1. How did you get started with haiku?
I’m a writer and storyteller, so it is only natural that I would end up dabbling in poetry, mostly free verse. I decided to take a few poetry classes and found that while I enjoyed all poetry, something about haiku and tanka resonated with me. I heard about Haiku Northwest and went to local meetings in the Seattle area. I learned a lot about haiku and began posting and reading other people’s poems online daily. It got me in the habit of writing every day. Haiku has made me a more focused writer. I look at the moment, see it as a mental snapshot, and write about it. These moments enable me to just stay there, or I can expand on it. Writing at least one poem a day is a practice I continue to this day. It also inspires me to revise or write other poems and stories.
2. Tell us more about yourself.
I am a teacher, currently teaching a multiage group, grades four to six, in an alternative setting. This is something fairly new. During the twenty-three years I having been teaching, the majority of them have been kindergarten. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to bring my love of reading and writing to the classroom. Along with poetry, mostly haiku and tanka, I have been published in the education market. I have written for Trillium Publishing and for Super Teacher Worksheets. On my website I have links for stories I’ve written for Super Teacher Worksheets. I also write my own phonic stories for children who struggle in reading. In 2013, I published a middle-grade novel, Broken Bridges. It recently won a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award. I am currently shopping a picture book written in verse, and putting the finishing touches on a young adult novel. I have two daughters, Emily and Hailey. I live with my fiancée Jaci in Edmonds, Washington. I invite you to visit my website.
3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?
It is an opportunity to write every day and to get to know others through their writing. It is a chance to improve my craft.
4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?
Read and write every day. Practice makes progress. Write like you would take a photo—create your snapshot with words.
5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.
the record player
skips at the end—
mourning doves coo
No Longer Strangers: Haiku Northwest 25th Anniversary Anthology (Haiku Northwest, 2014)
The preceding is one of my first published haiku. I like this poem because it is my voice—the stories and moments I want to show.
the day a tree branch broke
beneath my feet
Jumble Box (NaHaiWriMo anthology, Press Here, 2017)
This haiku is a snapshot of something that happened when I was around seven. I like to incorporate past experiences into my writing.
roots and stump—
all that’s left
of our childhood treehouse
Frogpond 41:2, 2018
This haiku is similar to the one published in Jumble Box. The difference in this snapshot is I exaggerate the image.