Poetry, like visual art, allows us to recognize, examine, and honor a discrete segment of our experience. Through this examination, we are able to sense deeper truths. My poetry writing became less sporadic in about 2007, thanks to a drop-in workshop at a local library, and was further encouraged by the breadth of poetry events in Bellingham, where we moved in 2008. In 2010, an evening workshop introducing the art of literary English-language haiku triggered my interest in writing Japanese form poetry. I’d been an avid reader of haiku for many years before that. Writing haiku and tanka introduced me to an international community of like-minded people, which has enriched my life immeasurably and continues to give me hope in these challenging times.
Here is a selection of links to various publications of my poetry.
Jacob Salzer featured me in his Haiku Poet Interviews blog in April 2022:
My reading of a poem published in CALYX
A reminiscence of our family vacations:
One of my ‘Golden Shovels,’ a sort of acrostic with a line from another poet secreted in the last words of the lines:
Three Golden Shovels in Pontoon Poetry:
A dozen haiku published over the years on “tinywords”
Perhaps my favorite tanka:
Another tanka with judges’ comments appears in Honorable Mentions on this page: https://www.tankasocietyofamerica.org/tsa-contest/past-winners-and-judges-comments/2018-winners
Echidna Tracks, an online Australian journal published these haiku:
Fishing a Familiar Pond: Found Poems from The Yearling
Fishing a Familiar Pond is a chapbook of 30 poems “found” by Sheila Sondik by cutting up and rearranging the text of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ classic novel, The Yearling. The poems are an extended meditation on the themes of the novel, including the loss of childhood innocence, our essential bond with the natural world, self-reliance, and the complexity of familial love.
Sondik wrote the poems while participating in The Found Poetry Review’s Pulitzer Remix project in April 2013. She was one of 85 poets who posted poems gleaned from the text of Pulitzer Prize-winning novels on the project website.
Sheila Sondik’s writing, as well as her artwork, is influenced by Japanese and Chinese art. Nine of the poems in the chapbook are tanka, a Japanese 5-line form. The covers and title pages reproduce two of her prints.
Fishing a Familiar Pond was published by Egress Studio Press in June 2013. Poet and book designer Anita K. Boyle designed it and hand-sewed the binding.
Order the signed chapbook
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If you’d like to order a chapbook, please let me know via the contact form and I’ll get back to you.
After long rains
He noticed things again —
amaryllis lined the pathway
and chinaberry blooms were falling
a dogwood tree
foxes and raccoons
prowled about the water troughs
the mulberry trees by the fence
wore a sharp green
Shadow melted into shadow
and he had only clouds to ride on