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Paul W. MacNeil

Paul W. MacNeil

January 7, 1948 - October 30, 2019

MacNeil described himself as an Amateur Naturalist who started the study of haiku in his mid-forties. Paul tried to pass the non-freezing months at a lakeside cabin in a mountainous area of Maine, and the rest in Florida. He was a widower, had a wonderful daughter and son-in-law, and delightful identical twin granddaughters. He was a long-time Associate Editor of the print and on-line haikai journal, The Heron’s Nest.
Paul remarked: “A few of the things that attracted me to haiku were the simplicity of nature described, and the conciseness of the language used in these little poems. I try to capture, so to share, the little 'truths' of what I experience.”

After battling pancreatic cancer for the past three months, Paul MacNeil passed away peacefully on October 30, 2019 in in Colorado, where he spent his final days in the company of his daughter, Meghan, her husband Aaron, and his twin granddaughters. He was 71 years old.

Awards and Other Honors:

Member of writing teams winning seven Grand Prizes (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014) and nine other awards (1999-2010) in the Haiku Society of America's Einbond Renku Competition. Several Winning Months in Snapshots Haiku Calendar Contest. Paul feels it a very special honor to have had one of his haiku engraved on a river boulder as part of The Haiku Pathway, Katikati, New Zealand, dedicated June, 2010. Two haiku were selected to appear in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years[edited by Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns] (W.W. Norton and Company, 2013). Fifteen haiku were selected to appear in Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku [edited by Allan Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013).

Books Published:

The Onawa Poems 1999-2008 [editor and contributor], Ship Pond Press, 2009 (reviewed by Allan Burns in Modern Haiku Volume 41.1 Winter 2010).

Selected Work
traffic wind
in the black-eyed Susans
a dead bear
paddle at rest
beads of water slide
from the loon’s bill
stepping stone
a hiker rests
in the river’s wind
windless heat>
an alligator nose
in the coot’s wake
black silence
at the storm’s edge
biting flies
another stair
the weight of my daughter’s
college bags
high moon
all the shadows gone
from the haystack
forest road
two cars pass into
each other's dust
paddle at rest
beads of water slide
from the loon’s bill
the eider duck’s dive
than his whiteness


"traffic wind" - The Heron’s Nest 2:10 (2000); Montage #7 (The Haiku Foundation, 2009); "stepping stone" - Montage #7 (The Haiku Foundation, 2009); The Onawa Poems 1999-2008 (Ship Pond Press, 2009); "black silence" - Modern Haiku XXXII:3 (2001); "paddle at rest" – Modern Haiku XXX:2 (1999); The Haiku Calendar (Snapshot Press, 2001); The Heron's Nest (Robert Spiess Memorial) 4:4 (2002); Where The River Goes - The Nature Tradition in English Language Haiku [ed. Burns] (Snapshot Press, 2013); Haiku In English - The First Hundred Years [ed. Kacian, Rowland, Burns] (W.W. Norton, 2013);"windless heat" - The Haiku Calendar (Snapshot Press, 2001); "another stair" - Editor's Choice, The Heron’s Nest 1:4 (1999); The Haiku Calendar (Snapshot Press, 2001); “high moon”; “forest road” - The Heron’s Nest Vol. I, No. 1: Sept. 1999; “paddle at rest” (editor’s choice); “the eider duck’s dive” - Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, ed. Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, Allan Burns, W.W Norton &Co., New York-London, 2013.

Additional Reading: about The Onawa Poems 1999-2008

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