Charlotte Digregorio, author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and a haiku/senryu collection, Shadows of Seasons, knows the simplicity, yet elegance, of Japanese-style poetry. Haiku and senryu originated in Japan in the 1600s and 1700s, respectively. The author says, “They capture the moments of our lives and often evoke our deepest emotions that we may have difficulty sharing with even those close to us. Sometimes haiku are written about homelessness, loneliness, aging, illness, and death. They are therapeutic in our complex and chaotic world.”
Haiku can be written about anything, but often include nature scenes. Senryu are written in the haiku form, but are about human nature and are often humorous. Today, these poems are written in about 56 languages.
Digregorio loves to teach young and old about the beauty and joy of writing haiku/senryu. “Written in simple language with literary techniques, they express so much in so few words,” she says. And, she loves to engage the public in her poetry through artwork, thereby bringing poetry into the mainstream. People who don’t normally read poetry will often be attracted to it through paintings, she believes.
Digregorio, who has won dozens of awards for her poetry, has amassed a private collection of her framed haiku and senryu that is illustrated by professional artists in the Chicago area. Most of the framed pieces were gifted to her by organizations that had given her awards for her poetry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR-POET
Charlotte Digregorio has won 41 awards internationally for eleven forms of poetry, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She served the Haiku Society of America in executive positions for many years. Digregorio’s poetry has been translated into eight languages, and she hosted her own radio program, “Poetry Beat,” on public broadcasting. Her poetry has been exhibited at public/academic libraries and displayed at botanic gardens, art galleries, apparel stores, wine shops, restaurants, banks, and on public transit. One of her award-winning haiku is inscribed in English and Japanese on a metal plaque on a boulder, located at Holmes County Open Air Museum in Millersburg, Ohio. Author of four other award-winning non-fiction books, she speaks at national writer’s conference, is a writer-in-residence at colleges, and judges writing contests.