Conversation 1: WHY HAIKU?

THE DAILY HAIKU cover image


Hi, my name is Amanda White. I’m a writer and  creative practitioner who works  in community, healthcare, education and corporate settings.

I set up THE DAILY HAIKU as a FB group in March 2020 at the start of UK Lockdown. My aim: to offer an accessible, fun and engaging daily creative activity where people could connect.

Understanding the wellbeing benefits from arts engagement THE DAILY HAIKU provides a creative work-out that is building a supportive, nurturing and diverse community. Initial inspiration came from a popular workshop I run called ARE YOU A TREE OR A LEAF? which culminates in a haiku.

The option to add images with haiku either through original artwork, photographs, recordings or video is key.  I have seen the benefits of a ‘writing’ process that embraces visual and oral thinking. This can provide new ways into creativity whilst enhancing existing processes.

But my main aim is providing an easily achievable and accessible creative activity through a suggested format that has a clear framework.  We use the guideline for writing haiku of a short 3 line poem with 5/7/5 syllables as a helpful starting point. However this is a guideline not a rule and THE DAILY HAIKU acknowledges that haiku can be many variations in between. Therefore a flexible approach encourages engagement and experimentation from existing writers, those returning to writing and crucially new to writing.

9 months in and we are thriving with 4000+ members worldwide. Crucially it is our members that shape the group by voting and adding daily and weekly themes in running polls, sparking discussion, supporting each other and sharing resources.

We are now proud to be partnered by the wonderful Paper Nations and have our own dedicated conversation/blog space HERE on The Great Margin website to help widen our engagement and spread more haiku love.

@amandawhite10 @TheGreatMargin

3 Comments on “Conversation 1: WHY HAIKU?”

  1. I found The Daily Haiku (TDH) site on Facebook and joined in mid to late April, just as I was finishing the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) project where I had to write a poem a day. This had given me an idea to start a blog which I did on 1st April 2020.
    The Daily Haiku saved my sanity during 3 months of isolation followed by what seems like a permanent Tier 3 situation in Greater Manchester.
    My blog continues and is full of haiku, renga and haiga, poetrywise. I also do daily affirmations, a gratitude journal online and good vibes, which is a quotation blog post. I also to guest poet spots
    and guest poet re-blogs.
    I have grown my blog organically (no ads) and currently have 380 world wide followers.
    Without TDH I do not know how I would have filled my time and kept my spirits up. It is a warm and welcoming site and it focuses the mind on a daily basis. A big thank you to Amanda Barnsley-White who made all this possible.

  2. I have been contributing to the Daily Haiku on a semi-regular basis and find it useful to encourage daily practice. I don’t feel too constrained by thoughts of form 5/7/5, kigo, kirji, etc.
    and have not endeavoured to create work that observes those but instead just focuses on posting something. I usually look at the themes and then use that and an image as inspiration. Sharing some thoughts and feelings has been useful as I have gone through a challenging year like many of us. I combine this practice with my nature observation which are on my personal pages on Facebook and Twitter, I find the haiku another way to observe, a different lens through which to look.

  3. Hi – The themes this year have been inspiring…. I set off 2021 planning to finally get round to a video-art and haiku reading – and have made a first couple of attempts.

    I am a hospice poet – None of the Hospice patients I have spoken to in the last ten years have requested a final CV updated! Stories are everything- family, faith, life-experience/ travelling— and above all it the the small details, the flickering along the journey- often remembered with wonder. Poetry is the very best way of presenting a work of art that represents something of wonder in each life. I work on a ‘beachcomber’ analogy: a metaphorical walk though someones’s life and memories, collecting what I find, assembling a poem. I use the haiku a great deal. It is a good form to capture the ‘flickerings’ of story. Capture moments of wonder in life. This is what marks our humanity- the way we see the world creatively to represent the life lived

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