Digregorio receives Illinois Governnor’s Commendation

by Alice Andresen

Charlotte Digregorio  recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for her 38 years of accomplishments as an author, speaker, university educator, writing judge, and exhibitor, advancing and promoting the literary arts for the benefit of adults and students nationally and internationally.

“I am very honored to have received the Governor’s Commendation for my life’s work in various writing genres, including poetry, which have brought me much fulfillment and pleasure,” Digregorio said. “I recently published my sixth book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and am often referred to as a ‘People’s Poet,’ working to bring the same popularity to literary artists as enjoyed by visual artists,” Digregorio says.

The author says that most people don’t think of reading poetry, so she exhibits her illustrated poetry– combined with painting and photography– to draw people’s attention to it. She exhibits in libraries, museums and galleries, at botanic gardens, corporate buildings, wine shops, convention centers, restaurants, theatres, apparel stores, hospitals, and banks. Her poems are also displayed in buses.

She does poetry readings and workshops in a variety of places: Buddhist Temples, tea houses, museums, nature and art centers, wine bars, hospitals, and executive office buildings, in addition to bookstores, libraries, cafes, and senior centers. She gives poetry workshops to at-risk students in the public schools who have trouble reading and writing. Further, she regularly hosts poetry open mics.

Currently, she is also a freelance journalist and gives seminars in  journalistic writing, after a career as a magazine/ newspaper editor, and university professor of languages and writing. She publishes her fiction, while working on her seventh book, a collection of her 500 published poems.

Digregorio largely uses technology to make national and international contacts. Her writers’ blog, www.charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com, includes the work of writers from 33 countries in 1,400 posts.  Poets that she has met have translated her poems into eight languages. Her poetry has been featured at readings and programs hosted by poets in Europe and Asia. These poets regularly feature her work and interview her for their blogs. Further, she records her poetry aloud online through literary organization sites. And, her poetry is featured on electronic billboards at public and university libraries.

Digregorio organizes writers’ festivals, working with municipal leaders and foreign consulates. Winner of 46 national and international poetry awards  in 12 forms, and a nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she has hosted/produced her own radio poetry program on public broadcasting. She serves on the national boards of literary organizations, and judges national writing contests in non-fiction and poetry for adults and students.

Digregorio has been  a speaker at “Career Day” and at alumni banquets at The University of Chicago, among regular speaking engagements. She is a writer-in-residence at colleges and universities.


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. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois 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 seven books including: 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; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. 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 by Charlotte Digregorio." 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 two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen 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.
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18 Responses to Digregorio receives Illinois Governnor’s Commendation

  1. aloha Charlotte. congratulations in so many ways. and in so many ways, thank you for all you do. aloha r.

    • How nice, Rick! Thanks so much. Hope you are writing a lot of haiku and enjoying the process, along with thriving in the visual arts!

      • thank you Charlotte. yes, i am having daily (and nightly) fun creating my written and visual art. altho I’m still struggling with publication (which is about 90% me—if not more), i’ve decided to work on another (several) self published books of my work. the long distance goal is to possibly use some of these to present what i can do, to a publisher. which gets down to about 90% me again. what I’m still enjoying, is the process of putting these books together, as well as creating the work in the first place. way fun on all of that. aloha r.

  2. An admirable record of service and accomplishment !

  3. Congratulations Charlotte!

  4. Dave Read says:

    Congrats Charlotte! Well deserved!

  5. haikutec says:

    What an honour and sense of recognition. The “word” written or spoken can be for good after all, and it needs to be recognised as such.

    Alan Summers
    President, United Haiku and Tanka Society
    Haibun Editor, Blithe Spirit (British Haiku Society)
    co-founder, Call of the Page

  6. Paul Beech says:

    Great news about your commendation, Charlotte.

    Gosh, the range of your activities in taking literary arts to the people, haiku and senryu especially of course, demonstrating their relevance and value in everyday life. The range of your works too. I hadn’t realised before that you write fiction; I love to knock up a short story from time to time myself!

    I’m delighted over your commendation. With your commitment and generosity, enthusing and inspiring us as you do, you surely deserve it.

    My very best,


  7. Many congratulations, dear Charlotte…!
    Proud to have met you on the my poetry path and especially thankful for your commitment to the haiku world…

    best wishes to continue in excellence as you have done till today,


  8. Wow!!!
    Big congratulations dear Charlotte.
    I share It in Memorie di una geisha. I’m really honored to have known you.
    Best wishes,

  9. Reblogged this on Memorie di una Geisha, multiblog internazionale di HAIKU di ispirazione giapponese and commented:
    Congratulazioni a Charlotte Digregorio per questo importante riconoscimento

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