Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held
from 2-4 pm on the second Sunday of the month
in the Community Room, Barnes & Noble, Pittsford

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tom Painting, international renowned haiku poet and a teacher
at the School of the Arts will present the program.

*  Chapbooks -- How to make one of your own.

*  Veterans Day poetry -- Tom has some excellent examples.  Please bring a memory, memento, or anecdote of your own about veterans or Veterans Day.  We'll look for inspiration and haiku that may be lurking, and do some composing and critiquing.  (He's even promised prizes!)

Upcoming 2007 meetings

  • November 11, Barnes & Noble

  • December 9, location to be announced




The Rochester Area Haiku Group (RAHG) was re-established in October 2004 to provide an opportunity for haiku enthusiasts of all skill levels to share their passion, improve their writing, and participate in public readings.

RAHG meets on the second Sunday of every month, excluding December, at 2 pm in the Community Room at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Pittsford, NY. During the first hour, a presentation on some aspect of the history and/or writing of haiku (which is broadly defined by us to include senyru and tanka) is usually presented; the second hour is devoted to a workshop that includes reading our own writing and receiving feedback. 12 to 15 members usually attend our meetings.

During our inaugural year, program highlights were: "Definitions of Haiku," a discussion  led by group director, Jerome Cushman. "Where It Started," a discussion of the magazine American Haiku (1963-1968). Jack Kerouacıs poems, an audio tape shared and discussed by Michael Ketchek. Tom Painting's students from School of the Arts shared their poetry and led a writing workshop using a seasonal theme. Pamela A. Babusci demonstrated haiga and, during the workshop that followed, members created their own haiga. The First public reading by members during National Poetry Month (April) 2005 attracted 50 people. We also had a kukai, as they do it in Japan, led by Jerome Cushman after his trip to Japan. We also held several Gingko, including the tour of a local Japanese garden.

A unique program was presented by students from the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) of Rochester Institute of Technology. Five deaf poets shared their award-winning haiku in American Sign Language (ASL) with voice interpretation. A discussion followed, with the assistance of an interpreter, about their creative process. Some deaf students originate their poems in written language (as hearing poets do) and then translate them into ASL. Others originate poems in ASL (a kinesthetic process) and then put the words to paper. The NTID students also presented homage to the deaf Japanese poet, Murakami Kijo, in preparation for their upcoming presentation of this work in Japan.

To celebrate our first anniversary, and because we were invited to the RochesterInk Festival of Words at we gave a pubic reading at Writers & Books (Rochesterıs only literary center) of haiku by our members. Thanks to member Frank Judge, who is also president of  Rochester Poets, and his wife, graphic artist Mary Whitney, poems by RAHG members Michael Ketchek, Tom Painting, Jerome Cushman Pamela A. Babusci, Frank Judge, Deanna Tiefenthal, Dennis Burns, Gary Lisman, Wendy Smith, and Carolyn Coit Dancy were collected in our first publication, a limited-edition chapbook created for the occasion, RAHG: Rochester Area Haiku Group.

Recent programs have included "Haiku in a Nutshell" by Carolyn Coit Dancy (an overview of the contributions of Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki) and "Contemporary Japanese Poetry: Jiyuu-ritsu and Muki" by Jerome Cushman.

Plans for this year include working with the Rochester Ikebana Chapter combining haiku with their October Ikebana show. We are also planning to publish our own annual anthology and to host the HSA quarterly meeting in September of 2007.

Carolyn Coit Dancy and Deanna Tiefenthal



Directions to Barnes & Noble Pittsford: I-390 east or west to the Monroe Avenue exit (Route 96). Turn east (towards Pittsford) at the end of the exit ramp. Pittsford Plaza is about 2 miles down the road on the right.

Online map to Barnes & Noble Pittsford.

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