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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

William Oandasan (1947-1992)

was born on the Round Valley Reservation in Northern California, to Yuki and Philipino parents. He founded the A Press in 1976 and edited A: A Journal of Contemporary Literature, one of the first literary magazines devoted to American Indian writers. He was a poet, journalist, editor and publisher. He was author of a number of works, including Taking Off (1976), Earth & Sky (1976), Sermon & Three Waves (1978), A Branch of California Redwood (1980), Moving Inland (1983), Round Valley Songs (1984), Round Valley Verses (1987), and Summer Night (1989). His Round Valley Songs won the American Books Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

an old, tired woman
deep in silence
rubbing her wrinkled hands

O yes, the beauty
of a firefly … still, the cold
light of night's flame

so cold and so bright,
the pale moon, quietly framed
in the autumn night

so fresh and so bright
a wild poppy loudly framed
in a vernal light

the waves charge and crash,
then they return, again and
again — and again



Haiku Books:

A Sequence of Contraries in Haiku (1976).
Haiku. A Branch of California Redwood (1980).
Summer Night: English Language Haiku. A Publications/A Writers Circle (1987).