Donna Fleischer


Bloomfield, CT
Connecticut US

Author's Bio

Author's Statement :: A poem will almost write itself: in a dada kind of way; in the Greek poïesis communal sense; in the Mexican poet Heriberto Yépez's ethopoetics sense of re-writing one's self, stepping through one's ego to get beyond it, to scrape down to  human being. The poem writes through my neural interstitium, so discovered-named by neuroscientists in 2023 — the juicy layer of neural cells just beneath the epidermis that continuously communicates with all neural cells making us whole, beyond the binary and duality of western thought, making Bashō's in-sight that to know about the pine one must go to the pine. I listen through the commotion for clarity.  Wholism within our individual existences interacts with, is interdependent with, all organic and inorganic life.  I try to write with and for this, whether it be a sense or a sound, a color or a feeling. I try to find what is there behind the night. Poems will do that. The Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, as the heteronymous Alberto Caeiro, wrote in The Keeper of Sheep: "How hard it is to have eyes and to see only the visible!" I wholeheartedly concur.

CHAPBOOKS • Flaneur, 26 haibun, Longhouse Publishers, 2024 • Every Day Earth, 40 haiku, Longhouse Publishers, 2024  from beyond my window: the Covid-19 Poems, haiku, Meritage Press, San Francisco, 2020 • < Periodic Earth >, free verse, Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, Pueblo, CO, 2016. • Twinkle, Twinkle, short poems, Longhouse Publishers, Guilford, VT, 2010. • indra’s net, haibun, bottle rockets press, Wethersfield, CT, 2003, out of print and free to read at Scrib'd:  • Intimate Boundaries, Selected Poems, self-produced, 1991. 

ANTHOLOGIES • Virus Time: Collected Writings by Older Lesbians, (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, Boston, 2020, Alice Fisher, Sarah Pearlman, Sue Reamer, editors) • The End of the World Project, Vol 1 (Moria Press, IN, 2019, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Richard Lopez, T.C. Marshall, editors) • Verse Osmosis. The Boiler House Poets Tupelo Press-Mass MoCA Residency, Ann Dernier, editor, 2016 • A Vast Sky (Bruce Ross, editor, 2015) • Beyond the Grave (Robert Epstein, editor, 2015) • Haiku 2015 and Haiku 2014 (Lee Gurga, Scott Metz, editors) • Contemporary Haibun, Vols 4 & 15 (Jim Kacian, editor, 2003, 2014) • Peace Is A Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Sonia Sanchez and Yolanda Wisher, editors, 2013) • Journal of Renga and Renku, Vol 3, (Darlington Press. 2013) • Kamesan's World Haiku Anthology on War, Violence and Human Rights Violation, (Dimitar Anakiev, editor, Kamesan Books, 2013) • We Are All Japan (Alley Cat Books, ltd; Robert D. Wilson, Saša Važić, editors, 2012) •  #Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, (Stephen Boyer, Filip Marinovich, editors, NY, NY, 2011) • Dreams Wander OnContemporary Poems of Death Awareness (Robert Epstein, editor, Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore, 2011) • seed packets anthology of flower haiku (Stanford Forrester, editor, bottle rockets press, Windsor, CT, 2010) • lanterns, a firefly anthology (Stanford Forrester, editor, bottle rockets press, Windsor, CT, 2007). 

PRINT AND ONLINE LITERARY JOURNALS • A) Glimpse) Of) – (Athens, Greece), Asahi Shimbun newspaper (Tokyo), Autumn Moon JournalBack Room Live !, Bones (UK), bottle rockets, brass bellcattails, CircumferenceContemporary Haibun, Cornell University Mann Library's Daily Haiku, EOAGHesqueExit Strata, Fiera Lingue (Bolzano, Italy), Dispatches From the Poetry Wars, Hummingbird, is / let, (Japan), Lilliput Review, Marsh Hawk Press Review, MayDay magazine, Modern Haiku, moon garlic (UK), Naugatuck River Review, On Barcelona, Otata, Otoliths, PassportPoets for Living WatersPresence (UK), Realities & Rituals of the Upside Down, roadrunner, South by Southeast, Spiral Orb, The Fortnightly Review, The HelixThe Operating System, The Solitary Plover, tinywordsTruck, Under the Bashō, Zen Space, Wales Haiku Journal, and Wang Pingʼs Kinship of Rivers

