Midwest Haiku Festival
October 9-10, 1992
  Open prairie;
a church and its graveyard
all alone
by Virgil Hutton
The Midwest Haiku Anthology, p. 53

Professor Lucien Stryk's talk Friday night was also well attended by several people from the community, and from central Illinois. (There were about 50 people present.) His talk on modern Japanese haiku was very well received, and he also conducted a workshop on translation & revision processes on Saturday. His talk was especially relevant to students studying Ezra Pound and the Imagist poets this semester as well as students interested in creative writing and literary editing.

We paid special honor to Lucien Stryk on Saturday in the form of an hour–long presentation, by Dr. Dan Guillory, on Stryk's genesis as a poet.

We had 34 writers, editors, artists and publishers on the Millikin campus Saturday for the festival including guests from the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, and one professor from California (returning to her childhood stomping ground). Haiku writers do come from diverse backgrounds, so our participants included professors of sociology, theatre, English, education, anthropology, environmental science, graphic arts and members of the public.

Five of the writers from Iowa were interviewed about the festival and the new anthology for a public radio program broadcast last Saturday across Iowa and picked up for re-broadcast on National Public Radio.

Millikin students help with all aspects of the festival including the online hypercard stack, the flyers, the coordination of events and book sales in the book room.

Millikin University hosted the Midwest Haiku Festival, October 9–10, 1992.

The festival began with a keynote address on Modern Japanese haiku by Professor Lucien Stryk of Northern Illinois University. An award winning translator of Japanese literature and author of several books on Zen aesthetics and Midwest poetry, Lucien Stryk will be speaking on translating haiku.

The weekend festival gathered several poets and editors from the Midwest who have recently been published in the Midwest Haiku Anthology edited by Randy M. Brooks and Lee Gurga.

The Midwest Haiku Anthology is the first major collection of midwestern American haiku to be published in a library clothbound edition. The anthology [now out of print] included the work of 54 poets who live or have lived in the Midwest. After receiving initial haiku submissions, we asked the authors to reflect on the influence of their midwestern experience on their haiku and aesthetics. The Midwest Haiku Anthology includes many of their subsequent comments on how the midwestern life has shaped their perceptions, values, and approaches to writing haiku.

As Ralph Bellas writes: “I use images characteristic of the Illinois setting: the sweep of the prairie landscape, magnificent sunsets stretching across the horizon, endless rows of corn and soybeans, golden fields after the harvest, gray winter days, sub-zero cold, the wind across the open land, and a lone farm house in a grove of pines.”

In addition to presentations on Midwest haiku, writing workshops, and an editor's round table, the authors included in the anthology participated in a reading of their works from the anthology, which was officially released for distribution at the festival.

A hypercard stack version of the anthology, the Midwest Haiku Anthology Stack was also created, including photographs of many of the poets. Although it was done in low-resolution black and white, we may provide a web version of this online publication soon.

haiku conferences haiku courses at Millikin Modern Haiku magazine
speakers & readings haiku competitions at MU student renga
student haiku projects published haiku by students links to haiku web sites
student research on haiku haiku by Millikin students directory of haiku magazines


2001, Dr. Randy Brooks• Millikin University
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