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Born and bred in Camden, New Jersey, he was a legend to some, an inspiration to others. He spent countless hours in his cellar at his Remington typewriter, writing haiku about nature, the people of Camden and south Philadelphia, and his family. In particular, he detailed the deep sense of loss that affected him and his family when his youngest brother, Larry, was killed in Vietnam.
Edited and introduced by Raffael de Gruttola, a haiku poet and former president of the Haiku Society of America, "Nick: A Life in Haiku" includes more than 100 newly discovered haiku as well as old favorites, essays on the craft of writing, excerpts of an interview with Nick on “Radio Times” in Philadelphia, a tribute by Michael Doyle of Sacred Heart Church, family photos and replicas of original manuscript pages from the Rutgers University archive in Camden, N.J., where Nick’s papers are kept.
It is a perfect companion for haiku lovers, urban poetry enthusiasts, combat veterans and their families as well as high school/college writing classes whose students will enjoy its easily accessible and deeply moving poetry, its glimpse inside the writing process and its encouragement of new authors. Readers will gain a strong sense of this great haiku poet and his life in Camden and an appreciation of the power of haiku as a form of poetry. An afterword by poet Kathleen O’toole spells out Nick’s legacy as one of the most beloved and influential haiku poets in America.
----------------------- “…Nick has mined beauty out of the gutters of Camden. ..” Michael Doyle, Sacred Heart Church, Camden, N.J.
“…Virgilio was intensely American, with a generosity of heart and spirit that recall Walt Whitman,” said Rod Willmot, a Canadian haiku poet and former publisher of Burnt Lake Press, which issued Virgilio’s first book. “He was a people’s poet, touching readers through the universality of what moved him and the honesty and dedication with which he wrote.”
“…called by many this country’s foremost haiku poet.” Marty Moss-Coane, host of “Radio Times,” WHYY, Philadelphia
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