Introduction to Dandelion Wind

First published in Dandelion Wind, the 2007 Haiku North America conference anthology, which I edited with Lenard D. Moore, and which I published in 2008 with my press, Press Here. Unlike nearly all previous HNA anthologies, this one was published after the conference rather than before. The book’s title comes from the following poem by Garry Gay, to whom the book is dedicated, in gratitude for his original idea for a conference that became Haiku North America:

 

Dandelion wind

another wish

drifts away

 

Haiku from this volume by Lenard and I appear after the introduction. You can also read selected poems from Dandelion Wind.

 

This book’s title comes from Garry Gay’s poem, and it is to Garry that we dedicate the 2007 Haiku North America conference anthology. It was his idea back in 1990 to start the conference, with the first one taking place in California in the summer of 1991. It immediately became the major gathering of the haiku tribes in North America, and has been held around the continent every two years since then.

        In 1991, Garry was president of the Haiku Society of America, the first person on the west coast to serve in that position. Before then, HSA meetings were held in New York City, but a movement was afoot to have them move around the country, which later became standard practice. This was before the Internet made the haiku community as close as it is now, despite great distances across the continent. Garry thought haiku poets needed a conference to bring them all together. But rather than make it a Haiku Society of America meeting or conference, he wanted it to welcome and support all haiku organizations everywhere. This independent and inclusive tradition continues today.

        The 2007 Haiku North America conference took place from August 15 through 19 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, directed by Lenard D. Moore, Bob Moyer, and Dave Russo. It focused on the theme of “bridges.” Various presentations, lectures, discussions, and readings showcased how haiku has built bridges between the past and the present, between perception and intuition, and between poetry and other arts. Above all, it celebrated the bridges that connect one haiku poet to another. Surely, one reason haiku is so rewarding to its enthusiastic practitioners is because of this personal connection.

        The wish in this book’s title poem drifts away like a dandelion seed, as fleeting and ephemeral as the moment that haiku reveres. Unlike that wish, the wish that Garry had for Haiku North America has not drifted away. Instead, it has seeded and taken root. The anthology you hold in your hand, the ninth in the series, is evidence of the continued growth and vibrancy of the haiku community in North America. As with previous anthologies, and in the tradition of staying on a first-name basis despite that growth, the poems in this anthology are arranged by each poet’s first name. May you, too, enjoy these poems, each one blowing in the dandelion wind.

 

Michael Dylan Welch

Lenard D. Moore

 

 

Haiku by the editors from this anthology:

 

 

fading sunset—

still the shine

on high-tension wires

 

        Michael Dylan Welch

 

 

summer evening

coarseness of gingham petals

in the quilt

 

        Lenard D. Moore