PUBLISHED ESSAYS • RGBY Photographic Colour Theory, Pictures, Poems and Birds Who Sing by Ellen Carey and Donna Fleischer, Unlikely Journal Issue 8, University of Sydney, AU, May 2023 • An Altar of Sorts, May 2018, at my (small press) writing day, Rob McLennan, editor. • Earth Day, April 2014, on writing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational Honourable Mention poem, “earth day” – at the editor's request • The Black Swans of Ellen Carey: Of Necessary Poetic Realities (2010, 2014), the essay to the exhibition catalogue “Let There Be Light: The Black Swans of Ellen Carey” published by Akus Gallery and Eastern Connecticut State University. The full catalogue with essay may be viewed at  • Poetry and Money (#7): Donna Fleischer | A 3-Question Interview, A Sample Poem, and Book List Feature, part of the 2014 “Money and Poetry” series originated by poet Eileen R. Tabios. • The American Haibun by Donna Fleischer (Donna Fleischer © 2008, Lilliput Review, Don Wentworth, editor, 2011). 

BROADSIDES OF POEMS BY DONNA FLEISCHER • The 2014 Under the Bashō International Haiku Contest First Prize haiku “late winter –” by Donna Fleischer embossed with depiction of classical Japanese poet Issa seated beneath the willow tree of which he wrote, and with seal. • The haiku “rail cars stacked with wood” by Donna Fleischer, ink-stamped and illustrated on recycled plastic by poet and artist Lily Brown, on January 17, 2011, in Athens, GA (pressing on press, Heidi Lynn Staples, editor). • The haiku “fish clouds birds” by Donna Fleischer, 11 in. x 17 in. four-color process, offset-printed on recycled, 100lb glossy stock (Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Inc., 2009). • The Useful Knowledge Press (New Haven, CT) limited edition of Donna’s haiku with wood block engravings by Allan Greenier, 2014, entitled HaiKube™. 

OTHER • Donna’s poetry appeared monthly (2010 – 2015) online at the CT Environmental Headlines (Christopher Zurcher, editor). • Her ongoing blog word pond, begun in March 2010, is a curatorial content blog of modern and contemporary poetry, photography, other visual, lirerary, and performing arts, depth ecology, poetics (eco-, bio-, geo-), and news stories. 

EDUCATION • Poetry and Communication Theory, Semiotics, Pragmatics, American and English Literature and History, Botany, and Ecology. University of Connecticut and University of Hartford. BA degree 1988. Ecology course, CT Talcott Mountain Science Center 

LIVELIHOOD • master journeyman in pre-press, four-color process film stripping for offset sheetfed and web presses; transitioned to digital technologies in the textbook publishing industry as a Mac operator and proofreader. University of Hartford Biology and Chemistry Departments office coordinator. Fleischer is listed with The Haiku Foundation, that seeks to establish the importance of haiku "as a literary vehicle in the present and future": and The Living Haiku Anthology, published by the journal Under The Bashō (Don Baird, editor). 

EDUCATION • University of Connecticut and University of Hartford, BA, English, 1988

ARCHIVES • The poetry of Donna Fleischer is housed in the National Poetry Library, London; the Japanese Museum of Haiku Literature, Tokyo; Poets House, NYC; University of Massachusetts Amherst DuBois Library; the Canadian Haiku Society; California State Library Haiku Archives, Sacramento; The Haiku Foundation, Winchester, VA; The Haiku Foundation Digital Library; the Jim Kacian Archival Library; UB (the State University of New York at Buffalo); and the Central Public Library, Downtown Buffalo, NY.

