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Neal Whitman

Neal Whitman

Born: March 27 1948 in Boston Massachusetts, USA
Resides: Pacific Grove, California, USA
E-mail: neal (dot) pgpoet (at) gmail (dot) com

Neal Whitman took up writing poetry in 2005 in transition from a long career in medical education where he helped pioneer using The Arts (literary, performing, visual) to supplement the Science of Medicine. When he retired in 2008 as Professor Emeritus, University of Utah School of Medicine, he took up writing haiku and added tanka in 2011. He is the haiku editor of the online journal, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine. Neal is member of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society and, with his wife, Elaine, co-edited the 2021 and 2022 YTHS Members Anthology. He also is a member of the Haiku Society of America and in 2015 he co-judged its Merit Book Awards.

Awards and Other Honors:

In 2009, two haiku were awarded honorable mention in the Yuki Teikei Haiku Contest; in 2010, haiku were awarded honorable mention in the Haiku Society of America Brady Senryu Contest and in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest. First Prize, Diogen Winter Senryu (2012); First Prize, Diogen Summer Senryu (2013); Semi-Finalist, World Monument Fund (2013); Honorable Mention, the Harold G. Henderson Memorial Award Haiku Contest (Haiku Society of America, 2013); First Prize, The Gerald Brady Memorial Award Senryu Contest (Haiku Society of America, 2014); Finalist, United Poets Laureate International (2015).
Neal has won the 2015 Bronze, 2016 Silver, and 2019 Gold Medals in the Ito En North America New Haiku Grand Prix; 2014 HSA Gerald Brady Memorial Senryu First Prize; 2015 World of Summer Contest, Best Unpublished Haiku; 2016 Haiku Poets of Northern California Haiku Second Prize; 2017 Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Tokutomi Contest Second Prize; 2019 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Festival, Best USA; 2021 26th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition Third Prize Foreign. In 2020 he judged the Little Iris Haiku Contest, Croatia.

Selected Work
lather up―
the opposite 
of rubbed the wrong way
endangered frog
eats an endangered insect―
the whole Earth implodes
sad buffet
of wilted flowers
my salad days
my fists are clenched
chess under a winter moon
black knight falls early
the crone next door
scatters pumpkin seeds. . .
she talks to crows
old bottle of wine
my mother’s oldest sister
she never married


”lather up” - Whole Life Soaps commended haiku, 2019; “endangered frog - Revista: Romanian Haiku Society honorable mention, 2019; “sad buffet” - Wild Plum Haiku Contest honorable mention, 2019; “my fists are clenched” - YTHS Tokutomi honorable mention, 2018; “the crone next door” - Pumpkin Festival, Ivanic Grad, Croatia honorable mention, 2018; “old bottle of wine” - Revista: Romanian Haiku Society third prize, 2016.

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