Introduction to Brocade of Leaves

First published in Brocade of Leaves, the 2003 Haiku North America conference anthology, which I edited with Yu Chang, and which I published with my press, Press Here. The book’s title comes from the following poem by Pamela A. Babusci:


brocade of leaves

a monk sweeps a path

for the guests


Haiku from this volume by Yu and me appear after the introduction. You can also read selected poems from Brocade of Leaves. See the Press Here page for this book.

We know from experience—or at least from a dictionary—that a brocade is a rich silk fabric, often Oriental, with gold and silver patterns. With this book, we are presented with a vibrant brocade of voices, haiku and senryu serving as the gold and silver. These poems spring not just from the Orient, where haiku began, but from poetry weavers across the United States and Canada, as well as other countries. And this brocade, as with the namesake poem by Pamela A. Babusci, is not just a brocade of silk, but a brocade of leaves, reminding us that nature is central to haiku and related genres of poetry.

        Here at the Haiku North America conference, this time in New York City, we once again gather to enjoy and celebrate haiku, to join our voices in a brocade of leaves. We know each other well, or will soon make new friends, and thus this anthology, like the ones before it, arranges the poems by each poet’s first name.

        The haiku and senryu here represent nearly every poet preregistered for the 2003 Haiku North America conference [held June 26 through 29]. We are grateful for these varied voices, and the chance to gather together once again to share and celebrate haiku. May this book’s brocade of voices serve as inspiration for much poetry yet to come.


Michael Dylan Welch

Yu Chang



Haiku by the editors from this anthology:


 spring thaw—

the old scarecrow

a little taller

        Michael Dylan Welch



a marsh reed sways

with a blackbird

        Yu Chang