Erica Facey

Erica Facey, 2015
Passport photo

Erica Facey (born Kitagawa Kikuko [Japanese: 北川喜久子] November 6, 1945, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo prefecture, Japan; died July 21, 2022, London, U.K.). She excelled in grade school in Ōsaka and graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, with a BA in English. Unable to find a suitable position in Japan, she moved to Great Britain and began studies in linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University. Under her professional name, Kikuko Kitagawa Facey, she completed a dissertation titled Structural Analysis of the Japanese Language Using Montague Grammar and was awarded her PhD in 1981. She delivered presentations at linguistic conferences and published work in professional journals.

Kitagawa Kikuko had been interested in haiku since her student days in Japan and had published her work in the preeminent haiku magazine Hototogisu (ホトトギス) and in various saijiki (haiku almanacs). In the U.K. after the 1990s she used her English name, Erica Facey, for her haiku activities. She was dedicated to promoting haiku in the U.K., especially with beginners and in particular among schoolchildren, and was an original member of the British Haiku Society (1990). Soon she began to be dissatisfied with the BHS, however, finding it too inward-looking at that time to satisfy her aspirations. Accordingly, in 1994 she founded the Time Haiku Group in London to make haiku more accessible and launched the journalTime Haiku the following year. Through the Time Haiku Group she published a collection of her haiku in Japanese and English titled Flying in 1997. Although Doreen King and later Diana Webb took over the duties of editing Time Haiku, Facey remained involved in an administrative capacity until 2021, as newsletter editor and as author of short articles about Japanese kigo (season words) and poetic techniques. In 2004 she edited a selection of poems, Time Haiku Anthology.

Facey submitted her own poetry primarily to American and Japanese periodicals. Three books of haiku, which she composed in Japanese and translated into English, were signed as “Erica Facey” in katakana (エリカ・フェイシー), and published in Tokyo: 滑翔 / Gliding (2001), 潜鳰 / Diving Grebe (2005), and 心象 / Images (2015). Erica Facey last resided in London.

Note: This is a short version of a longer biographical article to come.

Updated on August 16, 2023