HAPPENING NOW (& Sunday): Arts In Nature Festival @ Camp Long

That’s one of dozens of short poems on cards lining a path into Camp Long as you enter this weekend’s Arts In Nature Festival, presented by the Nature Consortium. It’s on until 9 tonight and again from 11 am-6 pm tomorrow, and it’s a chance to immerse yourself in art experiences of many kinds, from words to music to ethereal creations woven between tree branches:

You might find performance artists wandering the grounds, like this otherworldly duo:

We first encountered them by a work in progress that’s unfolding all weekend long:

The painting started between two trees and will grow, we were told, to show how the built environment is obscuring nature and greenspaces; go see for yourself by the cabin between the north end of the meadow and the south side of the pond. Some of the comforts of civilization, though, are lining the central meadow – food trucks including the vegan Luchador Taco Company:

There’s a beer garden behind Camp Long’s historic lodge, too. Wander the grounds and you’ll find something to see, do, or hear, almost everywhere – at the small amphitheater on the south side of the meadow, we found these musicians:

Be sure to take several turns around the festival grounds – you might miss something behind a curtain or around the bend, first time you pass. Here’s the full schedule; ticket information is here – online sales are over but you can pay at the tent just past the gates of the park, which is at 5200 35th SW.

6 Replies to "HAPPENING NOW (& Sunday): Arts In Nature Festival @ Camp Long"

  • JayDee August 22, 2015 (8:24 pm)

    Haiku is:


    Syllables, and generally focused on nature. Just pointing out the recognized structure.

  • JayDee August 22, 2015 (8:24 pm)

    Fist full of pumpkin seeds
    Red tomatoes on the vine
    Summer slips away

  • JayDee August 22, 2015 (8:50 pm)

    I corrected my attempt:

    Dry pumpkin seeds spill
    Ripe tomatoes on a vine
    Summer slips away

    Sorry for my mistake and persnicktyness.


    • WSB August 22, 2015 (9:16 pm)

      Yes, we know, the “haiku” didn’t meet the rules. That’s what we said immediately. None of the ones we saw did. Nonetheless, there they are, and they are all interesting expressions of sentiment, observation, and emotion, lining the walkway south of the lodge – TR

  • Michael Dylan Welch August 28, 2015 (4:36 pm)

    The poems displayed at the Arts in Nature festival actually ARE haiku, and it’s important to know that counting 5-7-5 syllables isn’t what makes a poem a haiku. 5-7-5 is a widespread urban myth for haiku in English, and the most trivial of disciplines this genre of poetry offers. Four things to know about the haiku on display at the festival (discussed at the haiku table at the festival, if you’d come by):

    1. Haiku in Japanese counts sounds, not syllables (the word “haiku” itself is two syllables in English, but THREE sounds in Japanese), and the vast bulk of literary haiku published in journals and anthologies are NOT 5-7-5, nor are the vast bulk of contemporary translations.
    2. Most poems aim at having a kigo, or season word (haiku actually aims not at nature, per se, but at SEASONS).
    3. Most poems aim at having the equivalent to a kireji, or cutting word, which divides the poem into two juxtaposed parts. This is the hardest thing to do in haiku, to create implication through the unspoken relationship of the poem’s two parts. As I said at the workshops I gave on haiku at the festival, don’t write about your emotions; write about what caused them.
    4. These poems also aim at having primarily objective sensory imagery. It’s not “anything goes.”

    Most of the preceding targets for haiku (which apply to Japanese and English) are usually not taught in schools and are generally obscured by the way haiku has been widely mistaught in North America. Nearly all of us learned haiku very wrongly. For more information on these issues, please see the following links:

    Why “No 5-7-5”

    Further Reading (mostly about misunderstandings about haiku in English)

    For a bit of context on where I’m coming from, I’ve been writing haiku for almost 40 years, teaching for 25+, have been an officer of the Haiku Society of America for many years, cofounded the Haiku North America conference (started in 1991), cofounded the American Haiku Archives (1996), and founded National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo, 2010). I was also keynote speaker for the Haiku International Association annual conference in Tokyo in 2013. My haiku have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in at least 20 languages, and one of my translations of Japanese poetry appeared on the back of 150,000,000 US postage stamps in 2012.

    So, the haiku shown at Camp Long actually satisfied “the rules” far better than most people realize. It’s not just about counting syllables. As Roland Barthes once said, “Haiku has this rather fantasmagorical property: that we always suppose we ourselves can write such things easily.”

    If you’d like more information about local haiku activities, Haiku Northwest has a website at http://www.haikunorthwest.org/.

    • WSB August 28, 2015 (5:10 pm)

      Thanks! Had no idea, despite (a) having been fluent in Japanese in my youth and (b) having written poetry long before writing news. Glad to learn something. Thanks for taking the time. – Tracy

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