• Boultwood, Chris

    Chris Boultwood (22 May 1952 – 13 January 2024)

    Chris Boultwood, who died in January after a long battle with cancer, was born in Croydon Hospital and grew up in Norbury, South London. Chris was educated at Dulwich College, and Kings College, Cambridge, where he read physical anthropology, a subject which led to a lifelong love of gorillas. He started work for IBM straight from university, and stayed with them for nearly 40 years working on many different projects, with a variety of clients. After he retired from IBM, he went on to work for the British Council, followed by the University of Manchester, and finally UKBiobank, where he was their Chief Information Officer.

    Chris had a long-standing interest in poetry and particularly in Japanese literature and culture. He became a member of the Yorkshire and Lancashire haiku group in the early 2000s, serving as the group’s joint convenor, with Sheila Butterworth, between December 2007 and May 2019. His kindness, efficiency and commitment to the group are remembered with great affection by its members. From January 2010 to shortly before his death, Chris was responsible for the Presence website which he developed as a valuable resource for poets worldwide. Later on that same year he also took the role of administrator for the annual award. His quiet competence was a great source of support to me.

    Chris had over two dozen haiku published in either Blithe Spirit or Presence between 2003 and 2009. After this, with one exception, he seemed to have stopped sending out submissions although he continued to write and present his poems to the regular group meetings. Generous in his opinion of other’s work, he was a sever critic of his own, with the result that haiku which were publishable didn’t reach a wider audience.

    Chris Boultwood is survived by his wife, Anne, Daughter, Deborah, and grandchildren, Sam, Noah and Orla.

    Written by Ian Storr (first published in Presence 78, March 2024)

    Selected work:

    tangled undergrowth conceals a KitKat wrapper

         (World Haiku Review - Autumn 2003)


    a year gone
    the half-heard cry of gulls
    the wind on the hillside

         (Blithe Spirit 13:2, June 2003)


    back home
    the evening darkens
    into rain

         (Presence 22 (2004), Editor’s Choice)


    by the tarn
    as the wind dies

         (Blithe Spirit 15:2, June 2005)


    that clarity of light
    a storm brings

         (Presence 56, October 2016)

    Besides haiku and senryu, Chris Boultwood occasionally participated in the writing of collaborative linked verse. At least two jūnicho (12-link renku) were published:

    • “Winter Moon” by Joanna Ashwell, Chris Boultwood, John Carley (sabaki), and Colin Stewart Jones (published in Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry 6:2 (Summer 2008).
    • “Wild Violets” by Chris Boultwood, Martin Lucas, Stewart Metcalfe, Helen Robinson, Fred Schofield, Ian Storr, Jane Sunderland, and Ann Thomas (published in Presence 41 (May 2010).


    Presence 78, March 2024, p.116



  • Burke, Alanna C.

    Alanna C. BurkeAlanna C. Burke

    Born in 1952
    Residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.
    Alanna C. Burke lives north of Santa Fe, New Mexico in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where she divides her time between writing poetry and working as business manager for her husband, the artist William Berra. Her poetry has been published in print and online periodicals including Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Frogpond, NOON : journal of the short poem, bottle rockets, Kingfisher, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Wild Plum, Creatrix Haiku Journal, Shamrock, and Prune Juice.


  • Culver, Ralph

    Ralph CulverRalph Culver

    Year of birth: 1952
    Country of birth: United States
    Currently residing: Vermont and central Pennsylvania, United States

    Ralph Culver's love of haiku and Eastern poetic forms goes back to his childhood. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. A Passable Man (2021) is his latest poetry collection.


  • Jacobson, Roberta Beach

    Roberta Beach JacobsonRoberta Beach Jacobson

    Roberta Beach Jacobson is drawn to the magic of words – poetry, puzzles, song lyrics, stand-up comic humor. As a student of tanshi (short poems), she strives to include humor whenever possible. Besides poetry, she writes greeting cards and flash fiction … anything to avoid a day job.

    Born 1952 in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
    Residing in Indianola, Iowa, USA


  • Oare, Gail

    Gail OareGail Oare

    Born 1952 in USA
    Gail Oare is a retired science publishing executive. She writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and consults.


  • Škrgulja, Vida Pust

    https://www.centarkulture.com/vida-pust-skrgulja/Vida Pust Škrgulja

    (1952 - 2021)


    Vida Pust Škrgulja was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1952. She graduated in Latin and History of Art from the Department of Philosophy at University of Zagreb, and spent her working years as a teacher of Latin and Arts in high schools in the towns of Ivanić-Grad and Križ, Croatia. Beside her teaching career and family, being a mother of four daughters, she spent her time on a number of activities, promoting arts and culture. By founding the association Amici hereditatis (Prijatelji baštine; Friends of heritage) in Ivanić-Grad, she started the process of founding the first museum in this town and was its first director. Through the decades she set up a number of exhibitions for local artists.

