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HAIKU SCENE / MOVEMENT IN SLOVENIA
 
 
In the former Yugoslavia haiku was first introduced to the Slovenian readership late in the last century by a few Slovenian poets (in 1971, 1973 and 1975). At that time Japanese haiku were selected, translated and published in the books Haiku and Little Anthology of Japanese Lyrics. Slovenian haiku poetry was the most influenced by Vladimir Devidé from Croatia.
 
The development of haiku continued with the first Slovenian haiku magazine Prijatelj / Friend in 1996, which has not been published anymore. It was edited by Dimitar Anakiev, who was also one of the cofounders of the World Haiku Association. Its inaugural meeting took place in 2000 in the small Slovenian town Tolmin. Many poets, important for the world haiku movement, attended the conference. Japanese haiku poet Ban'ya Natsuishi was the guest of the well-known Vilenica Literary Festival in 2001. Some of the Slovenian haijins were presented in Knots, the famous anthology of the South-eastern European haiku poetry (1999) and in the Pond of Silence, the anthology of 50 haiku by 50 Slovenian haijins (2005), with the prefaces by Ban'ya Natsuishi and Dimitar Anakiev. The anthology has been translated into 11 foreign languages.
In Slovenia two literary clubs deal with haiku:
 
1. The Haiku Club of Slovenia (HCS) was set up in September 1997. Since then it issues its magazine Letni časi / Seasons. It is a bilingual magazine, Slovenian & English; we publish two double numbers per year, each in 200 copies; No. 26/27 was published in March 2005. The publishing of the magazine has been (partly) financially supported by the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities. The members have to pay annual membership fee of  20 euros. The magazine is mostly aimed to the members; it is also distributed to the haiku clubs and haijins/friends all over the world.
 
Haiku, selected from Seasons, regularly appear on the club’s website, associated site to the tempslibres / free times. Serge Tomé from Belgium is the honorary member of the club. In 2001 the HCS issued the haiku anthology Teh nekaj besed (in Slovenian) and would like to publish Teh nekaj besed / These Few Words 2 this year (in Slovenian and English), but the Club didn’t get money from the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. The club has been facing financial problems every year. From all the beginning most of the work in the club has been done voluntarily, also with the kind assistance (at the English translation) of our friends Norman Darlington, Ireland, and John Kinory, Great Britain.
 
Currently the HCS has 40 members (at the end of 2004 the population of Slovenia was 1,997,590). The proportion of the membership is 60 : 40 (female : male), the older members prevail. The number has been slightly increasing, new younger haijins have been joining the Club in 2005. There are also a few other haijins from Slovenia and abroad, who publish their haiku in the magazine, not being the members of the club. Most of the Slovenian contemporary haijins write free format haiku, they don’t follow the rule 5/7/5. They publish their haiku in Seasons regularly, a few of them also in other Slovenian literary magazines. Some of them submit their haiku to the international haiku magazines, journals and anthologies in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia&Montenegro, USA. Their haiku also appear on the websites (including the personal ones) and have won international awards, honourable mentions and commendations at the international haiku contests.
 
The general meeting of the HCS members is called once a year (in November), the Editorial Board for Seasons twice a year (in spring and autumn). We discuss our work and financial report for the past year, work and financial plan for the next year, criteria for the selection of haiku, other important matters and edit the current number of Seasons. Every meeting is also a friendly meeting.
 
2. The literary club Apokalipsa was set up ten years ago. Some of the members of the HCS are also the members of Apokalipsa and the members of its haiku jury. The club organizes an international haiku contest every year (the 8th for 2005 has been just announced) and publishes haiku in its magazine Apokalipsa from time to time. In 1998 and 2001 two special editions of Apokalipsa were dedicated to haiku only.

Haiku, as the poetry genre, and the history of Slovenian haiku were also presented in the Encyclopaedia of Slovenian Literature (2002) by the first editor-in-chief of Seasons. Many of the Slovenian poets of the traditional poetry also write haiku or they did in the past, and vice versa. Many people still don’t accept haiku as the poetry. The situation has been improving and is in progress.
 
In March 2005, a Haiku festival was organized by the Apokalipsa Club and the HCS, in the main Slovenian Home of Culture in Ljubljana, as a part of the Festival of Japanese Art and Culture. Two haijins from Croatia were the guests of the festival.
 
The program:
the exhibition of haiku strip & the presentation of four haiku books, published by Apokalipsa, 2004; three young actors were reciting haiku
the results of the Apokalipsa Haiku Contest 2004 & the presentation of the Slovenian primary school haiku contest 2005
the presentation (by the editor Dimitar Anakiev and the two Croatian guests) of the anthology Pond of Silence (50 haiku by 50 Slovenian authors, with the prefaces by Ban'ya Natsuishi and Dimitar Anakiev)
the presentation of the Haiku Club of Slovenia and its magazine Seasons; three members of the club were reading haiku by many authors.
Haiku has also been taught to Slovenian children in primary and high schools. They organize haiku contests every year (in 2005: the 2nd for the primary schools, the 6th in Slovenian and the 5th in English for the high schools). The results of the haiku contest for high schools were presented in April 2005 in the main Home of Culture in Ljubljana, the results of the contest for primary schools will be announced in June in Tolmin.
 
A few articles and reviews on haiku appear in the main Slovenian newspaper every year. Some of the haijins present their haiku poetry on the Radio Ljubljana (Literary Nocturne). After the Haiku Festival 2005 haiku has become more ‘popular’. In April there was also a show about haiku on TV Slovenia.
 
Most of the poets, the members of the HCS, publish haiku books on their own, some of the books were published by Apokalipsa and other publishers:
Dimitar Anakiev: Lastovke (haiku book in Slovenian, 1998)
Dimitar Anakiev: Homage to Tolminka (photography and haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2000)
Edin Saračević: Candy in the Rain (haiku book in Slovenian & Serbo-Croatian & English, 2001)
Slavica Šavli: Returning in Time (haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2003)
+Jurij Detela: Haiku (haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2004)
Darja Kocjančič: Reserved for Pilots (haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2004)
Primož Repar: Woods, Icons (haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2004)
Alenka Zorman: Butterfly on the Shoulder (haiku book in Slovenian & English, 2004)
Rudi Stopar – a few haiku and haiga books in Slovenian & Croatian
Ivan Dobnik, Marko Hudnik, Janka Jerman, Zlatka Levstek, Silva Mizerit, Rudi Robič, Jože and Zlata Volarič etc. – haiku books in Slovenian only
Alenka Zorman
Ljubljana, 23 May, 2005