Lee Gurga
Illinois Haiku Poet

Lee Gurga


Lee Gurga was born and raised in Chicago, and currently lives in Lincoln, Illinois with wife Jan, sons Ben, A.J., and Alex, dog Fay, and five haflinger horses.

Lee Gurga lives in the country near Lincoln, Illinois with wife Jan, four cats, two dogs, and two horses. In 1997 he served as president of the Haiku Society of America. He was editor of Modern Haiku, from 2002-2006. He is currently editor of Modern Haiku Press http://www.modernhaiku.org.

514 Pekin St., Lincoln, Illinois 62656 USA

phone: 217-871-9273 / fax: 217-732-2283

email: haikuhalfwit@gmail.com


Haiku: A Poet's Guide, Modern Haiku Press, 2003

Fresh Scent: Selected Haiku of Lee Gurga, Brooks Books, 1998 Merit Book Award, 1st Place, HSA

In & Out of Fog, Press Here, 1997 Merit Book Award, 1st Place, HSA

Nine Haiku, Swamp Press, 1997

dogs barking, Lidia Press, 1996

The Measure of Emptiness, Press Here, 1991

a mouse pours out, High/Coo Press, 1988

(with Emiko Miyashita)

Einstein's Century: 170 Haiku of Akito Arima, Brooks Books, 2001

Tsuru: Selected Haiku of Yoshiko Yoshino, Deep North Press, 2001

Love Haiku: Masajo Suzuki's Lifetime of Love, Brooks Books, 2000

fresh scent—
the labrador's muzzle
deeper into snow

Haiku Summit Contest, 1st, International
Division. 1996

summer sunset—
baby finds his shadow
on the kitchen wall

Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English
Contest,1st place. 1990

rows of corn
stretch to the horizon . . .
sun on the thunderhead

Kusamakura International Haiku Contest,
Grand Prize. 1996

four or five turkeys
roosting in a leafless tree—
winter sunset

Ito-en New Haiku Contest,
Jury's Choice Award. 1995


Modern Haiku Press, editor 2005-present.

Modern Haiku, editor, 2002-2006; associate editor, 1998-2002.

Too Busy for Spring, (with Michael Welch), Haiku North American Anthology, Press Here, 1999.

A Solitary Leaf: HSA 1996 Members' Anthology, (with Randy Brooks), Haiku Society of America, 1997.

Fallen Snow, (with Randy Brooks, Barbara Ressler and Harvey Hess) Eight Pound Tiger Press, 1996.

Midwest Haiku Anthology (co-editor with R. Brooks), High/Coo Press, 1992.

Wind and River and We, (co-editor with Barbara Ressler), Whee Press, 1991.

He also was poetry editor for Illinois Times (Springfield, IL) and haiku columnist for Solares Hill newspaper (Key West, Florida).


1998 Illinois Arts Council Poetry Fellow

Haiku Society of America

1997 President, Organized HSA delegation to HIA/HSA Joint Conference, Tokyo, April 1997.

1st Vice-president, HSA, 1991, 1995-96.

Organized HSA/HIA Joint Conference (Haiku Chicago), October, 1995.


Japan-America Society of Chicago Cultural Achievement Award, 2006

Haiku Society of America Best Book of Criticism, 2004

Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grants, 2003, 2002, 2000

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award, Best Translations (with Emiko Miyashita), 2002

1st Place, Midwest Buddhist Temple Ginza Haiku Contest, August, 1999

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award, 1st Place 1998

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award, 1st place 1997

Illinois Arts Council Poetry Fellowship 1997

Japan Foundation Speakers Travel Grant 1997

Ehime Prefectural Intl. Center Speakers Grant, Matsuyama, Japan 1997

Haiku Summit Contest, 1st Place, International Division 1996

Canadian Writers' Journal Haiku Contest, 1st Place 1996

Kusamakura International Haiku Contest, Grand Prize Kumamoto City, Japan 1996

Ito-en New Haiku Contest, Jury's Choice Award. 1995
(haiku printed on an iced tea can and distributed throughout Japan)

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award
(for Midwest Haiku Anthology, co-editor with Randy Brooks). 1992

Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English Contest, 1st place 1990


"Masajo Suzuki's Love Haiku," Modern Haiku, XXXI, #2, June 2000

"The Midwest: Cradle of American Haiku," Modern Haiku, XXXI, #1, January, 2000

"Form and the Experience of Haiku," Modern Haiku, XXX, #1, January, 1999

"Haiku of Akito Arima," (with Emiko Miyashita), Modern Haiku, XXX, #1, January, 1999.

"Can Haiku Matter? or Further Observations on Haiku Recitation," Modern Haiku, XXIX, #2, June 1998.

