Global Haiku Festival
Haiku Society of America

Millikin University
Dr. Randy Brooks

Photo Show | Haiku Contest | Library Reception | Tanka Society Formation | Global Haiku Speeches
Global Haiku Reading | Haiku Bookroom | HSA Meeting | Ginko Contest | Panel on Global Haiku

Global Haiku Festival Speeches

April 14-15, 2000
Millikin University

Saturday was a very full day of academic presentations on the history of haiku from various parts of the world.

The first presentation, "Haiku in Germany: The Difficult Path of an Exotic Form of Poetry into a Foreign Literature," was by Horst Ludwig, Associate Professor of German at Gustavus Aldolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Yoshiko Yoshino, leader of the Hoshi haiku group in Matsuyama, could not attend the festival, but she sent a message, "Haiku Mind" which was presented by Emiko Miyashita. Mrs. Yoshino also provided a generous gift to help support Global Haiku Festival and future Global Haiku studies at Millikin University.

In his presentation, "Nature, Africa, and Richard Wright's Haiku" Yoshinobu Hakutani, Professor of English at Kent State University, discussed Richard Wright's unique perspectives and motives for writing English-language haiku.

The next presentation on the "Origins and Development of French Language Haiku in the Beginning of the 20th Century" was by Bertrand Agostini, Associate Professor of English at Ecole Superieure d'Agriculture and Universite Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France.

Lee Gurga, Associate Editor of Modern Haiku spoke "Toward an Aesthetic for English-language Haiku" which emphasized the importance of the seasonal element in haiku and introduced the concept of "zappai" as a label for psuedo-haiku verses written in 5-7-5 but lacking essential elements of the haiku experience.

After lunch, avant-garde haiku poet Ban'ya Natsuishi, Professor of Law at Meiji University in Tokyo, spoke about the variety of contemporary Japanese haiku moving to more international or global perspectives.

In his presentation, "A New Trend Towards the World Haiku in Contemporary Japanese Haiku" Ban'ya argued that assumptions about shared allusions and literary traditions are changing the future prospects of haiku.

George Swede, Professor of psychology at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, spoke about "The Haiku in Canada: Its History and Current Status"

This speech was followed by a presentation on Japanese perspectives of English-language haiku by Ikuyo Yoshimura, Professor of English at Asahi University in Gifu. She discussed three kinds of Japanese reactions to haiku written in English in her talk titled, "The Reception of English-language Haiku in Japan."

The marathon schedule of presentations continued with a very comprehensive talk by David Cobb, President of the British Haiku Society on "National Haiku and Global Haiku: A British Perspective." David Cobb presented an overview of the British haiku scene and addressed the dilemma all haiku communities are aware of--how to reconcile the peculiarities of haiku as developed within a particular nation-cultural context with the demands of a poetic genre that bids to be comprehensible and cohesive on a worldwide scale.

Following this report from the British haiku scene, Jim Kacian, editor of Frogpond, shared his recent work on "Balkan Haiku: A Chronological Survey" which was a very encouraging report of a long-standing Western tradition of haiku activity with strong contemporary readership.

At the served banquet Saturday evening, Peter Mortimer, publisher of Iron Press, shared his perspectives on publishing haiku books in the United Kingdom. He is the publisher of Global Haiku: 25 Poets World-wide which was celebrated with a reading that evening sharing the work from seven of the 25 poets in the anthology.

Following the banquet, the keynote speaker William J. Higginson spoke on "Global Haiku: Context, Evolution, and Witness." In this address he reviewed the history and growth of an international haiku community, with a look to current trends on the web. More on keynote.

Also Saturday evening we had an open-microphone haiku reading with several Millikin students and members of the public attending, followed by our late-night presentation on by Professor Bertrand Agostini entitled, "In the Heart of Zen, in the Heart of the World: Jack Kerouac and Haiku."

Early Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. a dedicated group of about 25 gathered at Pilling Chapel on Millikin's campus for two presentations on Pure Land Buddhism and Issa's haiku by John Martone, Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The second talk Sunday morning was by David Lanoue, Professor of English at Xavier University of Louisiana. One sleepy-eyed Millikin student had pulled an all-nighter at a local prom dance, but he didn't want to miss the presentations on his favorite Japanese haiku poet, Issa.

Speaker Biographies | Speaker's Haiku | Millikin Students | Global Haiku Participants | Festival Photos

Questions or comments? Contact Dr. Randy Brooks
Last modified August 20, 2000