Haiku Happenings

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A duck and a Liriodendron tulipfera tree. Photo: Sandra Simpson. Please do not reuse without permission

June 2017:  Good luck to all those who entered the NZPS Haiku Contest.

Friends who spent April and May driving around the South Island have come back raving about its autumnal beauty – and it’s true that for the best autumn colours you need to look in the lower half of the North Island or the South Island, but this year might be something of a rarity here in Tauranga as the trees colour up beautifully and the weather stays calm. A tree I drive past twice a week has been catching my eye as the leaves turn from gorgeous to fiery. Hope you’re all staying warm as these beautiful, clear days inevitable lead to chilly evenings and nights.

Haiku Happenings (below) have been updated, as has the Contest page. This month’s article is by Carmen Sterba who posits that Shiki’s legacy is largely misunderstood, especially in relation to Basho.

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

Free e-Books

Snapshot Press is offering four new books for free download – A Dawn of Ghosts by Thomas Powell (haiku), A Colour for Leaving by Cherie Hunter Day (tanka), Goodbye by Roger Jones (haibun) and the unseen arc by Kala Ramesh (tanka). Visit the website to choose a title. There are other, previously published titles also available.

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

Frogpond Turns 40!

The journal of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) is celebrating its fortieth year of publication, a grand achievement. As a special treat, the journal has produced a small collection of poems by each of the 13 editors during those 40 years, all published in Frogpond. Read fortieth (downloads as a pdf). Issue 40.1 is also the first to include haiga.

Free Haiku Writing Help

Quendryth Young of Australia has penned A Haiku Workshop guide, made available for free download through the Sydney School of Arts, for those new to haiku or wanting to revisit their writing practice.

And don’t forget the excellent Learning to Write Haiku booklet put together by Katherine Raine for the NZ Poetry Society, which contains lesson plans for teachers, as well being a ‘teach yourself’ guide. Click on the link to download the document for free.                                         


Journal & Contest News

1: The Mamba journal from Africa has published its third issue, including a history of haiku in Africa.
Submit: Africa-theme haiku, haibun and essays for issue 4 by August 15. Full details from the website.

2: Nourish: poetry & haiku is a new US journal and is seeking submissions for its first issue.
Submit: By June 30. Full details from the website.

3: The Babishai Haiku Contest is open to all haiku poets resident in Africa who have not published a full-length collection, while haiku must have an Africa theme. Three winners will receive $US200 each and publication in The Mamba. Results will be announced at the Babishai Poetry Festival in early August.
Submit: By July 4. Full details, including judges’ names, from the website.

3: Narrow Road is a new literary journal from India, looking for haibun, flash fiction and poetry (including previously published if the publication details are included). The inaugural issue came out in April so go and have a read.
Submit: Three pieces by July 15 for the August issue. Submission details are on p49.

4: cattails, the journal of the United Haiku & Tanka Society, has this year gone down to 2 issues a year with the next submission period from July 1-August 15. Full details from the website.

5: The next round of the Cine Haiku Competition begins on August 1. Weekly prizes and one annual prize. Winning films from the previous 2 rounds will be shown in July at Festival Cinehaiku in Gordes (France).
Submit: Full details from the website.


To Sandra Simpson who has received an Honourable Mention in the AHA Haiku Contest (US) with:

garden argument –
a hummingbird pokes
its nose in

To Aalix Roake who has been placed Second in the Betty Drevniok Haiku Award (Canada) with

geese passing….
I have heard they mate
for life

To Jenny Fraser who has won the Australia Haiku Society Autumn Haiga Kukai with

autumn rain
the blurred pattern
of falling light

which was written in response to a photo by Ron C Moss. See the photo, winning haiku and judge’s commentary here. For the link to results for the Non-Seasonal section see below.

Other Contest results:

Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contest (US)

Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest (Bulgaria)

Jane Reichhold International Haiku Award (US)

Mildred Kanterman Book Awards (US)

Haiku Magazine Contest (Romania), 488 haiku from 85 poets.

Wild Plum Haiku Contest (Poland) 263 haiku from 42 countries.

Books, New & Noted

1: Bushfire Moon, by Ron C. Moss, is subtitled “poems and prose by a Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Fighter”. To order a signed copy, and inquire about postage, email Ron. The book was launched in Hobart on March 24, read the speech made by Lynn Reeves.

2: Blowing Up Balloons: Baby Poems For Parents (Red Moon Press, 2017) is a new collection by Vanessa Proctor and Greg Piko. New Zealanders can order the book directly from the authors, $NZ24 for a single copy (PayPal available). For more information email Vanessa or Greg.                 

3: Dust Devils is the latest Red Moon Anthology; a collection of “the finest haiku and related forms published around the world in English” in a single calendar year. Dust Devils is $US17 (plus postage). Find an order form here.

4: River’s Edge by Owen Bullock was launched in Canberra in December. Read a report from the event. River’s Edge may be purchased online from the publisher, Recent Work Press; $A12.95 within Australia or $A17.95 which includes shipping to the rest of the world. Read a review here.

5: This Explains Everything by Richard von Sturmer is part memoir and part prose poem as he recounts scenes from the lives of his grandfather, father and uncle, as well as own. Plus there is a selection of his new work. Read more here. Atuanui Press offers a preview option, as well as the chance to buy online.

6: A Temple Bell Sounds is an anthology taken from the first 21 issues of Eucalypt tanka journal, edited by Beverley George – 108 poems in total. Purchase for $A20 (post within Australia); $A25 (post to NZ and Japan); $A28 (post to rest of world). Find full ordering details here. The book was launched on February 18 in Beecroft, northern Sydney.

7: Journeys 2017, the third anthology of international haibun edited by Angelee Deodhar, is now available on Amazon. Journeys 2017 contains 133 haibun, the work of 29 poets of international repute.

8: Naad Anunaad – an anthology of contemporary world haiku. Edited by Kala Ramesh, Sanjuktaa Asopa and Shloka Shankar. Read a selection of the haiku hereOrder a copy here if you live in India or from here if you live outside India. And it’s now also available on Amazon.

9: The Windbreak Pine by Wally Swist. New in 2017 from Snapshot Press, the volume includes 116 previously unpublished haiku written between 1985 and 2015, and is the author’s first collection since 2005. Read more and order here.


1: Festival CineHaiku

July 7-21, Gordes, France. Full details here.

2: Babishai Poetry Festival

August 4-6, Uganda, includes announcing the winners of the Babishai Haiku Contest. Full details of the festival here.

3: World Haiku Association Conference 2017

September 8-10, Parma, Italy. See a pdf flyer here (6MB)

4: Haiku North America 2017

September 13-17, Santa Fe, New Mexico. More details posted here.