Lee Gurga

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Lee Gurga (born July 28, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American haiku poet. In 1997 he served as president of the Haiku Society of America.[1] He was the editor of Modern Haiku magazine from 2002 to 2006, and is the current editor of the Modern Haiku Press. Gurga lives in Lincoln, Illinois, where he works as a dentist.[2][3] Also involved in the translation of Japanese haiku into English, Gurga cites Matsuo Bashō, a Japanese poet from the Edo period, as one of his main appreciations.[4] One of his most known haiku is about graduation day for students and is presented in his book Haiku: A Poet's Guide.[5]


Born in Chicago, Gurga attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He first became interested in haiku during his high school years after reading a haiku translation book by Reginald Horace Blyth. He started his own haiku writing after that, focusing on Midwest imagery and scenery for his topics.[6]


  • The Measure of Emptiness (Press Here, 1991)
  • In and Out of Fog (Press Here, 1997)
  • Fresh Scent (Brooks Books, 1998)[6]
  • Haiku: A Poet's Guide (Modern Haiku Press, 2003)[6]
  • Autumn Mosquito (2005)[6]


  1. ^ Matthew Mirapaul (November 12, 1998). "To a Haiku Writer, Spam Is Poetry in a Can". New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  3. ^ Staff writer (September 5, 2000). "Dentist from rural Illinois writes Japanese-style poetry two years in a row, his haiku have won top American prizes". Associated Press. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Diane Toroian (July 19, 2002). "In our high-stress culture, haiku emerges as popular form of expression". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved April 14, 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Toru Kiuchi (March 22, 2009). "Teaching Richard Wright's Haiku in Japan". The Black Scholar. Retrieved April 14, 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ a b c d Heuvel, Cor Van Den (2007). Baseball Haiku: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 70–73. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]