The Cradle Of Haiku Festival is back!  We welcome all Haiku enthusiasts to a weekend of Haiku, friendship, food and fun.  Workshops, open readings, special presentations and more await you in Mineral Point, Wisconsin Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 23, 24 and 25.  More details about the program schedule appear below.  The Festival will be $40 per person.  

We urge you to register as soon as possible and also book a room for the weekend. You can register online by clicking the tab above. Hotel, motel and B&B suggestions can be found at the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce.

You may also stay in touch through our Facebook page, Cradle of American Haiku. If you have questions please don't hesitate to email Shan Thomas at [email protected].   Can't wait to see everyone! 
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Date & Time
August 23, 2024, 1:00 PM - August 25, 2024 - 1:00 PM
1:00 - 4:00 pM
REGISTRATION -  The Walker House
Register and/or check in and pick up your Welcome Packet.  If you have books to sell, drop them off here.
3:30 - 3:45 pM
WELCOME - The Walker House
3:45 - 4:45 PM
In this presentation we will enjoy reading and imagining haiku that serve as a literary means of forest bathing. There have been several studies of the health benefits of being in nature, and in this presentation we will explore the ways that reading and writing haiku provide many of those same benefits. We will read and respond to haiku to consider these five areas of inquiry:
(1) Can haiku lower stress and boost mental health?
(2) Can engaging in haiku help restore our attention-addled brains and improve cognitive abilities?
(3) Does haiku activate our sensory imagination that helps us be present to our lives and related emotions?
(4) Does long-term engagement in nature or with haiku improve our memories? Does it help us keep and appreciate what’s most important in our lives?
(5) Does haiku engagement still provide the same health benefits in our Anthropocene earth in which mankind has so radically transformed our cities, our transformed landscapes, our access to being in nature? Does forest bathing work downtown or through windows?
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Refreshments and appetizers.
6:00 - 7:30 PM
A list of restaurants from the Chamber of Commerce are included in your Welcome Packet.
7:30 - 8:15 PM
8:15 - 9:15 PM
OPEN READING - Eliza's Lounge, 52 High St, Mineral Point, WI
Bring some haiku to share.
8:30 - 9:30 AM
REGISTRATION - The Walker House
Register and/or check in and pick up your Welcome Packet.

If anyone wants to see the American Haiku Papers, there will be a Curator in the Mineral Point Library Archives from 10am until 4pm.
8:00 - 9:15 AM
FARMER’S MARKET -  Water Tower Park
9:30 - 10:30 AM
Longtime haiku poet/editor (and lifelong Midwesterner) Robert Spiess was so intrigued by the workings of haiku that he produced two booklets of his ruminations, or what he called his “speculations,” on the subject. In the same spirit of fascination-fueled inquiry, Scott Mason will share and unpack one of his personal speculations about haiku—a speculation which may counter conventional thinking but also one that has informed his own haiku practice for more than two decades.
10:30 - 10:45 AM
10:45 - 11:45 AM
JUN FUJITA, A GLIMPSE INTO HIS WORLD - Marjorie Buettner - The Walker House
This PowerPoint presentation will introduce us to Jun Fujita, a photographer, artist and poet. His first and only book of poetry was published in 1923: Tanka: Poems in Exile. Though he called his poetry tanka, his poems adhere to a minimalist approach akin to haiku. This presentation will incorporate Fujita's nature photographs and poetry along with personal observations of visiting his cabin in Rainer, Minnesota.
12:00 - 1:30 PM
A list of restaurants from The Chamber of Commerce is included in your Welcome Packet. This is also an opportunity to visit the book sales and American Haiku archives.
1:30 - 2:30 pM
LORINE NIEDECKER’S EXCHANGE FOR HAIKU - Michael Dylan Welch - The Walker House
In a 1962 letter, Wisconsin poet Lorine Niedecker said “I’ve had nothing affect me quite so much since I discovered haiku.” When she said this, she'd already been writing haiku for almost a decade, but what she wrote was unconventional. In the 1950s, in the context of the Objectivist school of poetry, and with influence from Louis Zukofsky, Cid Corman, and her reading of Japanese haiku, Niedecker invented a unique five-line style of haiku that she called “in exchange for haiku.” Her invention, averaging fewer the 17 syllables, included a rhyme or slant rhyme between the especially short third and fourth lines, and focused on sharp moments, often with a nature focus, derived from her beloved haiku. This presentation explores her unheralded invention, with glosses on extensive examples, and invites you to try writing some of your own.
2:30 - 3:00 pM
3:00 - 4:00 PM
Looking for a way into the reading and/or writing of avant-garde haiku? Join in this introductory exploration of experimental aesthetics and techniques. We’ll take a look at the effects of disjunctive language on the cognitive experience of haiku, as probed by Richard Gilbert, Lee Gurga, and others. We’ll consider how attention to the realities of consciousness as well as content carries haiku into new territory. And we’ll pull out some tips for craft practice. Come ready to read representative poems, discuss how they work, try your hand at writing something new-to-you, and plunge into an expanding sense of haiku possibility.
4:00 - 5:00 PM
Kingfisher founder and editor, Tanya McDonald will discuss why she decided to start a print haiku journal in a digital age, some of the challenges involved in keeping a journal functioning, and her favorite parts of the editing/publishing process. This will segue into a reading of haiku and senryu selected from various issues, followed by questions from the audience.
5:15 - 6:00 PM
COCKTAIL HOUR (Cash bar) - The Walker House
6:00 - 8:00 PM
BANQUET / READING - The Walker House
5:00 - 9:00 PM
The Mineral Point galleries will be open until 9:00 PM including the museum of Mineral Point artists in the Mineral Point Library.