    Škrgulja started writing haiku in the 1970s and was among the first haijin in Ivanić-Grad.

    In 2003 together with Djurdja Vukelić Rožić and Stepan Rožić they inaugurated the Kloštar Ivanić Haiku Meetings (Kloštar Ivanić haiku susreti) and later in 2006 also founded the Haiku Association “Three Rivers” in Ivanić-Grad. Vida Pust Škrgulja was on the editorial board of the magazine IRIS and a judge for haiku and haiga contests. She wrote haiku in Croatian, Slovenian, Latin and English, and her work was featured in numerous miscellanies, anthologies and journals in Croatia, Slovenia, United Kingdom, USA and Japan. She has won several national and international awards as well. Vida Pust Škrgulja was bestowed Lifetime Achievement Award by the town of Ivanić-Grad in 2007. She died in Ivanić-Grad, Croatia in 2021.

    Book published:

    Sedam prozora / Seven Windows by Vida Pust-Škrgulja, Ljerka Poštek-Jelača, Djurdja-Vukelić Rožić, Marica Behtan-Cecelja, Franko Bušić, Stjepan Rožić and Robert Stipić. Ed. by Djurdja Vukelić Rožić, Kloštar Ivanić, Croatia: Agapa, 2002.

    Some awards and honours:

    • Encouragement Award, Ito-En, International Haiku Contest, Tokyo, Japan, 1997;
    • Third Prize, The International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, Japan, 2000;
    • Award (third choice), WHC R. H. Blyth Award, 2002;
    • Lifetime Achievement Award by the town of Ivanić-Grad, 2007.

    Selected works:

    snježno jutro
    u košari na polici
    proklijao češnjak

    snowy morning
    in the basket on the shell
    the garlic has sprouted

    (Encouragement Award, Ito-En, International Haiku Contest, Tokyo, Japan, 1997)

    lastavice lete
    nad ljetnom kućicom
    uhvaćenom u čaši vina

    swallows fly
    above the summer house
    caught in a glass of wine

    (Third Prize, The International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, Japan, 2000)

    obasjano suncem
    na plavome dnu ̶ stablo
    uz jato riba

    lighted by the sun
    on the blue bottom ̶ a tree trunk
    among fish

    (Letni časi haiku magazine No. 16, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2002)

    jutarnji vlak
    snježnim se ljestvama penje
    sve brže i brže

    morning train
    climbing the snowy ladder
    faster and faster

    (Award (third choice), WHC R. H. Blyth Award, 2002)

    dječji se smijeh
    u gitaru na zidu

    the children's laugh
    crept into
    the guitar on the wall

    (Sedam prozora/Seven Windows, joint haiku collection, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia, 2002)

    na dnu škrinje
    svežanj pisama i
    svilena vrpca

    at the bottom of the chest
    a bundle of letters and
    a silk ribbon

    (Blithe Spirit Vol 14 No 3, September 2004)

    na dnu srebrne čaše
    u staretinarnici
    tragovi crnog vina

    at the bottom of a silver cup
    in an antique shop
    stains of red wine

    (World Haiku 2006 No 2, WHA Japan)

    noć bez zvijezda
    u jednom prozoru
    treperi svjetlo

    starless night
    in one of the windows
    flickering candle-light

    (Shamrock, Issue 6, Focus on Croatia, 2009)

    umor večeri
    rasplinu se pogledom...
    zvjezdano nebo

    evening fatigue
    scattered in the gaze...
    a starry sky

    (To the memory of Vladimir Devidé, the Kloštar Ivanić Joint Haiku Collection, Croatia, 2011)

    stara singerica
    u ladici unuk sakrio
    svoje blago

    in the drawer of
    an old sewing machine
    my grandson's treasure

    (Igračke/Toys, post contest anthology, the Haiku Association „Three Rivers“, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia, 2017)

    starac, drščući
    u vrećama otpada
    traži darove

    a trembling old man
    in search of Christmas gifts
    through the bags with waste

    (IRIS No. 11, the Haiku Association „Three Rivers, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia 2017)

    Haiku translated by the author.


