Margaret Chula has been writing and teaching Japanese poetic forms for forty years. She first became interested in haiku when she and her husband moved to Kyoto (1980-1992). From their traditional Japanese house, she observed the seasons through the stages of rice growing. Translations of Japanese haiku masters by R.H. Blyth inspired her to write her own, as did weekly excursions to rustic mountain temples. Her first haiku collection, Grinding my ink, was awarded a Haiku Society of America Book Award. In 1995, she and Rich Youmans created a new form—linked haibun. Their resulting collection, Shadow Lines, received a Haiku Society of America Book Award. Maggie’s haiku have appeared in numerous journals as well as on cans of Itoen tea in Japan, on posters in Washington, D.C., and embedded in a Portland sidewalk. Active in the international haiku community, she has been a featured speaker and workshop leader at writers’ conferences throughout the United States, as well as in Poland, Canada, and Japan.
Grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council have supported her work as well as fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and Playa at Summer Lake. Maggie served as president of the Tanka Society of America (2011-2016) and as Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music. She now lives on the skyline of Portland, Oregon, where she hikes, gardens, and creates ikebana for every room of the house.