Haiku Happenings

metal tui - Copy

A tui that’s resident in the garden throughout the year. Photo: Sandra Simpson

August 2019:  A thunderstorm in the dark reaches of the night and now a cold snap is forecast to make its way up the islands. Winter still has some bite in it. But, whatever the weather, the Taiwanese cherries are coming out which means the tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) are making themselves noticed in my area again – they disappear over winter but reappear as soon the banksia trees come into flower, looping their way from tree to tree down the street and zooming around the gardens.

In Rotorua last month we walked around part of the lake on Sunday morning – I’ve never seen so many fantails at one time. A marvellous sight as they dipped and dived all around us (impossible to photograph though!).

Carry on reading below for information about New Zealand Poetry Day (August 23), for a review by Tony Beyer of NOON: An anthology of short poems and for more information regarding the call from the Australian Haiku Society for commentaries on New Zealand haiku. Deadline August 20.

Paul Miller, editor of Modern Haiku, has shared his thoughts on cutting in haiku for this month’s Article. The Contest listing has been updated to the end of October. Please remember that the list is refreshed as information comes to hand so it’s always worth checking back during the month.

Thanks, as always, to the New Zealand Poetry Society for giving us space on its site – free of charge. If you’d consider joining the NZPS, it would be a small repayment for the hosting and support that we receive out of kindness. For those within New Zealand, your membership fees are tax deductible, as is any donation you make over the top of the annual sub. Read more about joining and membership benefits here, including how to join if you live outside New Zealand.

If you’d like to recommend an article, offer to write something for these pages, or generally have something to say about haiku and its related forms, please feel free to get in touch with me.  If you find any broken links within an article please let me know. Time passes and websites disappear but clicking on a broken link is always frustrating so I’d like to keep them up to date if I can.

– Sandra

Commentaries on NZ Haiku

Vanessa Proctor, president of the Australian Haiku Society, is inviting New Zealand poets to contribute to a feature for the AHS website – commentaries on individual, published haiku by New Zealand authors. “We are seeking pieces of up to 300 words to publish on the AHS website. For examples of previously published commentaries please visit the Featured Haiku Archive. If possible, please seek permission from the writer of the haiku you have chosen to have their work republished on the AHS website.”
Submit: By August 20. A condition of acceptance is that writers agree to have their work edited for length and style.
Send your commentary to: Simon  Hansonincluding your name, country and the publication details of the featured haiku.

NZ National Poetry Day

August 23 is the day for poetry through the length and breadth of New Zealand. The website contains a list of competitions, both national and regional, that are being held to mark NZ Poetry Day. Unfortunately, no haiku, tanka or haibun contests. Ah well.

Thanks to the indefatigable Ruth Arnison of Dunedin patients in the city’s Mercy Hospital will today receive a PoARTry card on the tray with their lunch. Ruth has co-ordinated 10 local artists to create works in response to 10 poems/haiku and she’s had photos of the artworks made up as postcards with the poems on the reverse side. The original artworks will be on display and for sale at Mercy Hospital for two weeks. “Mercy Hospital is sponsoring the Poems in the Waiting Room poetry cards for four editions so this is my way of saying thanks to them,” Ruth says.

Haiku Sanctuary: A place for Kiwi haikuists

Hansha Teki reports that “threads will be created shortly at Haiku Sanctuary, an international haiku forum, for haiku poets living in New Zealand as a place for real-life contacts to be made and also a discussion area for a New Zealand regional seasonal almanac”.

Hansha Teki (a pen name) has recently moved to sunny Otaki on the Kapiti Coast. His haiku were included in A New Resonance 11 (Red Moon Press, 2019).

NZ Haiku Books

1: one hundred petals is a collection of 100 haiku and senryu by André Surridge, the Hamilton poet’s first collection.  The 64-page book is printed on recycled paper and is available for $20 within New Zealand (includes postage) and $NZ25 elsewhere. To order a copy email André.

2: Kirsten Cliff Elliot has published a collection, Patient Property: a journey through leukaemia through Velvet Dusk Publishing, a new US indie publisher. Patient Property includes 61 haiku and tanka, with a foreword by Owen Bullock and an afterword by Patricia Prime. Purchase from the publisher or from Kirsten ($20 , including postage within New Zealand, or $NZ25 for overseas). Email Kirsten for details.

3: number eight wire is the fourth NZ haiku anthology, containing 330 haiku by 70 poets of all ages and surveys the period 2008-18. Read ordering details here. The first review has been published, on the Australia Haiku Society website. Read Vanessa Proctor’s thoughts here. Short reviews are also available in Frogpond 42.2 and Modern Haiku 50.2.

NZ Blossom Festivals

September 14: Hastings Blossom Festivalparade starts 11am.

September 20-29: Waikato Cherry Tree Festival, 9am-5pm daily.

September 21: Greerton Village Cherry Blossom Festival, Tauranga.

September 22: Nelson Cherry Blossom Festival, 11.30am-2.30pm.

September 27-29: Alexandra Blossom Festival.

Books New & Noted

1: NOON: An anthology of short poems has been reviewed for Haiku NewZ by Tony Beyer. Read the review here. The anthology is a collection of work published both in print and online by NOON: Journal of the short poem from 2004-17.

2: Broken Starfish is a new volume of haiku and art by Ron C Moss of Tasmania. The book is being launched on August 23. Read more, and how to order, here. Ron has generously offered buyers in New Zealand the same price as that for Australia, $A22 (includes postage).

3: Summer Haiku is a new collection from expat Kiwi Owen Bullock. Read more and how to order here ($A8.95).

4: Richard von Sturmer has created Postcard Stories, a collection of 100 old postcards matched with tanka-like poems or text. It was selected as Book of the Week by Newsroom in June. Read that article here.

NZPS International Haiku Contest

Results will be available in mid-August.

Haiku Abroad

1: Scott Mason, author of The Wonder Code, has been interviewed about the book and haiku in general for public television in the US. See the 43-minute video here. It’s a great piece.

2: The Ulysses Haiku Project is part of Dublin’s annual tribute to novelist James Joyce. Curator Nickie Hayden says: “I chose haiku because every line in Ulysses has the same kind of richness that is carried in each line of a haiku.”

Print maker Robert Russell was struck by Joyce’s portrayal of Dublin in Ulysses, and working with Stephen Fry, Paula Meehan, Rachael Hegarty, Theo Dorgan and Patricia Ross, imprinted their haiku on five etched images on copper plates. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to write their own Ulysses, Joyce or Bloomsday-inspired haiku to become part of the exhibition – or email your haiku. Read more here.

3: Paul Chambers, editor of the Wales Haiku journal, took a visit to his hometown of Pill (part of Newport) and worked with some senior students on haiku. The area is often portrayed negatively in the media. Watch the BBC Wales film here (4 mins).

Publication News

1: Akira Yagami, editor of the new paper journal Leaf-fall, is seeking artwork for the cover of issue 2. All kinds of art considered, but please send only jpeg files. (Submission of haiku to Leaf-fall opens on October 15.)
Submit: By email to Aikra Yagami with the subject line ‘art cover submission’.

2: Puddock is a new haiku journal from Scotland. For its first issue editor Colin Stewart Jones is seeking haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga and renga (renku). Work in English, Gaelic or Scots is welcomed.
Submit: By June 1 Extended to July 1 November 1. Full details from the website.


To Jenny Fraser who has been placed Second in the Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award (US) with

abbey ruins
the wintering over
of stars

Read all the winning haiku and judge’s comments here.

To Hansha Teki whose work has been included in A New Resonance 11: Emerging Voices in English-language haiku (Red Moon Press, 2019).

autumn dusk …
the descent of light
into its past

To Sandra Simpson who is the Mann Library  Daily Haiku poet for the month of August. See the daily posting here.

To Barbara Strang who has received a Merit Award in the Ito En Oi Ocha Shinhaiku Contest (Japan, a staggering 25,860 entries in the English section) with

meeting my neighbour
over the back fence

The results announcement notes that many of the vast number of entries came from school students in Japan – English is now being taught at elementary school. The Grand Award went to a 14-year-old!

To Steve Clarkson and Adjei Agyei-Baah (of Ghana, but studying at Waikato University) who have both received Honourable Mentions in the Pumpkin Festival Haiku Contest (Croatia, 262 haiku entered).

forty days of rain
fixing the hole in my shoe
with gourd

Steve Clarkson

Read all the winning haiku here.

To Andre Surridge who has received an Honourable Mention in the AHA Haiku Contest (US, 955 poems entered) with

fading light
the warm scent
of poached quinces

The full set of winning poems is available to read in Seedpods, the newsletter of the United Haiku and Tanka Society. To access Seedpods, you must join the mailing list (free). Email Mike Montreuil with your details.

To Steve Clarkson who has received an Honourable Mention in the Betty Drevniok Haiku Award (Canada). Read all the winning haiku.

she describes its flight
with her eyebrows

Steven Clarkson

Contest results

Marlene Mountain Memorial Haiku Contest (US, opens as a pdf)

Sonic Boom Senryu Contest (India)

Turtle Light Press Chapbook Contest (US)

World Tanka Contest (US)

H Gene Murtha Senryu Contest (US, opens as a pdf)

Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award (US)

OtherWordly Haiku Contest (US)

Mainichi Haiku Contest (Japan, opens as a pdf)

Free e-Books

echoes 2 is a new e-book to celebrate 20 years of the Red Moon Press series, New Resonances, which introduces up-and-coming haiku poets. The 10th biennial volume was published in 2017, bringing the total number of poets featured across the 20 years to 170. echoes 2  includes work from all 10 volumes.

Snapshot Press has a number of recent e-books for free download. Visit the website to choose a title.

Ancient Bloodlines is a free e-book of collaborative rengay by Simon Hanson and Ron C Moss, plus artwork by Ron. Download here.


1: World Haiku Association: September 13-15, Meiji University, Tokyo.  The 10th conference marks the WHA’s 20th anniversary. See the website.

2: Haiku Northwest Getaway: October 24-27, Seabeck, Washington state, US. Further details from the website.