Return to Sketchbook Contents



foundpoetrystudio Exercises



foundpoetrystudio: Neal Whitman, Moderator




Neal Whitman    /NW
Shanna Baldwin Moore    /SBM
Linda Papanicolau    /LP
Karina Klesko    /KK
Bernard Gieske    /BG
John Daleiden    /JD
Judith Gorgone   /JG
Craig Tigerman   /CT




Cover   Exercise Index   Exercise 1   Exercise 2   Exercise 3   Graduation
Return to Sketchbook 7-1:40   


Neal Whitman lives with his wife, Elaine, in Pacific Grove, California, and in nearby Carmel they both are docents at the Robinson Jeffers Tor House. They both write haiku, but particularly enjoy collaborating on haiga, combining his haiku with her photography. Their haiga have been published in several journals and, for each season of the year, their haiga is published in their local newspaper, The Cedar Street Times. They teach gratis a haiga workshop to raise funds for non-profit organizations, and likewise Neal goes solo in his workshop, "Haiku for Everyone, for Anyone." Neal also welcome opportunities to read his poetry in recital which he believes is a public confirmation of a private labor.

Neal Whitman writes both Western and Eastern form poetry, so SKB is a perfect journal for him to read and to submit his own work. He says he does not "chase" contests, but has a pretty good "winner's circle" record. With regard to Western form, in 2009 his free verse won 1st place in the James McIntyre Poetry and 3rd place in the Common Ground Review contests. In 2011, he won 3rd place in the Lincoln Library contest, the California Senior Poet Honor Scroll Award, and the White Buffalo Chief's Choice Award. With over 150 published poems, he feel particular fondness for the first one published which appeared in the Monterey Poetry Review in 2006:




On Monterey Bay in California,
when the wave breaks
and the wind cuts
across the crest,
water droplets rise
to form a natural prism.

The morning sun exhales
rainbowed breath.

Across the Pacific in Japan,
mono no a-wa-re
means to fathom impermanent beauty.
There, as here, sea breath ascends–
light and graceful in movement–
aerial play to start the day.
Its spectral magic disappears
before the next wave arrives.


With regard to Eastern form, in 2009 and again in 2011, haiku masters in Japan awarded Neal honorable mention in the annual Yuki Teikei Haiku Society contests. In 2010 and 2011, his haiku were selected for honorable mention in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival haiku contest, and garnered an honorable mention from the 2010 Haiku Society of America annual contest. His chapbook, Blyth's Spirit, won the Haiku Pix Review contest, and Neal is a semi-finalist in the 2012 Haiku Grand Prix contest sponsored by the Japanese newspaper, Shukan Seikatsu. With over 300 published haiku, his favorite is carved on a wooden plaque he keeps on his Poetry Wall in his home office:

cold day at the beach
a man casts his line
only twice

Simply Haiku, summer 2009


Cover   Exercise Index   Exercise 1   Exercise 2   Exercise 3   Graduation
Return to Sketchbook 7-1:40   


Up to the Top