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Ellen Abbie Compton-Tejera

Ellen Abbie Compton-Tejera

April 3, 1926 - July 24, 2021

Ellen Compton was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and spent her early years in the Ohio River Valley. She credits those years with her love of the natural world, which informs much of her poetry. She later lived in Caracas, Venezuela, and in several cities in her home country. The last place of her residence was Washington, DC.
Her poetry is represented in major anthologies (Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern; The Haiku Anthology; and Red Moon Anthology, for example), and has received honors and awards at home and abroad. She is author of Gathering Dusk, a haiku collection; and, with Roberta Beary, she co-edited two Haiku Society of America anthologies. Ellen was an editor emerita of the Red Moon Anthology, and a founding member of Towpath (haiku poets of the Chesapeake Watershed).

Ellen Compton passed away suddenly at Sibley Hospital on July 25, 2021.

hospital roses . . .
my death poem
still on hold

Ellen Compton
(Modern Haiku 51.2)

Awards and Other Honors:

Betty Drevniok Award Competition, Haiku Canada: First Prize and Honorable Mention (2010); Britain's Seashell Game: Second Place (2009); Timepieces: James W. Hackett's Highly Commended (1997); Zen Garden Winners List: Second Prize (2004) and Honorable Mention (2003); Jack Stamm Anthology, Australia: Commendation (2004); Haiku Society of America, Harold G. Henderson Award: First Prize (2006); Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award: Second Prize and Honorable Mention (Modern Haiku, 2003); Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: Banner Award (2006) and Honorable Mention (2007); Mainichi Haiku Contest: Second Prize (2004) and Honorable Mention (2009); The Haiku Calendar Competition (Snapshot Press): First Place (for January and November, 2006) and (for January, May, and December 2007) and Honorable Mentions (for September and October 2001), (for December 2008), and (for January, March, and May 2009); Penumbra: Honorable Mention (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000); San Francisco International Competition: Honorable Mention (1995 and 2008); Yuki Tekei Haiku Society, Tokutomi Memorial Contest: First Place (2007).
Other Honors: Ellen's haiku and other short poetry have been featured on the Electronic Poetry Network of the Shreve Memorial Library. Shreveport, Louisiana. Her haiku and haibun have been selected for several editions of the Red Moon Anthology series. As co-editor with Roberta Beary, she received the Haiku Society's Merit Book Award Honorable Mention for Best Anthology (2006), and Merit Book Award Special Award for Best Anthology (2008). Her tanka received International Tanka Awards, Mirrors' Tanka Splendor (1991, 1992, 1995, and 1996). In the Kilbride International Haibun Competition, her haibun were awarded First Honorable Mention (2008 and 2010).

Books Published:

As author: Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015). As co-editor: with Jim Kacian and Jeff Witkin, pocket change, members' anthology, Towpath (1995); with Roberta Beary: fish in love, members' anthology, Haiku Society of America (2006) and dandelion clocks, members' anthology, Haiku Society of America (2008); with Kathleen O'Toole, a few stars away, members anthology, Towpath (2011).

Selected Work
the little sound of a star
red geraniums
           rips in the awning
      leak sunlight
hospital watch—
I open her window shade 
to cherry blossoms
first snow
       house sparrows
darken the hedgerow
gathering dusk . . .
a ripple in the meadow
where the fox goes
season of lights 
the postman
leans to the wind
old graves by starlight
footsteps release
          a scent of thyme
missing the turn sign
missing the turn 
               —wild lilies
silent gulls—
the last boat builder's
last boat
unsplit chopsticks
        the fish stares back
     from the bento


"kaleidoscope" - Modern Haiku 23:1 (1992); Cor van den Heuvel, The Haiku Anthology (New York, W.W. Norton. 1999); Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015); "hospital watch" - Banner Award, Vancouver First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival (2006); a far town view, Haiku Poets of Central Maryland (Black Cat Press, 2006); seed packets: an anthology of flower haiku (edited by S. M. Forrester, bottle rockets press, 2010); Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015); "gathering dusk" - Modern Haiku 22:2 (1991); Highly Commended, Timepieces, Haiku Week at a Glance (Cloverleaf Books, 1997); Poetry in the Light [online] (Haiku Light, March 1999); lunch break, Haiku Poets of Central Maryland (Black Cat Press, 2008); Second Place, Britain's Seashell Game (2009); Presence 39 (2009); While the Light Holds, Magnapoets Anthology Series 2 (Magnapoets, 2009); sharing the sun (Haiku Society of America members anthology, 2010); Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015); "red geraniums" - Modern Haiku 23:1 (1992); W.J. Higginson, Haiku World (Tokyo, New York, London: Kodansha International, 1996); Cor van den Heuvel, The Haiku Anthology (New York, W.W. Norton. 1999); J. Hardy, Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern (Boston, Rutland VT, Tokyo: Tuttle Publishers, 2002); as "géraniums rouges" (translation by B. Dubant), Haiku: Poetry Anciennes et Modernes (Paris: Editions Vega, 2003); as "Die Geranie reibt" (translation by H. C. Meiser), Haiku: Alte und moderne Meister (Dusseldorf: Patmos Verlag); Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015); "first snow" - Woodnotes 29 (1996); The Red Moon Anthology 1996 (Red Moon Press, 1997); Haiku Poems, Pocket Poems No. 4 (Bottom Dog Press, 1999); Second Prize, Zen Garden 2004 Winners List, Shadow Poetry (January 2005); Honorable Mention (for December), The Haiku Calendar Competition 2006 (Snapshot Press); The Haiku Calendar 2007 (Snapshot Press, 2006); Frogpond 30:1 (2007); Gathering Dusk (Snapshot Press, 2015); "season of lights" - First Place, Harold G. Henderson Award (Haiku Society of America, 2006); Frogpond 30:1 (2007); Honorable Mention (for December), The Haiku Calendar Competition 2007 (Snapshot Press); The Haiku Calendar 2008 (Snapshot Press, 2007); “old graves by starlight” - Frogpond 33:1, 2010; Red Moon Anthology, Red Moon Press, 2010; Electronic Poetry Network, Shreve Memorial Library, Shreveport Louisiana, December 4, 2010; “missing the turn sign” - Woodnotes No. 30, 1996; Red Moon Anthology, Winchester VA, Red Moon Press, 1997; Snapshots No. 8, 2001; Electronic Poetry Network, Shreve Memorial Library, Shreveport Louisiana, December 4, 2010; “silent gulls“ - Point Judith Light 1:1, June 1992; Poetry in the Light, Haiku Light, March 1999; “unsplit chopsticks” - Modern Haiku 28:1, winter-spring 1998; Snapshots No. 8. 2001; In a far town view, Haiku Poets of Central Maryland, Black Cat Press, October 2006; big sky, Red Moon Anthology 2006, Red Moon Press, 2007, R. Krawiec, the sound of poets cooking, Durham, NC: Jacar Press, 2010.

Sources Biography: Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile - Ellen Compton by Cathy Sadowski.

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