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Kay F. Anderson

Kay F. Anderson

July 29, 1934 - February 8, 2007

Kay F. Anderson, born Kay Frances Holst in Moline, Illinois, met her future husband, John Anderson, when she was 10 and he was 13; they married in 1955. After pursuing a liberal arts degree at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, she earned an associate of arts degree at Skyline College, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Education/Psychology. She was a freelance writer, a painter, counselor, motivational speaker, educator, and a certified Transactional Analyst. Kay discovered haiku in 1990, and her haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga, and sumi-e appeared in major journals and anthologies. She served as a judge for the 1994 Gerald M. Brady Memorial Senryu Awards sponsored by the Haiku Society of America and for the 2001 International Haiku Contest sponsored by the Palomar Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. She established, in 1997, the Kayfa Roshi Award for Life-Changing Action in Support of Youth. Although weakened by metastatic malignant melanoma and the effects of treatment, Kay continued to write, paint, and participate in haiku activities. After a seven-year battle, she leaves her husband, two daughters, four grandchildren, one great grandchild, and countless haiku friends.

Awards and Other Honors: Many poems were honored in national contests and published in major anthologies, including William J. Higginson's Haiku World. Some of her awards include First Place, Haiku Poets of Northern California (HPNC) International Tanka Contest (1995); Second Place, Harold G. Henderson Haiku Awards (1996); Second Place, National League of American Pen Women contest (1996). She served as President of the Haiku Poets of Northern California in 1996, and was twice featured as an honored reader at HPNC's Two Autumns readings in San Francisco (1993 and 2002). Her tanka awards include three Tanka Splendor Awards (1993), First Place, HPNC San Francisco International Tanka Contest (1995), and Editor’s Choice Award, Brussels Sprout (1995). A tanka was included in the anthology Wind Five Folded (1995) and in the Acorn Tanka Supplement (2001). Three tanka were selected for The Tanka Anthology. Her work also appeared in the premier edition of Reeds, published by Jeanne Emrich. Her use of haiku in working with other cancer patients was featured, along with her haiku, in Emiko Miyashita's The New Pond.

Books Published: The First Book of Philosophy (for gifted 6th grade students) and I and thou in the here and now (named Word Books, Inc. Book of the Month). She edited the 1997 Two Autumns anthology, Beneath Cherry Blossoms, and was working on a book to help a new generation find and travel the Haiku Path to Joy.

Selected Work
 
rainy day—
sharing my bread
with a peg-leg grackle
 
pine-needled path
                 slowly I step
out of my mind
 
 
 
what else
do I need to know . . .
pine trees growing from stone
 
five years
in the wrong window:
a violet’s first bloom
 
 
 
first sumi-e lesson—
what I need
is the teacher’s brush
 
deep silence
the orphaned nestlings
this third morning
 
 
 
at the trail’s bend
mist climbing
a long wooden staircase
 
a red-tail hawk
stuck on the sky —
Indian summer haze
 
 
 
between a rock
and a hard place . . .
the oncologist’s fish
 
campfire circle
a friend’s back
leans against mine
 
 

Credits: "rainy day" - Woodnotes 14 (1992); Morning Snow (HPNC Two Autumns Press, 1993); The Heron's Nest 9:2 (2007); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "what else" - The Heron’s Nest 7:4 (2005); inside the mirror: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2005 (Red Moon Press, 2006); Modern Haiku 37:2 (2006); Modern Haiku 38:2 (2007); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "first sumi-e lesson" - Woodnotes 18 (1993); The Heron's Nest 9:2 (2007); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "at the trail’s bend" - Frogpond XXII:1 (1999); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "between a rock" - The Heron’s Nest 6:9 (2004); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "pine-needled path" - Editor's Choice: The Heron’s Nest 1:2 (1999); Anderson, ed., Still Singing (HPNC Two Autumns Press, 2002); Modern Haiku 34:1 (2003); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "five years" - Editor’s Choice 2nd Runner-up: Woodnotes 22 (1994); The Heron's Nest 9:2 (2007); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "deep silence" - Second Place, Harold G. Henderson Awards (1996); Frogpond 19:3 (1996); The Red Moon Anthology 1996 (Red Moon Press, 1997); Anderson. ed., Still Singing (HPNC Two Autumns Press, 2002); Modern Haiku 34:1 (2003); The Heron's Nest 9:2 (2007); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008); "a red-tail hawk" - Modern Haiku 23:3 (992); Haiku World (ed., Higginson, Kodansha, 1996); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press, 2008); "campfire circle" - The Heron’s Nest 6:7 (2004); third morning (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press 2008).

Sources Biography: John Anderson; third morning [a posthumous collection of the haiku of Kay F. Anderson] (Jim Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 8, 2008); and various online tributes, including the American Haiku Archives and the Haiku Society of America/Obituaries. Appreciation is also due Charles Trumbull for assistance in gathering representative haiku and publication credits.

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