I fell in love with Japanese poetry (in particular, Machi Tawara’s collection of tanka, Salad Anniversary) while living in Japan in the late 1980s. A few years ago I discovered a vibrant haiku community writing in English and began writing haiku, senryu and tanka and sending them out to journals and contests. This site is intended as a place to collect some of my published and award winning poems as well as to post occasional haibun (prose pieces that resonate with an accompanying haiku) and other thoughts loosely related to haiku. Although the form originates in Japan, the poems I write are essentially American poems, about the everyday happenings of my life raising three kids in the suburbs in the Bay Area.
The above photo was taken by my husband, Ed, in front of the apartment in Tokyo (near the Shiinamachi station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line in the northwest corner of Tokyo) where I lived in 1988. We visited our old stomping grounds on a family trip to Tokyo in 2007.
My writing life today is grounded by the Wednesday mornings I spend with the Women Writer’s Workshop of Oakland, California (the Wednesday Writers), and by the warm community of haiku addicts otherwise known as the Haiku Poets of Northern California, for whom I serve as President and co-editor of the journal Mariposa.
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August 8, 2009 on the Ottawa River while attending the Haiku North America conference. Reading a rengay written in Ottawa, from left: David Burleigh (Tokyo, Japan), Terry Ann Carter (Ottawa, Canada), Emiko Miyashita (Kawasaki City, Japan), Michael Dylan Welch (Sammamish, Washington), Garry Gay (Windsor, California), and Susan Antolin (Walnut Creek, California). Photo by Fay Aoyagi.
This photo was taken by my son, Charlie, while on a walk at Castle Rock Park at the foot of Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek, CA in November 2009.
In 2010 I am taking on a new challenge as Newsletter Editor for the Haiku Society of America. Design, typography, publishing software, all are new to me. Wish me luck!
Curtis Dunlap, whose haiku blog site serves as a virtual water cooler for haiku poets, posted my responses to his ongoing series, “Haiku: Three Questions,” in January. Please visit his site and check it out: http://tobaccoroadpoet.blogspot.com/2010/01/susan-antolin-three-questions.html