A celebration and competition, 2 pm April 26th, at SPACE Theatre.
Corner of West Perkins at Dora
An annual tradition, the Festival is a celebration and competition devoted to the haiku form of poetry. Skakuhachi flute player Ron Nadeau will open the event, performing while clothed in traditional Japanese wear. Next, winning authors of all ages will read their poems before an appreciative audience. A reception with refreshments will take place at 3 pm.
This year, entries to the ukiaHaiku Festival totaled close to 2000, and were spread out over 10 categories for children, youth, and adults. The Jane Reichhold International Prize, named after the internationally recognized haiku expert living in Mendocino County, drew entrants from 18 states and 31 countries. The other 9 categories were reserved for residents of Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, and Sonoma counties, and had entries from more than 26 schools.
Haiku poets have perfected the art of expressing emotions, relations, and fleeting impressions in only a few words. When written well, those few words can bring us to a deep appreciation of the moment and all the factors that have allowed it to exist, as in this poem, one of the 2014 winners in the Youth 7th-9th Grade category, by Anderson Valley resident Juan Reynoso:
in the cold river
Ukiah Valley residents were inspired to hold a festival celebrating haiku because Ukiah and haiku are palindromes, the same word spelled forward or backward. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the area’s natural beauty, a common theme in haiku. Anyone who has stopped to notice some wonder of the natural world or wants to share a reflective moment can write a haiku.
More haiku from previous festivals can be accessed on the festival website, ukiaHaiku.org. The website also has information on crafting haiku, including links to a video presentation by Jane Reichhold. 2015 ukiaHaiku booklets, containing all the winning haiku from this year’s Festival, will be sold at the event. All sales help support the ukiaHaiku Festival.
The major sponsor of this year’s ukiaHaiku Festival is Haiku Vineyards, with additional support provided by Susan Sparrow and Hal Zina Bennett, Write From the Heart; OCO Time and Peace Cafe, Ukiah; Savings Bank of Mendocino County; Mendocino Book Company, Ukiah; Schat's Bakery, Ukiah; Ukiah Folding Organization; SPACE: School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education, Ukiah; and Ukiah Natural Foods.