[Image: cover of May Sky:]
October sky —
the ginko crowd
complains about the rain
……………… by david giacalone (In mem. Violet Kazue de Cristoforo, d.o.d Oct. 5, 2007)
Violet de Cristoforo is best known for writing and collecting “kaiko” [modern, free-verse] haiku about life in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II. Her life’s work culminated in the publication of the 287-page volume May Sky: There Is Always Tomorrow; An Anthology of Japanese American Concentration Camp Kaiko Haiku (Sun & Moon Classics, 1997). In 1987, she published a 35-page book of her own haiku, “Poetic reflections of the Tule Lake Internment Camp, 1944,”
Shortly before she died this month, at 90 years of age, Ms. de Cristoforo was honored as a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts, Heritage Fellow.
An L.A. Times article earlier this month, celebrating her life, contained three internment camp poems by Violet de Cristoforo:
in the evening
my children are growing
as it was
on my wedding night
Foolishly — simply existing
Castle Rock is there
Violet de Cristoforo was featured this morning in a Remembrance on Weekend Edition Saturday, at National Public Radio (October 13, 2007). You can read much more about her in the L. A. Times book-section obituary, “Violet de Cristoforo, 90; California haiku poet survived WWII internment camps” and the IHT/Associated Press story, “Violet de Cristoforo, known for haikus on Japanese-American internment camps in US, dies” (October 5, 2007). Last year, the California Writer weblog had a lengthy post on her work.