Haiku is a poetry form that has been described as “a medium designed to lead us to wisdom and calm." Often regarded as very simplistic, and sometimes taught in grade school, haiku is capable of capturing ‘the essence of a moment keenly observed in which nature is linked to human nature.’ When written in or translated to English, haiku usually has three unrhymed lines with no more than 17 syllables. In this study group, we will learn about the origins of Japanese haiku and explore some variations in structure and form through reading and discussion. We will begin the journey with the old Masters from Japan (Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki), and move on to the experimentation with haiku among Western Imagists. We will include in our journey a discussion of haiku by writers as unexpected as Ezra Pound, Jack Kerouac, Richard Wright, and Sonia Sanchez. We will also have opportunities to try our hand at writing haiku individually and collaboratively. We will use as a text, The Haiku Handbook
, 25th Anniversary edition, William J. Higginson & Penny Harter, eds (2013). Join us as we visit the unique art form of haiku.