Jerry Dreesen and Friends:
Collaborative haiga with Melissa Howard, Ron Moss and Linda Papanicolaou

Jerry, who lives in Indiana, US, has been an artist and poet for many years. He came to haiku in 2002 and is now the haiga editor of Simply Haiku. Jerry is best known for the watercolor and pen drawings he uses for his haiga, though he also does photography and photo haiku.

Jerry's approach in creating each of these three haiga was quite different. Jerry's interest in photography led him to an ongoing collaboration with Melissa Howard (Minnesota, US). In August 2005 Simply Haiku featured a series of their photo haiku with texts that Jerry composed for Melissa's images of her own children. The first haiga, with Melissa is another of these, and we think an especially lovely one.

The other two haiga had their genesis in a series of exchanges on WHChaikumultimedia. If you're a member and can access the group's archives, you may follow the fascinating exchange of ideas that produced these two art works. Jerry had been experimenting with pouring paint. With a temporary haiku of his own, he posted the heron with a request for critique. I (Linda) offered my suggestions for the haiku—and not only did he adopt them, he has generously listed me as the haijin. (Jerry's paint pours, it should be noted, became a highly successful group exercise on WHChmm and is published in the concurrent issue of World Haiku Review).

As for the last haiga, it began when Jerry posting a pen drawing and haiku with computer font. Ron responded, then Laryalee Fraser offered a suggestion, and as the discussion went on, Jerry's dissatisfaction with the original haiku began to become apparent. Before long the final text that you see here had taken shape and Ron had offered to do the calligraphy. The result, which we are pleased to present, is truly a work of art that could not have been created other than by internet.

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