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 forty 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