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Donna Fleischer

Donna Fleischer

Born: in Hartford Connecticut, USA
Resides: Bloomfield, Connecticut, USA
E-mail: dfleischer8 (at) gmail (dot) com

Donna Fleischer is the author of four chapbooks from Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, Longhouse Publishers, and bottle rockets press. Her haiku, haibun, and free verse appear in many print and online anthologies and journals worldwide, including: A Vast Sky, Bones, cattails, Cornell University Mann Library’s Daily Haiku, Dreams Wander On, Esque, Frogpond, Hummingbird, is/let, Journal of Renga & Renku volume 3, Kō, Lilliput Review, MayDay Magazine, Modern Haiku, moongarlic, Naugatuck River Review, On Barcelona, Otata, Otoliths, Peace Is a Haiku Song, Poets for Living Waters, Presence, roadrunner, Solitary Plover, Spiral Orb, #Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, The Marsh Hawk Press Review, The Operating System, TRUCK, Under the Basho, Verse Osmosis, and Zen Space. Her poetry is housed in the Japanese Museum of Haiku Literature, Tokyo; Poets House, NYC; University of Massachusetts Amherst DuBois Library; the Canadian Haiku Society; California State Library Haiku Archives at Sacramento, and The Haiku Foundation. Fleischer is a contributing writer on the arts in Connecticut for Art New England; she is listed with Poets & Writers and The Living Haiku Anthology. Since 2010, she continues to post curatorial content for poetry, music, poetics, and permaculture at her blog, word pond. She and her spouse live on a windy, trap rock mountain ridge in northern Connecticut.

Awards and Other Honors: Fleischer’s haiku “cold sun” received the 2014 Nagoya City Japan Board of Education Award for Best Haiku. The poem was hand-printed on a broadside, given to the poet and published with commentary by Dr. Kōko Katō, in . Her poem “late winter –” was awarded First Prize by editor Don Baird, in the 2014 Under the Basho International Haiku Contest accompanied by a print broadside and cash award. Fleischer’s free verse poetry won The University of Hartford 1987 Creative Writing Award for Poetry.      Anthology Appearances: Verse Osmosis: Poems and Translations by The Boiler House Poets (Tupelo Press – Mass MoCA Residency, 2016; Ann Dernier, ed.); A Vast Sky (Tancho Press, 2015; Bruce Ross, Kōko Katō, Dietmar Tauchner, Patricia Prime, editors); Haiku 2015 & Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press, 2015, 2014; Lee Gurga, Scott Metz, editors); Beyond the Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku (Middle Island Press, 2015, Robert Epstein, ed); Peace Is A Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia, 2013; Sonia Sanchez, Yolanda Wisher, editors); Contemporary Haibun Volumes 4 & 15 (Red Moon Press, 2003, 2014; Jim Kacian, Ken Jones, Bruce Ross, editors); Kamesan’s World Haiku on War, Violence and Human Rights Violation (2013; Dimitar Anakiev, ed.); We Are All Japan (Alley Cat Books, Ltd, 2012; Robert D. Wilson, Saša Važić, editors); The #Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology (Stephen Boyer, Filip Marinovich, editors); Wang Ping’s Kinship of Rivers (2011; Wang Ping, ed.); Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness (Modern English Tanka Press, 2011; Robert Epstein, ed.); seed packets (bottle rockets press, 2010; Stanford Forrester, ed.); lanterns (bottle rockets press, 2007; Stanford Forrester, ed.); The Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology (HSA, 2003); bits of itself (HSA, 2002); and Charter Oak Poets ii (Charter Oak Cultural Center, 1995; Anthony Keller, ed.).      Essays: “The Black Swans of Ellen Carey: Of Necessary Poetic Realities” by Fleischer is the catalogue essay (Eastern Connecticut State University, Akus Gallery, 2014, 25pp) for the exhibition “Let There Be Light: The Black Swans of Ellen Carey”; “Earth Day” describes the development of a winning haiku (Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational, 2014; Jessica Tremblay, ed.); “The American Haibun” (Donna Fleischer ©2008), Lilliput Review, Don Wentworth, editor, 2011).      Broadsides: peony ~ HaiKube™ No. 1, 2014, useful knowledge press (New Haven, CT), a 3-D broadside with haiku by Fleischer and original engraving by Allan Greenier, letter-pressed and imposed on lightweight cube composed of British paper Davey Boards wrapped by Arches paper – 2 in. x 5/8 in. per side; “cold sun” scroll broadside in Japanese sumi-e and English with original black and red inked chop, Nagoya City Japan Board of Education, publisher, printed in Japan, 2014); The 2014 Under the Basho International Haiku Contest First Prize haiku “late winter –” by Donna Fleischer, is embossed on a broadside with seal, depicting the classical Japanese poet Issa sitting beneath the willow tree of which he wrote; the haiku “rail cars stacked with wood” by Donna Fleischer, ink stamped and illustrated on recycled plastic by poet and artist Lily Brown (pressing on press, Athens, Georgia, Heidi Lynn Staples, editor, 2011); and the haiku "fish clouds birds" by Donna Fleischer, four-color process offset printed on 11 in. x 17 in. recycled, 80lb glossy stock (Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Inc., 2009).      Interviews: “Donna Fleischer on Poetry and Money” by poet and editor Eileen R. Tabios; “Donna Fleischer — Haibun: Three Questions” (Blogging Along Tobacco Road, Curtis Dunlap, editor, 2011); and “Donna Fleischer on Creativity” (Miriam’s Well, an online interview by writer, artist, and editor Miriam Sagan).

Books Published: < Periodic Earth >, free verse chapbook (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, Pueblo, CO, Kyle Laws, ed., 2016); Twinkle, Twinkle, Fleischer’s haiku selected by legendary American poet, Bob Arnold (Longhouse Publishers, Green River, VT, 2010); indra’s net, a haibun collection (bottle rockets press, Wethersfield, CT, 2003), out of print and available free to read at Scrib’d; and Intimate Boundaries, a self-produced collection of the poet’s early poems includes six for which she received the University of Hartford 1987 Creative Writing Award for Poetry.
    Lee Gurga, esteemed poet and editor, recently wrote about the haiku "dried up" by Donna Fleischer:

dried up

earthworm ouro-

boros condom


Fascinating, isn’t it? I would probably have stopped here, with its images of nature (dried up earthworm), mythology (ouroboros), and contemporary life (condom), and thought I had a great haiku. And it is. But the poet went beyond this, into another realm. The haiku finishes with a whiz-bang fourth line that, as you will see, literally closes the circle and engages directly with the Japanese tradition. Haiku such as these are, I believe, contemporary English-language haiku at its best.”

Selected Work
samurai bones in spring rains
take it off, no
not the red dress the mask
that is the red dress
weather report –
the butterflies
out very late
fresh barley wine
an urge to talk
with Beowulf
cold sun
the crow calls to
its shadow
late winter –
the dragonfly world
of a  snowflake

Credits: "dried up" - moongarlic 2 (2014);"Fukushima" - We Are All Japan Anthology (2012); "weather report" - South by Southeast 19:1 (2012); "cold sun" - 28:4 (Autumn-Winter 2013); "take it off, no" - Bones 2 (2013); "fresh barley wine" - South by Southeast 20:1 (2013); "late winter" - Under the Basho (2014).

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