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American Haiku Archives—Honorary Curators

Every year on July 12, the anniversary of the founding of the American Haiku Archives in 1996, the AHA advisory board appoints an honorary curator to serve a one-year term. This curatorship carries no responsibilities and offers no financial compensation, but seeks to honor prominent poets, scholars, and translators who have had a significant impact on haiku in North America.1

Criteria for Appointing Honorary Curators1

The American Haiku Archives advisory board chooses a curator annually to serve in an honorary capacity without any obligations to the archives except to promote it in spirit, serving for one year starting from the date of July 12 (to honor the day on which the American Haiku Archives was founded in 1996). The American Haiku Archives advisory board bases its selection of honorary curators on the following criteria:

1. That the nominee be living and also be a North American, living in North America, or have had an active haiku career in North America.

2. That the nominee be primarily a haiku poet, or haiku scholar and/or translator, of significant to remarkable stature.

3. That, in addition to his or her work as a poet, scholar, and/or translator, the nominee should also have made significant national or international contributions to haiku poetry, scholarship, or leadership in English over a significant number of years or with sufficiently dramatic impact.

4. That the nominee agree to the appointment after the board makes its nomination.

5. Other factors that may affect the choice of an honorary curator may include the nominee’s age and/or health, and his or her attitude toward the archives. If a nominee has made significant contributions to the archives, or might potentially do so, this should not affect the choice of nominee, because the honorary curatorship should not be seen as a reward for making large contributions or as an enticement to make such a contribution. Instead, the honorary curatorship should be seen as recognition of outstanding national or international contributions to haiku poetry in North America.

These criteria for selection of honorary curators was adopted by the Advisory Board in 2002, although appointments of previous honorary curators also generally met with these criteria.

The list of honorary curators on the American Haiku Archives website provides links to short biographies, photos, bibliographies, and sample poems of honorary curators for the American Haiku Archives. The honorary curators whose names are colored blue in the list below are linked to Haikupedia biographical sketches as well.

Honorary Curators, American Haiku Archives, 1996–

2023–2024     Fay Aoyagi

2022–2023     Gary Hotham

2021–2022     Gerald Vizenor

2020–2021     Lenard D. Moore

2019–2020      Alexis Rotella

2018–2019      John Stevenson

2017–2018      Patricia Donegan

2016–2017      Haruo Shirane

2015–2016      Ruth Yarrow

2014–2015      Marlene Mountain

2013–2014      Charles Trumbull

2012–2013      LeRoy Gorman

2011–2012       Jerry Ball

2010–2011      Gary Snyder

2009–2010      Stephen Addiss

2008–2009      George Swede

2007–2008       H. F. Noyes

2006–2007      Hiroaki Sato

2005–2006      Francine Porad

2004–2005       Makoto Ueda

2003–2004      William J. Higginson

2002–2003      Leroy Kanterman

2001–2002      Lorraine Ellis Harr

2000–2001       Robert Spiess

1999–2000      Cor van den Heuvel

1998–1999      Jerry Kilbride

1996–1998      Elizabeth Searle Lamb

Compiled by Michael Dylan Welch

American Haiku Archives


  1. Information in this article is taken from the American Haiku Archives website: https://www.americanhaikuarchives.org/curators/honorarycurators.html. [] []
Updated on November 5, 2023