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Vicki Silvers

Vicki Silvers (born Victoria Meyers, January 22, 1941, Queens, New York, U.S.A.; died March 16, 1992, probably Suffolk county, Long Island, New York.) Writer of poetry, primarily for children, as well as haiku. She last resided in Suffolk county, New York.


Victoria Meyers was born January 22, 1941, in Queens, New York, the daughter of Louis Meyers and Diane Aronson. She was known primarily as an author of poetry books for young children, but she was also active in the nascent haiku community from the mid-1960s through the early 1990s. Early records of the Haiku Society of America, established in 1968, do not list Silvers as a member, yet in 1994, two years after her death, she was listed among a number of persons who had preordered a copy of the HSA’s 20th anniversary anthology, A Haiku Path, but whose address—Silvers’s was Bay Shore, Long Island, N.Y.—could not be verified. Silvers was known to have been close to fellow Queens natives and prominent contemporary haiku poetsLeroy Kanterman and Frank Ankenbrand, Jr. In fact,Jane Reichhold suggested that Kanterman and Silvers were coeditors of the new journalHaiku West,1 which served as the virtual HSA membership journal in the early years.

Vicki Silvers was not a prolific haiku poet, although she published her work in a number of American haiku journals beginning in the mid 1960s. A sampling of her first work in periodicals:


Capricious

The kaleidoscope of my mind
is revolving — Today
I am blue.

Haiku Highlights, 19652

Twittering sparrow
     resting on a neon sign …
          City without trees.

Modern Haiku, 19703

Through this muddy swamp
     breathing the silence of spring,
          each sprouting crocus.…
Haiku West, 19704

Caught amidst the vine
   kite fluttering with the wind
      despite tangled twine.

Janus & SCTH, 19715

The school bus leaving
     every morning the same time —
          the same children

Dragonfly, 19736

resting on the rocks
a boy with his fishing pole
and the old man’s dreams

Mayfly, 19867

Evicted
     still bringing birdseed
     to the backyard …

Frogpond, 19878

Vicki Silvers published one book of haiku, Echoes on the Wind, in 1967. Reviewing the collection for Modern Haiku, Judson Dicks described the book as “filled with words mixed like paints and brushed into vivid images revealing an idealistic mind” and offered as examples these two haiku:

Silent audience
      soothed by hush of holiness …
           unity of man.


Drink the wine of life.
      Feast at the table of love …
           Bread of two worlds.

Dicks described other verses, such as this one, as “evocative half haiku, half senryu”:

The moon reflects
      night in a thousand pieces. 
           Which one shall I choose?

and pointed out that Frank Ankenbrand, Jr., who wrote the introduction to the book, found “definite overtones of Basho’s famous frog-haiku in this one:

Cool, calm, crystal pool
     earth removed, swallowed in depth …
          Splash! A fish jumps high.”

Dicks took this as “a great tribute to the poems of Vicki Silvers, for western poets rarely reach the poetic quality of Japanese haiku.”9

This enigmatic haiku of Silvers’s won an Honorable Mention in the HSA Harold G. Henderson Awards in 1991:

Ninety winters
          Spellbound
                    Again

In the same year, two haiku of Silvers’s were chosen by editor Rengé/David Priebe as winners in the Haiku Headlines Rhyming Haiku Contest and published in the contest anthology Ecopoems:10

backyard balloons
sway with season’s change
            and birthday tunes


      echo of the train
splitting the fog
                     dripping rain

The following two haiku of Silvers’s were included in Four Seasons: Haiku Anthology Classified by Season Words in English and Japanese (1991), edited by Kōko Katō and published in Nagoya, Japan. They are believed to be the last published haiku by Vicki Silvers:

Icy slate
the sky this winter morning
written on the wind …


forever
my foot steps
following me …11

Vicki Silvers died in March 1992 and was buried in the New Montefiore Cemetery, West Babylon, New York.

Sources / Further Reading

Works by and about Vicki Silvers

  • Ankenbrand, Frank, Jr., ed.. Haiku Broadsides, Series II. New Britain, Conn.: Central Connecticut State College (Robert E. Massmann), 1968. 
  • Dicks, Judson. “Echoes on the Wind, A Collection of Haiku, by Vicki Silvers.” Modern Haiku 1:3 (Summer 1970), 43. Review.
  • “Echoes on the Wind: A Collection of Haiku, by Vicki Silvers.” Modern Haiku 1:2 (Spring 1970), 41. Book note.
  • “Echoes on the Wind, by Vicki Silvers.” American Haiku 5:2 (1967), 61. Book note.
  • Haiku Society of America Twentieth Anniversary Book Committee, eds. A Haiku Path: The Haiku Society of America 1968–1988. New York: Haiku Society of America, 1994.
  • Kōko Katō, ed. Four Seasons: Haiku Anthology Classified by Season Words in English and Japanese. Nagoya, Japan: Kō Poetry Association, 1991. Two haiku.
  • Minutes of the Third (Annual) 1994 Haiku Society of America Meeting, September 17, 1994.
  • Priebe, David, editor and publisher. Ecopoems: Winners of the Rhyming Haiku Contest—1991. Los Angeles: Cloverleaf Books, 1991. 2 haiku.
  • Reichhold, Jane. “Haiku Magazines in the USA,” Chapter Three in Those Women Writing Haiku, AHA! Poetry Web site: http://www.ahapoetry.com/twwhbk.htm.
  • “Silvers, Vicki.” The Writers Directory 1980–1982. London: Macmillan, 1980.
  • Silvers, Vicki. Echoes on the Wind: A Collection of Haiku. Introduction by Frank Ankenbrand, Jr. Dexter, Mo.: Candor Press, 1967.
  • Silvers, Vicki. Sing a Song of Sound. Illustrations by Lois Ehlert. Scroll Press, 1973. Poetry for young children.

Journals in which Silvers’s work was published

  • Haiku Highlights, 1965–1966.
  • Modern Haiku, 1970.
  • Haiku West, 1970–1973.
  • Janus & SCTH, 1971–1974.
  • Dragonfly, 1973.
  • Mayfly, 1986–1989.
  • Frogpond, 1987–1991.

Awards & Contests

  • Harold G. Henderson Awards 1991, Honorable Mention (1 of 5).

Compiled by the Haikupedia Editors


Notes

  1. Reichhold, “Haiku Magazines in the USA.” This is doubtful, however. No other sources, including the masthead of Haiku West, confirm that Silvers was ever on the staff of the journal. []
  2. Haiku Highlights 1:4 (August 1965). []
  3. Modern Haiku 1:3 (Summer 1970. []
  4. Haiku West 3:2 (January 1970). []
  5. Janus & SCTH 3:1 (July 1971). []
  6. Dragonfly 1:3 (July 1973). []
  7. Mayfly 2 (November 1986). []
  8. Frogpond 10:1 (February 1987). []
  9. Dicks, review of “Echoes on the Wind,” Modern Haiku 1:3 (Summer 1970). []
  10. As was the style in Haiku Headlines at the time, the haiku in the contest anthology were printed in all caps; Silvers’s first name was given here as “Vicky.” []
  11. Katō, Four Seasons, pages 143 and 192. []
Updated on March 29, 2024