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.



Why trifolds are one of the best freebies to give away at haiku conferences


IMG_8756If you’re a Haiku Canada member you’re familiar with trifolds since there are usually one or two included with the Haiku Canada Review.

A few years back, Michael Dylan Welch started creating his own trifolds to share his haiku with attendees at conferences.

Today, trifolds are one of the most popular freebies at haiku conferences. They’re made of one sheet of paper printed double sided, and folded like a brochure.


Letting Go: haiku & haiga (interior), by Naia

When designing a trifold, pay attention to the cover since it’s the first thing people will see. Make sure the cover has an attractive picture, a title, your name.


Letting Go: haiku & haiga (cover), by Naia

The back of the trifold usually holds bio-bibliographical and contact information.


A Common Touch (back), by Michael Dylan Welch

You can create a trifold using the theme of the conference.


Autumn Haiku, by Barbara Hay ; Autumn Madness, by Beverly Acuff Momoi ( HNA 2015)

Since trifolds are one of the most popular format, you’ll have to make sure your trifold stands out. Here are some examples of creative trifolds.


Here’s a trifold (by Dianne Garcia) folded in a zigzag.  It’s printed on one side only. What’s great about the zigzag fold is that the trifold can stand on a table.


Trifold, by Dianne Garcia


Randy Brooks created a narrow four-folds brochure for HNA 2015.


Haiku with legs (cover), by Randy Brooks (HNA 2015)


Haiku with legs (interior), by Randy Brooks (HNA 2015)


Michael Dylan Welch always have amazing trifolds that he gives away at each haiku conference. On his website Graceguts, you’ll find the files available to download for personal use.

I especially enjoy A Common Touch with its original cut-out triangle.


A Common Touch (cover), by Michael Dylan Welch


A Common Touch (interior), by Michael Dylan Welch

If you haven’t decided what to bring at the next haiku conference, trifolds are an excellent choice since they can be done quickly, and printed at home.

You’ll find brochures templates in most software like Word, InDesign. Insert your haiku, and voilà.

HNA 2017 recently announced the number of registered attendees have reached 200.  Prepare to make at least 200 copies of your brochures (which could cost around $75). If you have them done at the print shop, they can even fold them for you.

Is your freebie ready for HNA and Seabeck? Are you bringing a bookmark, postcard, trifold, something else?



Freebie: an introduction


Freebie table (HNA 2015)

Freebie table (HNA 2015)

With Haiku North America around the corner, it’s time to think about the freebie you’ll bring to the conference.  A freebie is a promotional item you give to attendees at a conference. A freebie can take different forms: bookmarks, leaflets, postcards, 3D objects.

Whatever format you chose, a freebie must fit certain criteria to be successful.

The best freebies are:

  1. Beautiful
  2. Well written
  3. Good promotional tool for the author
  4. Portable

Now let’s look at each criterion with some examples.


1. Beautiful: does your freebie have a wow factor? A nice cover that will get people to pay attention? Is it printed on good quality paper? Color paper? Is the shape unusual?


Leaf-shaped haiku freebie by Deborah P Kolodji (HNA 2015)


2. Well written: Have you included your best haiku? Is the contents free of typos and grammar mistakes?  Extra points if your contents fit the theme of the conference.

Booklets by Tanya McDonald

Booklets by Tanya McDonald


3. Good promotional tool for the author: have you included your name and contact information? The main goal of a freebie is promotion, so don’t forget these important details. A freebie is your business card.

bookmark frank carey

Bookmark by Frank Carey.


4. Portable: is your freebie small enough to fit in a luggage? Or is it cumbersome? I took a picture of this beautiful rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015). Although I really liked the haiku and the concept, there was no way I could have brought back this massive 1 pound rock in my suitcase.

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

In the next couple days, I’ll show you more examples of promotional items for writers and share some tips about creating a freebie for your next conference.

Do you know what freebie you’ll bring to your next conference?