When Poetry and Twitter Combine: Twihaiku Tag
April 4 – 30, 2016
To kick off National Poetry Month in April 2016, Victoria’s Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer and Youth Poet Laureate Ann-Bernice Thomas invited the community to participate in Twihaiku Tag.
Inspired poets were invited to join Victoria’s digital poetry movement by tweeting their 140-character haiku poems with the theme “How do you love your city?” and include hashtags: #poetrymonth and #iheartyyj to @CityofVictoria.
Local poets participating in the month-long campaign included past Poet Laureates Janet Rogers, Linda Rogers and Carla Funk, and previous Youth Poet Laureates Aysia Law, Morgan Purvis and Zoé Duhaime.
During the month of April, twihaikus were retweeted and posted here.
What is a twihaiku?
The twihaiku is part of a new genre of micropoetry or very short poems on Twitter as a 140-character tweet. To fit the most meaning into the limited number of characters, micropoetry often breaks traditional rules of grammar. (The traditional Japanese haiku format typically includes 17 syllables in three phrases of 5, 7, 5 syllables each and is often represented by the juxtaposition of two ideas.)
Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer
Yvonne Blomer is an established poet, having published three collections of poetry and co-edited Poems from Planet Earth, an anthology from the Planet Earth Poetry reading series. Her work has twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and she has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry in English as well as in anthologies and literary journals in Canada, the UK and Japan. Yvonne’s recent collection of poems is As if a Raven (Palimpsest Press, 2014). Her travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur will be published in 2017.
In 2014 Yvonne became Victoria’s fourth Poet Laureate. After graduating from the University of Victoria, Yvonne lived in Kyushu, Japan for two years with her husband and obtained her Masters in Poetry at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. In addition to poetry, Yvonne writes creative nonfiction and teaches poetry and memoir courses through Camosun College. www.yvonneblomer.com.
Youth Poet Laureate Ann-Bernice Thomas
In 2016 Ann-Bernice Thomas became Victoria’s latest Youth Poet Laureate. A spoken word artist and screenplay writer, Ann-Bernice is in her second year of study at the University of Victoria, double majoring in Creative Writing and Theatre Production. Ann-Bernice aims to use her voice to rally change, social awareness, and share stories (personal or otherwise) that are waiting to be told.
She has performed at the Ferguson Rally in 2014, the Scotiabank Aids Walk for Life in 2015, and stage-managed and performed in the applied theatre show Waste Management in 2015, which toured to different high schools discussing dumpster diving, capitalism and the world of waste we have created for ourselves. Ann-Bernice is currently working on her photo-poetry project An Exploration of the Human Body. She has lived in England, Jamaica, Toronto, and now calls Victoria her home.
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