Following the banquet, please pick up any unsold book sale items in The Walker House.
9:00 - 10:30 aM
GINKO WALK - Old City Cemetery - led by Shan Thomas
11:00 - 1:00 PM
FAREWELL BRUNCH - Cafe 43 Coffeehouse, 43 High St, Mineral Point, WI
Good food and an open reading of poems from the morning ginko.
Dr. Randy Brooks
Dr. Randy Brooks recently retired as the Dean of Arts & Sciences but continues to teach courses on haiku at Millikin University. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks, are publishers of Brooks Books and co-editors of Mayfly haiku magazine. In 1976 they started publishing a magazine called High/Coo: A Quarterly of Short Verse. They have been editing and publishing mini-chapbooks, chapbooks, paperbacks and clothbound editions of haiku ever since. Two of their most recent collections: Walking Uneven Ground: Selected Haiku of Bill Pauly, and My Red: The Selected Haiku of John Stevenson, won both Touchstone Book Awards from The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Merit Book Awards from the Haiku Society of America. Randy’s most recent books include Walking the Fence: Selected Tanka of Randy Brooks and The Art of Reading and Writing Haiku: A Reader Response Approach.
Marjorie Buettner
Marjorie Buettner is a Pushcart nominated, award winning haiku, tanka, sijo and haibun poet who has published widely throughout the U.S. and U.K. and has previously been an editor for the online journal Contemporary Haibun Online. She has taught haiku and tanka at the Loft in Minneapolis and has presented various poetry workshops throughout Minnesota. Her new collection of haibun, Some Measure of Existence (published by Red Dragonfly Press, 2014), won first place in the 2015 Mildred Kanterman Merit Book Awards; it was also nominated for the Minnesota Book Awards. She has a collection of haiku and tanka published by Red Dragonfly Press: Seeing It Now, 2008. She writes book reviews for various haiku and tanka journals.
Michael Dylan Welch
Michael Dylan Welch lived in England, Ghana, Australia, and Canada, and now resides in Washington state, U.S.A. Editor, publisher, as well as haiku poet, translator, critic, and organizer. Among his accomplishments are editing and publishing journals including Woodnotes and Tundra, founding Press Here, a haiku publishing company, and National Haiku Writing Month, co-founding and directing the biennial Haiku North America conferences, founding the Tanka Society of America and the annual Seabeck Haiku retreats, and involvement in many other haiku- and poetry-related
Scott Mason
Scott Mason wrote The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New
recipient of the Kirkus Star from Kirkus Reviews, the Touchstone Distinguished Books
Award from The Haiku Foundation and a Merit Book Award (“Best Prose”) from the Haiku
Society of America. He also conceived and edited Gratitude in the Time of COVID-19: The
Haiku Hecameron
, another Merit Book Award recipient (“Best Anthology”). Both can be
accessed through the Digital Library of The Haiku Foundation. (Please consider a donation!) A
former longtime editor with The Heron’s Nest, Scott currently serves on the Foundation’s board.
His own haiku have placed first in over two dozen competitions.
Tanya McDonald
Tanya McDonald is the founder and editor of Kingfisher, a pocket-sized haiku/senryu journal.
Her own haiku, senryu, haibun, rengay, and occasional tanka have appeared in journals and
anthologies since 2008. She has also edited various anthologies, including the HSA members’
anthology in 2019, which helped her launch Kingfisher in 2020. For fifteen years, she lived near
Seattle, Washington, where she was active with Haiku Northwest. In 2022, she moved back to
her home state of Oregon to be closer to family. Known for her bright plumage, she is frequently
distracted by birds and interesting rocks.
Michele Root-Bernstein
Michele Root-Bernstein has devoted herself to assorted haikai arts for over twenty years, with
her work appearing in journals and anthologies at home and abroad. She has served as associate
editor of Frogpond from 2012-2015 and as book review editor of Modern Haiku from 2019-
2022. Since 2016, Michele has facilitated the Michigan-based Evergreen Haiku Study Group,
now meeting monthly by Zoom. Her e-chapbook, Wind Rose, is published (and available for free
download) by Snapshot Press. She recently won The Snapshot Press Book Awards 2022 for her
full-length collection, Plainsong.
Shan Thomas
Shan Thomas is the Archivist for the Mineral Point Library Archives.  She came out of retirement to take on the position.  Shan lives in Mineral Point with her partner Gerry Glaeve, who, ten years ago, introduced her to Gayle Bull and the art of Haiku.  While not a poet herself, she sat at the feet of some of the best Haiku writers in the country as they met around Gayle's dining room table and came to admire the art form.  Caring for the American Haiku magazine collection is her small way of honoring the cultural contributions of Haiku and the memory of Gayle.

Processing Registration...