Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile

Gary Hotham


  early in the night—
the stars we can see
the space for more
by Gary Hotham

Biographical Background

Gary Hotham grew up in northern Maine on a potato farm. His parents and two younger brothers still live there. However, he and his sister both left for warmer parts. He has lived in Maryland since 1975 with various breaks in Germany and England.

He is involved with several haiku groups including the Haiku Society of America (a long time member mid 70's), the British Haiku Society, and Haiku Canada.

This profile of haiku writer, Gary Hotham, was researched, written and created by Mary Gamble. See her reader response essay based on an email interview with Hotham:

Gary Hotham: Haiku Genius

Scroll through the entire profile, or jump to any section:

Author Awards

(to be added)

Author's Books

Gary Hotham’s most recent book is entitled

Breath Marks: Haiku to Read in the Dark. (Canon Press, 2000)

It can be purchased at a bookstore near you or at the following website:

As Far As The Light Goes (Juniper Press, 1996)

Bare Feet (Longhouse, 1998)

Before All the Leaves Are Gone (Juniper Press, 1996)

Footprints & Fingerprints (Modest Proposal, 1999)

Off and On Rain (High/Coo, 1978)

Without the Mountains (Yiqralo Press, 1976)


Reader Response Essay

Hotham’s haiku often depicts an interesting and clever situation. Frequently, his haiku creates a scene, which makes sense, but is not particularly a daily occurrence for an individual.

stalled car.
foot tracks being filled
with snow

(Haiku Anthology 83)

This haiku paints such a striking picture. The perspective does not come from the driver. Instead, the writer seems to be just an observer of the situation and the beauty of the moment.

This haiku places the reader right in the moment described. It is as if I am standing by the stalled car and straining to figure out where exactly the footsteps lead.

The tracks are currently being filled so the path is unclear. Of course, being a great haiku there are many questions left unanswered. Where is the driver? Were there passengers? What is wrong with the car? How long has it been snowing? Did the car stall because of the snow? When will the driver return? Will the tracks become completely filled? What time of day is it? The possible questions arising from different reader’s interpretations of the haiku are infinite.

The genius of this haiku is that it presents this moment and then leads the reader to continue thinking about the haiku after finishing reading the haiku.

—from Mary Gamble's email interview essay


Additional Web Links and Resources

(to be added)


haiku conferences haiku courses at Millikin Modern Haiku magazine
speakers & readings haiku competitions at MU student renga
student haiku projects published haiku by students links to haiku web sites
student research on haiku haiku by Millikin students directory of haiku magazines


2001, Dr. Randy Brooks• Millikin University
last updated 8/16/01 • about this web site