Kat Creighton

NaHaiWriMo daily writing prompter for November 2012 and January 2014

We were saddened to report that Kat passed away suddenly on 15 January 2014, of natural causes, and was not able to finish
her month of prompts. She leaves us here with much inspiration on the art and heart of haiku.

1. How did you get started with haiku?

I was an avid reader since childhood and that evolved into writing in my early teens . . . journaling, poetry, short stories. It was the 60s and 70s and the music revolution was a big influence. Musicians and artists like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin, and Carol King captured my imagination. Through the years, I experimented with many different poetry forms but nothing seemed to fit just right. Everything I tried seemed weighted, lacking substance and truth. In the early 90s the Internet came along and I discovered the World Haiku Club, Bashō, Issa, and Masajo Suzuki. Haiku came to me then and I’ve studied the short forms ever since. And the magic of the universe is what keeps me interested in haiku. The way every sunset paints a different picture. The way every friend I’ve made in the haiku community sees the sunset through different eyes. For me sharing is a big part of what haiku is all about.

2. Tell us more about yourself.

I earned a Bachelor’s degree from Kean University in the writing program and had my first poem published in their literary journal, Grubstreet Writer. New Jersey has always been my home. For the past twenty years, I’ve lived in coastal Ocean County where the Atlantic Ocean is my primary muse. The sea is the perfect backdrop for my other passion, photo-haiku. Photography is the perfect companion to writing short-form poetry. They both capture a moment. Some of my haiku and photo-haiku appear on my very sporadically updated blog, My Ninth Life.

3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?

I started writing haiku with the NaHaiWriMo Facebook group during its premier month in 2010. The idea of writing a haiku every day for a month, based on daily writing prompts, was such a challenge for me. That group grew into a family of poets sharing their lives through haiku. The friendships, the feedback, and the inspiration are priceless.

4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?

Read, read, and read some more. Read both the classic haijin and the modern. Pick up a few how-to books but keep in mind that almost every book you read will have a different spin on what makes quality haiku. In the end, it’s what speaks to you personally that will make for your best writing.

5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.

An old favorite, one of my first haiga, and one of the first published, in Simply Haiku, 2004:

another autumn—

still the well-creased love letter

tucked between her books

A Hundred Gourds, June 2012:

in the seconds

between lightning and thunder

our plans recast

World Haiku Review, April 2012:

late winter—

the ache in my bones

as I lay them down


The following were the final haiku and photo-haiga Kat posted to Facebook, just before she died:

three-quarter moon—

impossible to distinguish what is

from what isn’t

in one breath . . .

all that was taken

and all that remains