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Haiku Tribute Challenge May 11

For May’s Per Diem feature on The Haiku Foundation website Carlos Colón has selected poems written as tributes to fellow haiku poets, but without indicating who the recipient of the tribute is. We challenge you to identify the poet being honored today, May 11. Read the Per Diem poem, then send us the name of who you think is the honoree in the comment box below. All recipients, and identifiers, will be revealed at the end of the month. Good luck!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thanks Carolyn, for your beautiful tribute haiku to Paul O Williams, and for including his haiku too.

    Your tribute poem to Claire is also magical. I’m glad this post has generated so many exceptional haiku.

    many thanks to Cherie for the right guess, to Carolyn, to Carlos, and our lost friends and colleagues in haiku.

    warm regards,


  2. Alan, interestingly I did write a memorial poem for Paul O. Williams. (If I had known this was going to be a guessing game, I might have submitted it instead of the poem for Claire.) The POW memorial poem is

    wind in the canopy
    twilight doesn’t silence
    the grosbeak’s song

    based on Paul’s famous

    gone from the woods
    the bird I knew
    by song alone

  3. You are correct, Cherie. Alan, you were close. I can see why you thought the memorialized poet might have been Paul O. Williams.

  4. Carolyn’s haiku makes me think of D. Claire Gallagher (Dec. 7, 1941 – July 17, 2009)

  5. My guess is Paul O. Williams
    American science fiction writer and haiku poet
    (January 17, 1935 – June 2, 2009)

    for this tribute haiku:

    lowering sun—
    with a turn of my head
    the finches fly away

    – Carolyn Hall

    If I’m wrong do still enjoy this tribute by Haiku Society of America journal Frogpond (September 2009):

    In Memoriam
    Paul O. Williams (January 17, 1935 – June 2, 2009)

    The haiku community at large, and the Haiku Poets of Northern California, are deeply
    saddened by the loss of Paul O. Williams, a great friend and haiku stalwart. He passed
    away, suddenly and unexpectedly, on June 2, 2009.

    Paul first became interested in haiku in 1964 and since then has written and published numerous haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun, and critical essays. Paul was one of the founding members of the Haiku Poets of Northern California in 1989, and served as its president in 1991-92. He was president of the Haiku Society of America in 1999, and vice president of the Tanka Society of America in 2000. He was an active member of the Yuki Teikei Society as well.

    Paul wore many hats. He was professor emeritus of English at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. He was a notable science fiction writer, best known for the Pelbar Cycle, a series of seven novels with a uniquely optimistic vision of an America long after a nuclear war. Paul won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 1983.

    His book The Nick of Time: Essays on Haiku Aesthetics (Press Here, 2001) was winner of the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Award for Best Criticism. Paul was also known for coining the word “Tontoism” to describe haiku with missing articles (“a”, “an”, “the”) thus making haiku sound like the stunted English of the Lone Ranger’s Indian sidekick.

    Paul loved cats and was an origami enthusiast as well. We will miss his laughter, the
    twinkle in his eye, and his fatherly presence.

    gone from the woods
    the bird I knew
    by song alone

    (for Nicolas Virgilio)


    for a moment
    the dead apple tree bears—


    so hard a rain
    now even the mountain
    flows down the mountain

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