Francesca Marie Rios was born in Orlando, Florida on December 24, 1994. When she was eleven her family moved to Paris, Illinois, where she currently resides. Her interest in haiku began in her early twenties while she was an undergraduate at Millikin University studying Pre-Medicine. Currently, she is a Millikin Women's Basketball Player, a James Millikin S scholar, a Leighty Tabor scholar, and a member of Tri-Beta Honors Society.
I would like to thank Dr. Randy Brooks for introducing me to haiku, and for guiding me through this writing experience. I would also like to thank the 2015 Haiku Class for their feedback throughout the writing process.
I wrote this collection over the duration of my second year in college. Roberta Beary's, The Unworn Neckalce, was the first book in which I felt I understood the art of haiku. Her unique blend of haiku and senryu is a technique I quickly fell in love with and it's one I try and use throughout my writing.
I decided on the title Afternoon Rain because after looking over my haiku I realized how much my life experiences influenced my haiku. I realized fairly young what it was like to live in a broken home, to be in an abusive relationship, and to see God take away the people you love most too soon. Life is anything but black and white. In fact, most of these moments often seem more black than white, but it's those black moments that define us. The struggle, anger, depression, sorrow, and fear we experience in which we can become the person we are today.
It's easy to write about happiness; it's often times the norm, but I want my poetry to be anything but normal. I want my readers to be able to identify with and more importantly to understand the places my haiku can take them. To ultimately be able to understand that in the darkest of times, life will go on and you will be okay.
That is why I titled this collection Afternoon Rain because often times, in life, a storm will hit out of nowhere. The storm can just pass you by and leave only a few puddles in its wake, or the storm can last for hours and leave a flood. And it's in that place where you'll either drown or learn to swim.