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 Participant Responses

April 14-16, 2000
Decatur, Illinois

Some thank you notes and responses from participants:

Dear Randy,

Thank you for the remarkable experience of The Global Haiku Festival at Millikin University. I believe the weekend of April 14-16, 2000, will send wide ripples in both space and time as a gathering of high significance and nurturing stimulation for the worldwide future of poetry. May that poetry, especially our haiku in its unassuming simplicity and depth, enrich individual lives. If that happens, I believe it can simultaneously heighten the quality of our shared humanity, and foster understanding among diverse people.

Your careful planning teaches by example that haiku is a local and regional movement in poetry and a global one at the same time. The weekend confirms my appreciation of English-language haiku as a warm, accessible, often fine, and sometimes splendid part of our American poetry. Our Japanese guests remind me that we have much more to learn from their poetic heritage and contemporary experiments. At the same time knowledgeable reports on the haiku of Canada, Germany, France, the UK, and especially the Balkans show that we can look to other countries, too, as we expand our enjoyment of haiku and welcome every opportunity to become better poets.

Millikin's campus is lovely. The people there and elsewhere in Decatur who so smoothly and quietly helped you accomplish an amazing feat are a credit to the city, University, and region. Please convey my appreciation to them -- including those wonderful young musicians and their professor.

For many years now, you and Shirley have made valuable contributions to haiku and the humanities. The Global Haiku Festival stands well among them, along with your School's Out, making 1999 and 2000 banner years. But, as Bill Pauly encouraged in his note in my copy of Global Haiku, "Excelsior."

                                                                                    Peggy Lyles

Dear Randy,

My wife and I would like to express our gratitude to you for inviting me to the Global Haiku Festival. We thoroughly enjoyed the conference and learned a great deal about the art of haiku, which has inspired non-Japanese writers. We also want to thank you for the latest collection of your haiku. I've attended a number of conferences here and abroad, but I've
never enjoyed them as much as I did yours.

                                                                                    Cordially yours, Yoshi
                                                                                    Yoshinobu Hakutani

Dear Randy,

I wish to reiterate what must now been a flood of praises and congratulations regarding the wonderful conference you and Lee Gurga organized for us, and, without exaggeration, for the whole haiku community in the world. In this sense, GHF can be said to be an epoch-making event. I will make sure that we can follow it up and continue the good precedence it
created with World Haiku Festival 2000 in August and the creation of the World Haiku Association in September. Together, it is really a (small) history in the making. What a year!

                                                         With very best wishes,
                                                         Thanking again for all you did for me and for haiku,

                                                         Susumu Takiguchi

Sarah Alexander
MU Student

Dr. Ludwig's readings of several haiku in German was highly enjoyable. His explanation of how the German language requires more syllables than English or Japanese to convey a given amount of information made Rilke's apparent tendency to write verbosely more understandable.

Ms. Miyashita's address was a refreshing break from the other speakers. Through haiku, we may understand the way in which all things are united by an ancient "DNA parent."
Professor Agostini's presentation . . . I have had the pleasure of encountering the poems of Renard, Eluard, and de Voisin before; however, I have never heard their work read with such a beautiful accent.

Dr. Lee Gurga's presentation brought up an interesting "haiku quandary." How can the poet avoid sounding neither trite nor artificial while not falling into the trap of "excessive individualism," which impeded the creation of "true" haiku? I suppose that one must read Dr. Gurga's haiku to learn the solution to this dilemma.

Molly McLinden
MU Student

Although the speakers had completely different backgrounds and experiences, I believe all were trying to tell us that haiku's purpose is to communicate a familiar idea to an audience. . . . discussed how different factors go into making a certain haiku special -- it could be the subject of the haiku itself or even a particular word that really grabbed the reader's attention.
All in all, I found the Global Haiku Festival both useful and entertaining, and to hear haiku from real authors and not just students with limited experience.

Kyle Curry
MU Student

I was very impressed by the great turn-out of the Global Haiku Festival. I enjoyed hearing the children speak and the different haiku leaders from around the world talk.

April Romberger
MU Student

Attending the Global Haiku Festival was a wonderful opportunity for all of us, it afforded us a unique opportunity to both observe and partake in a living, global, writing community.
The talks were enlightening, to be exposed to the differing views of countries around the world on haiku, on one another's versions of haiku, and the general attitude towards global unity. The general atmosphere of community and creative energy added to my experience.
I was particularly awed by the unexpected opportunity to hear not only mature, but also children's attempts at haiku from around the world. The haiku of the Japanese children was exceptionally beautiful and complex.

Jennifer Richmiller
MU Student

The aroma in the air of all the highly intellectual poets from all over the world filled the room. There were a variety of people here, not just culturally, but on what they believe haiku to be.
Sunday morning on the Ginko walk, everyone soaked everything in like sponges. They noticed everything, even the tiniest detail in a sudden moment. I feel like I took a lot away from the festival.

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

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