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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 8th February 2024. Dru Philippou, featured poet

Updated: Feb 8

hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman & Vidya Shankar

A Thursday Feature.

poet of the month: Dru Philippou

8th February 2024

This month we have the pleasure of featuring Dru Philippou, a multiple award winning writer with a strong and unique voice. 

Dru Philippou was born on the island of Cyprus, raised in London and currently lives in northern New Mexico, USA. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado. She writes haiku, tanka, haibun, and tanka prose. An award winning poet, her work is widely published and anthologised. She has also written two featured creative essays regarding haiku "Haiku Geometry" and "HaikuHolograms" Her haibun "Afterlife" won first place in the Haiku Society of America’s 2021 Haibun Awards. Also, her haibun "Pilgrimage" won first place in 2023 in the same contest. In 2022, she published her first collection of poetry,  A Place to Land, a memoir written entirely in tanka prose. 

Dru Philippou

Learning English

passing clouds 

the changing colours 

of bougainvillea

Opening grandmother’s handmade notebook at C, I find a carob pod and recall her story about John the Baptist subsisting on its fruit. At M, her favourite culinary herb, a sacred myrtle leaf. Certain of an olive leaf, I turn to O and imagine those maroon orbs bobbing in brine. At J, a sweet fragrance rises from the page; I see her gathering fresh sprigs, pockets stashed with jasmine.


vines entwining 

cursive script

* Originally appeared as an Honourable Mention in the Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015.

Prompt: A language is a huge part of our identity. Many people speak more than one language. Language can be extremely political. It can exert power, oppress, and exploit as much as it can resolve, inspire, and create positive change. Often music, art and other mediums are thought of as a language of expression too. But the language we use everyday is different from the language that has an intimate relationship with us, the one in which we dream, the one in which the voice in our head talks to us. 

For this week's prompt, dig deep into what a language means to you, what relationship do you have with it or what rewards and challenges it might bring you or what might happen when a language is lost or absent from your experience. Please don't be limited by these ideas. Go where the heat of the language burns you.

Haibun outside this prompt is welcome too.

Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!



1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt. Please put your name and country of residence under your poem, it makes the editors' work easier. Thanks.

2. Share your best-polished pieces.

3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written.

Let it simmer for a while.

4. When poets give suggestions and if you agree to them - post your final edited version on top of your original version.

5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.

We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly journal.


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