Publications & Prizes

Stonewall's Legacy (Local Gems Poetry Press, 2019)
The End of the World Project (Moria Books, 2019)
A Vast Sky (Charles E. Tuttle, 2015)
Haiku 2015 (Modern Haiku Press, 2015)
Contemporary Haibun Volume 15 (Red Moon Press, 2014)
Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press, 2014)
Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness (Modern English Tanka Press, 2011)
seed packets an anthology of flower haiku (bottle rockets press, 2010)
lanterns: a firefly anthology (bottle rockets press, 2007)
Contemporary Haibun Volume 4 (Red Moon Press, 2003)
Every Day Earth (Longhouse, 2024)
Flaneur (Longhouse, 2024)
Covid-19 Poems (Meritage Press, 2020)
< Periodic Earth > (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016)
Twinkle, Twinkle (Longhouse, 2010)
indra's net (bottle rockets press, 2003)
Prizes won: 

 "Cold sun" by Donna Fleischer received the Nagoya City, 2014 Japan Board of Education Award for Best Haiku, selected by Dr. Kōko Katō, editor and publisher of *, appearing in Kō, 28:4 with her commentary. 2014.

•   First Place $500 Award Recipient for Under the Basho 2014 Haiku Contest.

•   "The Black Swans of Ellen Carey: Of Necessary Poetic Realities" by Donna Fleischer is the catalogue essay to the exhibition, Let There Be Light: The Black Swans of Ellen Carey, and includes the poem of ekphrasis, "The Red Photogram", by Donna Fleischer, based on "The Red Photogram" by Ellen Carey — Eastern Connecticut State University, publisher, 2014. Catalogue and essay may be viewed at

•   Semi-Finalist, Naugatuck River Review 2013 Poetry Competition.

•   Honourable Mention, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational (2013).

•   Semi-Finalist, Naugatuck River Review 2012 Poetry Competition.

•   Recipient of the Merit 2011 Honorable Mention for Best Anthology, "seed packets" Anthology of Flower Haiku. Windsor, CT, bottle rockets press, 2010. 5 x 6.5 inches, 100 pages, perfectbound. ISBN 978-0-9792257-4-1. Stanford M. Forrester, editor, Donna Fleischer, contributing editor.

•   Vancouver Cherry Blossom International Haiku Invitational 2011 Honorable Mention.

•   South by Southeast Editors’ Choice Award for Haiku, 2010.

•   University of Hartford 1987 Creative Writing Award for Poetry.

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Shinkichi Takahashi Paul Celan Hiruo Shirane Bashō Shakespeare Chaucer Sophocles Virginia Woolf Adrienne Rich Roland Barthes Muriel Rukeyser Edmond Jabés Kate Millett Toni Morrison Russell Banks Charlie Mehrhoff Amy King Etel Adnan John Bloomberg-Rissman John Berger Dionne Brand Nada Gordon Fernando Pessoa Lisa Robertson Louise Glück Monique Wittig Peter Handke Anne Boyer Luce Irigary Harry Gilonis Shuri Kido Hugh MacDiarmid Charles Mackey Brown Bhanu Kapil
What I'm reading now: 
Double Trio by Nathaniel Mackey, How Photography Became Contemporary Art: Inside An Artistic Revolution from Pop to the Digital Age by Andy Grundberg, The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro by Fernando Pessoa, Love and Other Poems by Alex Dimitrov, Outward: Adrienne Rich's Expanding Solitudes by Ed Pavlić, Tragedy, The Greeks, and Us by Simon Critchley, Solitary Workwoman by Rochelle Owens, Microliths by Paul Celan, Names and Rivers by Shuri Kido

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
Hartford, CT
Raised in: 
Hartford, CT
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Last update: Apr 13, 2024