A poet, book artist and photographer, Rick Black believes that beauty can be a form of solace, whether found in poetry, a painting or music.

He began writing haiku following a three year stint as a war correspondent for The New York Times in Israel. To capture the intermingling of peace and war in everyday life there, he wrote and handcrafted a chapbook, Peace and War: A Collection of Haiku from Israel. He found that haiku provided him with a way to write meaningfully about his experiences and get at the emotional core of the country.

In 2005, he founded Turtle Light Press as a way to make beautiful books and prints. The press, which sponsors a biennial haiku chapbook contest, most recently released Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku and has also published Michael McClintock, Catherine J.S. Lee and Graham High. TLP also sells the work of photographer Bill Bonner, artist Bill Giacalone, and Rick’s own sumi-e paintings and prints.

Rick’s haiku have garnered several international awards and have been published in a variety of journals, including Frogpond, Modern Haiku, RawNervz, Blithe Spirit, Still, The Red Moon Anthology and Cicada. Aside from writing haiku, he also writes longer verse which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared, among other places, in Atlanta Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, and Midstream.

“I have always been drawn to words as a way to deal with suffering,” he says. “Poetry helps me try to make sense of and appreciate the world, whether it’s a poem about my father, the explosion of a bomb at an outdoor marketplace or a village in Nepal.”

A New Jersey native, Rick lives with his wife, Laura Ahearn, and their daughter, Melanie. His own book as well as others are available on the Turtle Light Press website: