“While some may think haiku shoehorns them into writing just three lines, it’s more than that, because it encourages simplicity and cleaning your mind, relaxing and being in the moment,” the award-winning poet said.
Hambrick will host two classes in the coming weeks at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio that give participants a glimpse into this historical and popular form of poetry.
These include a Haiku Rocks! course from 2 to 3 p.m. April 3 for children ages 9 to 12, as well as a What Is Haiku? course from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 10 for teens age 12 to 18.
“Each of these workshops is going to guide the participants to be in the moment, to tap into their own experiences, to look a little bit backward and connect some past experiences when writing these lovely poems,” Hambrick said.
The Haiku Rocks workshop will also serve as an introduction to haiku for many participants, focusing on how to write this type of poetry and incorporate sensory experiences.
“The participants will be given a smooth rock to write their haiku on with colored sharpies,” Hambrick said. “They can then take the rocks home or leave them somewhere in the community.”
While writing poetry can be intimidating, haiku offers an opportunity for someone to write something short that packs a punch, she says.
“I think a lot of times folks are a little bit afraid to write poems, that maybe they learned that poems need to rhyme or be very long,” Hambrick said. “They won’t have that experience with haiku. It’s a shorter genre but also rooted in sensory experiences. It’s about bringing your own memories and experiences in the world into these poems, so there’s nothing really scary or intimidating about haiku.”
In recent years, Ohio has emerged as a hotbed of haiku activity, Hambrick says.
“There has been increasing interest among adults in the state,” she said. “It’s a genre that is defined by fun.”
It’s also a way to learn more about a different culture, since haiku emerged centuries ago in Japan as the opening part of a longer poem called regna.
Hambrick is also one of four award-winning poets from Central Ohio who will read and discuss poems inspired by the Hindsight exhibition. This special event will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. April 10, and joining Hambrick are Chiquita Mullins Lee, Pat Snyder Hurley and Linda Fuller-Smith.