Alan Summers, UK
Alan Summers, England, U.K. is a double Japan Times award-winning writer and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. In 2015 he was filmed by NHK TV of Japan for Europe meets Japan - Alan's Haiku Journey.
See Alan’s December 2016 interview with Sonic Boom magazine talking about “the stiletto of poetry” and the white paintings of haiku: http://media.wix.com
From 1998 to 2000, he was General Secretary of the British Haiku Society, and from 2000-2005 he was on the panel of editors for The Red Moon Anthologies of English-Language Haiku. He has been an editor for a number of groundbreaking online haikai literature magazines: This includes as a founding editor for Haijinx (humor in haiku), and a founding editor, and now editor emeritus, of Bones Journal. He was Linked Verses Editor for Notes from the Gean, and has been the Special Feature Editor for the award-winning Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts.
His time as a TEDx speaker for Amazement of the ordinary- life through a haiku lens can be watched here:
"Widely known haiku poet...as dry as vintage champagne" Yomiuri Shimbun (14 million readers in Japan) 16th September 2002 (planned for publication on my birthday)
His latest book Writing Poetry: The Haiku Way is due out in 2017.
Alan’s blog: http://area17.blogspot.com
Neal Whitman, USA
Neal Whitman, E.D., is Professor Emeritus, University of Utah School of Medicine where he helped supplement the Science of Medicine with The Arts: literary, performing, and visual. In transition into retirement, Neal took up of the writing of his own poetry in 2005 and added haiku in 2008 and tanka in 2011. Currently he is the haiku feature editor for Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, a journal that publishes the poetry and prose of health care through the personal experiences of those who live it – patients, health professionals, students and caregivers.
A Charter Member of the UHTS, Neal has won its Pen the Painting contest and first honorable mention for his Fleeting Words tanka. He joined the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society in 2009 where he has won four honorable mentions in its annual international Kiyoshi and Kitoko Tokutomi Haiku Contest. In 2009, he also joined the Haiku Society of America where he has won honorable mention and first prize in the Brady Memorial senryu contest, honorable mention in the Henderson Memorial haiku contest, and first honorable mention in its Haibun Contest.
Neal lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife Elaine where a blue granite stone tablet greets visitors on the garden path to their front door, incised in Latin with the words of Henry David Thoreau:
ex orient lux
Indeed, both Neal and Elaine were born on the East Coast and have found fruition on the West Coast. Daily walks along the Monterey Bay inspire their poetry and photography. Neal has been a tour docent at poet Robinson Jeffers Tor House in Carmel where he has conducted haiku workshops and now is a hospice bereavement volunteer where he has conducted poetry and prose workshops for fellow volunteers.
Iliyana Stoyanova, UK
Iliyana Stoyanova lives in England. She has a PhD in Theology. Currently she is the Living Legacies Editor at the Living Haiku Anthology, Communications Officer and BHS Awards Administrator at the British Haiku Society, member of UHTS (United Haiku and Tanka Society), Haiku Club-Plovdiv and Bulgarian Haiku Union.
Her first book “Ostrovityansko Haiku” (Shimajin Haiku) was published in Bulgaria in 2010. Her haiku and other poems have been published in several journals and anthologies, and won international awards, and at the moment she is finishing her first novel.
Iliyana enjoys photography, watercolour painting, travelling, and reading.
Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan
Born, raised and living in Bhutan, Sonam Chhoki finds that the Japanese short forms resonate with her Tibetan Buddhist upbringing. She is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan's non-monastic modern education. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, UK and US and included in the Cultural Olympics 2012 Poetry Parnassus, BBC Radio Scotland Written Word program, Kikakuza 2011 and Genjuan 2014 International Competition Winning Haibun, Red Moon Anthology (2011-2013) and Journeys, an international haibun anthology edited by Dr Angelee Deodhar.
Mike Montreuil, Canada
Mike Montreuil is enjoying his retirement from a Government of Canada Research establishment. Mike began writing haiku in about 2003. His English language poems (haiku, senryu, tanka, and haibun) have been published widely in journals and books. His French language poems have appeared in Gong, Ploc!, Haiku Canada Review and anthologies.
From 2012 to 2016, he was the haibun editor of A Hundred Gourds. Also, during that time he served as the Vice-president of Haiku Canada. Mike will start his fourth and last year as the First Vice-president of the Haiku Society of America (HSA).
With Maxianne Berger, he co-edits the French on-line tanka journal Cirrus: tankas de nos jours.
His last two published books of haiku and senryu are Dangling Modifiers (2016, Alba Publishing) and Cette Ville (2016, Éditions des petits nuages). In 2015, Deep North Press published his bilingual edition of the selected haiku of Jocelyne Villeneuve, Le poème inachevé /The Unfinished Poem.
David Terelinck, Australia
David Terelinck recently made a lifestyle relocation from Sydney to Queensland's Gold Coast. He believes in quality over quantity (in all aspects of life), that we should spend more time reading than working, that there is magic to be found in this world, and that laughter can cure almost anything.
