Tuesday, September 27, 2005

HNA Conference

I'm back from the Haiku North America conference. It was held last week from Wednesday to Saturday night. It was a very full program that combined lecture-style presentations, workshops, and performances, as well as various kinds of opportunities to compose and talk about writing haiku in English. It was all pretty new to me--I don't really think about "haiku" much, so the weekend was full of surprises, but everyone was really nice and incredibly serious about writing so it was very interesting indeed. It made me aware of many things--particularly about translating haikai--that had never occured to me previously, so I was very glad to have had the chance to take part.

The site of the conference was Fort Worden State Park, miles away from everything on an island "on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula"--it felt every bit as remote as that phrase suggests. Sleeping arrangements were a bit more basic than I'd anticipated--I chose the "dorm" style lodging which turned out to be an unregenerated military barracks, and though I'm rather ascetic by nature (or cheap, I should say) anyway, I found it a bit uncomfortable. I don't think all HNA conferences (I believe they are biannual) are quite so austere in this way. I think many of the other attendees were able to enjoy the scenery and the fresh cool air, and so I imagine it was a good choice of venue overall.

I plan to post some pictures here, and type up the paper I gave and post that. I'm not sure what will become of this paper, but I'll try and turn it into something useful.