Haiku Society of America - Member Memorials

Haiku Society of America Member Memorials

Haiku Society of America often features short memorials of members who have recently died. Usually these memorials are provided by HSA Regional Coordinators and featured in the Haiku Society of America Newsletter. We want to honor these HSA members who have died on this archive of HSA Member Memorials.

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HSA Member Memorials


Joyce Walker Currier
01-08-1932 – 01-23-2024

joyceHer life’s passage brought her to Illinois where she lived until her death. In the 1970’s after twenty-five years of raising her five children she took a writing class, which changed her life forever. Joyce was introduced to the Japanese art form—Haiku. In her journey through traditional and modern haiku, she experienced a heightened awareness of the rhythms of life and nature. In so doing, she found such joy and pleasure in writing Haiku.

somewhere out in his lake
that muskie
he never caught

veteran's day:
combat boots filled
with closet darkness

Some of her awards include: Best Haiku in Issue of Modern Haiku; Short-listed in World Millennium Church Bell Contest (Surry England, 2000); and Honorable Mention, the Harold G. Henderson Memorial Award (1979 and 1983).

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Merrill Ann Gonzales
06-30-1938 – 12-13-2023

MerrillMerrill Ann Gonzales was an artist as well as a poet—she provided art for literary journals for three decades together with poetry and haiku. Her work has been published in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Nor’easter, Presence, Pine Island Journal of New England Poetry, The Aurorean, Tanka Café, bottle rockets, Red Lights, Ribbons, Reeds: Contemporary Haiga, as well as several anthologies.

winter wind
a wasp nest tumbles
from the eaves

slicing red peppers—
the secret
I can’t tell

I wade in the brook
that he loved to paint—
pull of the current

Her haiku were published widely, yet it is more for her artwork that she was known. She worked in oil, watercolor, and ink, and provided artwork and illustrations for many poetry journals and books, including Azami, Black Bough, Heron's Nest, Moonset, and others. She was known for her Snowbird Notes, notecards which combined her line drawings with the haiku of others.

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HSA Member Memorials

Raffael de Gruttola
05-16-1935 – 11-22-2023

RAffaelRaffael de Gruttola was a past President and a proselytizer for haiku in the Boston area, Raffael was one of the founding members of the Boston Haiku Society (1987) and a guide and catalyst for many writers like me who had found their way to haiku in isolation and who were starved for a wider community and dialogue.

lost in the lights
the high fly ball
never comes down

He was also musician at heart with a faultless ear, and a connoisseur of abstract expressionist art, which he collected.

violin player
the shape of the sound
in her arms

Raffael was principled, argumentative, endlessly curious and experimental. He brought ready laughter, wit, a sense of the absurd, and a deep sense of wonder not only to his haiku, but to his passionate embrace of the sensory fascinations and human foibles of daily life. ~ Some of these notes are excerpted from a memorial by Judson Evans, HSA Newsletter, January 2024

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HSA Member Memorials


Member Name
date of birth – date of death



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