Seasons of Water

photography by Gretchen Batz & haiku by Nancy Wiley
Elsah, Illinois


This collection combines Gretchen Graft Batz' photography with Nancy Hatch Wiley's original haiku poems. It was first exhibited at Principia College, Elsah, Illinois, in the summer of 2000. For that exhibit Nancy hand-lettered each poem in calligraphy on parchment paper.

As you view our works online, please keep in mind that the photographs are not meant to represent the haiku moment exactly since the artists were not together when the photographs were taken and the poems were written. But each photograph does illustrate some aspect of its accompanying haiku.

As to the title of the exhibit, "Seasons of Water," it seemed like a natural theme since water takes many forms which change with each Midwestern season. (Most of the photographs were taken in the Midwest; however, some are also from Florida.)

During the collaborative process, we found that many of Nancy's haiku had references to water in its varied forms and locations and that Gretchen's photographs, carefully selected, beautifully complemented the poetic ideas. In a few cases a poem was written or revised to accompany a particular photograph, such as the one beginning, "A cardinal waits." And Gretchen made a special photograph for Nancy's haiku beginning, "New black boots."

We hope you enjoy savoring our presentation as much as we enjoyed watching it evolve. In several cases the presence of "water" is very subtle—perhaps a bit of dew on a flower petal or a word that suggests it. Can you find its presence?

—Gretchen Batz & Nancy Wiley

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Brooks Books Online
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Taylorville, Illinois 62568


Seasons of Water: Haiku & Photography
© Gretchen Batz & Nancy Wiley, 2002