David is indebted to his many writing mentors over the years and credits them with assisting him on his poetic path. He is well-known and respected as a tanka poet whose work has appeared regularly in journals, books, and anthologies in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, England and the United States. David has published two collections of his own tanka (Casting Shadows in 2011, and Slow Growing Ivy in 2014) and a collaborative collection with Beverley George (A Shared Umbrella, 2016). He has also assisted in editorial roles with various anthologies and has been on the tanka selection panel for GUSTS: Contemporary Tanka for some time.He has several projects in the pipeline at this time and lives by his motto 'scribo ergo respiro'.
Gautam Nadkarni, India
Born in 1955, Gautam Nadkarni has spent almost his entire life in Mumbai [formerly Bombay], India. Although he has graduated in Chemistry from Bombay University, it was always writing, and specifically poetry, that has been his first love. He dabbled in free verse for years, till inspired by Matsuo Basho's famous travelogue, The Long Narrow Road..., and thirsting for more knowledge on haiku, he stumbled upon haiku journals on the internet, more by accident than design.
His first ever haiku submission was in 2006, and in the 10 years that have since passed, he has won in international kukai several times and has more than 200 published haiku, senryu and tanka to his credit. His haiku made it to the Editor's Choice in two consecutive issues of World Haiku Review in the year 2014. There are few journals left where he has not had his poems published till date. In the early years of attempting haiku, he recalls John Stevenson's guidance and encouragement with fondness and gratitude. Stevenson was then the editor of Frogpond. He also doffs his hat to Alan Pizzarelli whom he acknowledges as his Senryu Guru.
He has a particularly soft corner for Senryu; and his hobbies include cartooning.
Geethanjali Rajan, India
Geethanjali Rajan teaches Japanese and English in Chennai, India. Her journey into haiku started over a decade ago. Her English language haiku and senryu have appeared in many places - World Haiku Review, Chrysanthemum, Notes from the Gean, A Hundred Gourds, Under the Basho, Mainichi shimbun, Asahi haikuist network, Creatrix, Prune Juice, Akitsu and some others. Her haiku are part of Naad Anunaad (2016) - An anthology of contemporary world haiku and her haibun has been included in the Genjuan anthology(2014). She is the recipient of a few awards - Redleaf Poetry India Award 2013 for haiku, an Honourable mention in the Genjuan International haibun Competition 2014 and 2016, the second place (haiku) at the Tata Lit Live, 2014 and a second place in The Sonic Boom International Senryu Competition 2015. She enjoys collaborative writing and also conducts creative writing and haiku workshops.
Her interests include music, reading and Japanology. She is obsessed with inclusive education and ‘values based learning’. She is the co-author of a book, Practical English for Nurses (Oxford Univ Press, 2015) and helps write and edit some research publications.
Kala Ramesh, India
Youth Corner Editor
Kala Ramesh is a well known haiku poet who also writes in related genres like, tanka (five line poem), haibun (tight prose embedded with haiku), senryu, and renku (collaborative poetry). Haiku is a four hundred year old art form of Japan but kept fresh and live both in Japan, and now in India, the West and other countries.
Kala has more than 1000 poems published in reputed journals and anthologies, both online and print editions in Japan, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America and India.
In the last 3 years Kala has taken more than 50 workshops in the art of haiku writing and has more than 165 hours of teaching haiku and allied genres at Pune’s Symbiosis International University, for undergraduate students.
Books and Anthologies:
Haiku and My Haiku Moments: An Activity Book by Kala Ramesh, published by Katha,
New Delhi, 2010 December.
Readers' Choice Poem of the Year Award and First runner-up, The Heron's Nest
Readers' Choice Poet of the Year Award - The Heron's Nest - Volume VIII, 2006
Editorial and Leadership Roles:
On the Board of Editors of Modern English Tanka Press’s new anthology, Take Five: The Best Contemporary Tanka 2008/2009/2010. This anthology reviews all tanka (five line Japanese poetry related to haiku literature) published in English, during each given year and makes selections to showcase the breadth and quality of English-language tanka poetry throughout the world, including India.
Kala was Katha’s in-house editor for 'Shah Abdul Latif': Seeking the Beloved' translated by Anju Makhija and Hari Dilgir, published by Katha, New Delhi. It won the Sahitya Akademi's Translation Prize in the English category, 2012.
Another first was the publication of KATHA Book of haiku, senryu, tanka and haibun in September 2013 with Kala Ramesh being the chief editor. It contains the work of 35 Indian poets! It was published on 21st September, 2013 at Oxford Bookstore, Mumbai.
Modern Haiku Editor, Under the Basho, 2013 Editor of Haiku and short verses —Muse India, from 2008 Deputy Editor-in-chief —World Haiku Review, from March 2008 Festival Director: 9th World Haiku Festival, (WHC) Bangalore, February 2008 Kala has guided children and adults in the art of haiku writing. She has organized haiku festivals every two years from 2006: three in Pune and one in Bangalore.
Founding member of “IN haiku” group. IN haiku was formed on 23rd February at the Haiku Utsav 2013 —mainly to get Indian haiku poets under one umbrella for promoting, enjoying and sinking deeper into the beauty and intricacies of this art form. From September 2014, Kala will be the Chief Editor of the *Youth Corner* at Cattails, a online journal of United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA.
