Cristina Rascón

Veracruz University, México

Writer and Japanese poetry translator

Cristina Rascón is the author of the haiku books Reflejos (Reflexes) and Zoológico de palabritas (Little Words’ Zoo), this last for children. She has published several short stories, chronicles, essays, and flash-fiction books: Mi Patagonia (My Patagonia), En voz alta (In Loud Voice), El sonido de las hojas (The Sound of the Leaves), Puede que un sahuaro seas tú (Perhaps ne Sahuaro Is You), Hanami (To See the Flowers Bloom), Cuentráficos Deluxe (Storytraffics Deluxe), and Economía del arte (Economics of the Arts), among others. Her topics and characters are set in the north of Mexico where she grew up, as well as in Japan, Austria, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, China, and other countries where she has lived as a student, writer in residence, translator, and consultant for United Nations and other agencies.

     Cristina translated the book Flor del alba (Sunrise Flower), a collection of haiku by Chiyo-ni, from Japanese into Spanish in a trilingual version (Japanese-Spanish-Nahuatl), in collaboration with Mardonio Carballo and several Japanese haiku poets, for magazines and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, and Japan. Other Japanese poetry books she has translated include Sin conocer el mundo (Without Knowing the World) and Dos mil millones de años luz de soledad (Two Billion Light Years of Solitude) by Shuntarō Tanikawa, and Agend’Ars by Keijiro Suga. From English into Spanish she translated the book Una selección de 1000 poemas japoneses (A Selection of One Thousand Japanese Poems) by Robert Filliou and the novel Collages by Anaïs Nin.

     Rascón has received the Latin American Short Story Award Benemérito de América, the Mexican Northwestern Literature Prize, the Sonora State Prize of Culture and Arts and the Sonora State Short Story Award. She graduated from a Masters degree in international public policy from Osaka University and from the Asian studies program from Kansai Foreign Studies University (Kansai Gaidai), both in Japan. She is currently completing a PhD program on Hispanic-American Literature in the University of Veracruz, in Mexico. Her dissertation is on Hispanic-American Haiku.

     Rascón translated and published the first online Japanese-Spanish kigo (season word) dictionary, which includes her version of a Mexican kiyose (lists of categorized season words). She was national coordinator of literature in Mexico for the National Institute of Arts (INBAL) where she created a national indigenous literature prize, an indigenous literature seminar, a flash-fiction national prize, and haiku workshops. Previously, with her now-deceased partner and writer, Mauricio Molina, Rascón cofounded Skribalia: Global School for Writers Online, where she was the director and professor of haiku workshops. In Sonora, she created and coordinated the first bilingual literary contest, “Jiosiata Nooki” (Yaqui-Mayo-Spanish).

     Rascón’s fiction, essays, poetry, and haiku have been translated for publications, readings, and anthologies in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and the United States, among other countries. She teaches creative writing (narrative, poetry, tanka, and haiku) as well as Japanese literature in several national and international institutions. She is a member of the Mexican Association for Japan Government Scholarship Graduates (AMEJ) and cofounder/member of the Mexican Association of Literary Translators (AMETLI). She was also appointed as a member of the National System of Artistic Creators (SNCA), a national life-long distinction for which she has been one of the youngest writers to be selected.

     Rascón’s website is You can find her on Facebook at Cristina Rascón-Escritora, and on Twitter at @Crisapple76.


Haiku and Senryu


by Cristina Rascón

from the book Reflejos / Reflexes,

Dragón Rojo, 2018

translated by the author


al ras del suelo

girasol miniatura

no puede girar

on earth’s edge

a miniature sunflower

won’t follow the sun


entre las olas

el salto de una piedra

cangrejo negro

among the waves

a sudden rock’s leap

a black crab


margen del nido

un bebé colibrí

es ala y trino

at the nest edge

a newborn hummingbird

wing and cry

translated by Paul Miller and Cristina Rascon

sobre el mar muerto

flotan ballenas muertas

dos rocas negras

on a still sea

dead whales float

two black rocks


sobre luz blanca

silueta de conejo

luna en Sonora

over white light

the rabbit’s silhouette

moon in Sonora


manos espulgan

días horas minutos

en la maquila

delousing hands

days hours minutes

in the maquila


surgen las risas

de niños y tambores

la lengua yaqui

rising laughter

of children and drums

the yaqui language

Haiku for Children


by Cristina Rascón

translated by Paul Miller and Cristina Rascón

from the book Zoológico de palabritas / Little Words’ Zoo, Andraval/Japan Foundation, 2017,

translations published in Modern Haiku 51:2, summer 2020


Va la ballena,

de babas y bonitos

va boca llena.


There goes a whale,

slime and tuna

fill its mouth.




¡Ja! ¡Jabalí!

dio jaque en ajedrez

al puercoespín


Ha! Boar!

he checks in chess

the porcupine.




Ratón hambriento.

Corres y roes . . . ¡Ras!

Rompes la trampa.


Hungry mouse.

You run and pick it up . . . Snap!

You sprung the trap.




Asssí, sin patas,

víboras y culebras

salen de casa.



vipers and snakes

leave home.




¡Hola, Tortuga!

Y a su caparazón . . .

La testa y patas.


Hi, turtle!

into its shell . . .

the head and legs.

Haiku by Chiyo-ni


translated from Japanese into Spanish

by Cristina Rascón

from Spanish into Nahuatl

by Mardonio Carballo

from the book Flor del alba / Sunrise Flower, Dragón Rojo, 2017






ven, mariposa

cosas vistas en sueños

dicen tus alas


piali papalotl

nochi tlen tij temiki

ti patlanyoui








noche de luna

de una piedra un chirrido

el saltamontes


meztli yoali


ni pil chapulin








la flor del alba

se roba una cubeta

recibir agua



pan i chachapali

ya no amiki