Ruth Yarrow

Nominated by Haiku Northwest

Ruth Yarrow taught ecology in colleges and environmental centers for several dozen years, and continues to work for peace and justice as a volunteer. When their two adventurous kids fledged, she and her husband moved to the northwest where they revel in mountain backpacking. Ruth has had hundreds of haiku in the major journals and five books of haiku published. She has given readings and workshops, judged contests, and served as editor and Haiku Society of America northwest regional coordinator. She finds that writing haiku help her be aware of the richness of life.

Haiku Northwest, founded in 1988, is a friendly group that meets monthly to share, critique, and appreciate haiku and related poetry written in English.

They nominated Ruth because: “She is one of the finest haiku poets to ever write haiku in the Pacific Northwest. She brings an environmentalist’s sensitivity and a poet's heart to every poem she writes. As an activist and educator, she cares deeply about the people around her, in addition to her love and care of nature and her family. She has distinguished herself as a widely respected haiku poet and teacher, giving workshops, judging contests, editing haiku, and also leading the Northwest region of the Haiku Society of America. Her haiku are among some of the classic haiku written in the English language.”


As Seattle Poet Populist, I would:

  • encourage people to write in whatever form fits them best.
  • encourage people to share their writing in neighborhood gatherings in free spaces such as libraries or homes.
  • encourage local poets to offer to teach others ? classes in schools and colleges, workshops for adults in libraries or parks.
  • get the word out about the above activities through print, radio and electronic media.



warm rain before dawn:
my milk flows into her

touching the fossil—
low rumblings
of thunder

low winter moon:
her cheek curves the shadow
of the crib bar

up under the gull’s wing:

after the garden party
the garden

hot rock by the stream
each of the baby’s toeprints

before the sled moves
the little girls already

riveredge old growth:
a towering window
of stars

ponderosas comb a low tone
from the wind

watercolor class
in the crumpled paper towel
the freshest colors

Browse through all the nominated poets: