Haiku Happenings

Clouds over Wellington Harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Photo: Sandra Simpson

June 2023: Half the year gone already! Despite the ongoing and constant wet weather our extension/renovations are progressing so if it seems like I’ve ‘gone missing’ over the next month, that’s probably why. Part of the roof needs to come off and there has to be a hole in an outside wall at some stage, eek! The garden and lawn are a builder’s yard, complete with skip, so no respite there. Still, all the upheaval will be worth it, especially as my office will move from the coldest room in the house to a sunny room, yay!

In this month’s article Rich Youmans takes us for a walk through contemporary English-language haibun so we can all improve our knowledge of this attractive mix of prose and haiku, and next month we’ll feature another of his essays, this time on a newish type of haibun. Contest listings have been updated to the end of August and don’t forget that the Publications page offers some ideas for other sources to try your work with. Also, see below for some one-off or new opportunities.

If you’re looking for some reading material or would like to spend some time with articles previously published here, please go to the index of Archived Articles; or try out the index for Websites & Resources, which includes links to Youtube videos.

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

Vale Sanford Goldstein

Well-known American tanka poet and translator Sanford Goldstein died in early May, aged 97. In 2015, the Tanka Society of America renamed its annual contest after Sanford. New Zealander Patricia Prime interviewed Sanford about his life and work in 2004. Read the interview.

NZ Poetry Society AGM

The AGM will be held on June 14 from 6.30–7.30pm on Zoom with a guest speaker, name to be confirmed. Please RSVP by email. All welcome.

Haiku Down Under: Call for volunteers

The provisional dates for the second online Haiku Down Under gathering are August 16-18, 2024. Before then though, there’s some work to be done and the core committee would like to hear from anyone interested in joining them. Please fill out the Expression of Interest form on the HDU website.
Submit: By June 30.

Haiku Films

The Haiku Foundation’s HaikuLife 2023 film festival is now available to watch online. Find the films here.

Talks from the Haiku Society of America online get-together last year are now available to watch. Find the list of videos here.

New Books

For the Time Being is a collection of ‘parallels’ by New Zealand poet Stephen Bailey (aka Hansha Teki). It is available on Amazon, this link will take you to the Australian store. Well-known translator of contemporary Japanese poets and a published poet himself, Eric Selland, said: Possibly the most significant development in haiku-influenced poetry in our generation, these are both intensely personal and metaphysical poems – The very heart of becoming – in which the poem exceeds its own form, attaining something much larger.

The parallel poem was pioneered almost a decade ago by Danish poet Johannes S. H. Bjerg. Stephen says, The visual layout of parallel poems on the page seemed as one that accords with my poetic process and I asked him for his consent to adopt and adapt this genre to develop my own voice. My poems since 2017 are almost exclusively crafted in the parallel form. I regard it as a way of developing a poetic praxis born from reading some of W. B. Yeats’ poems – poems such his A Dialogue of Self and Soul – and to Japanese aesthetics such as mā, yūgen & wabi-sabi as I experienced them via Bashō’s finest hokku.

Stephen has made a very kind offer to anyone in New Zealand wanting to purchase a copy (given the cost of international postage) – $20, including postage, per copy. Please contact him to order.

skipping stones is the latest Red Moon Press anthology, collecting some of the best English-language haiku of 2022, as well as haibun and essays. Editors scour the world’s journals to make their choices. Ordering details on the link ($US20). Four New Zealand poets are included and nine Australian poets.

Former UK policeman and now New Zealand resident Tim Roberts has had his first collection of haiku published this year by Red Moon Press. Busted! is sub-titled Reflections on Police Life and is described as a ‘haiku memoir’. Purchase details here. Some of you may recall reading Tim’s 2020 article about the interaction between his Parkinson’s and his haiku. Read it here.

Copies of the NZPS 2022 anthology, alarm & longing, are available to buy. Ordering details available here.

Publication News

Triya Magazine, primarily for haiku/senryu/tanka/micro poems in Hindi, also accepts submissions of previously published in English for translation into Hindi with both versions published.
Submit: June 1-15. Full details from the website.

All Ears will be the sixth anthology in the Chinese Zodiac series edited by Corine Timmer and published by Bicadeideias. Due to the strong association between the moon (especially the autumn moon) and rabbits in Chinese and other cultures, publication will hopefully coincide with (the northern) mid-autumn full moon, slightly earlier than previous years. Submit up to 3 haiku or senryu inspired by rabbits (including hares, jackrabbits, rabbitfish, rabbit’s foot, dust bunny, moon rabbit, etc), one of which can be previously published. Contributing poets will be able to buy up to 2 books at cost price with proceeds (after print cost) going to House Rabbit Society in Richmond, California 
Submit: June 1-30. Full details from the FB page.

The Viewing Stone Association of North America (VSANA) has an open call for poetry and artwork relating to their featured stones. Pieces may have been previously published.
Submit: Full details from the website.

Contest Results

John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku (Australia)

Betty Drevniok Award (Canada)

Touchstone Awards for Haiku
Touchstone Awards for Haibun
Touchstone Book Awards

R H Blyth Award for Haiku (UK)

Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Award (Romania)

Maya Lyubenova Haiku Contest (Bulgaria)

British Haiku Society Awards for Haiku, Tanka & Haibun (UK)

Haiku Magazine Contest (Romania)

Setouchi-Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest (Japan), own photos
Setouchi-Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest (Japan), haiku on a set theme
Setouchi-Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest (Japan), tourism exchange category

Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Contest (UK)

Little Iris Haiku Contest (Croatia)

Martin Lucas Haiku Award (UK)

2023 Events

June 28-July 3 Haiku North America, Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio. Includes Tanka Day on July 3.

October 26-29 Seabeck Haiku Getaway, Washington state, USA.

Free e-Books

Sci-Ku: Explorations into the Poetry of Science by Jay Friedenberg, published in 2020, is now free to read online.

Prune Juice Book of Senryu, published in 2019, celebrates 10 years of publishing English senryu from around the world by 85 of the online journal’s contributors. The ebook features 337 poems.

echoes 2, published in 2018, celebrates 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 e-books for free download and regularly adds new titles. Visit the website to choose a title.