Sitting in the Sun

Michael Dylan Welch and Crystal Simone Smith, editors. Kate MacQueen, artwork.

Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2019, 64 pages, 94 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-40-4.

Sitting in the Sun collects haiku and senryu by 94 attendees of the 2019 Haiku North America conference, held 7–11 August 2019 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Edited by Michael Dylan Welch and Crystal Simone Smith, with North Carolina–themed artwork by Kate MacQueen, this anthology showcases many of North America’s leading poets, plus an upcoming generation. As the introduction says (adapted here), “Sitting in the Sun celebrates the fifteenth biennial Haiku North America conference. These conferences provide an array of academic research and inspired readings and presentations, but they’re also a kind of ‘sitting on the porch a spell,’ a gathering of friends to enjoy the day, to talk about a favorite poetic subject, and to ponder—or avoid—the ups and downs that life has to offer. In the very first Haiku North America anthology in 1991, the collection’s poems were arranged by each poet’s first name, and we’ve been doing that ever since. It’s a sort of front-porch familiarity that we continue to value—and seek to promote. So please sit a spell with these poems and poets.” See the Press Here page for this book. You can also read the entire introduction, see the contributor list, and order the book on Amazon. Here are 40 sample poems from the anthology.

late spring

the emptiness inside

a cracked blue egg

Agnes Eva Savich

Austin, Texas

tending gumbo the blend of our voices

Bill Cooper

Naples, Florida

New Year’s Day

a toddler’s shovelful

of snow

Brad Bennett

Arlington, Massachusetts


in the bottle’s throat

summers end

Brent Goodman

Rhinelander, Wisconsin

slow-falling snow

the steady hand

of the beggar

Bryan Rickert

Belleville, Illinois

Sandia mountain

there’s no word in Tiwa

for “whale”

Charles Trumbull

Santa Fe, New Mexico

making tamales

the flow

of family stories

Claire Vogel Camargo

Austin, Texas


wind and streetlight

play tag in our tree

Craig Kittner

Wilmington, North Carolina

progressive church

in the collection plate

a lottery ticket

Crystal Simone Smith

Durham, North Carolina

church bells

at dusk—I swing

at the last pitch

Dave Russo

Cary, North Carolina

the White House

whiter than ever

November chill

David G. Lanoue

New Orleans, Louisiana

winding up

the pitcher launches

summer thunder

Erin Castaldi

Mays Landing, New Jersey

The dog’s gray muzzle

rests in my hands

still holding the ball

Garry Gay

Windsor, California

early daffodils

deep in an unkempt forest—

her curls upon curls

Gideon Young

Chapel Hill, North Carolina






Jen Murdock

Charlotte, North Carolina

safe house

in the back yard

a sleeping doe

Jennifer Hambrick

Worthington, Ohio




I too settle

Jill Lange

Cleveland Heights, Ohio

taut tent

the tympani

of rain

Jim Kacian

Winchester, Virginia

Superbowl party

I make new friends

with the dog

Joshua Gage

Cleveland, Ohio

one fortune cookie

for the two of us to share

crescent moon

Julie Warther

Dover, Ohio

a hawk takes off

after a while

I touch down

Kala Ramesh

Pune, India

Durban bus stop

I stoop to fill my hands

with frangipani

Kate MacQueen

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

first snow

a teacher joins her class

at the window

Kathe L. Palka

Flemington, New Jersey

night breeze

I listen to jazz

in my car

Lenard D. Moore

Raleigh, North Carolina

molting swallow

she tells me

about her rapist

Lori A. Minor

Madison Heights, Michigan

ants crawl

across our unfolded map—

highway rest stop

L. Teresa Church

Durham, North Carolina

the weight

of a paper crane

first snow

Makoto Nakanishi

Matsuyama, Japan

dark night

playing the harp by touch

power outage

Marcyn Del Clements

Claremont, California

end of the year—

the swing’s muddy underside

reflected in a puddle +

Michael Dylan Welch

Sammamish, Washington

deep autumn

her left side sagging I visit

the right side

Patricia J. Machmiller

San Jose, California

shop owner

dishes out gelato

and gossip

Robert Moyer

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

fading photo

a moment of our youth

sitting in the sun

Robin Palley

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

over the wall

without papers

migrating geese

Sarah E. Metzler

Marion Center, Pennsylvania

a new lift to the door—


cherry blossoms are waiting!

Shinko Fushimi

Mito, Japan


from the mammogram

fresh squeezed orange juice

Shirley Brooks

Taylorville, Illinois

new diagnosis

learning to live with

the way she says it

Susan Antolin

Walnut Creek, California

rainy day—

I can’t see the bright side

of anything

Susan Burch

Hagerstown, Maryland

cloud shapes . . .

my sister and her wife

discuss baby names

Tanya McDonald

Woodinville, Washington


she wasn’t cremated

Mother’s Day

Tia Haynes

Lakewood, Ohio

family graves

all tombstones except grandpa’s

lean to the right

Valerie Fern

Carmel Valley, California