Sunday, October 12, 2008

William Higginson

William J. Higginson, one of the giants of the haiku world, has passed away. Enough can not be said about this man, but let it be said by better writers than me:

- Don Wentworth
- Curtis Dunlap
- David Giacalone
- Deborah P. Kolodji

a yellow paper
zig-zags to the floor
bare trees


- William J. Higginson, The Haiku Handbook

10 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Damn, sorry to hear that.

laughingwolf said...

rip, wjh :(

thx for the kind comment, greg....

Greg Schwartz said...

Charles - it's a real shame. It's hard to imagine how much less a lot of us would know about haiku if it weren't for him.

laughingwolf - thanks for sharing the story!

Deborah P Kolodji said...

I came home from a speculative poetry retreat at a mountain cabin with Sam Henderson, Denise Dumars, Kendall Evans, and Lois P. Jones where I attempted to brainwash them with haiku instruction.

I even had a copy of Bill's Haiku Handbook with me.

*sigh*

It's a horrible loss to the entire haiku community.

On a personal note, Bill helped me a lot last summer with a problem I was facing and I will always be grateful to him and Penny for their support.

Greg Schwartz said...

Deborah - it seems everyone who knew him says he was always helping them with something. i never met him, but he must have been a very generous person with his time.

sounds like a fun group of people to be on a retreat with. kendall evans writing haiku is something i'd like to see!

Miladysa said...

Sorry to learn of your loss.

"a yellow paper
zig-zags to the floor
bare trees"

That's beautiful!

Deborah P Kolodji said...

Kendall actually writes haiku sometimes and has been known to attend Southern California Haiku events.

But, he's also working on a poem right now that will make "In Deepspace Shadows" seem like a short poem.....

:)

On a much sadder note, haiku poet Vaughn Banting also has apparently died on the same day as Bill.

http://www.vlbanting.com/

Deborah P Kolodji said...

The Australian Haiku Society has set up a haiku tribute page for Bill Higginson:

http://www.haikuoz.org/2008/10/tributes_to_william_j_higginso.html

Each poet is asked to send one haiku per poet by October 27th. The collective tribute will be sent to Bill's family.

Deborah P Kolodji said...

The link was truncated. Let me try again:

http://www.haikuoz.org/2008/10/
tributes_to_william_j_higginso.html

(You'll need to remove the space I added before "tribute" to prevent truncation)

Greg Schwartz said...

Miladysa - that poem is one of my favorites. he said he wrote it one day while writing in winter, and looked up to notice the trees bare for the first time.

Deborah - that's sad to hear about Vaughn. I've never read his haiku before today, but they are really good. he goes from tragedy

home from Iraq
a flag draped over
his mother's coffin

to humor

she
hating to dine alone
and I not liking cat food

with apparent ease.

Kendall writing a longer poem that "In Deepspace Shadows?" that man never ceases to amaze.

Thanks for the link to the tribute page... I just sent my haiku over.

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