HCSHR 4:20 —Seabeck Haiku Getaway: three anthologies (2017, 2018, and 2019)

HCSHR 4:20Seabeck Reunion [2017]; Tenth Anniversary Anthology. Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Bellevue, Washington: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020. 978-1-953092-00-7. 132 pages.
Sound of a Leaf; 2018 Seabeck Haiku Getaway Anthology. Carole MacRury and Vicki McCullough, editors. Bellevue, Washington: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020. 978-1-953092-01-4, 74 pages.
Joining the Conversation; 2019 Seabeck Haiku Getaway Anthology. C.R. Manley, editor. Bellevue, Washington: Haiku Northwest Press, 2020. 978-1-953092-02-1. 99 pages.
For information:

Review by Maxianne Berger

Some anthologies that come out of conferences are prepared in advance by inviting haiku submissions from those who register in advance, and are part of the package given to attendees upon arrival. The Seabeck Haiku Getaway does it differently: the anthologies are edited after the conference. This surely increases costs because of postage, however, it does afford an interesting approach to the contents, and as a result, an actual glimpse and feeling for the gatherings themselves.

Each of these three anthologies from previous years includes several sections. Obviously, there are sections of haiku and senryu, and these are often inspired by the location of the conference, and the time of year (October). The three books were all published in 2020, but I here identify illustrative quotations by the year of the conference2017, 2018 and 2019not to show differences, but rather, continuity.

from top to bottom . . .
autumn maple
                                               Susan Constable (2017)

 the overall theme of any particular year, and by the presentations and workshops. For example, in 2019, Adam L. Kern discussed “Dirty Sexy Haiku.”

flipping the “r”: bareku, bodyku, bawdyku
                                               Connie Hutchison (2019)

Of course there is a gingko

cold ginko walk
through watery eyes
the seascape
                                               Crystal Simone Smith (2019)

There is even a talent show.

talent show rehearsal
the bat flits
to the stage

                                               kjmunro (2019)

Many poets attend year after year. The tenth reunion was in 2017.

Seabeck reunion
crows gather
on the horseshoe pitch
                                               Jacquie Pearce (2017)

That year, there was a kitemaking workshop.

my indoor kite
twirling through a sky
with no wind
                                               elehna de sousa (2017)

In 2018, guided by Margaret D. McGee, a labyrinth was laid out on the ground—their third (the previous two were in 2013 and 2014)— adorned with “leaves, shells, twigs, and branches” (McGee, 2018).

nothing sacred—
crows devour
the edible labyrinth
                                               Janet Whitney (2018)

The anthologies include accounts of presentations and workshops, albeit with varying degrees of detail. And because the anthology is published after the conference, the winners of the kukai can be featured, too. The reality of the location can inform poems with humour. The 2017 fourth place was shared by Terry Ann Carter.

Seabeck washroom—
admiring her shoes
beneath the stall

Johnny Baranski, who’d tied for third that same year, died in January 2018. The Tenth Anniversary Anthology is dedicated to his memory.

sturgeon moon
bigger and bigger
the one that got away
                                               Johnny Baranski

The following year, 2018, kukai’s blind voting awarded first place to Amy Baranski, daughter of Johnny.

broken seashells
picking up the pieces
my sister and I

Somehow there is something in that haiku about pieces falling into place.

This annual gathering was founded by Michael Dylan Welch. He gives an interesting history of how it started in the Reunion anthology. The description of the site is as good an invitation as any.

beautiful heritage and purpose-built buildings scatted [sic] around a large and lovely campus with views of the lagoon, the sound, and the mountains beyond. Trails led up into the woods, and deer would regularly meander across lush meadow grass seeking fallen apples in the orchard.

The 2020 Getaway was held virtually, and the commemorative anthology, think of it as an “acts of,” as it were, will be published shortly. As to the upcoming 2021 Seabeck Haiku Getaway, the conference will be back at Seabeck itself, live. Any one of these anthologies, though, can get you there in spirit.

Maxianne Berger
July 2021


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