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Honorary Curator Patricia Donegan

Patricia Donegan (deceased)
Honorary Curator, 2017-2018

Appointment Announcement

Charles Trumbull photoThe American Haiku Archives advisory board is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Donegan as the 2017-2018 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento ( This honor recognizes Donegan's commitment to haiku as a poet, writer, anthologist, translator, and promoter of haiku as an awareness practice.

She served on the faculty of East-West poetics at Naropa University under Allen Ginsberg and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was a student of haiku master Seishi Yamaguchi, and a Fulbright scholar to Japan. She is a meditation teacher, previous poetry editor for Kyoto Journal, and a longtime member of the Haiku Society of America. Her haiku works include Love Haiku: Japanese Poems of Yearning, Passion & Remembrance (cotranslated with Yoshie Ishibashi), Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart, Haiku: Asian Arts for Creative Kids, and Chiyo-ni Woman Haiku Master (cotranslated with Yoshie Ishibashi). Her poetry collections include: Hot Haiku, Bone PoemsWithout Warning, Heralding the Milk Light, and haiku selections in various anthologies.

She won first prize in the 1998 Mainichi International Haiku Contest and won a Merit Book Award for translation from the Haiku Society of America for her book on Chiyo-ni, also in 1998. Her books on haiku have combined scholarship and insight in reaching young and old to inspire and sustain a lifelong interest in haiku poetry, in both Japanese and English.

We are pleased to celebrate Patricia Donegan, and to bestow this honor from the American Haiku Archives, which seeks to preserve and promote haiku and related poetry throughout the North American continent. The AHA advisory board is delighted to pay tribute to Patricia Donegan as the twenty-first honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives.

~Michael Dylan Welch, American Haiku Archives Advisory Board Co-chair


Selected Haiku by Patricia Donegan


                                                                   last night lightning
                                                                   this morning
                                                                   the white iris

I lay down
all my heavy packages—
autumn moon

                                                                  winter afternoon
                                                                  not one branch moves—
                                                                  I listen to my bones

on green leaves
for breakfast

                                                                  long walk—
                                                                  cherry petals stick
                                                                  to the bottoms of my shoes

moonlit night:
a bone
is broken

                                                                  over Nagasaki
                                                                  on a clear night
                                                                  the Milky Way

a dragonfly
peeks into
the empty torpedo

                                                                  in between
                                                                  the Kabul bombings—
                                                                  voices of crickets

up the mountain—
the silence

                                                                  thank you wind
                                                                  for caressing
                                                                  this old face

pampas grass
endless dreams

                                                                  spring wind—
                                                                  I too
                                                                  am dust


Selected Translations by Patricia Donegan & Yoshie Ishibashi

(translated by Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi, from their book, Chiyo-ni: Woman Haiku Master, Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 1998)
at the crescent moon
the silence
enters the heart
mikazuki ni   hishihishi to mono no   shizumarinu
                                                                  rouged lips
                                                                  clear spring water
                                                                  beni saita   kuchi mo wasururu   shimizu kana
green grass—
between, between the blades
the color of the water
wakakusa ya   kirema kirema ni   mizu no iro
                                                                  morning glory—
                                                                  the well-bucket entangled
                                                                  I ask for water
                                                                  asagao ya   tsurube torarete   morai mizu
autumn field—
some grasses flower
some grasses don’t
aki no no ya   hana to naru kusa   naranu kusa


Books by Patricia Donegan

Hot Haiku. Boulder: Kokoro Press, 1980.

Donegan, Patricia, and Jim Cohen, eds. Never Mind (haiku anthology). Boulder: Kokoro Press, 1980.

Bone Poems: Mini Cantos. Boulder: Chinook Press, 1985.

Without Warning. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1990. Foreword by Allen Ginsberg.

Heralding the Milk Light: A Post High-Tech Poetics Cosmology. San Francisco: Kokoro Press, 1993.

Donegan, Patricia and Yoshie Ishibashi. Chiyo-ni Woman Haiku Master. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 1998.

Haiku: Asian Arts for Creative Kids. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2003.

Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2008.

Donegan, Patricia with Yoshie Ishibashi, trs. Love Haiku: Japanese Poems of Yearning, Passion & Remembrance. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2010.

Write Your Own Haiku for Kids. North Clarendon, Vermont: Tuttle Publishing, 2017. [Reissue of Haiku: Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids, Tuttle, 2003]


Anthology Selections

“Hot Haiku” (pages 157–160). City Lights Review #3. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1989.

Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry. Johnson, Kent & Craig Paulenich, eds. (pages 62–66). Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1991.

The Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku. Ross, Bruce, ed. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1993.

The Unswept Path: Contemporary American Haiku. John Brandi and Dennis Maloney, eds. (pages 92–99). Buffalo, New York: White Pine Press, 2005.



“Haiku and the Ecotastrophe” in Dharma Gaia: Harvest of Essays in Buddhism & Ecology. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1990.

“Translation through a Veil” in Young Leaves, An Old Way of Seeing New: Writings on Haiku in English. San Jose, California: Yuki Teiki Haiku Society, 2000.

“Love Haiku” in Kyoto Journal #49, 2001.

“Haiku: The Birth and Death of Each Moment” in Kyoto Journal #50, 2002.

“Poetry for Peace: The United Nations of Renku" [interview of Tadashi Kond?] in Kyoto Journal #52, 2003.

“Allen Ginsberg’s Naked Haiku” in Kyoto Journal #59, 2004.

Chiyo-ni’s Haiku Style.” Simply Haiku 2.3, (2004): n. pag. Web. 11 March 2016.

“Ko Un: Human Nature Itself Is Poetic” [interview of Korean poet Ko Un] in Kyoto Journal #60, 2005.

“Breath and Movement Deeply Felt” [interview of Korean dancer-choreographer Kim Sun Ho] in Kyoto Journal #60, 2005.

“An Antidote to Speed” in The Unswept Path: Contemporary American Haiku (eds. John Brandi and Dennis Maloney). Buffalo, New York: White Pine Press, 2005.

“Human Nature Itself Is Poetic” [interview of Korean poet Ko Un] reprint in Beyond Words: Asian Writers on Their Work, Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006.

“Patricia Donegan on Chiyo-ni’s Way of Haiku” in The Shambhala Sun, January, 2007.



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