Donna M. Bauerly knows the beauty of haiku. In the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of receiving her haiku periodically by email that she writes regularly.
A Professor Emeritus of Loras College in Iowa, Bauerly has had a rich and varied career in education. Her career even includes many years of teaching English at the high school and junior high level, prior to becoming a Professor of English.
During her 30 years at Loras, Bauerly served as Chairperson of the Faculty, Faculty Senate, Division of the Humanities, the English Department, and Continuing Education.
She was also a Visiting Scholar in 1990-1991 at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Among her numerous honors, she was named Outstanding Educator of America, Danforth Associate, by the American Association of Higher Education.
I recently interviewed Bauerly, asking her the questions below:
Tell us about your educational and professional background.
I have a BA from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, an MA and PhD from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a specialization in 20th century American literature. I received an NDEA Fellowship from Marquette with special thanks to President Lyndon Johnson.
I taught English for 52 years, 15 years in middle and high school; 37 in college, the last 36 in American literature and writing at Loras.
You are currently writing a biography of Raymond Roseliep. Who was he and why did you choose him to write about?
I became acquainted with Father Raymond Roseliep (1917-1983) when I was a postulant at Mount St Francis in Dubuque, Iowa. He taught us religion, and when he knew I aspired to be a poet, he became marvelously interactive. He is an internationally known poet, especially for his innovations in the art of haiku as well as the author of numerous books. A full list of his publications can be found in his latest hardback: Rabbit in the Moon. Alembic Press, 1983. 125. A short biography is there as well.
What do you love about haiku?
I have always been an outdoors person. As a child I could pack a lunch and supper and stay outside on the Mississippi bluffs near my home all day until the stars came out. I have always been one to “live in the moment.” Haiku, introduced to me through Raymond Roseliep, is a marvelous “fit” for me.
What other forms of poetry do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy all forms throughout the ages, prescriptive and free. Just now I am reading a poet a day from the new Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (2011), edited by Rita Dove. This book brings back multiple memories of my first introduction to these poets as well as classroom flashbacks of oral readings and role playing. I don’t really consider myself a poet, but I have been most successful in writing haiku.
Who are your favorite poets and why?
Heaps of them: Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, G.M. Hopkins, Rabindranath Tagore, Wallace Stevens, Maya Angelou, Ntozake Shange, Mary Oliver, Kay Ryan. And, of course, Raymond Roseliep.
Please share with us a few of your published poems.
Most recent, just published in the Red Moon Press Anthology of 2011: Carving Darkness.
just a little
where you once lay
And, one of my favorites from Wind Chimes: (Memorial issue for Raymond Roseliep, 1984)
lips at the winter
Then, “Porch Swing, a Haiku Sequence.” Wind Chimes. Glen Burnie, MD. Winter, 1983.
firefly and small plane
the wild canary
outside my cage
What advice would you give to aspiring poets?
READREADREADREADREAD –all sorts of things. Then, stop reading for a while and find your own individual voice. Share with the toughest critics, REWRITEREWRITEREWRITEREWRITE…keep sharing.
If you’d like to contact Donna Bauerly, she can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2o12 by Charlotte Digregorio.