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Originally published August 21, 2009 at 12:01 AM | Page modified August 21, 2009 at 8:26 AM

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They do food haiku; can you?

Seattle is now home of the haiku grocery bag.

Seattle Times arts writer

Some people like haiku. Some people like natural foods. Some people like both haiku and natural foods.

If you fall in the latter category, SLUG may be for you.

It's the latest project of Bob Redmond, community arts-event organizer and founder of Luna Park, an organization dedicated to working on "creative solutions to systematic human problems."

The lack of haiku on grocery bags hadn't hitherto struck me as a problem. But now that it's been pointed out to me, I'm intrigued by SLUG's solution. Redmond and half a dozen other writers have set up a haiku/ grocery-bag installation at Madison Market, the idea being to get "the work of local writers in front of grocery store shoppers by printing it directly on paper bags."

If you want to do some inking yourself, check out SLUG's reading and rubber-stamp party on Monday at the JewelBox Theater in Belltown. Haiku stamps and other materials will be provided; jazz guitarist James Baumgart will provide musical accompaniment.

A preview of the poetry reveals that it's not all following traditional haiku formula. But when it does, the results can be felicitous. Consider this little gem by Arne Pihl:

My grandma used to

Save fish heads, gills, fins for soup

I recycle cans

"SLUG," by the way, takes its name from a haiku by Redmond himself, and also alludes to a typesetter's slug. The installation is up through September at Madison Market, 1600 Madison Ave., Seattle (other locations may be coming soon). Free reading/party 7 p.m. Monday, JewelBox Theater at the Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave., Seattle. For more information, go to

Michael Upchurch:

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