For the past year and a half, I’ve been working on Haikupedia, the new project of The Haiku Foundation. This is how it was introduced by Charlie Trumbull, Haikupedia editor in chief, in the June edition of the Newsletter of the Haiku Society of America.
|Introducing … HAIKUPEDIA!|
We are excited to announce the launch of a new source for the enhancement of haiku scholarship and enjoyment! HAIKUPEDIA, an online encyclopedia about all aspects of everyone’s favorite verse form, will debut on The Haiku Foundation website in a few days.
My name is Charlie Trumbull and I have been accumulating English-language haiku in English for almost 30 years and making my digital Haiku Database—now containing almost a half million haiku. I have also been collecting bibliographic and biographic information about haiku poets (mostly from back-cover blurbs, obituaries, and the like), haiku organizations, and general information about Japanese verse that I often had trouble locating in my library or online. As I passed 75 years old I began to realize that I had better do something with these massive collections before they get buried along with me. The idea of creating an encyclopedia of everything about haiku seemed to be a good and feasible solution. Online rather than print also seemed to be the way to go. Ergo, HAIKUPEDIA.
Now, I am not a particularly comfortable resident of the Internet, and I knew I lacked the experience and smarts to make a complex website on my own. So about two years ago I approached THF President Jim Kacian with the idea. He was enthusiastic and immediately saw how the Haikupedia project dovetails with The Haiku Foundation’s mission. We have a marvelous marriage of resources and capabilities: I have the basic idea and much of the content in my voluminous databases, Jim has the organizational resources, especially in the areas of Web design and access to persons who could help out in the commissioning, writing, and editing of Haikupedia articles. Dave Russo has taken on supervision of the website design and maintenance.
For the Haikupedia editorial team Jim also recommended Stella Pierides, a member of the THF Board and recent editor of the Per Diem feature on the THF website. Stella is the Haikupedia Managing Editor. Our search for a Graphics Editor netted us Iliyana Stoyanova, whose experience with the United Haiku and Tanka Society, the British Haiku Society, and the Living Haiku Anthology, are proving invaluable.
Definition and basic structure
Haikupedia is a Web-based encyclopedia dedicated to all aspects of haiku worldwide. It is a project of The Haiku Foundation compiled, edited, and published by the volunteer Haikupedia editorial staff under the direction of Charles Trumbull. Haikupedia articles are written and signed by specialists. A title list is being developed for Haikupedia entries as follows:
Core Articles—Long and short essays on major topics in haiku. This category will include chapbook-length articles on fundamental topic such as “Haiku,” “Renku,” etc. Countries Also articles of appropriate length detailing the discovery and development of haiku in the principal countries, nations, and regions where it has taken hold.Biographies—sketches of haiku poets, translators, critics, etc. The number of subjects for biographical treatment runs into the tens of thousands. In the beginning for Haikupedia we have adopted a temporizing strategy favoring quantity over quality—well, at least thoroughness—and created a subcategory of ‘Short Biographies” of 50–100 words with just the basic facts. At the same time we will be commissioning regular long Biographies.Glossary—Definitions and glosses of terms used in and about haiku.Gazetteer—Information about places mentioned or otherwise important in haiku.Organizations—Information on international, national, and local haiku organizations and groups, their sponsors and organizers, members, and main activities.Events—Reports about haiku meetings and other events, dates and locations, sponsors and organizers, attendees, and main activities and presentations.Awards & Contests—A tally of all haiku-related contests worldwide with information about the sponsors, adjudicators, number of entries and countries represented, prizes, and winners for each.Publications—Information on haiku publications in print and online, including major books of haiku, translations, and criticism; anthologies, journals, websites and blogs, etc.Bibliographies—topical lists of books, articles, and online sources.
Where we’re at and where we’re going
You’re reading this message before Haikupedia is available to the public. Stella and Jim worked out a schedule for releasing the first volley of Haikupedia articles. We’re going live on Sunday, June 21 Jim will post an inaugural message, announce the Haikupedia URL on The Haiku Foundation’s Troutswirl blog a few days before the launch. Mark your calendars!
For the formal launch we plan to post these items
Kobayashi Issa by David G. Lanoue [Bibliography; 9,000 words] an essay based on Dave’s longstanding interest and many books about everybody’s favorite Japanese haiku poet. The article also includes a comprehensive annotated bibliography of work by and about Issa.Haiku in New Zealand by Sandra Simpson [Country; 8,000 words], a detailed history of haiku and report on the status of the haiku enterprise in New Zealand/Aotearoa. The bibliographic sections list the important work of or about Kiwi haiku.Matsuyama Declaration [Document; 4,700 words], the text of the landmark 1999 statement by a group of leading Japanese haiku poets and scholars essentially acknowledging that haiku is no longer exclusively Japanese and presenting standards for “world haiku.”Mini-Biographies of Haikupedia principals [unsigned abstracts of longer Biographies that will come later; 50–100 words each] (Haikupedia dignitaries Charles Trumbull, Stella Pierides, Iliyana Stoyanova, Dave Russo, and Jim Kacian) and the authors of the posted major articles (Lanoue and Simpson).
In the following weeks, every Sunday, two or three major articles and a handful of short Biographies will be posted, each release billboarded on Troutswirl. We’ll stick to this schedule through the end of October, then take a breather and decide how to go forward.
Perceptive readers will quickly notice that Haikupedia is currently set up to serve only an English-speaking audience: all articles are in English and nolens volens our focus hews pretty closely to North American topics. We hope this will not be so for long. We plan to expand our coverage of non-American topics. Moreover, we want to “double” some of the key articles by posting a translation of, say, “Haiku in Croatia” in Croatian side-by-side with the English version. Alternatively, we may commission essays to be written in, say, Japanese and have them translated into English. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have, side-by-side, a Japanese and an English article on, say, Richard Wright or renga!
The Haikupedia concept is virtually limitless — and far grander than a half-dozen editors and two dozen authors can possibly realize. We welcome [read: “desperately need”] volunteers. Can you write us an article in one or more of the categories mentioned above? Would you like to help out by taking charge of a “cluster” of related articles? Would you have the skills to help with administrative tasks, data entry or other website work? Contact me at trumbullc\at\comcast.net or Jim at jim.kacian\at\thehaikufoundation.org and let’s talk.
Charlie Trumbull,Editor, Haikupedia