A big thank you to everyone who attended Haiku Northwest’s Seabeck haiku retreat this year, especially all 20 folks joining us for the first time (out of 50 total). Randy Brooks was a wonderful speaker, and we all learned so much while laughing along the way. We covered a lot of ground with his overview of haiku experimentation, all the work he’s done with haiku himself and at his university over four decades, and of course we also enjoyed his warm cup of cider! Kat was great with the icebreakers, we learned good basics and more advanced techniques with Tanya’s “Welcome to Haiku” workshop and my workshop on cutting techniques. And we all enjoyed the t’ai chi from Elizabeth-Ann and the touch presentation from Erika (not to mention the hokey-pokey and backrub breaks). Loved Annette’s presentation of her poems and artwork, and I’m really glad we finally had a reading in the cathedral (Janet, Sandy, and Lorna from Bend, Oregon, plus Michelle and Ce). The presentations by Carmen and Kathabela were great to connect us with poets from farther afield, and the haiga displays connected us with many wonderful artists (thanks, Dorothy!), as did the weathergrams (thanks, Barbara!). Ce’s presentation on caring gave us much to think about, and Jacquie’s wonderfully handled (pun intended) erotic haiku workshop hit just the right notes. We enjoyed more breaks and free time, the evening movies were something different to try, and the meals and snacks were great too (nice to have the extra salad bar this year). The Porad winners were a pleasure to hear, as was the music from Jim and Rick, the writing exercises were stimulating (especially “bagging it”), and the kukai, erotic haiku contest, and especially the tan-renga sessions produced many wonderful poems. You were all very generous with your donations and purchases with the silent auction and the freebie handouts, too. It was great to “visit Japan” with the presentations by Richard and Angie, and the talent show was its usual romp (it seems like Randy enjoyed hearing his poems sung extemporaneously – you rock, Kat!). Dancing, singing, storytelling. And other stuff. Lots of fun all round, and much stimulating discussion with good comments from everyone, first-timers and old-timers alike. Even the weather was spectacular! AND we saw sharks in the lagoon! How crazy is that? We read, we wrote, we learned, we celebrated. Thanks again to Randy for sharing the blessings of haiku. (See the complete schedule.)
Already looking forward to next year’s Seabeck retreat! It will be held October 27-30, 2016, focusing on the sense of smell and featuring Sonja Arntzen as our guest speaker. Until then, if you have pictures or comments to share, please do post them on the Seabeck Haiku Getaway page on Facebook. See you next year!