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Carol Anne Purington

Carol Anne Purington

November 16, 1949 - December 8, 2020

Carol Anne Purington was born on a hill farm in Western Massachusetts, and wrote from there her entire life; she explored the wider world through books and imagination because of polio-caused disability. Sometime in the 1980s she encountered haiku and tanka, forms that accommodate a life-long need to fit seasonal and emotional rhythms into words. She strove always to express the worthiness, the uniqueness, the significance, of each detail of this Creation. God's glory is as truly reflected in a ladybug or a maple tree as it is in the galaxies. Carol's poems have appeared in the following publications: American Tanka, Bottle Rockets, Christian Science Monitor, Gusts, Hermitage, Hummingbird, Lynx Online, Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, Mirrors, Moonbathing, Nor’Easter, Pine Island Journal, Poetry in the Light, Red Lights, Ribbons, Simply Haiku Online, Tanka Online, Time of Singing, Woodnotes.

Carol passed away on December 8, 2020 at home with family by her side after a tenacious 65 year battle with polio. She was 71 years old.
It is traditional for a haiku writer to leave behind a death poem:

Her final word―
a window thrown open
to the spring evening

(find on The obituary for Carol Purington .)

Awards and Other Honors:

First Prize, Hawaii Educational Association (1992); First Prize, Haiku Society of America’s Harold G. Henderson Award (1992); Second Prize, Yuki Tekei Haiku Society’s Kiyoshi Tokutomi Memorial Contest (1995); Frogpond’s Best of Issue Award, chosen by the Japanese Museum of Haiku Literature (1996; XIX:2); First Prize, Haiku Poets of Northern California's International Rengay Contest, with Larry Kimmel (1996); Hummingbird Featured Poet (VIII:3; March 1998); Editors’ Choice, The Heron’s Nest (September 2001); First & Third Prizes, Tanka Society of America Contest (2002); Poem of the Month, Christian Science Monitor Online (June 2003); First Prize, Haiku Poets of Northern California International San Francisco Tanka Contest (2003); Second Prize, Tanka Society of America Contest (2004); Third Prize, Tanka Society of America Contest (2005); Red Lights Featured Tanka Poet (4:1; January 2008); Ribbons Tanka Café Member's Choice (Vol. VI, No. 3; Autumn 2010); Farm Song (Colrain MA: Winfred Press, 2020) is a finalist for the Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards for 2020.

Books Published:

Woodslawn Farm: Haiku for a New England Year (Common Wealth Press, 1989); The Trees Bleed Sweetness (Winfred Press, 1997); Family Farm: Haiku for a Place of Moons (Winfred Press, 1999; 2015); A Pattern for This Place (Winfred Press, 2001); a spill of apples: tanrenga and other linked verse, with Larry Kimmel (Winfred Press, 2003); Gathering Peace (Winfred Press/Black Cat Press, 2007); Morning Song: Poetry for New Parents co-edited with Susan Todd (St. Martin's Press, 2011); The Trees Bleed Sweetness: A Tanka Narrative (Winfred Press, 2012); Faces I Might Wear (Winfred Press, 2013).

Selected Work
Logging road—
the pileated woodpecker
flings its cry ahead
Labor Day
locking summer into
the empty cabin
Blackberry ramble
memory on memory
until the pail brims
Winter solstice
the road narrows
into one-way
Circle of gnats
held still into twilight—
orb weaver's web
Deep winter
     The armload of firewood
     chills the kitchen
Winter's early dusk
A cardinal at the feeder
until its red shows black
Skating the pond
Her white scarf flares backward
into moonlight
First crocus
... and the iced-over pond
slowly opens
As the crow flies . . .
     the crookedness of its shadow
     crossing the snow drift


"Logging road" - Frogpond vol. XIX:2 (1996) [Best of Issue Award, chosen by the Japanese Museum of Haiku Literature]; "Blackberry ramble" - First Prize, Hawaii Educational Association (October 1992); "Circle of gnats" - Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac, William J. Higginson (Kodansha International, 1996); "Labor Day" - Voices and Echoes: The Haiku Society of America Members Anthology 2001, edited by Carlos Colon; "Winter solstice" - Editors' Choice, The Heron’s Nest vol. III:7 (September 2001); "Deep winter" - First Prize, Haiku Society of America’s Harold G. Henderson Award (1992); "Winter's early dusk" - Christian Science Monitor (2000); "Skating the pond" - Dasoku (1998); "First crocus" - Nor'Easter (Spring 1999); "As the crow flies" - Modern Haiku vol. XXIX:2 (1998).

Additional Reading:

World Haiku Association 2001: Carol Purington; editor: Billie Wilson .

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