Where Rain Would Stay: The Haiku Poetry of Peggy Willis Lyles

Edited by John Barlow & Ferris Gilli

Where Rain Would Stay

240 pages
216 mm x 138 mm / 8½" x 5½" (page size)
ISBN 978-1-903543-45-0


First Place, Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards

In addition to a comprehensive introduction which brings Lyles to life and provides context to her career, detailed appendices describe the selection process, seasonality and ordering. Not only have Barlow and Gilli provided a lovely collection of haiku poetry at its best, but they have also given us a text book on the art of reading and writing haiku in English.

Honorable Mention, The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award

“Where Rain Would Stay is a timeless classic in the pantheon of haiku collections. It deserves to be held up as an example of one poet’s profound success with this deceptively simple form.

Brief Synopsis

Peggy Willis Lyles is one of the most important English-language haiku poets of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Her understated work is equally admired for its human- and nature-oriented empathies, and is illuminated by a rare synthesis of poetic sensibility, academic interest, perceptive clarity, and experiential authenticity.

Featuring 236 previously uncollected haiku, meticulously selected through a consideration of Lyles’ entire oeuvre, Where Rain Would Stay is at once a unique career retrospective and an insightful study into the personality, poetics, and underlying traditions that inform this work.

Praise for Where Rain Would Stay

Where Rain Would Stay is a haiku book for the ages, setting a standard we may all strive to emulate, however short we fall.’
—John Stevenson, Managing Editor, The Heron’s Nest

‘Many of Peggy Lyles’ finest poems were uncollected at the time of her passing. Barlow and Gilli have painstakingly collected them into this gem of a volume. Like their author, these haiku are full of grace. You can feel the pulse of a tiny heartbeat in each poem. Free of artifice and masterfully arranged, Where Rain Would Stay is a testament to the art of haiku, each captured moment at once ordinary and extraordinary. Peggy would have been proud of this collection. Readers will love it. Haiku aficionados will cherish it.’
—Carolyn Hall, Editor, Mariposa

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in spite of everything forsythia

blue butterflies
a knife without a handle
on the lichened stone

cumulus clouds . . .
our mother asks us
if we’ve met

a place in the rock
where rain would stay

colored leaves
the flagman twirls
his sign to “GO”

he comes to bed
clean-shaven . . .
winter stars

a stone, a leaf . . .
the quiet closing
of a door

Where Rain Would Stay

Where Rain Would Stay