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My first book of haiku (actually haibun) was with Joel Weishaus (my longest male friend and fellow writer/poet). I was visiting Joel in Portland, as he had recently moved there from Albuquerque. We were walking in Forest Park and Joel said, “We ought to write a book together.” I replied, “OK.” Then I mentioned haiku, knowing that we had that and Japan in common. A Japanese haiku poet in Japan had planned to write The Healing Spirit of Haiku with me. Then she decided, with my support, to write her own book. That became the impetus to collaborate with Joel. The work evolved and was a meaningful and healing experience for both of us. This book was initially published by North Atlantic Books (2004). However, after it went out of print, it was republished by Resource Publications (an imprint of Wipf & Stock) in 20!4.
My second volume of haiku, Clouds and More Clouds, was published by Lily Pool Press in 2013. Lily Pool is an imprint of Swamp Press. This collection was nominated for the William Carlos Williams Award, but did not receive it. However, it was a honor just to be nominated. The book was also nominated for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Books Award.
My next book [number 10], Lost in the Land of the Long White Cloud: Finding My Way Home, is a memoir written in the haibun genre. It is in press and will be published in 2014 or 2015.
Why did I write Clouds and More Clouds?
That book emerged as a result of my illness.
I was reading The Book of Psalms and my namesake felt blessed by God for his afflictions. Since I adopted that same viewpoint, I have written poetry and prose from the heart. My memoir is similar. Although we have never met, I feel like I know you.
Peace & light,