Monthly Gatherings

Our local Monthly Gathering (MG) is usually held at 7:30 p.m. (but this May it will start at 6:30) on the third Saturday of each month, with the exception of months when other major events are planned.

The MGs feature speakers on a variety of subjects and are open to the public. If you’re a member, we hope you’ll come to the MG. If you’re not a member and are thinking of joining, please come and see what we’re all about. You don’t need to be a Mensa member to attend the Monthly Gathering; it’s open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.

The locations will sometimes vary, but we currently meet at the Shoreline Fire Department’s Training Center. Our large meeting room is on the ground floor, and ample free parking is available.

The address is: Shoreline Fire Department 17525 Aurora Avenue North Shoreline, WA

Driving directions: Take the 175th St exit from I-5, going West. Continue on 175th St for 1 mile to Linden Ave N. Turn Right on Linden Ave N and go to N 185th St. Turn Right on N 185th St and take it to Aurora Ave N. Turn right on Aurora Ave N and take it to Shoreline Fire Department’s Training Center on the right (just past Doug’s Northwest Cadillac).

Taking the bus? Transit RapidRide E Line runs North and South on Aurora Avenue N and stops close to 175th and Aurora.

Saturday, August 16th at 6:30 pm

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.