Haiku Happenings

wanaka april16

A view across Lake Wanaka, taken from the township in April 2016. Photo: Sandra Simpson (please ask permission before reuse)

April 2017:  Although our calendars said ‘autumn’ at the beginning of March someone forgot to tell the weather. Here in Tauranga we’ve had summer-level humidity and only as the month came to a close did it start to feel like a change might be on the way – rain and just a bit cooler at night. But then back to high humidity again! Leaf drop has, however, begun.

The NZPS International Haiku Contest has been officially launched with details available on the updated Contests page. See it here.

This month’s article is an examination of senryu by esteemed American poet and artist Anita Virgil. Anita has some firm views on the form and, because of her long involvement with the Japanese forms, can explain some of the struggles senryu has faced – and still is facing – in being taken seriously.

Our very best wishes to Andre Surridge who has had a lengthy stay in hospital – his wife says he may have turned a corner in terms of recovery, so fingers and toes crossed.

Please note: Changes to Haiku NewZ will likely be non-existent from mid-April until the first week of May. Monthly updates will not be done until after May 5. I apologise for any inconvenience but normal service will resume after that.

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

Red Moon Anthology for 2016

Congratulations to the New Zealanders and Australians included in the latest Red Moon Anthology, which collects “the finest haiku and related forms published around the world in English” in a single calendar year.

Featuring in Dust Devils from New Zealand are Nola Borrell, Owen Bullock, Sandra Simpson; and from Australia Marisa Fazio, Lorin Ford, Jonathan McKeown, Mark Miller, Ron C Moss and Cynthia Rowe.

faraway rain
the chime of a nail
driven deeper

Ron C Moss

Dust Devils is $US17 (plus postage). Find an order form here.

Online Courses: Haibun, Senryu

Tutored by Alan Summers and Karen Hoy (UK). Read full details here.

Senryu: Starts April 6; beginners and improvers; earlybird (pay by March 23) £83/$US110, otherwise £95/ US$125.
Ekphrastic Tanka: Starts May 2, all levels; earlybird (pay by April 11) £83 or $US110, otherwise £95/$US125.


Ernie Berry has been in touch to say that a haiku given a Special Mention in the British Haiku Society Awards has been disqualified after organisers deemed it to have already been published. He disputes this, saying:

not only was i ignorant of the [earlier] ‘honour’ but it appears everything submitted was printed! – and buried in a sea of trash … this could not be termed published in the accepted sense of the word … at best it’s simply a list of also-rans

Disqualified: breast scan / one liquidambar leaf / blackens

Published in the 2014 Yamadera Basho Haiku Contest e-anthology:
breast scan / the liquidambar’s last leaf / blackens

The BHS results link may be found further down the page.

New Australian Books – Tanka & Haiku

1: 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.

2: Ron C Moss has a new book out – Bushfire Moon, 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 late last month.

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

The book was launched in Sydney late last month and in Yass, NSW on April 1.  Details at Greg’s website.

International Haiku Poetry Day

The Haiku Foundation is co-ordinating several events for April 17 (US time). See what’s on offer and how you may get involved.                                                                   

Submissions & Journal News

1: Eucalypt has a new editor from issue 22 – Julie Thorndyke. Founding editor of the tanka journal, Beverley George, made the announcement at the launch of A Temple Bell Sounds, an anthology of 108 poems from the first 21 issues.
Submit: Read the updated information here.

2: Atlas Poetica is planning an Arthropod Special Collection of 25 tanka and kyoka. Send up to 20 previously unpublished poems on the topic of insects. The collection will feature one poem per poet.
Submit: By May 31. Full details from the website.

3: They Gave Us Life is to be an anthology celebrating/honouring parents, including step-parents and in-laws. Published and unpublished work will be considered; send publication details with your submission. Contributors retain all rights of publication. There is no payment for inclusion.
Submit: By June 1. Send up to 20 haiku, senryu, tanka and monochrome haiga to Robert Epstein (also any inquiries to Robert).

4: 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.


To Elaine Riddell who has been named a Runner-up in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Contest (UK). Read the full list of winners’ names (no haiku).

To the five entrants from New Zealand – Ernie Berry, Steven Clarkson, Anne Curran, Sandra Simpson and Andre Surridge – who all have their haiku appear in the Sharpening the Green Pencil Contest anthology (Romania). Read it here.

cats congregate
about the garbage bags …
driving home

– Anne Curran

To Ernie Berry who has a book short-listed for the Touchstone Distinguished Books Award – Haiku, Green Tea & Sushi (Prisma Print, 2016). Read the full list in the running. Results announced on April 17.

To Andre Surridge and Pat Prime who are both among the runners-up in the Golden Triangle Haiku Contest (US).

jazz festival
tumbling down a white wall
blue wisteria

– Andre Surridge

Read all the winning poems (the prizewinners appear as ‘flash cards’ at the top of the screen; the runners-up are printed below).

Other Contest results:

Touchstone Haiku Award Shortlist

Vladimir Devide Haiku Award (Japan), 800 submissions from 64 countries.

British Haiku Society Awards (UK)

Irish Haiku Society Contest (Ireland), more than 300 haiku for 14 countries/territories.

Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest (Romania), 275 entrants from 45 countries.

Mainichi Daily News Haiku Contest (Japan), opens as a pdf. Almost 20,000 entries across all categories.

Little Haiku Contest: Pulses (Croatia), haiku from 98 authors.

Kusamakura Haiku Contest (Japan)

HPNC Haiku, Tanka & Senryu contests  (US), scroll down to see the results.

Books, New & Noted

1: 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.

2: 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.

3: 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.

3: 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.

4: 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: Haiku Canada Weekend 2017

May 19-21, University of Toronto, Mississauga campus. Full details here.

2: International Tanka Festival

May 28-June 4, Montreal, Canada. Full details here (in French only).

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.