Daily Haiku Special: June 25, 2019

Tsugigami:gathering the pieces, by haikuists/linked verse poets Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff and Connie R Meester, is an artful collection that is well-worth your time and attention.


I don’t often review books, due to having many commitments, but some poetry collections I just can’t pass up. When I read haiku and senryu, I want to see life for what it is, and in this collection of linked haiku and senryu, I see life unadorned and truthful. In this book, I am moved by the themes of love, loss, and family, among others. This collection engages all the senses with concrete images, as we poets look for in well-written haiku. The authors’ sensitivity for nuance and heightened perception is evident throughout. The two poets met decades ago in a haiku class and formed a lasting friendship and collaboration.


Tsugigami is handmade paper that was used for collages in Japan in the 11th century. The poetry in this collection is a collage rich in life’s experiences. There are intriguing illustrations of collages that complement this collection of linked poems including rengay– the latter, haiku and senryu written by two or more poets.


For the primary interests of this blog’s readers, rather than reprinting entire linked verses, I’ll take either individual haiku or senryu from linked poems to illustrate the simple elegance and beauty of this book’s imagery, as well as some consecutive verses in a poem.


Tsugigami is a journey about the human condition, and finding oneself. Broadhurst and Meester give voice to our innermost feelings and relationships with others. These are the first four verses in the poem “Exhaling”:


miles down the wrong road–

deep in pines

a lone birch


framed by a full moon

the owl screeches too


trying to find you

in this new darkness

trying to find me



deep breath

wishing I could crawl inside

the big dipper



Other verses include:


silence between us

echoes the angry words


fall bike ride


into your turn


This is the last verse of “One Last Goodbye”:



the sky and I

move down river


The authors find meaning in what surrounds them, that many people often miss.


deep into winter

a cardinal bathes

in new snow


Overall, this collection does haiku and senryu justice by crystallizing a moment in time and experience, springing from intuition and perception. These are two consecutive verses from the poem, “The Red Caboose”:


only a distant train whistle


of his death


waiting for the red caboose

to bring him home



Delightful and moving verses in this generous collection remind us of childhood pleasures and the wisdom of youngsters:


May Day baskets

Mother’s smile answering the door



I’ll take care of you

says my toddler son

after the divorce


Tsugigami is highly recommended as a book you’ll want to pull off your shelf to re-read often, mindful of the significance of all that surrounds us. It is also a book to gift to thoughtful friends navigating through life’s challenges. You may order it through Red Moon Press, www.redmoonpress.com.






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 Art, book, Book Review, Connie R Meester, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Linked Verse, Poetry, rengay, Senryu, Short Poems, Valorie Woerdehoff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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