Head West, Young Poet

In a little over a week, I’ll be flying out of St. Louis to the 2014 Seabeck Haiku Getaway. I’ve agreed to blog my experiences up to and during the retreat (and probably a little after).

It’ll be my first time attending Seabeck. It’ll be my first trip to the West Coast. (It’ll also be my first time flying alone, but that’s another story.)

Seabeck has been on my radar for a few years now, but for various reasons has never quite been within my grasp. With some nagging and generosity of a few fine folks (namely Michael Dylan Welch and Jessica Tremblay), in nine days I’ll indulge in haiku overload and little sleep. (Seriously, have you seen the schedule?) I’m not quite sure how I’m going to survive, but I’m looking forward to meeting quite a few people who I’ve only known online and through journals—folks such as Alan Pizzarelli, John Stevenson, Johnny Baranski, Debbie Kolodji, and Susan Constable (one of my fellow A Hundred Gourds editors).

Being in the Midwest, most of my face-to-face interaction has been with other Midwest writers. I make an annual trip to the Mineral Point haiku retreat or Cradle of American Haiku Festival (depending on the year) in Wisconsin, and occasionally make it up to Chicago. I’ve been able to associate with some poets in the Southern regions and from the East coast, but in true and cliche fashion, acquainting myself with the West is somewhat the final frontier.

During the weekend, I’ll be doing a couple presentations (see Friday’s itinerary) and giving a few readings (with some of the people I mentioned above, which is a little surreal). But for the most part, I’ll be taking everything in—there’s no shortage on things to do outdoors, indoors, with art, or bookmaking, or writing/revision/collaboration/etc. I’ve heard this will be Seabeck’s biggest year yet, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

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Head West, Young Poet

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