1. How did you get started with haiku?
In my first year of college, in 1965, a friend gave me a little Peter Pauper book on Bashō, Buson, and Issa. I wrote a few haiku then, but about thirty years ago began to write almost daily. I have given papers at regional and national haiku meetings that blend my knowledge of the human body and poetry, such as “Visceral Sensation in the Perception of the Haiku Moment.”
2. Tell us more about yourself.
I am a third-generation native of Washington, DC. My family has a “haiku sensibility.” Dad would bundle the five of us kids in our pajamas and blankets and drive us, before dawn, to the Tidal Basin, where we would watch the sun rise through the cherry blossoms. My brother became a photographer for the Environmental Protection Agency, and his photos are not unlike haiku. I am a medical doctor, a psychiatrist. I do ikebana and paint enso. I am also a fiber artist—quilting, knitting, crocheting. I have written two books, and I’m a culinary skydiver, And a second-generation jeweler—you can view my offerings on Etsy.
3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?
I participated for many years. When my good friend Carlos Colon died, I could not bear to post and not see his poems, so I “went away” for a while. I’ve been back since 2021.
4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?
Just start. Read other’s poems and think about them. You will find your voice. And post a haiku on the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook (or elsewhere) every day, rain or shine.
5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.
brushed by my shadow
the slow rat tat
in the magnolia