Haiku North America

Haiku North America is a nonprofit corporation of which I’m one of four directors, along with Garry Gay (California), Paul Miller (Florida), and Deborah P Kolodji (California). When Garry was president of the Haiku Society of America, he thought it would be a good idea to have a conference to bring together members of various haiku organizations (not just HSA members), and so the event was born. I was one of the founders of the conference, first held in 1991, in California, and also proposed the event’s name. My idea with the name was to make sure HNA was not just a U.S. event, but also encompassed Canada (and Mexico, although the haiku community there seems to be very small or insular). From the beginning, HNA has been a stimulating long weekend of readings, presentations, papers, and more, all focusing on haiku poetry. The variety of scholarly and nonacademic papers and presentations have had an extraordinary influence on English-language haiku for more than 25 years by appearing in the leading haiku journals. In addition, HNA is especially strong as a social event, where haiku poets from across the continent, and beyond, can gather regularly for poetic and academic inspiration.

At first, HNA was going to be a one-shot deal, but about a year after the 1991 conference, I insisted with Garry that we should do it again, and if I had not done so, HNA would not have become the regular event it is. Consequently, we held the next conference in 1993, also in California, thus establishing the every-two-years frequency. Thereafter, the conference has moved around the continent to a different city each time, first trekking to Canada in 1995, and held aboard a cruise ship (albeit docked) in 2013. The following is a list of the dates and locations for each HNA conference, their chief organizers, and the title and publication information for each conference anthology (all of which I edited or coedited, and also published with my press, Press Here). From this list, you can also click links to read the introduction and sample poems from each anthology. At the end are additional links to the HNA website, its FAQ page, the HNA blog, and a video that promotes the 2015 conference in Schenectady, New York. See you at the next Haiku North America conference!


  • “Every two years, at some interesting location in the United States or Canada, the organizers of Haiku North America put together exciting and innovative programs involving leading poets, scholars, editors, and teachers, as well as practitioners of arts that have a kinship with haiku. The result is that HNA is the most eagerly awaited conference on the haiku calendar.” —George Swede

  • “Of the small handful of regular occasions that nurture the English-language haiku community, Haiku North America is certainly preeminent: intellectually diverse, socially expansive, emotionally gratifying, it provides more than any other single experience the sense that haiku is a literary force to be reckoned with and capable of work that matters in the rest of the world.” —Jim Kacian

  • “Haiku North America offers haiku poets worldwide the opportunity to renew their spirit of community. The Haiku North America conference is a remarkable setting for innovative workshops and spellbinding readings. This unique collaboration, known to its devotees as HNA, is the place to experience not only the art but also the heart of haiku.” —Roberta Beary


Conferences


August 23–25, 1991

Las Positas College, Livermore, California (near San Francisco)

  • Directors: Garry Gay, Michael Dylan Welch, Jerry Ball, David Wright, Christopher Herold, and Paul O. Williams

  • Harvest, Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1991, 20 pages, 52 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-05-7; introduction; sample poems


July 15–18, 1993

Las Positas College, Livermore, California

  • Directors: Garry Gay, Michael Dylan Welch, Jerry Ball, David Wright, Ebba Story, and Marianne Monaco

  • The Shortest Distance, Ebba Story and Michael Dylan Welch, editors. Cover photograph by Garry Gay. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1993, 20 pages, 51 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-11-1; introduction; sample poems


July 13–15, 1995

Ryerson Polytechnic, Toronto, Ontario

  • Directors: Keith Southard, Marshall Hryciuk, and George Swede

  • Northern Lights, Michael Dylan Welch, editor, Press Here, Foster City, California, 1995, 24 pages, 50 poems by 29 poets, ISBN 1-878798-13-8; introduction; sample poems


July 24–27, 1997

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

  • Directors: Ce Rosenow, Margaret Chula, and Cherie Hunter Day

  • Shades of Green, Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Cherie Hunter Day, illustration. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1997, 24 pages, 63 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-18-9; introduction; sample poems


July 8–11, 1999

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (near Chicago)

  • Directors: Charles Trumbull, Sara Brant, Joseph Kirschner, and Lidia Rozmus

  • Too Busy for Spring, Michael Dylan Welch and Lee Gurga, editors. Lidia Rozmus, cover illustration. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1999, 36 pages, 91 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-19-7; introduction; sample poems


