HNA2017: the Art of Haiku in High Altitude



The Haiku North America conference took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from September 13-17, 2018.

Before the trip, I read a lot of guidebooks and they all mentioned you should drink a lot of water to avoid altitude sickness, so I did.


(If you’re reading this post via e-mail and you’re not seeing the animated frog, click on the image to see the animated gif on the original blog post.)


Luckily, the Hotel Santa Fe provided free bottles of water for guests at the front desk. When I brought a bottle of water to my roommate, she exclaimed, “Aw, it’s nice!” I replied, “‘No problem.” She said, “No, the water… it’s nice!”  She showed me the label and it turns out Nice was the brand name.


Drinking lots of water can cause some inconvenience, such as a full bladder. Is it why they have a bodily fluid clean-up kit on board the Santa Fe free pick up shuttle? I wonder.


In Santa Fe, you’re surrounded by mountains. When you look up at mountains, it’s easy to forget you’re already standing at a high altitude of 7,000 feet.


View from the Santa Fe Hotel Hacienda (I sneaked in to take a picture).

I made a rookie mistake: on my first day in Santa Fe, instead of taking it easy to acclimatize to the high altitude, I went straight to Museum Hill which is, you guessed it, on a hill and even higher than Santa Fe.


View from the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on Museum Hill.

There’s less oxygen at high altitude, so you have to take it easy.  When I walked at my regular pace, which is fast, I quickly became out of breath. I learned I had to slow down, and walk at a slower pace.


View from the Museum Hill Cafe.

So, yeah, this rookie mistake is probably the reason I had to spend a few hours in bed with strong headaches and flu-like body pain.



Despite high altitude sickness, I had lots of fun exploring Santa Fe and attending  the HNA conference. It was an amazing destination and an unforgettable conference.

View from Pizza on the Roof.

Have a look! You can browse through my HNAA 2017 conference photos and comics.



The RoadRunner


The Haiku North America conference took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from September 13-17 2017.  It was an amazing conference. I was the cartoonist-in-residence during the event and captured the conference in cartoons.

Before heading to HNA, I read a lot of Santa Fe and New Mexico. One of the subjects that fascinated me was the roadrunner.


The roadrunner is the official bird of New Mexico. It can run up to 20mph and sometimes eats rattlesnakes.


When I arrived in Albuquerque airport, I took a hotel shuttle to Santa Fe. A few minutes after we left the airport, someone pointed the side of the road and said: “Hey, a roadrunner!” I turned my head, but it was too late. I had missed it.

I made it my objective to see a roadrunner during my trip.  During excursions, I would scrutinize the side of the road, but it was not meant to be.



In Santa Fe, the only roadrunner I saw was the one on the RailRunner commuter train at the station.


I imagined Master Kawazu would hop on a real roadrunner to go to the conference. That would be a lot of fun.


So I didn’t see a roadrunner during my trip, but I did enjoy all the haiku talks at the conference.hna17_roadrunner_senryu

View all HNA 2017 conference photos and comics.

7th International Festival of French Haiku



I attended the 7th International Festival of French Haiku that took place in Quebec city from October 13-16, 2016. There were 97 participants that came from all regions of Quebec, France and even Switzerland.


There were many activities including haiku readings,  an origami-flower workshop, a butoh workshop, a panel, a presentation about the marriage of forms between haiku and other artistic expressions, a reading of haiku with jazz music, a dinner, and a stage presentation by three innu women that transformed the audience.conferenceafh2016qbi_amigurumibyadreeparizeau_mg_0769

Participants received many gifts including an amigurumi frog made by Andrée Paradis and a koma temari created by Diane Lemieux.

Visit the site Vieil Etang to see more photos, read  a  detailed description of the event (in French), and watch videos featuring my two performances: a 10 minute presentation about Vieil Etang (the French version of Old Pond Comics) and a 3 minute haiku reading (both in French).

The Festival International Francophone de Haïku takes place yearly in a French-speaking city (often in Europe).  For more information, visit the Association Francophone de Haïku website or subscribe to the French haiku journal Gong.


Words: Haiku on Paper



Did you know many haiku poets are also paper artists? Among them, Terry Ann Carter, Claudia Radmore, Steve Addiss, and more, will have artwork in the international exhibit Words: Haiku on paper in Whitehorse, Yukon. The exhibit coincide with the Haiku Canada conference in May 2016.

Support the Go Fund Me campaign to receive a catalogue featuring work by your favorite artists/haiku poets.  I just donated now and the process was really easy.

Thanks for sharing the campaign on Facebook and Twitter to help fellow haiku poets.


I created some haiku-origami pieces for the exhibit. Not sure if they’ll be in the final exhibit or not. I mean, I was told they will be, but it seems unbelievable that my work would be exhibited next to international artists, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m keeping the final artworks a secret, but you’ll find above an earlier version of “Childless” with the frog origami not yet mounted.

Any artwork not selected for the final show will be featured in store windows on Main street during the conference. It’s gonna be great to see haiku everywhere in Whitehorse during the Haiku Canada conference. Thanks to Helen O’Connor for curating the exhibit.

My Haiku Canada Weekend 2016 Freebie


I spent Easter Sunday cutting, folding and sewing a small comic book.


I will be giving them away at the Haiku Canada Weekend, May 20-22, 2016, in Whitehorse, Yukon.


Every year, I was always waiting to the last minute to prepare my freebie, but this time I decided to prepare them early so I could focus on my presentations: I will be the keynote speaker and cartoonist-in-residence at the next Haiku Canada Weekend in May. I hope you can join us!

simply trust! trust! dewdrops spilling down (haiku by Kobayashi Issa)


It’s a fact that “dew” does happen and you just gotta live with it. (Old Pond Comics)


simply trust! trust!

dewdrops spilling


– Haiku by Kobayashi Issa (translated by David G. Lanoue)

Illustrated by Old Pond Comics

PS I took these pictures during a walk to the Seabeck Historical Cemetary (at  Seabeck Haiku Retreat 2013). To see more, check out the digital story I created with the photos.

Daily Haiku by Haiku Andy

op_haiku_photo_andyOld Pond Comics featuring a Daily Haiku by Haiku Andy (used with permission):

between the horsefly

and the perfect spring morning

my kitchen window

— Andrew O. Dugas (Haiku Andy)

Every day, Haiku Andy writes a haiku on an index card, takes a picture, posts it on social media, and mails the card to someone. The pictures are always beautiful and the haiku on the card depicts a moment from Andy’s life.