What Can Haiku and Senryu Do for You?

One thing we all have in common, is that we feel we lack time to do everything we’d like to do. We are especially mindful of this as we get older. Before we embark on anything new, we often ask ourselves, “is it relevant and how will it help me?” And, we wonder about the time commitment.

Yesterday, I was at an art presentation, and I saw someone who recently took one of my library presentations on haiku. I asked her if she had started writing haiku yet. She said  she hadn’t, but she had checked my book out from the library–Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. I was glad for that, as at least she followed up after attending my workshop.

If someone wants to know what the purpose is of writing haiku and senryu, I would respond quite simply: Finding healing and peace in life, is the essence of life, and haiku and senryu help us achieve this.

I am not saying that other forms of poetry or other forms of creativity don’t do this for us, too. They do. But haiku and senryu are one more avenue for us to do this. And, because of their brevity, they are probably more easily done than sitting down and writing a novel or short story or painting a self-portrait or a peaceful landscape.

Some of the best haiku and senryu I’ve ever written, that have helped me heal and find peace, arose from my getting a thought while I was busy doing something else. I quickly wrote the thought down on a notepad. I came back to that thought on many occasions, when I had the time, and finally revised it into a poem.

Haiku and senryu can turn into a lifetime pursuit and investment for you, but it is one that you do at your own pace. That is, it can be a relatively small investment of time, with a large payback: healing and peace.

Copyright 2018 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. 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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15 Responses to What Can Haiku and Senryu Do for You?

  1. Brillant post Charlotte

  2. Yes Charlotte,

    There is healing in them funny little poems….There is just something about haiku😳
    And I feel that when I write with a purpose greater than the particular poem it makes that healing meaningful and powerful!!

    I’ve come a long way since ice cream truck although it is still one of my favorites💗

  3. Barbara Tate says:

    A true haiku state of mind!!

  4. Paul Beech says:

    Hi Charlotte,

    I agree about the therapeutic effect of haiku and senryu. And the burgeoning interest in the genre – for which we have people like Gerald England, yourself and Alan Summers to thank – reminds me of the boom in detective fiction during the 1920s and 30s. This was undoubtedly a response to the madness of the First World War, the neat solutions to murder mysteries restoring order in chaos.

    Similarly haiku and senryu help us make sense of our own lives. And they’re a lot quicker to write and read than crime novels! Though a crime buff I’ll always be.

    My very best,


  5. Ellen,

    I always enjoy your blog, especially your remembrances of your mother. I hope my readers will tune into your blog often.



  6. Pingback: Poems For My Mother – Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin

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