Haiku Happenings


Enjoy your winter – this hedgehog had found a patch of sunlight in which to snooze. Photo: Sandra Simpson, please do not reuse without permission.

August 2018: Haiku NewZ will be on a kind-of vacation from the middle of June until later in August. I am endeavouring to update the site as I move around (and wifi access is supposed to be widely available, but we’ll see) and keep news and so on flowing.

However, this month’s article by Scott Mason – presented as a pdf so we can easily share the images he has incorporated into the work – will remain posted for the 2 months. Which is no hardship as it’s worth reading and re-reading. Scott last year published his delightful book of the same name and we’re honoured to have his permission to re-publish his 2017 Haiku North America presentation.

The Contest list has been updated to include September – I’ll add October once I’m back in New Zealand.

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

National Poetry Day

August 24 is when New Zealand celebrates its poets and poetry. Find a calendar of events here.

Online Courses

Alan Summers and Karen Hoy are running more online courses:
Intermediate Haiku: Starts August 23 (earlybird price available until August 16)
Spectrum of Haiku & Senryu: Starts September 6
Plus 2 haiku courses scheduled for early next year. Read more here.

Farewell Angelee Deodhar

I am sure many New Zealand haiku writers will have had contact with Angelee Deodhar over the years. Sadly, the Indian poet died on June 28. Read about her life in haiku, in her own words, in this 2014 article. Read her article, Haiku Silence, published by Haiku NewZ in 2011.

An eye surgeon by profession, Angelee wrote haiku and haibun and was the editor of the Journeys anthologies of haibun (three books, the latest appearing in 2017). She lived in Chandigarh and had translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi to help promote haiku in India. Angelee was a member of several international haiku organisations.

chill wind
a white heron follows
the wake of the boat

Angelee Deodhar

Read more of her work here.

Windrift Membership Drive

Windrift Haiku Group in Wellington is, in the words of convenor Nola Borrell, “an ageing (but delightful, creative, welcoming, full of fun ….) group” who would like to have more members to help to ensure its continued existence. The next meeting is June 21. For more information contact Nola Borrell, ph 04 586 7287.

Now that our pages are stored under the Affiliates tab in the top menu (hover your mouse there to see the drop-down menu), I wonder how many people are accessing the other pages on this site? Read more about haiku and tanka groups in New Zealand and overseas. Joining a group is a great way to learn and upskill.

Congratulations to Ruth Arnison, QSM

A good friend to haiku in New Zealand, Ruth Arnison of Dunedin received a Queen’s Service Medal for services to poetry and literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced on June 1.

Ruth Arnison

Ruth Arnison

Ruth organised the 2012 When North Meets South exhibition in Dunedin – the work of North Island haiku poets was chosen by South Island artists to create a new work.

Her citation says: Mrs Arnison has led a number of literature-based projects that have contributed to the successful application for Dunedin to be designated as a UNESCO City of Literature. She is the inspiration and driving force for Lilliput Libraries, which are oversized individually designed letterboxes with more than 100 in Dunedin. People are free to take or donate books and all locations remain well-stocked and are replenished by community donation. She co-ordinates the custodians who each look after a Lilliput Library at their gate.

She is the editor and Chairperson of Poems in the Waiting Room (New Zealand), a national programme which distributes poetry cards in medical waiting rooms, hospices, rest homes, and prisons. These cards may be read and left in place or taken away for re-reading or sharing [and generally include a haiku]. Mrs Arnison’s project Poems on Steps is a joint programme with artist Sheryl McCammon and involves poetry installations, with the owners’ permission, in public places such as on steps and walls around Dunedin. This project won one of the top Keep Dunedin Beautiful awards in 2017.

andre tanka

A tanka by Andre Surridge was used for one of the first Poems on Steps. Photo: Ruth Arnison

Among her current projects is A Palette of Poetry 2, an exhibition tentatively scheduled for October, that will benefit Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ), as well as participating artists who will select a poem or part of a poem (haiku and tanka may be included) as inspiration.

NZ Cherry Blossom Festivals

No need to go all the way to Japan to celebrate cherry blossoms (more to come):
Alexandra, September 21-24: NZ’s oldest blossom festival.
Nelson, September 23, 11.30am-2.30pm, free:  Celebrate Japanese culture and the 42-year Sister City connection between Nelson & Miyazu. The programme includes Japanese puppeteer Akiko Miyamoto, calligraphy by New Zealand’s only Japanese Grand Master Calligrapher Akiko Crowther and traditional martial arts.

Publication News

1: Nourish poetry journal is seeking tanka and tanka sequences for its second issue.
Submit: By September 30. Full details from the website.

2: The Heron’s Nest has announced that long-time associate editor Ferris Gilli is retiring, and will be replaced by Julie Warther with immediate effect.


To Elaine Riddell, who is among the nine poets honoured with an Award of Excellence in the Ito-en Oi Ocha Haiku Contest (Japan, 20,815 English entries) with

turn of tide
boats restless
at their moorings

Read all the winning poems here.

To Barbara Strang who is among the runners-up in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Contest (UK). Barbara’s haiku will appear on the 2019 desk calendar. See all the winners here.

Contest results

Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award (US)

Sonic Boom Senryu Contest (India)

Jane Reichhold International Haiku Award (US)

Betty Drevniok Haiku Award (Canada)

Snapshot Press Book Award (UK)

Einbond Renku Award (US)

Books, New & Noted

1: The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes edited by Scott Mason, associate editor at The Heron’s Nest. The book has received high praise from Cor van den Heuval and Michael McClintock. “… it shows how the mindful and pleasurable practice of reading haiku poetry can help us reconnect with the everyday wonder we may have last experienced as children.” Read more, and order, here. 

2: Anchor Stone, by Tony Beyer features his longer poetry and is available for $39.85 (incl P&P).

3: 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.

4: Blowing Up Balloons: Baby Poems For Parents (Red Moon Press, 2017) is a 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. Read a review here.

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 – Stone Circles by Cynthia Rowe (haibun), A Fence Without Wire by Simon Chard (haiku), thronging cranes by Allan Burns (haiku), The Eternity of Waves by Susan Constable (tanka) and All the Windows Lit by Rich Youmans (haibun) join 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.


1: Cradle of American Haiku Festival

August 10-12, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, USA. More information from Gayle Bull.

2: Seabeck Haiku Getaway

October 25-28, Seabeck Conference Centre, Washington state, USA. Full details from the website.

3: Haiku North America 2019

August 7-11, 2019, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. See the website.

4: World Haiku Association 2019

The 10th conference marks the WHA’s 20th anniversary and will be held in September in Tokyo.