The Nick Virgilio Haiku Association
1092 Niagara Road
Camden, New Jersey 08104
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 20, 1999
HAIKU ASSOCIATION BRINGS IN NATIONAL FIGURES TO REMEMBER CAMDEN'S HAIKU
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Mary Herron (215) 635-6220
Henry Brann (609)546-7747
George Vallianos (609) 428-1917
Fr. Michael Doyle (609) 966-6700
On Monday, May 24th, 1999 at 7:00 PM, the Walt Whitman Poetry Center on
the Rutgers Camden Campus will host a trubute to one of the Delaware
Valley's literary legends of the last half of the 20th Century - haiku
poet Nick Virgilio.
Mr. Virgilio was one of the acknowledged masters who in the 60's and 70's
brought the delicate art of Japanese haiku into the English language. He
died ten years ago on January 3, l989, while taping a segment of
Nightwatch. At that time, according to Cor van den Heuvel, a Newsweek
poetry editor who will be on the May 24th program, Virgilio ".... was on
the verge of becoming American haiku's first celebrity."
The Nick Virgilio Haiku Association, founded in 1990 to keep alive
Virgilio's artistic legacy and to promote haiku writing among young
people, is hosting the May 24th event for poets, Camden civic leaders and
lovers of haiku. Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's Weekend
Edition, will headline the May 24th tribute. It was Simon who first
brought Nick Virgilio's work to national attention by reviewing his first
book on Morning Edition. Later the poet became a frequent commentator on
his nationally syndicated weekend radio news magazine.
Besides Simon and van den Heuvel's reflections on the poet, and the
significance of his life and art, local haiku poets' work will be
showcased, as well as reflections on Virgilio's work in other media. A
reception will follow the program at the Whitman Center.
"With Nick Virgilio's passing Camden lost one of its greatest treasures",
mused Michael Doyle pastor of Sacred Heart Church in South Camden. The
Association will use the proceeds of the event to endow a national haiku
competition for high school students. Tickets are available through the
association at $10.00 per person.
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