The event took place on 30th September – 5th October in Vilnius and Druskininkai, Lithuania. The theme of the Festival was: Short Poetic Forms: Haiku. We hosted 121 participants from 23 countries:

Miroslav Adamtchik (Belarus), Karunesh Kumar Agrawal (India), Bin Akio (Japan), Shintaro Asaka (Japan), Alis Balbierius (Lithuania), Adrian Briedis-Macovei (Latvia), Olga Chernych (olala) (Ukraine), Dainius Dirgėla (Lithuania), Doc Drumheller (New Zealand), Vytautas Dumčius (Lithuania), Andres Ehin (Estonia), Hanne Hansen (Denmark), Adam Hlobus (Belarus), Anatoly Ilyustchyts (Belarus), Hideki Ishikura (Japan), Donaldas Kajokas (Lithuania), Sayumi Kamakura (Japan), Kerry Shawn Keys (Lithuania), Dmitry Kudrya - Petrovich (Russia), Alexander Kudryashov (Graf Mur) (Russia), Santosh Kumar (India), Hikari Kumoi (Japan), Sergey Kurbatov (Ukraine), Nataly Levi-taisha (Russia), Hideaki Matsuoka (Japan), Giedrius Mickūnas (Lithuania), Danielius Milašauskas (Lithuania), Çlirim Muça (Albania & Italy), Takeo Nakamura (Japan), Ban'ya Natsuishi (Japan), Dmitry Kudrya - Petrovich (Russia), Takaki Okubo (Japan, Professor of Comparative literature at Tokyo Woman's Christian University), Kornelijus Platelis (Lithuania), Primož Repar (Slovenia), Dragan J. Ristić (Serbia), David Rodrigues (Portugal), Natalia Sedenkova (Russia), Arturas Šilanskas (Lithuania), Joseph Spence (USA), Akira Takenami (Japan), Yuko Tange (Japan), Pietro Tartamella (Italy), Dietmar Tauchner (Austria), Petar Tchouhov (Bulgaria), Naoto Tsuchiya (Japan) Professor of Slavic literature at Tokai University), Mindaugas Valiukas (Lithuania), Irina Vatažina – Morskaja (Latvia), Chuei Yagi (Japan).

The essence of the event can be described by excellent haiku written by Japanese poet Hideki Ishikura during the festival:

Autumn in Lithuania
words are

Every participant had the possibility to read 5 haikus twice: one time in Vilnius in two of three readings, once in Druskininkai in one of 6 readings. They read from our annual anthology Druskininkai Poetic Fall 2009 where we published 10 haikus by each participant in the original language and in English and Lithuanian translations. Everybody received the edition before the Conference in Vilnius. Gediminas Sederevičius played Shakuhachi flute in five readings, St. Cristopher's Chamber orchestra, conductor Donatas Katkus, played at St. Catherine's Church in Vilnius. Students of Alytus St. Benedict High School read poetry by the founder of the Yotvingiai Prize Sigitas Geda at Druskininkai Museum on Saturday. Miglė Vilčiauskaitė (Migloko), guitar – Vytautas Rasimavičius, sang during our readings in Užupis Café.

The World Haiku Association conference took place in Vilnius at the Writers' Club and the discussion: Short forms in Eastern and Western poetry – in Druskininkai. It was moderated by Laurynas Katkus; the speakers were: Hideaki Matsuoka, Ban'ya Natsuishi, Takaki Okuba (Japan), Joseph Spence (USA), Dalia Satkauskytė, Regimantas Tamošaitis (Lithuanuia), Pietro Tartamella (Italy), Dietmar Tauchner (Austria). At the end of the discussion Ban'ya Natsuishi announced winners of the WHA Haiga Competition, Alis Balbierius opened his Photo-haiku exhibition and Gintaras Žilys opened his photo exhibition dedicated to 20 years of the DPF. The photos with texts exhibition by Lithuanian poet Ričardas Šileika was opened on Saturday morning in the pastry shop; the artistic action "Cow Poetry" by Julius Žėkas was performed in the "Mažoji Galerija". The wall in front of Café Širdelė was decorated with haikus by all the participants in the original language and in English and Lithuanian translations. Students of Rytas High School did this under the guidance of their teacher of art, Andrius Mosiejus, the designer of the DPF.

The Committee presided over by Kęstutis Navakas awarded Valdemaras Kukulas with the Yotvingian Prize for his poetry collection „Mūsų šitie dangūs"/ "These Skies are Ours" (Homo liber, Vilnius, 2009), the Young Yotvingian's Prize went to Giedrė Kazlauskaitė for her poetry collection „Heterų dainos"/ "Songs by Heteras" (Printing House of Lithuanian Writers' Union, Vilnius, 2008). The anonymous haiku competition was held in Druskininkai. It was evaluated by an international jury [Andres Ehin (Estonia), Sayumi Kamakura (Japan), Santosh Kumar (India), Hideaki Matsuoka (Japan), Dragan J. Ristić (Serbia), Arturas Šilanskas (Lithuania), Naoto Tsuchiya (Japan)]. All texts without names of authors were submitted in English translation. The winners were:

1. Tautvyda Marcinkevičiūtė (Lithuania);

2. Kerry Shawn Keys (Lithuania/ USA);

3. Irina Vatažina-Morskaja (Latvia); Lidija Šimkutė (Lithuania/ Australia);

5. Sergey Kurbatov (Ukraine).

Another anonymous competition (our traditional one) was held in Lithuanian. The jury decided not to select a first place.

Two second places went to Tautvyda Marcinkevičiūtė and Vytautas Stankus,

3rd. Sara Poisson,

4th. Ilzė Butkutė,

5th. Vladas Braziūnas who submitted haiku in Lithuanian.

The cultural educational BOOKLAND program was held during the Druskininkai Poetic Fall Festival, on the 3rd of October (Saturday) 14.00 at the Druskininkai Museum. The creative Studio's "You Can Make a Book" created by the young Lithuanian graphic artist Sigutė Chlebinskaitė is a special place where books, creative thoughts and action all come together. The aim of the workshop was to show how books have developed from ancient times to now, in order to teach different paper-making, book-binding and other techniques which are connected to book culture. In the creative space, anyone was able to make a book: bind it in different ways, make marble paper, print an ex-libris using a table spoon, make a unique animation book, learn to type with a Braille typewriter, reveal the secrets of the Japanese sumi-e and European calligraphy, make a pinhole photo camera, practice shadow theater, learn about wax tablets, etc. Two Japanese artists and haijins, Yuko Tange and Akira Takenami, together with Pietro Tartamella from Italy took part in the workshop which was a great success. Some events including an haiku writing seminar was attended by HE Miyoko Akashi, Japanese Ambassador in Vilnius.
Following the WHAC tradition we proposed all participants to read one haiku created during the festival in their original language and in English translation. My haiku on that subject goes like this:

Lithuanian fish
in an autumn lake
fingering syllables

Kornelijus Platelis

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