Haiku submissions wanted for 1st Annual Old Pueblo Poems literary competition


“Calling creatives, writers, and aspiring poets from the Old Pueblo and beyond!

The Downtown Tucson Partnership together with the University of Arizona Poetry Center are proud to announce the 1stannual Old Pueblo Poems literary competition. Twenty winning haiku poems will be featured on signage located along Congress Street in Downtown Tucson.  These decorative signs will provide visual and cultural interest throughout the Spring season, beginning March 21st.    

What is a Haiku…

… a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

Learn more about how to write a Haiku here.

Haiku entries will be judged by Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert.

This year’s theme will be “Life in the City.” 

Only one entry per person, with a maximum of three haiku allowed. Submissions will be accepted through February 25th.  All winners will receive a $25 Downtown Gift Card and have their work featured on public signage, online and in the media. Winners will be announced on Downtown Tucson Partnership’s social media (@downtowntucson) and by email to all entrants. “


Upcoming Tea ceremonies at Yume Japanese Gardens on Feb. 9, March 23, April 6

“Join in one of Japan’s most distinctive rituals and see why refinement and subtlety are by-words in Japanese culture.

In classical kimono and following canons of etiquette established nearly 1,000 years ago, a master devoted to the art and spirituality of “The Way of Tea” will prepare and serve you a bowl of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble.

Performed with all the formality and reverence that time-honored custom decrees, our Winter/Spring 2019 tea ceremonies take place February 9, March 23, and April 6, at 1:00 pm. The ceremonies are not intended for children under the age of 15.

The February 9 ceremony has sold out, but you may still register to attend the ceremonies on Saturday, March 23 and Saturday, April 6.

Please RSVP at least one week beforehand to yume.gardens@gmail.com, with your name, phone number, and the number in your party.  If you must cancel your reservation, notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to participate.

The cost to attend a ceremony is $15 per person, and you may purchase a ticket online. (Do remember to RSVP.) Click on “Events” in the menu bar at Yume Garden’s website, at the top of any page, then click “Buy Tickets” in the submenu that opens.

Whether you obtain your ticket online or purchase it in person on the day of the ceremony, you must also pay the applicable Gardens admission fee upon arrival for the event. Members of Yume Japanese Gardens enjoy free entry, and pay only the $15 ceremony charge.

For these events, please park in the lot behind our main gate on North Alvernon Way, or on East Justin Lane, one half block south of Yume. Non-resident parking is no longer permitted on East Hampton Place, on the north side of the Gardens.”


Beautiful Sakura photography exhibit to open at Yume Japanese Gardens on February 9


The delicate pink “sakura,” or cherry blossom, is the beloved herald of spring in Japan. Outings to parks to stroll and picnic under blooming cherry trees and to reflect on the fleeting character of life as petals fall are especially popular with residents of the country’s heavily built-up cities.

Opening next February 9 at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, the exhibition “Sakura: Photography by Mark Taylor” departs from the usual idyllic portrayals of cherry blossom season. Instead, it embraces the opposition visible in the sight of nature flowering amid the dense visual grid of buildings, power lines, freeways, and signs in Japan’s urban jungle.

“I looked for the tension between the traditional and the contemporary,” says Taylor. “People have been photographed often picnicking under cherry trees. I wanted to avoid that and present the blossoms in a modern context, using the hardscape of cities as a strong graphic background.”

Although composing his color photographs in a contemporary spirit, Taylor also uses cropping and fragmentation and other techniques employed in traditional Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to offer a unique view of cherry blossom time.

In one image in the exhibition, a yellow commuter train hurtles past a house flanked by a blooming tree, an eruption of restlessness into tranquility. In another, a tree invitingly extends its canopy of flowers, but cannot be reached, standing isolated behind a hurricane fence with a sign proclaiming “Fire Cistern.”

“Sakura” opens in the Art Gallery of Yume Japanese Gardens on February 9, 2019, with a free artist reception for Taylor from 5 to 7 pm. The show runs until May 4, and all photographs in the exhibition will be sale.”

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Yume Japanese Gardens (yumegardens.org) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, at 2130 N. Alvernon Way. It features six examples of classical Japanese landscape design, a replica traditional Japanese cottage, a museum of Japanese art and handicrafts, an art gallery, and a gift shop. It also holds seasonal Japanese festivals, tea ceremonies, and Ikebana classes. For more information about “Sakura” by Mark Taylor or the Gardens, contact Patricia Deridder at (520) 272-3200 or yume.gardens@gmail.com.

Performance Schedule for upcoming Tucson Japanese Festival on January 19, 2019

Hot off the presses, our exciting performance schedule for the annual New Year’s Tucson Japanese Festival, to be held on Saturday, January 19, at a new location, the beautiful Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with numerous dance/musical performances including taiko drumming by co-sponsor Odaiko Sonora, plus exhibitors, children’s activities, and food vendors serving delicious Japanese dishes.

Many thanks to donors for gift certificates to be given away as door prizes:Takamatsu restaurant, Kimpo Oriental market, Sachiko Sushi, Ginza Sushi, Izumi restaurant, Sushi Cortaro on River, Sushi on Oracle, Sushi Cho. Ikkyu restaurant also loaned our mochi making team a mochi machine & donated 50 lbs of mochigome sweet rice. Yume Japanese Gardens donated lovely ikebana displays.

 More updated info will also be on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/southernazjapan/.  Phone # for info is 520-577-1763 (leave a message).