Monday, January 12, 2009

Honoring Nick Virgilio

This just in from Ellen Compton:

Hello all,

The following letter invites you to an event honoring poet Nick Virgilio in the 20th year after his death. Attached are directions to the site of the event, with a map of campus on which it takes place. Please help to pass the invitation along.

Ellen Compton
Regional Coordinator
HSA Mid-Atlantic

Dear friends,

Nearly twenty years ago, on January 3, 1989, we lost a national treasure with the death of Nick Virgilio -- Camden resident and internationally renowned haiku poet. In the years since his death, the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association, formed to foster his legacy, has learned just how deeply his poetry and persona have influenced school children and poets laureate, other haiku poets and members of his Camden community from neighbors to high ranking elected officials.

We invite you to join with us as we celebrate – in our personal and collective stories and poetry, critical reflections and artists’ interpretations of Virgilio’s haiku – the gift of his life and art to all of us!

Sunday January 25th, 2009 from 2PM – 5PM
Rutgers University Campus Center, Camden New Jersey
Tickets are $10, but seating is limited.
Reserve your place now!*

Nick first discovered haiku when he found Kenneth Yasuda’s Pepper Pod at the Rutgers Library in 1962. Nick transformed himself from disc jockey and sports broadcaster to an early master within the American haiku movement. In the process, he touched many lives. His voice was heard on NPR, as a regular commentator on Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon in the 1980’s. At home he taught haiku in the schools, volunteered at Sacred Heart Church in Camden and was the poet in residence at the Walt Whitman Poetry Center when it was founded in 1976.

Renowned poet and critic Cor van den Heuvel called him “…one of America’s most loved haiku poets.” Fr. Michael Doyle said: “He was pure flame in a battered city, a spark in a dark place.”

Your participation in this event will help the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association to preserve his legacy for future generations, support teaching haiku in the schools, and further creative projects, including a possible one-man play, based on his life and art.

*Please reserve your place ($10 per person) today by calling (856) 365-0136 after 6PM, or by sending an e-mail to:

Warm regards,


Unknown said...

I would like to personally thank you for posting this note Curtis
and Ellen for passing this along.

Lifetime member The Virgilio Haiku Ass.

Curtis Dunlap said...

Happy to spread the word, Gene.

I only wish I could attend.