Mensa of Western Washington (MWW) is a local group of American Mensa, which in turn is a national member of International Mensa, a society that is apolitical and free from all racial or religious distinctions. We welcome people from every walk of life whose IQs are in the top 2% of the population. Our primary objective is to enjoy a wide range of social and cultural activities. MWW currently has more than 1200 members and is the ninth largest group in American Mensa.

Mount Adams, photo by Joel Green

Mount Adams, photo by Joel Green

Ours is a fun, active group in a spectacular setting of majestic mountains, lush greenery, serene lakes, breathtaking ocean vistas, and the incomparable Puget Sound.

Our members enjoy a variety of frequent MWW activities throughout the area. So, if you’re a Mensa member, we hope you’ll register and visit the Members section with its Forums and an unabridged version of our Calendar. If you’re not a member, take a look at the public version of our Calendar to see what we do—and, we hope you’ll join!

Monthly Gathering: Saturday, August 16th

Widely Acclaimed Haiku Master, Michael Dylan Welch

michael-dylan-welch-lo-resYou won’t want to miss our August Monthly Gathering on the 16th! We are honored to welcome back Haiku Master Michael Dylan Welch, who enlightened us about haiku at an MG in 2006.

In this talk Michael will share with us the myths and realities of haiku poetry, and the importance of kigo (season words), kireji (cutting words, that give the poem two juxtapositional parts), and other haiku targets (not rules).

The MG on August 16th will be held at the Shoreline Fire Department, 17525 Aurora Avenue North, in Shoreline, WA. The gathering will begin at 6:30 pm with award presentations and news from the recent Mensa Annual Gathering. Michael Dylan Welch will speak at 7:30 pm.

Michael is passionate about poetry, especially haiku, which he has been writing since 1976 and teaching since about 1990. He has won first place in numerous poetry contests, and his work has been published in at least sixteen languages in hundreds of journals and anthologies. He edited the quarterly haiku journal Woodnotes from 1989 to 1997, and more recently edited Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem.

Michael is a founding associate of The Haiku Foundation. He is also editor and publisher of Press Here, which has published many award-winning haiku books since 1989. In 1991 he cofounded the Haiku North America conference, now a nonprofit corporation of which he is a director. In 1996 he cofounded the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento, the world’s largest public haiku archive outside Japan, and currently serves on its advisory board and as webmaster for its website.

Michael has served for many years as first vice president of the Haiku Society of America and is past coordinator of the Haiku Northwest group.

In 2006 he was also editor of the Haiku Journey computer game. He coedited, from January 2008 to March 2010, with Emiko Miyashita, a monthly haiku column in Asahi Weekly, a Japanese newspaper. In 2010, Michael also created NaHaiWriMo, or National Haiku Writing Month (February, the shortest month for the shortest poem). NaHaiWriMo also has a very active Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NaHaiWriMo

In October of 2013, he began service as the poet laureate of the City of Redmond, Washington, and in November of 2013 he was keynote speaker in Tokyo, Japan, for the annual convention of the Haiku International Association.

Michael’s most recent books include Here, There, and EverywhereClose to the WindWith Cherries on TopStanding StillTidepools: Haiku On GabriolaBonsaiFifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our FriendsNohFor a Moment, and 100 Poets: Passions of the Imperial Court.

Michael has an MA in English and works as a technical writer and editor. He was born in Watford, England, and grew up in England, Ghana, Australia, and Canada. He travels frequently to Japan (his wife is Japanese) and now lives with his wife and two ruly children in Sammamish, Washington.

You can read even more about Michael on his extensive website, www.graceguts.com, and you can learn more about haiku and read some of Michael’s work on www.graceguts.com/haiku-and-senryu.

Send and receive announcements

announcementsIf you’re a member of MWW, you can sign up to receive the MWW Announce List of current events. You will also be able to send announcements of possible interest to other members. To sign up, click MWW Announce Subscription. When the subscription page appears, fill out the section under “Subscribing to MWW-Announce” and then click the Subscribe button.

After the listserve administrator verifies you as a member, you will be able to send your announcements to MWW-Announce@lists.us.mensa.org

A word from the Webmeister

Jeannie Boag, MWW WebmeisterMensa members: Be sure to register on this site by clicking the Register link in the sidebar and then following the directions that appear. Our Members section features an interactive Forums page, Columns by some of our members, the MWW bylaws, an Event Calendar that includes all of the contact information, a Marketplace for MWW members’ ads, and other goodies.  The columns are blog posts, so you can add your comments there, too. And, we welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions about this Web site.  — Jeannie Boag