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Robert Witmer

Robert Witmer

Born: November 18 1951 in Williamsport Pennsylvania, USA
Resides: Tokyo, Japan
E-mail: robertwitmer24 (at) gmail (dot) com

I have lived in Tokyo, Japan, for the past 35 years. I am currently serving as the Chairperson of the Department of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, where I have worked for 34 years. I teach courses in Critical Thinking and American Poetry. I am married, with two children. During my sabbatical year in 2010-2011 I lived for several months in Goa, India, where I taught a course in short fiction at Chowgule College. There I also had an opportunity to teach a seminar in the haiku, which proved to be very popular. Besides poetry, I enjoy baseball, hiking and petanque.

Awards and Other Honors: I have recently won two haiku awards, though, having pledged secrecy until the announcements are made, I must withhold the details for now. I received a Runners-up award in the First British Haiku Society Tanka Awards (2014-15). I have also been listed among those selected for the annual Reader’s Choice Awards of The Heron’s Nest and the best of issue awards for Presence. Outside the world of haiku and tanka, a poem of mine was included in the recently published book Teaching as a Human Experience, by Cambridge Scholars.

Selected Work
nuclear disaster
heads of state
share a cucumber
running through the graveyard
a boy
at the end of a kite
spring cleaning
nowhere to put
the kids’ childhood
sunlight on water
in the syllables of birds
calloused hands
the carpenter smoothes
his daughter’s gown

Credits: "nuclear disaster" - The Heron’s Nest 13:3 [an Editors' Choice] (September 2011); "spring cleaning" - The Heron’s Nest 14:3 [an Editors' Choice] (September 2012); "calloused hands" - The Heron’s Nest 15:4 (December 2013); "running through the graveyard" - Modern Haiku 46.1 (Winter-Spring 2015); "sunlight on water" - The Heron’s Nest 17:1 (March 2015); "sleeping" - Taj Mahal Review 13:2 (December 2014).

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