Retired Professor Finds Fulfillment in Haiku

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)

leaving you–

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


porch swing

the pendulum



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

Copyright 2o12 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Haiku, Japanese Style Poetry, Poetry, Poets, Publishing, Short Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Retired Professor Finds Fulfillment in Haiku

  1. Don Baird says:

    Enjoyed the interview!!!

  2. Thank you, Charlotte, for your blog and all you share.

    Donna, Nice to meet you. We have Milwaukee in common. My Swedish grandparents lived on the street behind the Eagles Club. Mom–Enola Borgh–taught at UWM in the English Dept. for years (retired 1984). So many memories! I enjoyed your haiku and thoughts!

    Best wishes, Ellen

  3. Yousei Hime says:

    Wonderful to find two more haiku writers to read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s