Haiga (俳画, haikai drawing)

Judson Evans

The Garden is a Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory publication that combines poetry, art, and performance. The Garden has been an active club and literary publication for many years at the Boston Conservatory and has grown and evolved since the merger with Berklee. The Garden fosters collaboration between artists and art forms of all kinds, including our partnership with Berklee’s FUSION Magazine: Global Art, Words, and Music. Garden meetings include improv and collaborative writing to prompts and sharing work that inspires you. All members of the Berklee/BoCo community are welcome to drop in. Let’s bring poetry alive through the literary, visual, and performing arts.


These pieces are versions of the Japanese (and now global) art of ‘haiga’ –the fusion of a haiku with a visual image, so that the two elements join in one artistic statement reinforcing each other and creating a whole that is greater than the sum of parts. In my practice, the text of the haiku is usually inked onto sumi paper or scrawled with charcoal onto a dense weave paper then meticulously cut or torn, then built into images and shapes also created from torn or cut colored paper of different textures and thicknesses. Often neither the completed haiku nor the completed concept of the visual image precedes the process. Rather, all is improv with words, phrases, pieces of torn paper all chaotically in play until a gestalt forms that simultaneously shapes the haiku to the emerging visual pattern/ visual pattern to the emerging haiku meaning.
Judson Evans is a poet and visual artist, who has written and published a variety of poetic forms and genres. He was Director of Liberal Arts at The Boston Conservatory for twenty-five years, and is now, happily a full-time Professor of Liberal Arts at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches courses on Paleolithic Cave Art and Origins of Art, Religion, and Philosophy, and a Poetry Workshop focused on a range of Japanese poetic forms. He regularly publishes haiku, renku, and haibun in the main journals of those forms. His haibun have been published in a chapbook, Mortal Coil by Leap Press (2005), and most recently in Journey 2017: An Anthology of International Haibun, edited by Angelee Deodhar, (2017). He also writes contemporary lyric poems and dramatic monologues. He has been involved in a wide range of collaborative experiments with composers, choreographers, and other poets, including work with the late dancer, choreographer, and performance artist Julie Ince Thompson, and with the dance collective teXtmoVes with Karen Klein. He has had his poems set to music by composers, such as Mohammed Farouz and Marti Epstein. He is currently collaborating with video artist Ray Klimek. He was chosen as an “Emerging Poet” by John Yau for The Academy of American Poets in 2007, and won the Philip Booth Poetry Prize from Salt Hill Review in 2013. He was a founding member of Off the Park Press Writers’ Collective, N.Y.C., and has poems in the three anthologies the press published in response to contemporary painters-most recently The Triumph of Poverty: Poems Inspired by the Work of Nicole Eisenman (2012). His poems have appeared most recently in Folio, Volt, 1913: a journal of forms, and Cutbank.