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Until I was asked to take over The Great Margin Twitter I had set up a personal Twitter account many moons ago and left it alone. My original reason for the account had been to respond to a twitter message then after a few brief tweets I flew swiftly back to my comfort of words in the real world.
I had resisted Twitter on a personal level due to its profile in the media of being a rant fest, a troll party and of course in recent years the way we ‘get’ our politics. But as with my revelation about Facebook through THE DAILY HAIKU I have discovered the positive side of the Twitter phenomenon.
And of course there is something deeply haiku about Twitter itself. The character restriction, the format, the twitterisation of our communication and thoughts. It focuses on the edit, getting to the nub of the matter. Now who does this remind us of, well yes it’s the beast we have grown to nearly know and nearly love Haiku itself.
As I began tweeting on The Great Margin, sharing predominantly these blog posts and our daily/weekly themes on THE DAILY HAIKU I began to link with other haiku writers, writing organisations and groups. Yes there was a haiku writing ecology on Twitter that clearly used this platform as their preferred means of expression.
As a writer myself I realised I was coming late to the Twitter party. Why had I not realised that for a platform focused on writing (but now with the option to add video and image rather like ourselves at THE DAILY HAIKU) that it was the preferred platform of choice for writers. Wake up Amanda!
So it has been a joy to discover the twitter accounts of writers, writing groups, wellbeing organisations and start conversations about all of the above as well as sharing haiku too.
I began with guidance from friends and others I work with, big up to Louise Fox director of the Cornwall Film Festival (@CornwallFilm and @LouiseFoxUK) not least in helping me grapple with the retweet or quote tweet option and most importantly the # hashtag. A word that has also come to dominate our daily consumption of news, views and life itself.
Many of our existing members on THE DAILY HAIKU already cross-fertilise their creativity on Twitter and that has brought an added joy to communicate within another form. Rather like travelling to a new destination, THE DAILY HAIKU might be Rome one day then in the afternoon I fly to TWITTER and Hawaii. Or more accurately in these days of lockdown I go from the bedroom to the living room and back! But importantly a change of scene is as good as a rest.
The hashtags that seem to be the favourites for haiku when posting are of course #haiku but then #haikuchallenge which is well established #TheDailyHaiku of course then #poetry and all manner of poetry hashtag connotations eg #poetrycommunity #micropoetry. Next come the niche haiku hashtags like #senryu #3lines #17syllables (controversial I know!) #haikulust and other searchable variations on a theme. Next up the wellbeing and wider writing hashtags #wellbeing naturally #mentalhealth #amwriting… Lastly a hashtag that highlights the theme is another way to attract engagement and link with others eg #love #trees…
The hashtags offer a chance to mainline into the wider haiku community and poetry world in general perhaps faster than the more wordy and content heavy platforms who often stay happy in themselves. So it is a chance to widen engagement and accessibility, also demographic and diversity for THE DAILY HAIKU and haiku in general – and this is exciting. Facebook is the nest, Twitter is the sky. Now what do we think about TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms?
Here is a flock of Haiku writing accounts I am enjoying so far:
Starting with our own from THE DAILY HAIKU nest:
Alan Summers: @haikutec
Phil Barnett @squinancywort1
William Dean Ford @WillDFord
Phil Isherwood: @Hospice_Poet
Stan Phillips: @StanPhillips20
Wendy Blomseth: @WendyBlomseth
Carolyn Crossley: @carocrossley
David E Navarro: @DENavarro7
Donall Dempsey: @DonallDempsey
Amita Paul: @AmitaPaulAS
Dave Hubble: @dshubble
Fiona Stuart: @fionastuart01
Marion Clarke: @MarionSClarke
Alan Mee: @wordlings_west
Richard Downes: @socialmodelling
Christina Chin: @Christina_haiku
Bittor Duce @BITTORDUCE
And on to:
Haiku Foundation @haikufound
Haiku Commentary @HaikuCommentary
@haiflu and @LivTorc
And many more haiku focused writers, poets, fiction writers, journalists and groups
Then onto the organisations, groups and initiatives that support writing and wellbeing:
Network of Wellbeing @NetwrkWellbeing
64 million artists: @64M_Artists
Get Creative UK @GetCreativeUK
Paper Nations @PaperNationsUK
Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance @CHWAlliance
Poetry Society @PoetrySociety
National Centre for Writing @WritersCentre
The Royal Society of Literature @RSLiterature
House of Imagination @houseimaginatn
Library of Change @libraryofchange
Literature Works @LitWorks
World Creativity and Innovation Week/Day @WorldCreativity
Poets for the Planet @poets4theplanet
Dialect Writers @dialectwriters
And then there are the magazines, festivals, podcasts and publishers the grassroots of our #writingcommunity:
Ambit Magazine @ambitmagazine
The Rialto @RialtoPoetry
Spelt Magazine @MagazineSpelt
Superfroot magazine @superfrootmag
Quince Magazine @quince_magazine
The Poetry Pea Podcast @ThePoetryPea
Poetry Non-Stop @poetrynonstop
The Stay At Home Literary Festival: @stayathomefest
Streetcake Magazine @streetcakemag
Butcher’s Dog magazine @ButchersDogMag
Literary Festivals @litfests
Majuscule Press @MajusculeP
Delhi Lit Fest @delhi_lit_fest
The Adriatic @theadriaticmag
Eupraxia press @EupraxiaPress
Storm of blue press @stormxblue
Seren Books @SerenBooks
Leon Literary Review @LeonReview
And so many more to discover
Twitter feels a little like Lord of the Rings, a tad Alice in Wonderland with a sprinkle of Scorsese, a dash of Waitiki, a dollop of Attenborough and a fix of Zephaniah all washed down with a Banksy while listening to a mix tape of Hard-Fi, Beethoven, Eva Cassidy and Bob Marley. Why did I leave it so long, yes Andrew Gillman, director and long term writing collaborator, you did tell me but I wasn’t ready to listen @andrewgillman
Do add your twitter account with the option of a brief introduction into what you like in the comments below so I can expand my Twitter haiku adventure and contacts.
And a general call out for Twitter advice to this fledgling twitteristababy attempting to fly the nest and really soar through the Twitter stratosphere. Ah yes I feel a #PunKu coming on.