.

Corona Virus Cancellations

posted Mar 15, 2020, 1:19 AM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 18, 2020, 11:44 AM ]

Although I’ll be losing income from some of the following cancelled events (also listed on my Appearances page), I feel fortunate that this is not my livelihood, so I know the current situation of arts cancellations is much worse for others. And it’s even worse for arts organizations (not to mention other businesses) that are losing significant revenues at this time. The following cancellations, for me, are in addition to monthly meetings of SoulFood Poetry Night and the Redmond Association of Spokenword, both of which I curate, plus Haiku Northwest and Artist’s Personal Exchange meetings, some already cancelled, with more expected. And it takes effort even to orchestrate these changes. These cancellations are lifestyle, community, and even identity losses that contribute to a general malaise and disappointment, which I’m sure anyone in the broad artistic community can relate to. It’s heartbreaking. And even sadder to know this is happening in much of the world. I’m sure, too, that it’s worse for others than it is for me, and I probably can’t feel all your pain. I keep telling myself that I can use this newly opened time to create, to read, to write, but I hardly feel like it, at least not yet. How about you?
        I can’t even go skiing instead, since (locally to the Seattle area) Stevens Pass, Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Summit have all closed for the season (as have a few other ski areas in this region. My racquetball club is still open, but art galleries and museums (though not all) are closed all over, and some businesses have reduced hours. Even the Space Needle is closed. It’s all such a denial to who many of us are in how we define ourselves and a denial of many of the things we live for. What a mess.

Recent and Upcoming Cancellations:

  • 7 March 2020: CANCELLED. Ekphrastic writing workshop, Centro Cultural Mexicano, Redmond, Washington.
  • 21 March 2020: CANCELLED. Visual Poetry Zines: community reception and celebration, with a reading of ekphrastic writing (from 7 March 2020 event), Centro Cultural Mexicano, Redmond, Washington.
  • 26 March 2020: CANCELLED. Facilitating the Kirkland Writers Circle, Kirkland Library, Kirkland, Washington.
  • 27 March 2020: CANCELLED. Featured poet, with Lorraine Healy, in the Pelican Bay Reading Series at Pelican Bay Books, Anacortes, Washington.
  • 3 April 2020: CANCELLED. 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), Bainbridge Island, Washington.
  • 4 April 2020: CANCELLED. “Not for Mostpeople: E. E. Cummings Comes to Town” keynote lecture at the Inland Poetry Prowl, Ellensburg, Washington.
  • 11 April 2020: CANCELLED. “Haiku and the Art of Forest Bathing” presentation, Redmond Library, Redmond, Washington.
  • 18–19 April 2020: CANCELLED. Leading haiku walks and workshops, giving mainstage 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.

At Risk (I fear that these events will also be cancelled):

  • 5 April 2020: Opening reception for the APex (Artist’s Personal Exchange) “No Criticism” art exhibit (featuring one of my photographs) at Centro Cultural Mexicano, Redmond, Washington.
  • 11 April 2020: Staffing a haiku table for the Family Saturday event at the Seattle Japanese Garden, Seattle, Washington.
  • 12 April 2020: “My Haiku Academia” workshop at the 2020 Sakura-Con anime festival at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
  • 22 April 2020: “Attention: Celebrating Mary Oliver’s Poetry” presentation, in commemoration of Earth Day, Kirkland Library, Kirkland, Washington.
  • 23 April 2020: Facilitating the Kirkland Writers Circle, Kirkland Library, Kirkland, Washington.
  • 25 April 2020: Leading a haiku workshop and Zen retreat with Kate McCandless at Blue Mountain Zendo, Mission, British Columbia.
  • 26 April 2020: “Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer” presentation for the Vancouver Haiku Group at the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • 26 April 2020: “The Nature of Haiku” free public workshop at the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, British Columbia.
How long will this last?

UPDATE (18 March 2020): Nearly all of the preceding at-risk events have now also been cancelled.

Rengay Strikes Again, and an Essay

posted Mar 6, 2020, 11:39 AM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 6, 2020, 11:39 AM ]

I love writing rengay! A new one, “Hometown,” written with Stephen Toft, is now on the Rengay page, after recent publication in Wales Haiku Journal. And on the Essays page you can also find “Why I Write Haiku: Because It’s There,” recently published in Blithe Spirit.

Between a Rock and a Ren

posted Mar 6, 2020, 12:01 AM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 6, 2020, 12:02 AM ]

Just added to the Poems About Haiku page is “Rock Hunting with Bashō, Dallas Road, February,” by Terry Ann Carter. Also check out “Renandstimpy” on the Rengay page, a recently published collaboration with Curtis Dunlap.

Sonojo, Beauty, and Haibun

posted Mar 1, 2020, 11:32 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Mar 1, 2020, 11:32 PM ]

The Poems About Haiku page now includes “Just as They Are” by Bashō’s disciple, Sonojo. There’s a new postscript after the short “Beauty in Haiku” essay, available through the Essays page. And I’ve also restructured many of the haibun on the Haibun page to fit under the categories of “Travel Haibun” and “Death and Dying.” Please have a look.

A Trio of Poems

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:49 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Feb 28, 2020, 1:49 PM ]

Check out the new untitled visual poem I’ve just added to my Poems page. And while you’re at it, take a look at “How to Be Perfect” by Ron Padgett on the Poems by Others page, and “Haiku” by Henri Cole on the Poems About Haiku page. I’ve also updated the notes written in response to Ron Padgett’s “Haiku” poem (not to be confused with Henri Cole’s).

New Poem, New Postscript, New Report

posted Feb 21, 2020, 3:21 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Feb 21, 2020, 3:21 PM ]

Three additions to Graceguts are Noelle Levy’s “The ABZs of Poetry” on the Poems About Haiku page, a new postscript to further discuss my “Laughing with Karumi” essay, and the “2012 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest” results newly added to the Reports page.

NaHaiWriMo Celebrates Its Tenth Year

posted Feb 1, 2020, 10:59 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Feb 1, 2020, 11:36 PM ]

National Haiku Writing Month began as an idea in 2010 and was first held in February of 2011, so 2020 marks the tenth year of this annual celebration of haiku poetry. The goal is to write at least one haiku a day during the month of February—the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry. NaHaiWriMo is most active on Facebook, with pages for English, French, Bulgarian, and Spanish. As of 1 February 2020, the English page on Facebook has 3,152 likes, with people participating around the world on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, on their personal blogs and websites, and elsewhere, often with the #nahaiwrimo hashtag. If this is your first time trying NaHaiWriMo, all you have to do is pledge to write at least one new haiku a day during the entire month. If you want to share your haiku on social media, such as on the Facebook pages, please do. We also provide daily writing prompts (on the English page, look for the Notes section, where you can find all the prompts, which continue year-round), but please note that you do not need to follow the prompts. Please join in however you wish! For more about National Haiku Writing Month, please see the NaHaiWriMo website and the Poetry Department blog post.

Two Bits

posted Jan 29, 2020, 11:14 PM by Michael Dylan Welch   [ updated Jan 29, 2020, 11:16 PM ]

Two new additions to this site are “Haiku That Changed My Life” on the Essays page, and Vicki McCullough’s review of my Haiku North America anthology, Fire in the Treetops, on the Commentary page. And for a bonus, also find new activities listed on the Appearances page. Please have a look.

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