About Alan Pizzareli:
Alan Pizzarelli was born in 1950 of an Italian-American family in Newark, New Jersey. Raised in the first wardâ€™s Little Italy, he showed an early interest in art and music. By age fourteen he had his own band and performed as lead singer, bass guitarist and songwriter. In the years that followed, he became a professional musician performing with popular New Jersey bands such as Sidewalk Symphony and The Infernos.
As a songwriter, Pizzarelliâ€™s avid interest in lyricism led to a serious study and practice of poetic composition.
In the late â€˜60s, while working at the Newark Star Ledger, he became friends with the poet/punster Louis Ginsberg (father of Allen Ginsberg) who taught him lyricism and fundamentals of writing poetry. In searching for his own poetic voice, he began writing poetic observations of moments in nature that a friend told him were haiku.
Amused by the punning verse Louis wrote for his column An O-Pun Mind, Alan began writing one-line humorous observations on the human condition he later learned were senryu. In 1970 his haiku and senryu were accepted by Haiku magazine. He then started attending meetings of The Haiku Society of America in New York City and studied haiku and related forms under the tutelage of Professor Harold G. Henderson, author of An Introduction to Haiku (Doubleday) and Haiku in English (Charles Tuttle).
Since then, Pizzarelliâ€™s English language haiku and senryu have received worldwide acclaim and popularity. He is a pioneer of English-language senryu and a leading literary spokesman for the American haiku and senryu movement.
Pizzarelli has published 12 limited edition chapbooks of his haiku and senryu including The Flea Circus (Islet Books, 1989); Amusement Park (Islet Books, 1990), City Beat (Islet Books, 1991), which won the Merit Book Awardâ€™s first place in 1992; Senryu Magazine (River Willow, 2001); The Windswept Corner (Bottle Rockets Press, 2005), among others.
His work is anthologized in many major publications on the subject of haiku poetry including: Haiku Moment (1993) and How to Haiku (2002), edited by Bruce Ross (Tuttle); The Haiku Handbook (McGraw-Hill,1985) and Haiku World (Kodansha, 1996) by W.J. Higginson; Baseball Haiku, edited by Cor van den Heuvel (W.W. Norton 2007 and in each of the three editions of The Haiku Anthology, edited by Cor van den Heuvel (Double-day Anchor,1974 (Simon & Schuster 1986) and (W.W. Norton 1999), the third edition including 43 of his poems.
He was also a consultant for Jack Kerouacâ€™s Book of Haikus (Penguin Poets, 2003) edited by Regina Weinreich.
From 2005-2009, he was the Senryu editor for the on-line journal, Simply Haiku.
Alan Pizzarelliâ€™s book Frozen Socksâ€”selected haiku and related forms, is scheduled for release in December 2010.