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Peggy Willis Lyles

Peggy Willis Lyles

September 17, 1939 - September 3, 2010

Peggy Willis Lyles was born in Summerville, South Carolina and, at the time of her death, lived in Tucker, Georgia. She graduated cum laude from Columbia College, attended The Citadel and the College of Charleston, and obtained her MA degree from Tulane University on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. She taught English at Sophie Newcomb College, and subsequently was a faculty member in the English department at the University of Georgia. She contributed regularly to leading haiku journals for more than thirty years. She was an associate editor of The Heron's Nest and was a member of The Red Moon Anthology staff. Peggy was revered by haiku poets worldwide. Her gentle, generous spirit touched so many, and her work will continue to touch and influence for countless decades to come.

Awards and Other Honors: Some of Peggy's awards include: The Museum of Haiku Literature Award (4 times); The Haiku Calendar Contest, winners and runners-up (1999-2009); First Place, The World Haiku Festival 2000 Poetry Competition; The Heron's Nest Readers' Choice Award (2000); The Heron's Nest Poet of the Year Award (2001); Honorable Mention, The Harold G. Henderson Memorial Contest (Haiku Society of America,1980, 1986); Commended, Mildred Kanterman Merit Book Award (Haiku Society of America, 2003); Grand Prize [with Paul MacNeil and Ferris Gilli, 2004 and 2008], Grand Prize [with Billie Wilson, Carolyn Hall, and Mark Brooks, 2002], Second Prize [with Paul MacNeil and Ferris Gilli, 2001], Honorable Mention [with Mark Brooks, Christopher Herold, Paul MacNeil, Billie Wilson, and Carol O'Dell, 2005]: The Bernard Lionel Einbond Renku Competition (Haiku Society of America); Mayfly Best-of-Issue Haiga Award; The Scorpion Prize; Sakura Award, The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival; First Place, The Robert Frost Poetry Festival Haiku Competition; Second and Third Place, The Kusamakura Award; Third Place, The Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest (2008).

Books Published: To Hear the Rain: Selected Haiku of Peggy Lyles (Decatur, IL: Brooks Books, 2002); Thirty-Six Tones (Normal, IL: Saki Press, 1999); Still at the Edge (Oneonta, NY: Swamp Press, 1980); Red Leaves in the Air (Battle Ground, Indiana: High/Coo Press, 1979)

Selected Work
scattered stars
the space between us
tastes of pine
Mother's scarf
slides from my shoulder
wild violets
clay on the wheel I confess my faith
a place in the rock
where rain would stay
summer night
we turn out all the lights
to hear the rain
in spite of everything forsythia
snowed in
the wedding-ring quilt
lumpy with children
winter stillness
leaves become
their veins
sleeping bats
an echo suggests
the depth of the cave
not quite goodbye--
an ocean beats
against the rocks

Credits: [first publication]: "scattered stars" – Brocade of Leaves (Haiku North America Conference Anthology, 2003); "clay" - Wind Chimes 4 (1982); summer night" - Cicada 4:4 (Canada, 1980); "snowed in" - Modern Haiku XI:3 (1980); "sleeping bats" - Frogpond XXVIII:3 (2005); "Mother's scarf" - The Heron's Nest IV:3 (2002); "snakeskin" - Acorn 21 (2008); "in spite of" - The Haiku Calendar 2008 (Snapshot Press); "winter stillness" - Modern Haiku XX:1, 1989); "not quite goodbye" - Modern Haiku 40:3 (2009).

Sources Biography: Appreciation to Charles Trumbull for assistance in gathering representative haiku and publication credits.

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