This venture began by accident nearly a decade ago. Actually, it started thanks to another project: interviewing entrepreneurs to share their inspiring journeys. The two of us set up a #FreeHaiku station on a Brooklyn street corner where Dan informally interviewed folks as they waited for Erick to write a personalized haiku. One day a guy came jogging by and said, “This is cool! Can you come do that at my festival?” So, through a simple ploy to hear about exciting entrepreneurial experiences, we discovered something more: the wide appeal and joyful nature of haiku.
We realized that if Brooklyn entrepreneurs and yoga festival-goers alike were thrilled by haiku, there were other people–and another venture–waiting for us. On our way home that day, Dan turned to Erick and said, “We should do this at parties.” We decided to call ourselves Poetry at Parties and bought the web domain right there and then.
Soon people started to recognize us, saying, “Oh, the haiku guys are here!” or, “Come meet the haiku guys!” We found it fitting, so then we changed our name to The Haiku Guys. Pretty soon we hired poets across the country to join us, and not all of them were guys. When working events, women were often confronted by people saying “You’re not guys! What’s up with the name?” At the time women on our team took no issue with “guys,” viewing it as an arguably gender-neutral term. However, once it became clear the name Haiku Guys caused confusion, we changed our name again, this time to Haiku Guys & Gals.
While this was a step in the right direction, branding ourselves as guys or gals isn’t inclusive. It implies that we’re guys or gals and no one else. Continuing with this name is against our conviction that all genders and identities are welcome in our community and should be welcomed in all communities.
so, who are we now?
We are haikuists, a group of people dedicated to experimenting with haiku for the express purpose of providing joy.
We look forward to this new epoch of our evolution and are excited to share it with you