Name of the Collection
American Haiku Records, 1871-2001 Bulk: 1963-1971
7.85 cubic feet (22 boxes)
Accession Number 2018.06
Provenance of the Collection
The records were created by the founders of American Haiku magazine, James Bull, Donald Eulert and Gayle Webster Bull. The records have been stored in the Bull's home in Mineral Point, Wisconsin since the magazine ceased publication in 1967. The collection was transferred to the Mineral Point Library Archives in August of 2018.
American Haiku was the first magazine published in the United States that focused on English language haiku. It was founded in 1963 by James (Jim) Bull, his colleague, Donald (Don) Eulert and his wife, Gayle Webster Bull in Platteville, Wisconsin. Jim Bull and Don Eulert were professors of English at the University of Wisconsin/Platteville. Jim and Don were co-editors. Gayle Webster Bull joined the magazine as its business manager. American Haiku published 12 issues in 6 volumes from 1963 until 1968. A 7th issue was planned for 1969 but not published.
Jim Bull's interest in Haiku began while he was hospitalized in Japan during the Korean War. A Japanese hospital orderly brought Mr. Bull books related to Japanese culture and literature including tanka and haiku. He continued to read English language haiku after he returned to the United States. After graduate school, Mr. Bull was hired to teach at the University of Wisconsin's Platteville campus where he met Don Eulert.
Don Eulert studied Creative Writing and American Studies. He began teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville at the same time as Jim Bull. The two men were assigned a joint office. In a discussion with Mr. Bull, Mr. Eulert mentioned his expertise in small magazine publishing and Mr. Bull asked if he would help produce a magazine of English language haiku. Mr. Eulert agreed to help.
Mr. Bull devised a haiku contest to be judged and printed in the first issue. The announcement was mailed to all the creative writing classes in American colleges and universities. In addition, he ran an advertisement in the New York Review of Books. John Ciadi, the Review's poetry editor, took note and mentioned the magazine launch in his column. Beginning with the second issue, essays on Haiku and book reviews were included, many of these were written by Jim Bull.
Don Eulert was co-editor for American Haiku’s first two issues in 1963. Then, in 1964, the next 2 issues were published by Clement Hoyt in Texas. Mr. Hoyt began studying Zen under the tutelage of Nyogen Senzaki in 1936 and learned to write haiku from this master. The second issue published in Texas included Harold Henderson, a renowned Japanese art scholar, as the “Editor of Poetry.”
American Haiku returned to Platteville, Wisconsin in 1966. In 1966, Robert Spiess joined as the poetry editor with Mr. Bull taking the role of editor of prose. Robert Spiess was already a recognized haiku poet and would become one of the most influential voices in English language haiku. After his tenure at American Haiku, he became the editor of Modern Haiku and the author of 10 books of haiku poetry.
The magazine also published three high quality chapbooks of haiku. These included: County Seat, by Clement Hoyt; The Heron’s Legs by Robert Spiess and Marsh Grasses by O Southard.
As a ground breaking magazine for the art of haiku poetry, American Haiku entertained submissions from many of the country's early pioneers in the art form. Some of the poets who first saw their work in print in American Haiku went on to become leading figures in the genre. Poets like J.W. Hackett, O M Southard, Helen Chenoweth, Gustave Keyser and Nick Virgilio all found a forum.
After retiring from the University, the Bulls moved to Mineral Point, Wisconsin where they opened a vintage book store known as Foundry Books. Jim Bull died in 2005. Gayle Bull continued to live in Mineral Point until her death in 2019.
None. Open to researchers at the Mineral Point Library Archives reading room.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of seven record series.
Series I: Magazine Editions and Manuscripts contains two copies of each of the 12 issues of American Haiku as well as mockups for the printer. All of the mockups exists except the two numbers of volume II that were published in Texas. The Series includes a mockup for 1969 that was not printed. There are indices to articles and poets. The three chapbooks published by the magazine are here.
