Honorary Curator Francine Porad
Honorary Curator, 2005–2006
The American Haiku Archives advisory board is pleased to announce the appointment of Francine Porad as the 2005-2006 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento. This honor is in recognition of Porad’s decades of service to the haiku community and as a leading haiku poet in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Francine, a longtime resident of Mercer Island, Washington (near Seattle), began her artistic career with painting, and embraced writing in the 1980s. In 1988 she organized one of the country’s first regional English-language haiku groups, named Haiku Northwest, a group that continues to thrive today, meeting monthly in Bellevue, Washington. Also in 1988, Francine took over the editing of the Brussels Sprout haiku journal from Alexis Rotella, which she published until 1995 as one of the most prominent haiku journals in America during those years. The journal excelled at presenting a range of voices, and its poems often featured a psychological, social, or personal aspect sometimes neglected in other journals. Francine served as president of the Haiku Society of America in 1993 and 1994 and throughout the 1990s she judged local, national, and international haiku contests, also winning awards herself in many haiku and tanka contests.
As a highly prolific poet, she also published two dozen books of her own haiku, senryu, tanka, and renku, usually at a pace of one book a year, starting in 1986. In a 1995 interview in Poet’s Market, she said she published these books to share her work with family and friends and to challenge herself to create artistically pleasing volumes. Her book Without Haste won the Cicada Chapbook Award in 1989, and The Patchwork Quilt won a Merit Book Award in 1994. Marilyn Sandall, 2005 regional coordinator for the Northwest region, points out Francine’s “enthusiasm to be inclusive, to give each of us a chance to participate, indeed to take on leadership roles in the group” as examples of the traits that make Francine endearing.
In recognition of her achievement and leadership in haiku, the Washington Poets Association established the Francine Porad Haiku Award in 2003, and in 2005 the Haiku Society of America awarded her with the Sora Award for her service to that organization. Porad’s term as honorary curator of the archives began for a year starting from July 12, 2005, the ninth anniversary of the founding of the American Haiku Archives.
Books by Francine Porad
Connections: Haiku, Senryu, and Sketches. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1986.
Pen and Inklings: Haiku, Senryu, and Sketches, Volume 2. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1986.
Without Haste. Bakersfield, CA: Amelia, 1989.
All Eyes. Mercer Island, WA: Vandina Press, 1995.
Extended Wings: Haiku and Tanka. Mercer Island, WA: Vandina Press, 1996.
Ladles and Jellyspoons: Presentations Haiku, Senryu, Tanka. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1996.
All the Games: Haiku, Tanka, Art. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1997.
Fog Lifting: Haiku and Tanka. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1997.
When in Doubt Add Red. Seattle, WA: 1999. Broadside.
The Perfect Worry-Stone. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 2000.
Sunlight Comes and Goes: Haiku. Bellevue, WA: Vandina Press, 2004.
Download the results of a January 21, 2008 "author" search for "Porad, Francine" at the American Haiku Archives: FrancinePorad-AHA-01-21-08.rtf.
Selected Haiku by Francine Porad
the wordless things
my children, their children . . .
joy is my middle name
warmed by the fire
not wanting to be older
poolside, we chat
no longer strangers
affirming the earth
and its fullness
I raise my head
from his chest, heartbeats
the imperceptible shift
first yoga session:
drawing a house
with a fenced-in yard
the deaf boy
gift-wrapped box of chocolates
one piece missing
his wife’s version
of their courtship
the salmon’s full length
in the air
as many photos of salmon
as of dad
his laugh rings out—
no need for the fisherman
I learn by heart
the cloudless blue
the wordless things
Francine Porad Memorial Page
Online Gallery of Francine's Paintings and Poems
Tributes to Francine Porad
Profile at Millikin University