Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku (BOOK)

Edited and Introduced by Raffael de Gruttola, Afterword by Kathleen O’Toole

Nick Virgilio, who started writing in the 1960s and was a pioneer of American haiku poetry, penned some of this country’s most elegiac and memorable haiku. Born and bred in Camden, New Jersey, he was a legend to some, an inspiration to others. He spent countless hours in his cellar at his Remington typewriter, writing haiku about nature, the people of Camden and south Philadelphia, and his family. In particular, he detailed the deep sense of loss that affected him and his family when his youngest brother, Larry, was killed in Vietnam.


Edited and introduced by Raffael de Gruttola, a haiku poet and former president of the Haiku Society of America, Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku includes more than 100 newly discovered haiku as well as old favorites, essays on the craft of writing haiku, excerpts of an interview with Nick on “Radio Times” in Philadelphia, a tribute by Michael Doyle of Sacred Heart Church, family photos and replicas of original manuscript pages from the Rutgers University archive in Camden, N.J., where Nick’s papers are kept.

It is a perfect companion for haiku lovers, urban poetry enthusiasts, combat veterans and their families as well as high school and college writing classes. Students in particular will enjoy its easily accessible and deeply moving poetry, its glimpse inside the writing process and its encouragement of new authors.

An afterword by poet Kathleen O’toole spells out Nick’s legacy as one of the most beloved and influential haiku poets in America. Readers will gain a strong sense of this great haiku poet and his life in Camden as well as an appreciation of the power of haiku as a form of poetry.

NOTE: A portion of book sales go the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association. 

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