Series II: Administrative Files includes the organization’s business documents from art and style sheets to form letters. The editors traded subscriptions with various other journals and that exchange list can be found here. Publicity and marketing files contain press clippings and tear sheets, advertisements and book promotions. Files from the Black Ship festival in Japan are here.
Series III: Financial Records in this series include the magazine’s financial statements, paid receipts and annual subscription sales organized chronologically. The latter documents the prestigious colleges and libraries subscribing to this unique magazine.
Series IV: Correspondence Files were sorted alphabetically by Jim Bull. In addition to the alpha files, some individuals have their own file. Most folders contain only letters received with very few replies extant. Notable people appearing in this Series include Robert Bly, Helen Chenoweth, Harold Henderson, Robert Spiess, Nick Virgilio and many others.
Series V: The Writings of James and Gayle Bull. The series contains numerous unpublished writings about haiku by Jim and Gayle Bull. Most are articles but 6 folders contain manuscripts for books.
Series VI: Reference Files contain photocopies, tear sheets and newspaper clippings of articles pertaining to Haiku, Japanese art and culture, and contemporary examples of Haiku. It presents an interesting history of the art form. Folders are organized alphabetically by author of the article. Each box contains a bibliography.
Series VII: Hokusai Sketchbook An 1877 Japanese edition of woodblock prints by K. Hokusai.
Box Inventory of the Collection
|Box #||Contents of Folders||Date Span|
|Series I: Magazine Editions & Manuscripts|
|1||American Haiku vol. I – vol. VII (set one)||1963-1968|
|1||American Haiku vol. I – vol. VII (set two)||1963-1968|
|1||American Haiku Newsletter – no. 1, 2 3||1967|
|1||Index of Articles||1963-1968|
|1||Index of Poets||1963-1968|
|2||American Haiku vol. I, no. 1 manuscript||1963|
|2||American Haiku vol. I, no. 2 manuscript||1963|
|2||American Haiku vol. III, no. 1 manuscript||1965|
|2||American Haiku vol. III, no. 2 manuscript||1965|
|2||American Haiku vol. IV, no. 1 manuscript||1966|
|2||American Haiku vol. IV, no. 2 manuscript||1966|
|3||American Haiku vol. V, no. 1 manuscript||1967|
|3||American Haiku vol. V, no. 2 manuscript||1967|
|3||American Haiku vol. VI, no. 1 manuscript||1968|
|3||American Haiku vol. VI, no. 2 manuscript||1968|
|3||American Haiku vol. VII, no. 1 manuscript (unpub)||1969|
|3||American Haiku vol I -VI, Portable Document Format||no date|
|3||County Seat, Clement Hoyt||1966|
|3||The Heron’s Legs, Robert Spiess||1966|
|3||Marsh Grasses, O Southard||1967|
|Series II: Administrative File|
|4||Biographical file: Gayle (Webster) Bull||no date|
|4||Biographical file: James E. Bull||1963, 1967|
|4||Biographical file: Donald Eulert||1962|
|4||Biographical file: Hoyt, Clement||2012|
|4||Biographical file: Spiess, Robert||2002-2012|
|4||“Anguilla Journal” of Robert Spiess||no date|
|4||Art for American Haiku||no date|
|4||Award: Western World Haiku Society||1973|
|4||Black Ship Festival||1967|
|5||Black Ship Memorabilia||1967|
|5||Class Notes “Teaching Haiku”||1970|
|5||Computerized On-line Haiku||1974|
|5||Day-Glo Haiku Contest||1967|
|5||Dunklin County Press||1965|
|5||Form Letters||no date|
