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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 7, 2005

introducing Hilary Tann

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 12:11 am

If you saw our sneak preview of the haiku of Hilary Tann,
on December 3rd, you can perhaps understand why we’re
so pleased to welcome Hilary as f/k/a‘s newest Honored
Guest Poet.


Hilary is a founding member of the Rt. 9 Haiku Group, which
has produced the semiannual Upstate [NY] Dim Sum Journal
since 2001. In addiiton to Hilary, the exclusive four-member
group includes john stevenson, tom clausen, yu chang (who
all joined the f/k/a family during 2005). Each of the Rt.-9ers is
known for creating excellent haiku/senryu, of depth and breadth,
while maintaining a unique poetic voice. By meeting each month
for a leisurely, multi-course dim sum meal, at which haiku are pre-
sented, discussed, and sometimes revivsd, the four Rt. 9 members
have established a special artistic environment and helped nurture
the body of work presented in the Dim Sum journal. Hilary brings
— as each of her male co-members will attest — a special vitality
to their sessions and to their journal.

Underlying Hilary Tann‘s very recognizable voice is her experience
growing up in the coal-mining valleys of South Wales, which has
inspired both her poetry and her “main” artistic endeavor as a
music composer.

tiny check Professor and Former Chair of the Department of Per-
forming Arts at Union College, in Schenectady, New York,
Hilary she lives southeast of the Adirondack Mountains, on
the banks of the Hudson River, with her husband, and beloved
collie dog.

Hilary’s website bio explains:

As a composer (for Oxford University Press since 1989) her work quarter note gray
is of necessity forward-looking, shaping different futures. Her
enjoyment in reading and writing haiku stems in no small part from
the fact that haiku train her once more to be “of the moment.”

Despite her travels to Wales and around the nation and world, when her compo-
sitions are being performed, Hilary finds time to create one-breath poetry that graces
UDS, along with various anthologies, and leading journals, such as Frogpond
and The Heron’s Nest.

Here are excellent examples that I hope will make you seek out more
of Hilary’s work:

tiny check from the very first edition

of Upstate Dim Sum (2001/I):


from balcony to balcony

caged birds

family visit

my parents compete

to end my sentences


first day of school

another crayon

for the sunrise

tiny check from the most recent

Upstate Dim Sum (2005/II)

in certain lights

my hands are those of

an older woman


a chance to view

distant mountains


hometown —

cricket field

above the coal mine

Hilary Tann

music staff

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