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Welcome to the American Haiku Archives

Fay Aoyagi, Honorary Curator for 2023-2024

Fay Aoyagi photoThe American Haiku Archives advisory board is pleased to announce the appointment of Fay Aoyagi as the 2023–2024 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento. This honor recognizes her wide impact on English-language haiku through her translations, her own books of poems, and her long service to haiku.

Her service has included four years as president of the Haiku Society of America (2016–2019), coordinating the Haiku Poets of Northern California’s rengay contest since 2003, and serving as an associate editor of The Heron’s Nest since 2013.

She has published three award-winning haiku collections, Chrysanthemum Love (2003), In Borrowed Shoes (2006), and Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks (2011), and curates the “Blue Willow Haiku World” blog [], presenting her daily translations of contemporary Japanese haiku (now more than 5,000).

Originally from Tokyo, Fay immigrated to the United States in 1984. In 1995, after moving to San Francisco from New York City, she started writing haiku in English, and has lived again in San Francisco, California since the late 1990s. Fay is also a dojin (leading member) of the Japanese haiku groups Ten’i and Aki. For decades she has been a significant bridge between contemporary Japanese and North American haiku, holding a unique place in the relationship between these two unfolding literary histories.

See more details about our 2023-2024 Honorary Curator, Fay Aoyagi.

Featured AHA Exhibits & Events:

2023 Honorary Curator Reading

Fay Aoyagi - October 1, 2023

American Haiku Archives celebrated Fay Aoyagi as its 2023–24 honorary curator with a Zoom event on October 1, 2023. Fay read a selection of her haiku, introduced by Patricia Machmiller, with AHA cochair Michael Dylan Welch serving as MC.

You may view a video featuring her haiku and haibun online.
              reading video


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2022 Honorary Curator Reading
Gary Hotham - October 16, 2022 (Haiku Poets of Northern California)

2020 Honorary Curator Reading:
Lenard D. Moore - August 2, 2020

A PowerPoint Video (on the formation and history of the American Haiku Archives):
Your Haiku Archives by Michael Dylan Welch

An Interview:
Former honorary curator, Dr. Makoto Ueda

Special Exhibit:
Kiyoko & Kiyoshi Tokutomi by Patricia Machmiller

Dr. Kevin Starr, Former California State Librarian

About the Archives

The American Haiku Archives is the world’s largest public collection of haiku and related poetry books and papers outside Japan. This repository is housed at the California State Library in Sacramento, California, and is dedicated to preserving the history of North American haiku.

The American Haiku Archives (AHA) was originally the idea of Dr. Kevin Starr, former California state librarian, and haiku poet Jerry Kilbride. The archives took shape in 1995 and 1996 with the help of many additional volunteers and advocates, and was founded at the California State Library on July 12, 1996. At this time, the American Haiku Archives became the official archive of the Haiku Society of America. Initial major donations of books and papers came from Elizabeth Searle Lamb and from the Haiku Society of America. Since then, many other significant collections of haiku-related books, papers, and correspondence have been donated to the archives. Library archivists have meticulously catalogued and archived all donated materials using state-of-the-art archival processes so that these valuable materials will be available for generations of future haiku poets and researchers.

See featured sample haiku from the American Haiku Archives hosted by the special collection librarians: You can see an archive of all their posts at

The haiku archives welcomes the public through the California State Library’s California History Room, where its rare and special book collections are accessible. The American Haiku Archives also welcomes donations of books, papers, letters, and other material relating to haiku, mainly in English, but also in other languages. The California State Library is primarily located at 914 Capitol Mall in Sacramento, California, and the American Haiku Archives is housed at the Library and Courts II Building at 900 “N” Street.

We invite you to read about our honorary curators, learn how to donate to the archives, conduct research, and more. Also see our Facebook page.

An invitation to the way of haiku

“A haiku . . . is a hand beckoning, a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean. It is a way of returning to nature, to our moon nature, our cherry blossom nature, our falling leaf nature, in short, to our Buddha nature. It is a way in which the cold winter rain, the swallows of evening, even the very day in its hotness, and the length of the night become truly alive, share in our humanity, speak their own silent and expressive language.”

— R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 1, page 243


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This site is independent of and not endorsed by the California State Library. It is operated by the American Haiku Archives advisory board in support of the archives and its mission, which is to collect, preserve, and promote haiku and related poetry as a vital component of literature in the English language. Web Manager: Michael Dylan Welch.
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