|5||Japan Airlines Haiku Contest||1964|
|5||Mass Mail File||1962-1965|
|5||Press Clippings/Tear Sheets||1963-1966|
|5||Promotion – General||1967|
|5||Promotion – Country Seat by Clement Hoyt||1966-1967|
|5||Promotion – Heron’s Legs by Robert Spiess||1966|
|5||Publicity – Wisconsin Writers Interview||1963|
|5||Red Ozier Press/Steve Miller||1978|
|5||Reviews: Heron’s Legs||1966|
|5||Rewrites: J.W. Hackett||1963-1967|
|5||SWEA Season Project||1967|
|5||Subscription Forms||no date|
|5||Symposium/County Seat Performance||1967|
|5||Union Printing Company||1962-1963|
|Series III: Financial Records|
|6||Expense Registers/Paid Receipts||1962-1968|
|Series IV: Correspondence|
|8||Correspondence: “B” (2 folders)||1964-197|
|8||Correspondence: Brandt, Harry||1963-1968|
|8||Correspondence: “Ca - Co”||1963-1965|
|9||Correspondence: Chenowith, Helen||1964-1968|
|9||Correspondence: “Da – Di”||1963-1968|
|9||Correspondence: “Do – Du”||1964-1968|
|10||Correspondence: Henderson, Harold (3 folders)||1962-1971|
|11||Correspondence: Hoyt, Clement||1963-1967|
|12||Correspondence: Kanterman, Leroy||1966-1971|
|12||Correspondence: Kerr, Walter||1964-1966|
|12||Correspondence: Keyser, Gustave||1964-1967|
|13||Correspondence: “P & Q”||1963-1980|
|13||Correspondence: Pebworth, Ted-Larry||1964-1965|
|13||Correspondence: Rath, Sarah Lindsay||1970-1971|
|13||Correspondence: Remington, George||1962-1963|
|13||Correspondence: “Sa – Sm”||1964-1968|
|13||Correspondence: “Sn – Sw”||1964-1968|
|13||Correspondence: Southard, O||1962-1968|
|14||Correspondence: Spiess, Robert||1964-1990|
|15||Correspondence: “U & V”||1964-1973|
|15||Correspondence: Ullsvik, Dr.||1966|
|15||Correspondence: White, Lourine (Poetry Dial)||1966|
|15||Correspondence: “X, Y & Z”||1963-1968|
|16||Correspondence: Virgilio, Nicholas||1963-1984|
|Series V: Writings by James and Gayle Bull|
|17||“The Second Line”||no date|
|17||“The Nature of Haiku & Senryu”||no date|
|17||“Trees in Haiku”||no date|
|17||“Seasonal Association: The Cricket & Autumn”||no date|
|17||“Review of Kenneth Yasuda’s The Japanese Haiku”||1963|
|17||Review Oraga Haru by Issa||1963-1964|
|17||The Flat Stone||1964|
|17||“Sentimentality in Haiku” (mss)||1964|
|17||“Definition of Haiku”||1964|
|17||Color in Haiku (mss)||1964|
|17||“Egolessness in Haiku”||1966|
|17||“Season Reference in Japanese & American Haiku”||1966|
|17||“A Seasonal Collection of Haiku”||1966|
|17||Bibliography of Haiku (mss)||1966|
|17||American Haiku Anthology (mss)||1967|
|17||Form and Technique in Haiku (mss)||1967|
|18||“On Elegance in Haiku”||1968|
|18||The Haiku Rewrites of J. W. Hackett (mss)||1963-1970|
|18||“Clement Hoyt: An American Shiki”||1970|
|18||“Haiku: Poetry for Everyone”||1970|
|18||“Maturity of Form in Haiku”||1970|
|18||“Pseudonyms of English Language Haiku Poets”||1970|
|18||“Pseudonyms of Haiku Poets”||1970|
|18||“Review of Typhoon! & Haiku in Hawaii”||1970|
|18||“Review of The Turtle’s Ear by Robert Spiess”||1971|
|18||“Teaching Haiku to Children”||1980|
|18||Miscellaneous Notes||no date|
|Series VI: Reference Files (alpha by author)|
|19||Adachi to Chenowith (45 folders)||1902-1970|
|20||Davidson to Luca (47 folders)||1914-1979|
|21||McAlpine to Yogi (35 folders)||1871-1969|
|22||The Works of Robert Spiess||1967-2001|
|Series VII: Hokusai Sketchbook|
Collection Arranged by Shan Thomas and Cindy Taylor, 2018
Finding Guide Written by Shan Thomas, 2022