Goto the Haiku Canada Conference 2007 review mainpage on Haikai Home.

Books at
the Haiku Canada Conference 2007 (a review)

Photos, Scans, and Text by William J. Higginson

As we told the border guard when we crossed into Canada, we might sell some books there, but that books were not the main purpose of the conference we were going to, which was really about talking with other people about things of mutual interest. Here are some of the books that Penny and I were personally involved with at the conference.

Crimson Bamboo Display in the Book Room

Crimson Bamboo, a fine collection of photography, printed objects, book arts, paintings, incense, candles, and tea, all available at their online store (, set up a display, mainly of the works of artist Peter Vernon Quenter. Above, DeVar checks out the T-shirts, while Hans looks over the blank books. Most of the art visible here—and the conference logo—is by Peter, who adjusts things at the right. Peter and co-proprietor Jacqueline Sidwell not only staffed their display, but kept an eye on the book room in general, throughout much of the conference. Our deep bow of thanks to them.

Angela Leuck's Latest

Angela's presentation, "Approaching Beauty: Writing about Flowers", owed a good deal to the years she has spent studying flowers and assembling two fine anthologies of flower haiku, one each on roses and tulips. Her most recent book, launched here at this Haiku Canada Weekend, is Flower Heart, pictured above. (With thanks for the gift of this copy, Angela!)


RAW NerVZ Final Issue and Anthology

For a decade, Dorothy Howard's RAW NerVZ has been an essential locus of excellent and often cutting-edge haiku and graphics. Routinely featuring works by established and new poets, RAW NerVZ was the place to go for the multiple answers to the question "What's happening in haiku in English?" Having completed that decade, Dorothy has included a few of the really great poems that appeared there in RAW NerVZ Essentials, a fine presentation of what the title says. Copies of the book and some other issues are available from Dorothy Howard, Proof Press, 67 rue du Court, Gatineau, QC J9H 4M1, Canada. Si vous lisez le français, demandez l'information sur sa nouvelle revue en français. (With thanks to Dorothy for the above copies.)

Welcome Haiku Canada Review!

In a modest redistribution of resources and publications, Haiku Canada recently decided to take its former printed Newsletter into electronic format and distribution, under the direction of Marco Fraticelli, while continuing to issue a printed periodical known as Haiku Canada Review, with LeRoy Gorman as editor. The magazine now contains mainly haiku and related poems and articles. The first issue of the new journal, pictured above, came out in February, and includes "Haiku Canada Sheets" with works by members Alice Frampton and Barry Weiler. (New members of Haiku Canada receive copies of the publications for the year in which they join. See their web site, at

A Surprise Gift

One conferee, Mamata Niyogi-Nakra, came up to me in the main conference room and asked if she could buy a copy of my recent e-book, Butterfly Dreams: The Seasons through Haiku and Photographs, which includes my translations of Japanese haiku paired with Michael Lustbader's excellent nature photographs. No sooner had she purchased it, than she turned around and gave me a copy of her recent book, on adapting classical Indian dance pieces for children. The book presents a very personal narrative, and includes a DVD showing Mamata's choreography of eight pieces from the traditional shishu sadhana repertoire. The dances are beautifully danced by N. Panchapakesan (artistic name "Shrikanth"), to classical Indian music by O. S. Arun and Gathan S. Karthick. The video also beautifully demonstrates the integration of music and dance. As well, a number of dance instructors in the tradition view and comment on the several choreographed pieces. Definitely of interest to anyone interested in classical Indian dance, dance as story-telling, mime, music, and instruction for children. For more information, see the web site at (Technical note: The DVD did not play in my old DVD player in the livingroom, but opened easily and worked flawlessly on my computer, in RealPlayer, PowerDVD, and Windows Media Player.)

Auction Treasure!

One of three bidders on this book, I felt badly for the others, who may well have wonderful use for a book on plants that do well in Ontario. However, I am always on the lookout for excellent nature guides, garden guides, and other books that will help me to understand the seasonality of the things haiku poets are likely to write about. And, since so many wonderful haiku poets live in or near Ontario, this seemed like an answer to my prayers. I imagine we'll be seeing some haiku inspired by these plants in our coming saijiki work on Haikai Home.

Another Surprise Gift!

As I was gathering bags and boxes to load my car, Guy Simser appeared and offered me The Big Book of Sumo, pictured above. According to Guy—who would know, having been involved in tourism in Japan for many years—this is the single best book for a beginner to get a handle on this ancient Japanese style of wrestling, now become a worldwide sport. Thanks, Guy! I'm sure I'll enjoy it, and deepen my knowledge of things Japanese in the process.

The From Here Press Display

I started From Here Press in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1975. Who knew then that I'd soon be publishing books by both then-unknown and famous poets, such as Alan Pizzarelli (that's his first book, Zenryu, with the Buddha in the iris of the eye, at left), Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Allen Ginsberg, Ruth Stone, and several Japanese poets, not to mention books by Penny and myself. Today, From Here Press serves mainly as a distributor of our backlist and our own books, many from publishers as diverse as Simon & Schuster, Kodansha International, and La Alameda Press. If interested, you can find Penny's more recent books, with sample poems, on her web site at, and our order form online at

These are only a few of the many books we and others were involved in at Haiku Canada Weekend 2007. I did not get a chance to photograph them, but there were fulsome displays by Dorothy Howard's Proof Press and Marco Fraticelli's King's Road Press (he of the wonderful freebie watching the butterfly mentioned elsewhere), and a fine display of Rick Black's beginnings with his Turtle Light Press, as well as works by many others.

And, if you haven't already done so, take a look at the other web pages on the program, freebies, karuta (the game of matching parts of well-known haiku and tanka), renku (collaborative linked-poetry), and social-plus (a few of the many social interactions at the conference, and a few other unclassifiable items).

Contact William J. Higginson at wordfield[at]att[dot]net.