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Svetlana Marisova

Svetlana Marisova

March 17, 1990 - September 7, 2011

Svetlana Marisova was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and moved with her parents to New Zealand in 2004.  She later answered a call to a life of contemplative prayer. This was curtailed in late 2009 with a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.  Over the two remaining years of her short life she developed a passionate interest in haiku which she continued reading and writing daily until she could no more.  She served as webmaster of Simply Haiku for part of 2011 while she continued to develop as a poet and cultivated close friendships with people all around the world on Facebook.  A book of haikai that grew out of her online relationship with Ted van Zutphen, containing the poems they wrote, was published in 2011.  Her work has appeared in Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun vol.12, Haiga Online, haijinx, Notes from the Gean, Simply Haiku, Frogpond, Mainichi Daily News, Haiku Society of America haiku wall in Bend, Oregon, and Gong (Association Francophone de Haiku). Articles about her work have appeared in Simply Haiku, Gong, and Haiku Reality. Some of her poems have been included in the anthologies, The Temple Bell Stops: Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss, and Change [edited by Robert Epstein] (Modern English Tanka Press, 2012); We Are All Japan [edited by Robert D. Wilson and Sasa Vazic] (2012); and Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4 (2012). Her blog continues to be maintained by her friends at in addition to the work archived at

Awards and Other Honors: First Place, Shiki Kukai 9th Annual Poets’ Choice Awards (2011); Honorable Mention, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational (2011).

Books Published: Be Still and Know by Svetlana Marisova and Ted van Zutphen (Karakia Press, 2011).

Selected Work
floating downstream -
the burden of my shadow
on a mayfly
incoming tide ...
the writing fills
both sides
still pond--
shadow of a mayfly
in the depths
summer glare
along the beach
only light
crashing waves -
almost believing
it's forever
cold morning ...
reality drifts back
as a dream
first light ...
out of the shadows
a deer
sleepless moon ...
dawn spills over
the wasteland
distant thunder -
the writer of this haiku
... dead?
ahh rainbow!
the light passing
through me

Credits: "floating downstream" - Simply Haiku (Summer 2011); "still pond" - Mainichi Daily News (April 13, 2011); "crashing waves" - Haiku Society of America haiku wall (Bend, Oregon 2011); "first light" - Shiki Kukai 9th Annual Poets’ Choice Awards (2011); "distant thunder" - Simply Haiku (Spring 2011); "incoming tide" - haijinx (March 2011); "summer glare" - Notes from the Gean (March 2011); "cold morning" - Gong [revue franchophone de haiku] (November 2011); "sleepless moon" - Simply Haiku (Autumn/Winter 2011); "ahh rainbow!" - Simply Haiku (Summer 2012).

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