This issue marked a significant change for Woodnotes, with my taking it over as an independent journal after this issue, making this the last issue to be published by the Haiku Poets of Northern California. Though dated as “Winter 1995,” it was not published until early February of 1996, a delay caused by this change. “A Note from the Editor” explained: “At a special meeting to discuss [the relationship between Woodnotes and HPNC] on Sunday, January 14, 1996, a majority of the members present voted to make Woodnotes an independent publication under my direction. . . . The next issue (#28) will see Woodnotes as an independent publication. This change enables HPNC to define itself more locally, and also releases Woodnotes to evolve into more of the national publication it seemed destined to become.” As a result of this transition, issue #27 was Kenneth Tanemura’s last as associate editor (he served for four issues), with Gail Sher replacing him as a new associate editor. Pat Shelley also joined as tanka editor, and Cherie Hunter Day become art editor. Their work would appear in issue #28, but they were announced in issue #27. This issue (#27) also included the last of HPNC contest results, although some HPNC news items would continue to be shared in subsequent issues. As for this issue, it featured results and commentary from the 1995 San Francisco International Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka Contest, the largest ever assemblage of tanka (including the tanka contest winners), two haibun, and an innovative solo rengay by Cherie Hunter Day (rengay had never been done solo before). A new feature that started with this issue, too, was called “Beginner’s Mind.” The previous issue had invited members to “Send the editors your story, written in a paragraph or two, about how you first became acquainted with haiku and why you were attracted to this brief poetry,” and asked people to include their first published haiku. All of this was intended to help us “get to know each other better.” Five poets responded with their origin stories. Also, the cover of this issue was one of my favourites of all issues of Woodnotes, in part because it was the only one that used two ink colours instead of just one.
Editor: Michael Dylan Welch
Associate Editor: Kenneth Tanemura
Typesetting and layout: Michael Dylan Welch
Cover and interior art: Helen K. Davie