Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile

LeRoy Gorman

LeRoy Gorman

Biographical Background

LeRoy Gorman was born in Smith Falls, Ontario on August 7, 1949, and was raised on a farm near Merrickville. He graduated from Carleton and Queen’s and presently teaches for the Ministry of Education, Special Education Branch, South Cottage Regional School in Kingston.

He lives in Napanese with his wife Sheila and their three children Lori, Kimberly, and Sean.

This profile of haiku writer, LeRoy Gorman, was researched, written and created by Jill Embry.

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Author Awards

International Tanka Contest, The Poetry Society of Japan, 1990

Mya Pasek Award, St. Louis Poetry Center, 2nd prize, 1985

Cicada Prize, Haiku Society of Canada, 1979

Cthulha Calls Science Fiction Poetry Contest, 1979

Creative Writing Award, Prison Arts Foundation, 1978

  she dresses

under her arm
the moon
by LeRoy Gorman

Author's Books

If I could trust the moon
Killaly Press 1977

Only shadflies have come
Swamp Press 1979

Whose smile the ripple warps Underwhich Editions 1980

Cutout moons
High/Coo Press 1980

Wind in the keys
High/Coo Press 1981

Heart’s garden
Guernica Editions 1983

Beautiful chance
SWOP 1984

Bad news
Mockersatz Zrox 1986

The space between
(with Eric Amann and George Swede)
Wind Chimes Press 1986

Where sky meets sky
Nietzsxhe’s Brolly 1987

Parallel journey/ voyage parallele
(with Andre Duhaime)
Editions Asticou 1989

Dandelions & dreams
Moonstone Press 1990

Glass bell
Kings Road Press 1991


Reader Response Essay by Jill Embry

Gorman’s haiku are very distinct from most other authors in that they are more playful and actually more visual in how he writes them. This visualization gives a clearer picture of what he is describing in his haiku. He is also very distinct in writing about sound oriented things which is great in placing you within the haiku and actually hearing what he is describing. I like how Gorman isn’t so specific in detail with his haiku as some authors. Leaving the haiku more open can let you use your imagination to get your own image and thoughts out of each of his haiku.

Some Favorites by LeRoy Gorman

She dresses

Under her arm
The moon

This is a beautiful haiku. While it doesn’t give much detail, it gives enough to see this author watching his wife dress in the moonlight. She is portrayed as so beautiful that the beauty of the moon doesn’t compare to her.

sleepless night
    the mousetrap

This haiku gives a vivid image of the author not being able to fall asleep. I like this haiku because I also can relate to this when I can not sleep. Even the littlest noises, such as a mousetrap, seem to keep me awake.


I like this haiku because it is very vivid and playful is describing a frog splashing in the pond. This haiku bring you within nature and I can even visualize being this frog free hop around in the pond. The playfulness of this haiku makes it truly unique.


fffffffffffffffffff rest

This haiku is also very playful and visual. It gives this vision of a forest with the moon rising above. I can actually feel myself in the forest and it being so quite and peaceful. The only sound is of the wind blowing the trees and the crickets chirping. The only light is that of nature—the moonlight.

Out of fall mist
     A duck







I really like this haiku, because it also has this visual playfulness that Gorman is known for. Having the spelling of feather look like it is falling gives this image of a fall day with the wind blowing and this lone duck feather falling from the sky. It shows how that the ducks are also leaving because winter is coming as well as the leaves on the trees.

I hear her sew
I hear the rain
I turn back a page

I picture the author getting in tune so much with all the noises around him that has to reread what he just read. I like this because it is something that everyone can relate to. This happens a lot with me when I am reading. I will try so hard to concentrate on what I am reading but before I know it, I am getting distracted and can’t remember what I just read.

Stone skip . . . tone skips

I really like this haiku because it gives this image of someone being in the woods either by themselves or with someone skipping rocks. The haiku gives this visual image of the stone actually skimming the water. Also you can almost here it too. This splash each time it hits the water.



s un

This is also a great visual haiku. I picture this beautiful winter morning with the snow blanketing the ground and icicles hanging from the trees and this beautiful sunrise. Gorman lets you visualize this icicle melting drip by drip as the sun comes up.

stripping wallpaper into the nite
my wife uncovers someone
else’s bedroom

I visualize Gorman and his wife redoing their bedroom and while they are taking off their wallpaper, they discover a whole new bedroom from whom ever lived in the house before them. I like this haiku because it is very surprising. It shows how you are so busy with the hustle and bustle of family life of what’s going on now that sometimes you don’t think about the past. If Gorman has lived in their house as long as my parents have lived in mine (20 years), you tend to forget that people lived in your house before you and finding the old wallpaper reminds us of a life before of a family in the same house.

the dumproad pond
tadpoles exit
a birdhouse

In this haiku, this is an awful dreary place where everyone goes to dump their trash but in the middle this mess is a pond where tadpoles have no choice but to live in this mess of garbage. It reminds me of the children of poverty in the inner city that are born into this ugly place and have no real option but to stay there. This is a very sad view of the world. A place that no one wants to be and people often forget about. People tend to not think about things living where they are dumping their trash or even worse they just don’t care. I like this haiku because it points out how we need to think about the world around us and what we are doing to the thing that live here,


Additional Web Links and Resources

(still looking for links)


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