Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile

Francine Porad

  country garden
bordered with railroad ties
end to end
by Francine Porad

Biographical Background

Francine Porad is currently living in Seattle Washington. Francine is an avid writer and painter. Her published writings include nineteen of her collections that are published not only in the United States, but also in countries such as Japan, Canada, England, Croatia, Australia, and Romania.

Francine writes her own haiku, and also is a juror in international and national competitions of writings including tanka, senryu, and haiku. Francine is generous with her time and makes many presentations and lectures to inform people of her unique style of writing.

This profile of haiku writer, Francine Porad, was researched, written and created by a Millikin student.

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Author Awards

Francine has extensive awards from around the world. It is obvious that people from all different cultures are able to relate and appreciate her perspective. Some of her awards include:

An award winner of Itoen Tea Contest in Japan, 1998 and 1996;

1st prizewinner of the Japan Poetry Society's International Tanka Competition, 1993;

1st place winner of the National League of American Pen Women's Oregon State Haiku Contest 1995.

Co-editor of SUNLIGHT THROUGH RAIN: A Northwest Haiku Year, December, 1996.

Judge: International People's Haiku & Senryu Contest, Canada, 1999.

Author's Books

All the Games: Haiku, Tanka, Art. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1997.

All Eyes. Mercer Island, WA: Vandina Press, 1995.

Connections: Haiku, Senryu, and Sketches. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1986.

Extended Wings: Haiku and Tanka. Mercer Island, WA: Vandina Press, 1996.

Fog Lifting: Haiku and Tanka. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1997.

Ladles and Jellyspoons: Presentations Haiku, Senryu, Tanka. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1996.

Pen and Inklings: Haiku, Senryu, and Sketches, Volume 2. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 1986.

The Perfect Worry-Stone. Seattle, WA: Vandina Press, 2000.

When in Doubt Add Red. Seattle, WA: 1999. Broadside.

Without Haste. Bakersfield, CA: Amelia, 1989.


Reader Response Essay

Francine Porad writes Haiku, Tanka, and Senryu that allow people from all different stages and places of life to understand her work. She elegantly addresses issues such as nature, flowers, gardening, ageing, and death, phrasing them in ways that appeal to all readers. Her visual imagery captivates the reader’s attention by allowing them to relate the haiku to previous memories. Her ability to be specific enough for people to understand where she is coming from while at the same time involving mystery and vagueness of her haiku, truly gives the reader the freedom to relate Francine’s haiku to their own life experiences.

country garden
bordered with railroad ties
end to end

This particular haiku is a great example of the freedom that Francine demonstrates in her writing. Basically, stating that the true country garden goes on until things of the city stop it. People raised in the country and raised in the city can relate to this because it includes both perspectives.

Another unique perspective that Francine uses is her perspective on life and death. Even people that are younger can understand the meaning behind her haiku because she does such a great job wording her haiku.

wearing the first bloom
of the camellia tree
the old woman

This haiku shows the cycle of life by signifying someone that is at the end of something (old woman) taking holding the hope for the beginning of something (wearing the first bloom). Many times in society people that are older are viewed as unattractive; however, this haiku shows the beauty in growing old while also incorporating the seasonal element. Not only is this haiku delicately worded, but it also it has a powerful emotional statement. Personally, this is my favorite haiku because it reminds me of one of the most special people in my life, which is my grandmother. Although now all I have of her is pictures and memories, a poem like this makes me remember the confidence she exuded at all times. At times when her health was diminishing, her attitude remained youthful and alive. I can still picture her caring for her flowers as if they were people. Maybe she did that because of how beautiful the flowers were, but looking back I realize the flowers were a reflection of who she truly was and how she truly felt. I imagine that this is also what Francine was trying to convey in this haiku.

This biography is only a small glimpse of the talent that Francine Porad encompasses. Francine Porad’s haiku are not only read but they are felt. Here are some links and books to find out more about her writing.


Additional Web Links and Resources*rent.html


haiku conferences haiku courses at Millikin Modern Haiku magazine
speakers & readings haiku competitions at MU student renga
student haiku projects published haiku by students links to haiku web sites
student research on haiku haiku by Millikin students directory of haiku magazines


2001, Dr. Randy Brooks• Millikin University
last updated 8/16/01 • about this web site