    - Anthologies Nepokošeno nebo/An Unmown Sky 1 and 2, Croatia, 2011 and 2018

    - IRIS International, Year 7th, No.7, 2021, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia










    This profile was created in collaboration with Djurdja Vukelić-Rožić and Zdenko Vanjek, who took the photograph. We appreciate their invaluable help in preparing Vida Pust Škrgulja’s biography.

  • Stamenković, Mile

    Mile Stamenković


    Mile Stamenković was born in 1952 in Ogulin, Croatia. He was a medical doctor, gynaecologist and had a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences.  He died in Rijeka in 2000. Mile was also a prominent writer and haiku poet and his poems and haiku have been published in magazines and anthologies in Croatia and abroad. He was a member of The Croatian Haiku Association and The Haiku Society of America.

    Mile Stamenković started writing poetry more intensely from 1974 onward and won his first prize in 1977 in the ‘Goranovo proljeće 77’ poetry competition. From then on his poems appeared in many national and international magazines. His haiku were featured in some of the most prestigious haiku journals, anthologies and haiku-calendars (Blithe Spirit, Azami, Woodpecker, Modern Haiku, Haiku Headlines, Hobo, Paper Wasp, The Daily Yomiuri, KŌ, Frogpond, Timepieces). His haiku was also included in Haiku World, an International Poetry Almanac by W. J. Higginson, 1996.

    Mile published and illustrated two books of poetry in 1976 and 1993, and a collection of haiku, Breaths of July's Linden Forests, waka and renga in 1995. In 1998 he co-edited with Jadran Zalokar a trilingual anthology of haiku poetry (in Croatian, Italian and English) - Hvatanje sjenke vjetra/ Catturare l'ombra del vento/ Grassping the Shadow of the Wind. In the same year in Rijeka, Mile Stamenković hosted the first meeting of haiku poets from that region. 

    Books published:

    • Poezija i ilustracije, (Poetry and illustrations), 1976;
    • Poezija i ilustracije, (Poetry and illustrations), 1993;
    • Dahovi srpanjskih lipika / Breaths of July's Linden Forests, waka and renga, 1995;
    • Hvatanje sjenke vjetra / Catturare l’ombra del vento / Grasping the Shadow of the Wind, regionalna antologija haikua / Regional Haiku Collection, Rijeka 1999.

    Selected haiku:


    Uništen prostor -                                             Destroyed area -
    vjetar se zaustavio                                          the wind has stopped
    pod divljim kestenom.                                   under the horse-chestnut.

    (An Award, 33rd A-Bomb Memorial Day Haiku Meeting Competition, Kyoto, 1999)


    Vjetar u šašu.                                                    Wind in the reed.
    Divlje guske gledaju                                        The wild geese look                       
    u vodu...                                                             into the water...

    (Vrabac/Sparrow No. 7-10, 1994-1995)


    Next to the flutter
    of the wings, the buildings
    had flown through.

    (In the Prime Selection for the best Croatian haiku of the year - Second Annual Haiku Competition 1994 of the Croatian Haiku Association) 


    to be waist deep
    in water:  neither man
    nor – fish.

    (Haiku World, An International Poetry Almanac William J. Higginson; Kodansha International Tokyo-New York-London, 1996, p. 125)


    A demolished town.
    The wind howls not knowing
    where it would go.

    (Calendar-book the Timepieces: Haiku Week-At-A-Glance 1997)


    an owl hooting…
    the moon slowly siling
    down the windy night

    (Hvatanje sjenke vjetra/Catturare l'ombra del vento/Grasping the Shadow of the Wind, Regional Haiku Anthology. StaM, Rijeka 1999)


    In the deserted town
    hungry war victims
    feed the pigeons.

    (Knots: The Anthology of Southeastern Europe Haiku Poetry.ed. by Dimitar Anakiev, Jim Kacian, Tolmin, Slovenia: Prijatelj Haiku Press, 1999)


    A distant offing.
    Shimmering under the Sun
    some fish and shells.

    Daleka pučina.
    Na suncu se ljeskaju
    ribe i školjke.

    (Karolina Riječka 2004 - 2005)


    The morning guest
    shaking down the snow
    of his worn out coat.

    Jutarnji gost
    otresa snijeg sa svog
    istrošenog kaputa.

    (Nepokošeno nebo/An Unmown Sky (Antologija hrvatskoga haiku-pjesništva 1996-2007/Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry 1996-2007), ed. by Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić, Ivanić Grad, 2011)


    This profile was created in collaboration with the Croatian poet and editor Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić. We are very grateful for her support and dedication! 

  • Važić, Saša

    Saša Važić

    Born 1952 in Belgrade, Serbia
    Living in Belgrade, Serbia

    Contact the poet