"American Haiku Today," Frogpond XX Supplement, 1997.

"The Pleasures of Making Haiku," The Mie Times, October/November 1997.

"Form in American Haiku," Gendai Haiku Kyokai (Modern Haiku Association, Japan), #323 [50th Anniversary issue], 1997

"Kyoku and Beyond," Modern Haiku, XXVIII, #1 (1997).

"Fresh Scent," Frogpond, XIX, #3 (1996).

"Gender versus Personhood in Haiku and Poet," Modern Haiku, XIX, #3 (1988).


Haiku Troubadours 2000, Gin-yu Press, 2000

Global Haiku: 25 Poets World-wide, ed. George Swede & Randy Brooks, Iron Press, 2000.

The Haiku Anthology, ed. Cor van den Heuvel, Norton, 1999.

Snow on the Water, 1998 Red Moon Anthology, ed. Jim Kacian, Red Moon Press, 1999.

Haiku World, ed. William J. Higginson, Kodansha, 1997.

1997 Red Moon Anthology, ed. Jim Kacian, Red Moon Press, 1998.

1996 Red Moon Anthology, ed. Jim Kacian, Red Moon Press, 1997.

Iga/Ueno Basho Festival Anthologies (1993, 1996, 1997).

Haiku Moment, ed. Bruce Ross, Charles E. Tuttle, 1993.

The Haiku Hundred, Iron Press (England), 1992.

Constanta Haiku Anthology, Constanta Haiku Society, (Romania), 1992

Wind in the Long Grass, ed. William J. Higginson, Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Literatura Na Swiecie, Warszawa Styczen (Poland), 1991.

Four Seasons, ed. Koko Kato, Ko Poetry Assn. (Japan), 1991.

Seasoned Haiku, ed. William J. Higginson, From Here Press, Santa Fe, 1990.

World Haiku Contest Work Collection, (Japan), 1989.

Narrow Road to Renga, ed. Jane Reichhold, AHA Books, 1989.

An Anthology of Haiku by people of the United States and Canada, Japan Air Lines, 1988.


"Haiku Worth Reading," Haiku Society of America national meeting, Evanston, IL, September 20, 2003.

Keynote speech: "American Haiku: A Poet's Guide," Illinois Philological Association annual conference, Millikin University, Decatur, IL, March 28, 2003.

Haiku Poetry Workshops, University of Illinois, Urbana. 2003, 2002, 2001.

"Toward an Aesthetic for English-language Haiku," Global Haiku Festival, Decatur, IL, April, 2000

Workshop and Reading, Millikin University, Decatur, IL, January 28, 2000

"The Midwest: Cradle of American Haiku" Haiku North American, Northwestern University, July 9, 1999.

Haiku Editing Workshop, HSA National Meeting, Stillwater, MN, June 12, 1999.

Haiku Workshop, Williamsville Junior High School, Williamsville, IL April 20, 1999.

"Contemporary Japanese Haiku," and Haiku Workshop, Millikin University, Decatur, IL, January 28, 1999.

"Haiku Workshops," Towson State University, April, 1998.

"Observations on Haiku Readings," HSA national meeting, December 13, 1997, Washington, D.C.

"The Secret of Writing Haiku," Arkansas Arts Festival, Hot Springs, AR, November, 7, 1997.

"American Haiku Today," Ehime Prefectural International Center, Matsuyama City, Japan, April 23, 1997.

"American Haiku Today," HIA-HSA Joint Conference, Tokyo, April 19, 1997.

"Juxtaposition in Haiku," Haiku Society of America National Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 14, 1996.

"A Few Words About Haiku Technique," Haiku Society of America National Meeting, Washington, D.C., April 20, 1996.

"Heartland Haiku," Haiku Society of America National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, June 24, 1995.

"Matching Walnut Shells: A Haiku Criticism Workshop," (with Randy Brooks) Haiku Society of America National Meeting, Cedar Falls, IA, March 11, 1995.

Haiku workshops, Millikin University (Decatur,IL) 1996, 1994, 1992.


Aki (Japan), Albatross, Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph, Brussels Sprout, Chidori (Japan), Christian Science Monitor, Cicada (Japan), Daily Yomiuri (Japan), The Dallas Morning News, Datsoku, The Dispatch & Rock Island (IL) Argus, Frogpond, Gendai Haiku Kyokai (Japan), Haiku International (Japan), Hummingbird, Illinois Times, Springfield (IL) Ko (Japan), Mainichi Daily News (Japan), Mayfly, Mie Times (Japan), Modern Haiku, Red Pagoda, Ten-i (Japan), Tundra, U.S. News & World Report, Wind Chimes.