Discover the essence of your story or an experience using the ancient Japanese art of Haiku.
Whether you're looking to build a solid foundation on which to build your story or anchor an experience in a meaningful way, there's no more powerful way to do it than encapsulating it in a 17-syllable word portrait.
Nothing captures the essence of a thought, feeling or experience like these 17-syllable word portraits. I take commissions from individuals, organizations and businesses to distill their stories into poetic nuggets to be shared with clients, patrons and loved ones.
It's been a couple of years since the quarantine and isolation of the pandemic ended and we believe the world is ready for us to share a selection of the Haiku we created during the worst of COVID! From serious takes on the mental health toll, loss and politics to whimsical offerings on sour dough bread, Netflix binging and crafting, the work will have you pondering about life during that storm and offer fresh perspectives on who we are individually and collectively.
Look for it in 2024! And check out some of the other cool things we've done below.
MISSION STATEMENT: We connect people to each other, themselves and their environment through the ancient Japanese art of Haiku.
Before the shelter in place came to Pittsburgh on March 23, the first Haiku Happiness Zoom Party had already taken place in collaboration with The Incline. That first event provided an opportunity for 20 people to discuss their concerns and fears surrounding the pandemic. You can read the resulting Haiku here.
The next event, two weeks later, was in celebration of National Poetry Month. The group drew inspiration from a painting by local artist Frank Harris and created a collaborative multi-stanza Haiku (you can see it below in the photo slide show of all the art we've done).
By the middle of April, it was clear that it would be beneficial to continue talking about what everyone was going through with the enormous changes and adjustments brought on by COVID.
The unique aspect of what we do is that each line is written by a different person so every Haiku has three authors! These multi-stanza collaborative Haiku, called Ku-Ren, are poetic nuggets that are sometimes funny, other times thoughtful, but always reflect how collectively we’re experiencing and processing these very strange times.
We even played in the world of Ekphrastic Art, writing collaborative Haiku about amazing pieces done by both modern and historic artists. Inspired by pieces from incredible artists like James Simon, Jacob Lawrence, Mary Cassat, Harper Henry and Ashley Longshore, we wrote Ku-Ren about the art, then I took the words and designed a new piece of art using the original work.
I turned the first month of collaborative COVID Haiku into art that was shown at the Corona Crafted Art Show in September 2020 and in January of 2021, three of our Haiku about navigating the pandemic went up on bus stop shelters around Pittsburgh thanks to Awesome Pittsburgh. These were followed by two more thanks to support from a GoFund me campaign. We also won Best Art Gallery at Pittsburgh Fringe in 2021 for our collection.
Although we don't meet as regularly now, the Collective still occasionally gets together to document the emotions and reactions around the world we live in. Currently, we have over 200 collaborative Haiku.
The violence against people of color and the BLM movement are often topics of conversation during Haiku Ninja Collective conversations. We honestly share our thoughts, feelings, vulnerabilities and fears with each other and transform them into Haiku.
In February 2021, the national non-profit Art Against Racism put out a call for artwork to include their gallery exhibition of BLM inspired art. Using an original acrylic painting, staci created a collage of the Haiku written by the Collective on the subject and submitted our work.
On March 24th, we received notification that they'd received over 1000 entries and that our piece had been chosen as one to be included in their online gallery.
We are so proud to have our work displayed on the the Art Against Racism site! For the easiest way to see it, click here to see it on their Instagram.
Bus stop shelters with COVID-19 related Haiku written by The Haiku Ninja Collective. Thank you to Awesome Pittsburgh for the November 2020 award, which made our first three possible!
Butler Street and 50th Street in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh
Centre Avenue and Euclid in Shadyside - Pittsburgh
Banksville Road and Crane Avenue in Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh's North Shore near the Carnegie Science Center.
Cedar Street near Allegheny General Hospital on Pittsburgh's North Side.
A vivid description of a work of art, The Haiku Ninja Collective has taken ekphrastic poetry to a whole new level! We've invited sculptors, painters and photographers to take part and the results are amazing!
"Y'all inspire me!!" ~ Ashley Longshore
We drew inspiration from a fabulous piece of art, discussed our observations and thoughts and used those words as a jumping off point to create a Ku-Ren - a multi-stanza Haiku where each line is written by a different person. One Haiku - Three Authors! staci then took the Ku-Ren and designed a new piece of art using both the original work and the poetry.
"So beautiful!" ~ Harper Henry
Below are some examples of what we've created!
Tattooed Proclamation by Lex Covato