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M. R. Defibaugh

M. R. Defibaugh

Born: December 13 1985 in Richmond Virginia, USA
Resides: Chesterfield County, Virginia, USA
E-mail: mrdefibaugh (at) gmail (dot) com

M. R. Defibaugh is a Virginia-based poet and haiku enthusiast whose work is influenced by love, loss, disability, and compassion for others and the environment. Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he suffers from progressive muscle loss and relies on a wheelchair. He has degrees in mathematical sciences (BA, University of Illinois at Springfield) and operations management (MS, University of Arkansas). Defibaugh's latest chapbook, paperwhite narcissus (2023), features over 40 haiku and senryu published from 2021-2023, appearing in numerous journals and other online publications. The poems' emotional force and precise imagery tell a story that reflects on love and loss and, in doing so, celebrates the entirety of the human experience. Defibaugh was also the co-creator and editor of the Tan-Renga Chapbook Series (2022-2024).

Awards and Other Honors:

Honorable Mention, The Haiku Foundation Monthly Kukai, June 2021; Commendation, The 13th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2023; First Prize, The Haiku Foundation Monthly Kukai, February 2024.

Books Published:

the cuckoo always mid-song: haiku & haiga (Barnes & Noble Press, 2021); paperwhite narcissus (2023).

Selected Work
frayed brush the moon left scratching its head
midsummer night
the wind chimes in
with an answer
cherry blossoms
the wind instead
of a flower girl
first snowfall
finding more reasons
not to write
grandpa's voice
when the wheat was
taller than me
the bones of some small thing 
left on a voicemail


“frayed brush” – Troutswirl, THF’s blog in Haiku Dialogue: Literary Devices, personification, August 2022; “midsummer night” – Frogpond vol. 46:3, Autumn 2023; “cherry blossoms” – Frogpond vol. 47:2, Spring/Summer 2024; “first snowfall” – 13th Polish International Haiku Competition (PIHC), 2023, Commendation; “grandpa's voice” – THF Monthly Kukai, March 2024, First Prize; “picked-clean” – Kingfisher #9, Spring 2024.

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