JACCU is delighted to announce our collaboration with Haiku Kring Nederland to start a Haiku group in Utrecht. Haiku Kring Nederland is an organisation that promotes the Japanese art of Haiku and Tanka poetry in the Netherlands. To kick-start this collaboration, we are organising a Haiku event on the 23rd of February, which will be followed by monthly meetings.
For this article, our content writer Jessica Boentges spoke to Arie de Kluijver, the Chairman of Haiku Kring Nederland. She asked him about the organisation’s mission and ambitions for the future.
A Haiku Circle in the Netherlands
Haiku Kring Nederland began in 1980 as a group of Haiku and Tanka enthusiasts who wanted to introduce the art of Japanese poetry to the country of tulips. More interesting is that the they bring these century-old Japanese poetry forms to the Dutch language.
Haiku Kring Nederland wants to encourage people to look at the world them, and express the small things they see through poetry. Arie de Kluiver describes this ambition as follows:
“Haiku is a Japanese poetry style but it should land in our language, our poetry, our souls.”
Arie also emphasised that while their organisation promotes Haiku and Tanka, they encourage activities related to all Japanese poetry forms, as the aim is to stimulate personal expression through poetry.
In that spirit, Haiku Kring Nederland publishes a magazine, organises events, and hosts 11 local Haiku groups in different cities throughout the Netherlands.
“Vuursteen” is the quarterly magazine they publish in collaboration with the Haiku-centrum Vlaanderen in Belgium, featuring the art of Haiku and Tanka from the Dutch and Flemish-speaking areas. Following a call for submissions for the Winter 2021 issue, 15 entries were chosen to appear in the collection from some 250 submissions. These numbers show the popularity of Japanese poetry in the Netherlands and Belgium, and the eagerness of the Dutch-speaking Haiku community.
Other publications including the collection Om Niets Om Alles (About Everything, About Nothing) released on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Haiku Kring Nederland in 2020. You can purchase a copy of these publications on the website of Haiku Kring Nederland, along with other books related to Japanese poetry.
And Ya is a new quarterly magazine for Haiku (and Senryū and Haibun) for the Dutch language area and is published four times a year according to the cycle of the seasons: March, June, September and December. Ya wants to be a Haiku magazine for a wide audience and show that this beautiful form of poetry that is accessible to everyone contains a lot of movement and dynamics and makes it one of the most fascinating forms of poetry of our time.
Along with their publishing activities, Haiku Kring Netherland promotes competitions in Japanese style poetry. One event is the World Children’s Haiku Contest, organised by the JAL (Japanese Airlines Foundation) in 35 countries. Until the 28th of February, children and teens up to 15 years old can send in a Haiku with a picture illustrating its content. This year’s theme is “Towns”. The national winners’ poems are sent to an international jury, who then selects the entries to publish in a new volume of the collection “Haiku by World Children”.
The Poëziewedstrijd 2022 – Tanbun” is the latest in a series of annual competitions around various forms of Japanese style poetry. This year it is Tanbun where participants combine prose with Tanka poetry. The deadline of this submission is the 1st of August. The winner of this competition will receive a prize of €250, and the poem will appear in one of the organisation’s publications.
Over the years, Haiku Kring Nederland has established a network of 11 local Haiku groups throughout the Netherlands. In these Haiku groups, hobby poets meet and share their work and receive feedback from the community. The groups are intended for people to develop their skills through productive feedback and support from other members. Haiku Kring Nederland hopes to establish a group in Utrecht, through a joint effort with JACCU!
If you are curious about Japanese poetry, check out our meetings with Haikukern Utrecht! There, you can learn more about Haiku and meet other local enthusiasts of Japanese poetry.
On the 23rd of February, JACCU and Haiku Kring Nederland are offering a workshop as part of the “Manga en Japanse Cultuur” event of Bibliotheek Neude. The workshop is open to everybody who speaks Dutch. Come and try your poetry!
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