Gerald Conforti (born Gerald John Conforti, February 26, 1948, New York City), American tanka and haiku poet. He was reared in Mount Loretto orphanage on Staten Island and, following a brief enlistment in the military and period of homelessness, he entered Staten Island Community College and then graduated from Richmond College with a B.A. in English. All his life Conforti has struggled with mental illness, suicide attempts, and intermittent hospitalizations. In 1986 he discovered haiku and, as his first publisher Jane Reichhold wrote, “He found then, as many others have since discovered, how the focus on things in nature and the responses of human senses had the effect of numbing and ignoring states of unreality.” His work has been published in top journals, including Cicada, Bitterroot, Modern Haiku, Acorn, Bottle Rockets, Frogpond, Hummingbird, and The Nor‘Easter, and anthologized in Cor van den Heuvel‘s The Haiku Anthology, 2nd and 3rd editions. Three collections of his tanka have been published: Now That the Night Ends (1996), For My Brother Victor & Elsa His Wife (2000), and Shells in the Sand (2009), as well as a book of haiku, Pale Moonlight (1999, reprinted in 2014). Conforti currently resides at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, Manhattan.
Note: This is an abstract of a longer biographical article to come.