Matthew Caretti


Pago Pago
American Samoa

Author's Bio

Influenced in equal parts by his study of German language and literature, by the approach of the Beat writers, by his travels and his Zen monastic training, Matthew’s work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, as well as several anthologies. His poems have also garnered a few awards here and there. After leaving the Seo-un Hermitage, a small monastery near Yangsan, Korea, in late 2016, Matthew engaged in a solitary pilgrimage through South Asia before returning to Africa, where he had lived and worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Shatale, Mpumalanga Province, from 2003-2005. He served as principal at Amitofo Care Centre, an orphanage and school of five hundred children, in Mapanga, Malawi, and as director of the same NGO’s center in Lesotho before returning to the classroom to teach English in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. In 2017, he garnered the Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for Harvesting StonesAfrica, Buddha is Matthew’s second collection of haibun, with Ukulele Drift, a collection of haiku, released in May 2023. He now teaches high school English and continues to write in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Publications & Prizes

Ukulele Drift (Red Moon Press, 2023)
Africa, Buddha (Red Moon Press, 2022)
Harvesting Stones (Snapshot Press, 2017)
Prizes won: 

THF Touchstone Award for Individual Haibun, Tatau (2022 nomination); Haiku Society of America Haibun Contest, A Church Organ Through Banana Leaves (2022 Honorable Mention); Monuments #1: A Drifting Sands Memorial Poetry Contest, Rumspringa (1st Prize); The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Awards, “insurrection” (2021 nomination); United Haiku & Tanka Society “Samurai” Contest, Numen (1st Prize) and Karlu Karlu (Honorable Mention); Haiku Society of America Haibun Contest, Hungarian Rhapsody (2021 Honorable Mention); Genjuan International Haibun Contest, Call to Prayer (2020 Cottage Prize); Haiku Society of America Haibun Contest, The Car in the Petrol Station Lot (2020 Honorable Mention); Snapshot Press eChapbook Award, Harvesting Stones (2017 Winner); Touchstone Award for Individual Haiku, “he casts into” (2016 shortlisted); Genjuan International Haibun Contest, The Great South Gate (2016 Cottage Prize); The Heron’s Nest Award, “he casts into” (2016); Fujisan International Haiku Contest, “that old photobook” (2016 special recognition); Genjuan International Haibun Contest, Renunciation (2014 Honorable Mention); Broadsided Press Typhoon Haiyan Response, That Which Binds Us (2013); Broadsided Press Haiku-Year-in-Review, “curse of Oedipus” (2012 Winner)

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Last update: May 20, 2023