Higginson, William J., 1938-

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William J. Higginson spent over forty years studying traditional Japanese poetry. His interest in this subject led him to publish numerous books and articles on the teaching and writing of Haiku and he became one of the foremost authorities on the collaborative form of poetry writing, renku.

Higginson was born on December 17, 1938 in New York City to parents William J. and Nellie (Roby) Higginson Mackay. He first began studying Japanese at Yale University and discovered haiku at this time. Higginson served in the United States Air Force in the late 1950s, during which he was stationed in Misawa, Japan. He continued studying Japanese poetry throughout his deployment. Some years after his return, he went to college on the G.I. Bill and graduated with honors from Southern Connecticut State University in 1969 with a B.A. in English.

After a short stint teaching, Higginson became a Consultant in Writing and the Teaching of Writing in 1972, a job that he held for the rest of his life. He was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America, which as founded in 1968 and served as President in 1976, as well as the editor and publisher of Haiku Magazine. Other publications include three collections of poetry and haiku and numerous essays in anthologies and reference works. His poems, essays, and translations appear in the following periodicals and journals: American Book Review, Center, Footwork, Frogpond, Imprint (Hong Kong), Madrona, Newsweek Japan, Open Magazine, ProFiles, Shearsman (London), Sparrow, Sun, and Telegram (London).

Higginson has published several books in the field, perhaps the most prominent being The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share and Teach Haiku (1985), a book that uses examples, many of which were not previously available, from Japanese and other languages. This was a collaborative effort between Higginson and his wife, poet and author Penny Harter. Unique to the book are teaching tools, such as lesson plans, a reference section, and lists of haiku publishers and magazines. A follow-up book entitled The Haiku Seasons expands on the teaching model and gives a comprehensive history of the form. Higginson also published Wind in the Long Grass, an international anthology of haiku for children.

Higginson was active in several professional organizations, most notably P.E.N. American Center, the Poetry Society of America, the National Writers Union (U.S.), the New Jersey Task Force on Literacy in the Arts, and the Association of New Jersey County Cultural and Historical Agencies.

William J. Higginson died on October 11, 2008 after battling cancer. He is survived by his wife, Penny Harter.

From the description of William J. Higginson Papers, 1950-2007. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 436915989

BIOGHIST REQUIRED William J. Higginson spent over forty years studying traditional Japanese poetry. His interest in this subject led him to publish numerous books and articles on the teaching and writing of Haiku and he became one of the foremost authorities on the collaborative form of poetry writing, renku.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Higginson was born on December 17, 1938 in New York City to parents William J. and Nellie (Roby) Higginson Mackay. He first began studying Japanese at Yale University and discovered haiku at this time. Higginson served in the United States Air Force in the late 1950s, during which he was stationed in Misawa, Japan. He continued studying Japanese poetry throughout his deployment. Some years after his return, he went to college on the G.I. Bill and graduated with honors from Southern Connecticut State University in 1969 with a B.A. in English.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After a short stint teaching, Higginson became a Consultant in Writing and the Teaching of Writing in 1972, a job that he held for the rest of his life. He was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America, which as founded in 1968 and served as President in 1976, as well as the editor and publisher of Haiku Magazine. Other publications include three collections of poetry and haiku and numerous essays in anthologies and reference works. His poems, essays, and translations appear in the following periodicals and journals: American Book Review, Center, Footwork, Frogpond, Imprint (Hong Kong), Madrona, Newsweek Japan, Open Magazine, ProFiles, Shearsman (London), Sparrow, Sun, and Telegram (London).

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Higginson has published several books in the field, perhaps the most prominent being The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share and Teach Haiku (1985), a book that uses examples, many of which were not previously available, from Japanese and other languages. This was a collaborative effort between Higginson and his wife, poet and author Penny Harter. Unique to the book are teaching tools, such as lesson plans, a reference section, and lists of haiku publishers and magazines. A follow-up book entitled The Haiku Seasons expands on the teaching model and gives a comprehensive history of the form. Higginson also published Wind in the Long Grass, an international anthology of haiku for children.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Higginson was active in several professional organizations, most notably P.E.N. American Center, the Poetry Society of America, the National Writers Union (U.S.), the New Jersey Task Force on Literacy in the Arts, and the Association of New Jersey County Cultural and Historical Agencies.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED William J. Higginson died on October 11, 2008 after battling cancer. He is survived by his wife, Penny Harter.

From the guide to the William J. Higginson Papers, 1950-2007, (Columbia University. Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lamb, Elizabeth Searle. Papers, 1917- California State Library
creatorOf William J. Higginson Papers, 1950-2007 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Higginson, William J., 1938-. Correspondence with Singing Horse Press, 1983. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Higginson, William J., 1938-. William J. Higginson Papers, 1950-2007. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Harter, Penny person
associatedWith Harter, Penny. person
associatedWith Lamb, Elizabeth Searle. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Poetry
Haiku--Translations into English
Haiku--History and criticism
Haiku--Technique
Haiku
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1938-12-17

Death 2008-10-11

English,

Japanese

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