Campus: CSU Long Beach -- October 02, 2002

Japanese Newspaper Honors Cal State Long Beach Professor for Haiku Poetry

Mainichi, a national English language newspaper in Japan, recently presented the first-place Mainichi Award in English Haiku Poetry to Jerry Ball, a faculty member in mathematics at California State University, Long Beach.

The annual award was presented by Kazuo Sato, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo and director of the English Language Division of the Museum of Haiku Literature of Tokyo.
Each year, poets from around the world submit about 2,000 haiku to the newspaper, which publishes a weekly haiku column. Haiku is a Japanese poetic form, usually in three lines that are often in a 5-7-5 syllabic count. The haiku also should include a seasonal reference, called a “kigo.”

Ball’s winning haiku is:

Summer afternoon
Again I thank the Buddha
For the parking place

“This haiku was chosen for the natural language in the syllabic form, for capturing a simple moment in an unusual way and for simple humor,” said Ball, a haiku poet since 1975.
The Seal Beach resident has received many national and international awards for his haiku poetry and is president of the Haiku Society of America, an international organization with more than 1,000 members.

Media contacts: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727

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