Kala first learnt Carnatic music on veena from the noted vidvan Chitti Babu and later switched over to Hindusthani classical on veena, and passed the All India radio audition, securing the coveted B-high grade at 22 years of age. After her marriage she had the good fortune of learning Hindustani classical vocal music under Mrs. Shubadha Chirmulay, Pune, for over fifteen years, focusing exclusively on Pandit Kumar Gandharva’s gayaki, known for the vigour and the effective throw of the voice from the nabhi [stomach]. Kala has performed in various music sabhas in major cities in India.
She is also familiar with Indian art forms like dance, drama and poetry and strongly believes each genre feeds into the other, enriching the root source of one's creativity.
Kala says: "What is exciting is that haiku and its allied genres are being taught as an elective in the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts [SSLA], for the undergraduates in Pune. In January 2013 I was approached by SSLA to participate in their “floating Credits Program”— a 60-hour module for management students at Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies. I was given complete freedom to design my course, and since I write haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun, tanka prose and renku, I could easily incorporate these genres into the syllabus. The present 60 hours at SSLA, which is my third stint, came to an end on 15th April, 2014. I have had 165 hours with the students so far, with the enjoyment being mutual!"
Marianna Monaco, USA
Contest CoordinatorContest Coordinator Marianna Monaco was born in the city of Brooklyn, raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, schooled in the great plains of Kansas, and has lived and written in the fog belt of San Francisco, and now, in the lush green Willamette Valley.
She discovered haiku in 1990, in the Green Apple Book Store in San Francisco, where she found Cor van den Heuvel’s 1974 edition of The Haiku Anthology.
Marianna read contemporary American haiku poets long before she was introduced to Basho and the Japanese masters and 5-7-5. She's been reading and writing these small poems for over 2 decades.
Bette Wappner (b'oki), USA
Haiku/Senryu Contest Judge
Bette Norcross Wappner - With a career as graphic designer and advertising art director, Bette began writing haiku in 2002. She enjoys incorporating her haiku into moku hanga water-based woodblock prints, creating simple, English language contemporary prints called 'surimono'.
Bette's desire is to further her haiku and woodblock fine art concentration on surimono which is a Japanese term for 'a printed thing' that included short poetry written in old Japanese characters used in the ukiyo-e era. They were deluxe, fine-art woodblock prints with luxurious features of gold and silver metallic pigments and embossing. These prints were sold privately, given as gifts or announcements, or exchanged within poetry groups.
In addition to haiku, Bette also enjoys writing tanka and collaborative linked verse renku poetry. She was Traditional Haiga Editor for Simply Haiku online, and has been published in numerous print and online journals. Bette is married, has two children, and lives in Kentucky, USA.
Cindy Lommasson, USA
Portland, Oregon artist Cindy Lommasson holds a BA in Art from Portland State University, where she concentrated on ceramic art. Asian painting became her passion after studying extensively with artist-instructors Christine Lee, Terry Louie (Lei Danxin and Karen Fullerton between 2003-2007.
She began teaching Chinese brush painting in 2005 and now teaches in libraries, community centers, and private studios, and as an artist-in-residence at local schools. She has exhibited her work throughout the Portland area and her work has been juried into many group shows.Her newly revised website was made possible through the award of a Professional Development Grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council.
In the tradition of Chinese brush painting (sumi-e), I strive for compositional simplicity and a sparseness of form. I want to leave something for the imagination of the viewer, so I don’t paint every detail. Working spontaneously, I try to respond more to my own mood while I am painting, than a preconceived idea.
It’s important for me to get into a calm frame of mind before painting, and I hope that viewers of my work will also feel tranquil. My current series of “dream journey” paintings follows a tradition that dates back to fourth century China, where reclusive artists painted imaginary landscapes, during politically unstable times, when it was not safe to appear in public. My interpretation of this artistic genre blends traditional with contemporary style.
Paresh Tiwari, India
Resident CartoonistParesh Tiwari is an electrical engineer by profession, a creative writer and illustrator by choice, He grew up in the labyrinthine lanes of Lucknow, an atmosphere steeped in art, history and culture. He has from time to time, indulged in painting, sculpture, comic strips, poetry, and fiction. He took to Japanese Literary short forms in the winter of 2012.
His haiku, haibun, tanka, and haiga have been published in various international print/ e-journals and anthologies.
Paresh has won the Shiki and Indian Kukai, both peer reviewed haiku competition, multiple times and his haiku have been recognised in various Contests and Reviews, the most notable being a third prize in the Summer World haiku Review 2014 and an honourable mention at the Mumbai Tata Literature Live, Autumn Rain Contest 2014. His haibun won the Wordweavers 2014 Flash Fiction contest.
He has conducted workshops for spreading awareness about haiku and haibun at Hyderabad International Literature Festival –2014 and for the students of Literature at SIES College Mumbai.
Mike Rehling (7/2013 - 9/2014)
Ed Baker (1998 - 4/2016)