June 28–July 1, 2001

Boston Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts

  • Directors: Raffael de Gruttola, Judson Evans, and Karen Klein

  • Paperclips, Michael Dylan Welch, Carol Purington, and Larry Kimmel, editors. Karen Klein, ink brush drawings. Press Here, Foster City, California, 2001, 40 pages, 97 poets (one poem each) plus five poems from a children’s haiku contest, ISBN 1-878798-24-3; introduction; sample poems


June 26–29, 2003

Dalton School, New York, New York

  • Directors: Pamela Miller Ness, Stanford M. Forrester, Brenda Gannam, Tom Painting, and John Stevenson

  • Brocade of Leaves, Michael Dylan Welch and Yu Chang, editors. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2003, 32 pages, 85 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-27-8; introduction; sample poems


September 21–25, 2005

Fort Worden Conference Center, Port Townsend, Washington

  • Directors: Michael Dylan Welch, Christopher Herold, Carol O’Dell, and Doris Thurston

  • Tracing the Fern, Michael Dylan Welch and Billie Wilson, editors. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2005, 40 pages, 67 poets (two poems each), ISBN 1-878798-28-6; introduction; sample poems


August 15–19, 2007

Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Directors: Dave Russo, Lenard D. Moore, and Bob Moyer

  • Dandelion Wind, Michael Dylan Welch and Lenard D. Moore, editors. Kate MacQueen, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2008, 36 pages, 71 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-29-9; introduction; sample poems


August 5–9, 2009

National Library of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario—see photos 1, photos 2, photos 3

  • Directors: Terry Ann Carter, Guy Simser, and Claudia Radmore

  • Into Our Words, Michael Dylan Welch and Grant D. Savage, editors. Peter Vernon Quenter, artwork. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2009, 40 pages, 90 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-30-5; introduction; sample poems


August 3–7, 2011

Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington—see photos 1, photos 2, photos 3, photos 4, photos 5

  • Directors: Michael Dylan Welch, Tanya McDonald, and Angela Terry

  • Standing Still, Michael Dylan Welch and Ruth Yarrow, editors. Dejah Léger, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2011, 36 pages, 74 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-32-9; introduction; sample poems; see 2011 group photo above


August 14–18, 2013

Queen Mary, Long Beach, California—photos to come

  • Directors: Debbie P Kolodji and Naia

  • Close to the Wind, Michael Dylan Welch and William Hart, editors. Naia, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2013, 52 pages, 97 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-35-0; introduction; sample poems; order from Amazon


October 14–18, 2015

Union College, Schenectady, New York—see photos 1, photos 2, photos 3, photos 4, photos 5 (see also Tanka Sunday photos)

  • Directors: Hilary Tann, John Stevenson, Yu Chang, Tom Clausen, and David Giacalone

  • Fire in the Treetops: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Haiku North America, Michael Dylan Welch and Scott Mason, editors. Christopher Patchel, artwork. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2015, 416 pages, 1,053 poems by more than 500 poets, ISBN 978-1-878798-37-4; introduction; sample poems; order from Amazon


September 13–17, 2017

Hotel Santa Fe, Hacienda & Spa, Santa Fe, New Mexico—photos to come

  • Directors: Charles Trumbull, Sondra J. Byrnes, Cynthia Henderson, Scott Wiggerman, and Miriam Sagan

  • Earthsigns, Michael Dylan Welch and Scott Wiggerman, editors. Lidia Rozmus, illustrations. Press Here, Sammamish, Washington, 2017, 84 pages, 183 poets (one poem each), ISBN 978-1-878798-38-1; introduction; sample poems; contributor list; order from Amazon


August 7–11, 2019

Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina—photos to come

  • Directors: Bob Moyer, Dave Russo, Lenard D. Moore, Crystal Simone Smith

  • 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; introduction; sample poems; contributor list; order from Amazon


October 14–17, 2021

On Zoom, hosted by Victoria, British Columbia

  • Directors: Terry Ann Carter and Lynne Jambor

  • 2021 anthology, Michael Dylan Welch, editor


June, 2023

Conference venue to be announced, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Directors: Patti Niehoff, Buck Niehoff, Jennifer Hambrick, Tia Haynes, and Julie Warther

  • 2023 anthology, Michael Dylan Welch and Julie Warther, editors


Additional Links


Hope you can join us for the next Haiku North America celebration!

Selected Haiku North America T-shirts (not all) from 1991 to 2009.