Yes, there is a National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo). There is already a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November and a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April. Since haiku is one of the shortest poetic forms, naturally, Michael Dylan Welch chose February for NaHaiWriMo. Welch is a prominent figure in the modern haiku world and the creator of the haiku-focused website graceguts. Additionally, he runs the website http://www.nahaiwrimo.com/, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NaHaiWriMo/, and Twitter account https://twitter.com/NaHaiWriMo.
Here are ten simple ways you can celebrate NaHaiWriMo:
1. Write one haiku per day, whether you use prompts or not.
2. Memorize your favorite haiku.
3. Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
4. Read a haiku at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local poetry writing community.
5. Create an anthology of your favorite haiku on the Academy of American Poets website.
6. Buy a book of haiku from your local bookstore.
7. Chalk a haiku on the sidewalk.
8. Research the haiku of Matsuo Bashō, Kobayashi Issa, Masaoka Shiki, Yosa Buson, and R.H. Blyth.
9. Go beyond haiku and research haibun, hokku, renga, senryu, and tanka forms.
10. Finally, pop on over to Tweetspeak and check out their “Boost Your Haiku High-Q” infographic.
Writing one haiku per day during NaHaiWriMo is good practice to get in the habit for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April!
This week, I wanted to write about something that would flow. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to construct a post. Fortunately, I came across Robert Lee Brewer’s post about the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Lately he has been spotlighting the goings on in the poetry world. The two previous posts were the Haiku Society of America and Button Poetry, a group with an extensive collection of poetry performances on YouTube.
I am going to piggy-back off Brewer’s post because I think this is a cause that should be celebrated and shouted far and wide! The mission of the NFSPS is “to recognize the importance of poetry with respect to national cultural heritage. It is dedicated solely to the furtherance of poetry on the national level and serves to unite poets in the bonds of fellowship and understanding.” The Federation publishes a quarterly newsletter and holds an annual convention. Additionally, they publish an anthology entitled Encore with member poems and winning poems from their 50 contests. Cash prizes for their contents total more then $6,000!
One of the great things about the NFSPS is that when you join a state society, your fees include the membership fee for the NFSPS. You are therefore eligible for all of the contests your state society hosts as well as the NFSPS contests. I only see one shortfall between the national and state societies and that is that there are only 31 states with societies and only 29 of those represented with websites linked to the NFSPS website. We need to get the other 19 states on board! By my count, the states without societies are: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
If you live in a state without representation from a poetry society, consider contacting the NFSPS President, Chancellor, Appointive Board, or Executive Board. They will be able to assist you with aligning any groups within your state. The first step may be to try persuading any local groups to partner up under the umbrella of a state society and affiliate with the NFSPS.
The title of this lesson mentioned backgrounds, but the lesson devoted a majority of the space to describing header images. I may eventually change my header, but I like the picture I chose when I set up my blog. I’ve said enough about the image in other places so I won’t drag on here. The picture is of several Lego modular buildings I own and it’s one of my favorite pictures.
If I choose a background image, I am weary of selecting one that is too dark or too light. I think a solid color or a pattern may be the best option. I do not want the image to be too distracting or to confuse the reader’s eye between the header and background. For now I’ll leave it as the default beige which seems to blend pleasantly with the cream walls in the header image.
In other news, today marks one full week since I recommitted myself to writing this blog. I’ve had a headache all afternoon and I am exhausted from staying up to watch the BBC’s Sherlock Series 4, Episode 1. I had to go into work in the wee hours so I did this to myself. Oh well. I didn’t mean to drift too far off-topic, but there it is.
The September/October 2016 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine has a lengthy article on Master of Fine Arts programs available for every budget and every individual schedule! If you are not already subscribing to the magazine, I highly recommend it!