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Kristen Deming

Kristen Deming

April 29, 1939 - October 21, 2019

Kristen Deming discovered haiku in the 1960’s, but found her focus and inspiration while living in Japan as a diplomatic spouse. She was active in poetry circles, hosting a variety of gatherings for haiku, tanka, and renku poets, and students. She gave haiku talks to Japanese high school, college and women’s groups, and was an advocate for English-language haiku. She initiated and co-authored “Haiku Moments,” a weekly column of translations of modern Japanese haiku for The Japan Times newspaper. She was a member of The Poetry Reading Circle of Tokyo, The Poetry Society of Japan, The Haiku International Association, and the Association of International Renku (A.I.R.). Married to Ambassador Rust Deming; 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren.
Kristen Deming passed away on October 21, 2019 at home. She was 80 years old.

Awards and Other Honors:

Touchstone Distinguished Book Award, Honorable Mention, The Haiku Foundation, 2017; The Merit Book Award, Honorable Mention, The Haiku Society of America, 2017; Runner-up, The Haiku Calendar Competition (Snapshot Press, 2017); the Marshall Green Award for Sustained and Significant Contributions to the U.S.-Japan Relationship, presented to Kristen and Rust Deming for their individual contributions, by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. (2016); Co-winner, Museum of Haiku Literature Award (Frogpond, 2014); Third Prize, Robert Spiess Haiku Competition (2014); Panel speaker, “Transformations: Haiku from Japan to America,” Japan Information and Culture Center (2014); one of three judges for National Public Radio's cherry blossom haiku contest (2013); a co-judge, the Nicholas Virgilio Haiku Contest (2009); Second Prize, Harold G. Henderson Contest (Haiku Society of America, 2008); counselor for Haiku International Association ('90's); President, The Haiku Society of America [HSA’s 30th anniversary year] (1998); First Prize (International Division), Mainichi Daily News Inaugural Haiku Contest (1997); Japan liaison for the Second Haiku International Association/Haiku Society of America Joint Conference, Tokyo (1997); Guest, 100th Anniversary of the first issue of Hototogisu (Cuckoo) magazine (1996); Japan liaison for “Haiku Chicago” (1995); Guest poet-participant, Basho 350th Anniversary festival and renku session, Sugawara shrine (1994); Prizewinner, Itoen First Annual Haiku Contest (1991); Second Prize, Mainichi Daily News “Haiku in English” contest (1989).

Deming’s haiku have appeared in: Wishbone Moon, Jacar Press, edited by Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton and Kala Ramesh, 2018; The Haiku Calendar 2018 (Snapshot Press 2017); The Wonder Code, Scott Mason (Girasole Press, 2017); Beyond the Fields, Sandip Chauhan (Aesthetics Publications, 2017); The Haiku Life: What We Learned As Editors of Frogpond, Michelle Root-Bernstein and Francine Banwarth (Modern Haiku Press, 2017); Haiku 15, Lee Gurga and Scott Metz (Modern Haiku Press, 2015); Something Out of Nothing, Ion Codrescu (Red Moon Press, 2014); The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, Robert Epstein (Create Space, 2014); The Scent of Music: Haiku with a touch of music, Marlene Buitelaar (publishing house ‘t Schrijverke/Max Verhart, Netherlands, 2013); Temple Bell: Haiku of Grief and Loss (Modern English Tanka Press, 2012); Rollins Book of Verse 1885-2010 (Angel Alley Press, 2010); A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2009); Haiku Mind, Patricia Donegan (Shambhala Press, 2008); Haiku: A Poet’s Guide, Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press, 2003); New Pond: An English Language Haiku Anthology, Emiko Miyashita/Lee Gurga (2002); Haikukai (2001); The Writer magazine (2001); A Glimpse of Red: Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2000); Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac, William J. Higginson (Kodansha International, 1996); various Red Moon Anthologies; Modern Haiku; Frogpond; Akimagazine; Haiku Asahi; Gendai Haiku Kyokai(Modern Haiku Association magazine); Mainichi Daily News “Haiku in English” column; NHK “Songs of the Wind” Haiku in English series; Nihon Keizai Shinbun; The Heron’s Nest; Poetry Nippon, Komagazine; Presencehaiku journal (U.K.) and others.

Books Published:

plum afternoon Red Moon Press Winchester, VA (2017); Eyes of the Blossoms, edited and privately published by Yatsuka Ishihara (1997).

Selected Work
new catalogue―
I order narcissus poeticus
just for the name
a leaf falls―
the column of gnats
diplomat’s child― 
she draws her houses
with wings
as if his hand
remained in my hand―
sun-warmed stone
dawn swim―
making a butterfly of water
of light
alone now
no ruby slippers
to take me home
in the pause
between fireworks
the baby’s quickening
casualty lists―
smaller and smaller
blossoms . . .
the baby’s bare feet
pedal the air
cape in spring―
poetry stones in a row
echo the waves


“new catalogue" - Frogpond Vol. 36.2 (2013); “diplomat’s child” – Modern Haiku Vol. 40.3 (2009); "dawn swim" - Frogpond (2012); Museum of Haiku Literature Award, co-winner (2013); “a leaf falls” – Pocket Change (2000), A Glimpse of Red: Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku(Red Moon Press, 2000); "as if his hand" - Runner-up, The Haiku Calendar Competition (Snapshot Press, 2017); The Haiku Calendar 2018 (Snapshot Press, 2017); "alone now" - Third Prize, Robert Spiess Haiku Competition (2014); Modern Haiku (Summer, 2014); “in the pause” – Frogpond (2001); The Writer magazine (2001); “casualty lists” – Modern Haiku Vol. 38.3 (2007); A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2009); “blossoms” – Harold G. Henderson Memorial Award (Haiku Society of America, 2008); “cape in spring” – Haiku: A Poet’s Choice, Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press, 2003).

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