Kirsten Cliff Elliot

NaHaiWriMo daily writing prompter for July 2019

1. How did you get started with haiku?

My haiku journey began on New Year’s Day 2007. When everyone else was heading to the beach, hung over, I drove forty-five minutes to the calmness of the Katikati Haiku Pathway. I strolled, I sat, I listened, I looked, I touched, I smelled: I wrote my first haiku. I absorbed all that was on offer that day and found what I'd been searching for: a new way to express myself. Haiku just seemed to fit me, and I’ve been writing and publishing them ever since.

2. Tell us more about yourself.

I’m a writer and poet from New Zealand, with several writing projects on the go, including blogging with my husband at Help! My Husband Has Asperger’s: Our Life On The Spectrum’s Edge. My first full-length collection of haiku and tanka, Patient Property: A Journey Through Leukaemia was recently released from Velvet Dusk Publishing. I work as an archivist and alumni administrator at a local high school, which I love, and am completing my Bachelor of Arts in information and library studies. You can find me on Twitter at @bookfuelled.

3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?

I’ve done NaHaiWriMo three times now and it’s always an experience that connects me to other writers and extends me and my haiku writing skills—all in positive ways! I had done a practice before of writing haiku daily for a year, but never to prompts. Having NaHaiWriMo each February means I have a reason to get back into the haiku habit and to reconnect with the haiku community if I’ve taken time away from writing, reading, and sharing haiku.

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

In 2007, when I came back from the Katikati Haiku Pathway having written my first ’ku, I ordered The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku by William J. Higginson. I still recommend this book as a first guide to haiku, and I took my prompts for the month of July 2019 from the season-word lists within the book, which I return to often myself.

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


a love long buried

autumn light


the colour of coral

through the water

waiting room . . .

wondering what we’re all

really waiting for