In conjunction with Oxygen Art Centre + Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s 2021 Author Reading Series, we offer the digital presentation of W. Mark Giles’s Making Light: Pandemic Winter.


Daily haiku’s will be posted on Oxygen’s website and Instagram page.


Learn more about the project, here!


R.S.V.P. for the upcoming Author Reading Series by emailing


Haiku letter #1
Dec. 21, 2020
Dear Oxygen–
I began writing a haiku a day on April 2, 2020. I had very little experience, and only a rudimentary understanding of the form. In the months since, it has become my primary writing and reading practice. I consider myself very much someone who is in haiku training.
The haiku began as a bit of a lark–I sent one as a text to help cheer someone up in those earliest days of Covid lockdown. Very quickly I realized it was helping me cope (and I think it still helps the original correspondent, who continues to be the first reader). I have kept that basic format as a sort of found-poem constraint — an image that is more snapshot than photo, along with a haiku based on an observation from that day, presented as a text-message. The image and the haiku may or may not have a direct reference to each other.
Throughout this period since April 2, a few other daily routines related to the haiku have ebbed and flowed — 87 consecutive snapshots of the sunrise from my window; a daily comic I drew for a while. I hope to cultivate and share some of these activities during my residency at the Oxygen Art Centre.
The Oxygen Art Centre Residency begins on the solstice, also the day of the great conjunction. Since April, I have looked at the sky more often than I have for decades — and been what a spectacular year; a comet, all the naked-eye planets –Mercury before sunrise, bright Venus for so many mornings, Mars as it went through retrograde bigger and redder than I ever remember seeing it, the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. As of today, the days begin adding light. There is a vaccine for Covid — even as the virus rages on.
Here’s to Making Light: Pandemic Winter.
Scroll to top