Haiku Happenings

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Fresh maple leaves. Photo: Sandra Simpson, please do not reuse without permission.

October 2018: Into daylight saving already which must mean summer isn’t far away! The garden is beginning to embrace spring with fresh leaves appearing and flowers opening – despite the past couple of weeks being full of wildly varying temperatures. Typical spring weather, in other words.

Michael Dylan Welch serves up some food for thought in this month’s article, urging readers of haiku to bring new awareness to these short poems and enrich their experience, while Haiku Happenings (below) includes information about an Auckland workshop this month. The Contest listing has been updated to the end of the year.

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

NZPS 2018 Anthology Launch

The 2018 NZPS anthology, being edited by Gail Ingram, is entitled The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation and is being launched on Thursday, November 8 at 6pm at the Toi Poneke Arts Centre in Abel Smith St, Wellington. For more information email the NZPS.

NZPS International Haiku Contest Results

First Place/Jeanette Stace Memorial Award: Sandra Simpson, Tauranga; Second: Scott Mason, US; Third: Jenny Fraser, Mt Maunganui; Fourth: Patsy Turner, Akaroa; Fifth: Anne Curran, Hamilton.

Highly Commended: Nola Borrell, Lower Hutt; Elaine Riddell, Hamilton; Scott Mason (x2), US; Jenny Fraser, Mt Maunganui; Debbie Strange, Canada; Patsy Turner, Akaroa;  Quendryth Young, Australia; Ron C Moss, Australia; Sandra Simpson, Tauranga.

Commended: Anne Curran, Hamilton; Nola Borrell (x2), Lower Hutt; Elaine Riddell (x2), Hamilton; Jenny Fraser, Mt Maunganui; Debbie Strange, Canada; Valerie Millington (x2), Ohaupo; Barbara Strang (x3), Christchurch; Rajandeep Garg (x2), India; Sandra Simpson, Tauranga.

Judge Katherine Raine of New Zealand has prepared a helpful Haiku Checklist to help those new to the form or teaching themselves (the permanent link is at the top of the Contests page).

Junior Contest:

First Place Primary & Intermediate/Jeanette Stace Memorial Award: Natalie Barclay, Australia; Second: Xanthe Pearse (Selwyn House School) Christchurch; Third: Eliana Collins (Arrowtown Primary School) Arrowtown.

First Place Secondary: Brianna Sloper (St Andrew’s College) Christchurch; Second: Rinay Chandra (St Andrew’s College) Christchurch; Third: Jamie Howell (St Andrew’s College) Christchurch.

Highly Commended (combined categories): Alexandra Smith (Ohaupo Primary School) Ohaupo; Natalie Barclay (x3) Australia.

Commended (combined categories): Noah Ballard (Te Huruhi School) Waiheke; Paige Keith (Ohaupo Primary School) Ohaupo; Maisie Taylor (Fendalton Open Air School) Christchurch; Carmen Wood (Selwyn House School) Christchurch; Charlotte Leatherland (Selwyn House School) Christchurch; Emma Uren (Diocesan School for Girls) Auckland.

Judge was Quendryth Young of Australia.

Valley Micropress to Close

The latest issue of New Zealand poetry journal Valley Micropress marks 2 milestones – 21 years of monthly publication and the news that Vol 21, issue 10 (due out at the end of the year) will be the last. Tony Chad has edited them all and says in his editorial, “I am looking forward now to letting go, ‘finishing the old chapter’ and seeing what will be in the new chapter of life”.

So as we farewell a valuable outlet for New Zealand haiku, tanka and haibun (as well as mainstream poetry), we must also salute Tony for selflessly providing that outlet for a sterling 21 years.

The Mozzie, the sister publication of Valley Micropress, continues as usual.

World of Basho

UK travel company Espirita is offering a trip to Japan from November 5-15 themed around Basho and his travels. Read more here.

Japan Festival Wellington

Wellington turns Japanese on November 24 at TSB Arena for its biennial festival (11am-6.30pm). Already booked from Australia are taiko drumming trio YuNiOn and shamisen sensation Noriko Tadano, and there will be a calligraphy workshop. Read more here.

Artists are wanted to join a group exhibition – particularly people working in digital art, sculpture, ceramics and installation pieces. Read more here.

Publication News

1: Looking for scholarly articles on haiku? JuxtaFour, newly published by The Haiku Foundation, may be the answer. Read the issues here.

2: Cherie Hunter Day has joined The Heron’s Nest as an Associate Editor, taking on the work of Billie Wilson who is on extended leave.

3: Each issue of Moonbathing: A Journal of Women’s Tanka will now include an Editor’s Choice Award – the winner will receive a free copy of Moonbathing. Editor Pamela Babusci asks (the journal doesn’t have a website) that submissions be made in the body of an email in 12 point in a simple typeface, single line spacing, with the author name and state/country abbreviation after each tanka. Send up to 10 tanka in a single submission (no tanka prose, book reviews, etc).
Submit: By November 15 to Pamela Babusci.
Subscription: $US12/year (2 issues) for US and Canada; $US16 rest of the world. PayPal available, with a surcharge.

4: Online journal KYSO Flash is seeking “haibun and tanka tales” for issue 11.
Submissions: Open mid-November. Full details from the website.

5: Atlas Poetica (tanka journal) is facing some technical issues but hopes to bring ATPO35 out in December. Editor M Kei is on the lookout for freelancer who can produce cover images suitable for uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing. A small stipend is available. Read more here.

6: Not Very Quiet is an Australian journal: “We seek to publish in the intersection of women and poetry.” For issue 4 it is open to many forms including haiku, tanka and haibun.
Submit: January 1-31. Full details from the website.

7: Prune Juice, a journal of senryu, kyoka and haiga, is changing editors – the November issue will be the last edited by Steve Hodge (who has been in the chair since 2009) with Brent Goodman taking over for the March 2019 issue.

8: Halibut is a new online ‘space’ with the ‘curators’ – Mary di Michele and Susan Gillis – seeking haiku, senryu, gendai haiku, tanka, and related forms.
Submit: At any time. Full details from the website.


To all the winners in the NZPS International Haiku Contest (NZ). The results are at the top of this page.

To 10-year-old Daniel Flaszynski of Christchurch who has won the youth section of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational (Canada) with

Early morning
the cherry blossom
opens my hand

Read all the winning poems here.

To Elaine Riddell who has won an Award for Excellence in the Ito-en Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest (Japan) with

turn of tide
boats restless
at their moorings

There were 20,815 entries in the English section! Read all the winning haiku here.

To Stephen Bailey who had a poem shortlisted for the H Gene Murtha Senryu Award (US):

final words
his clod strikes a hollow tone
on her coffin

Read all the winning poems here.

Contest results

Harold G Henderson Haiku Award (US)

Gerald Brady Senryu Award (US)

HSA Haibun Award (US)

Pumpkin Haiku Contest (Croatia)

Lyrical Passion Monostitch Haiku Contest (US)

Mandy’s Pages Tanka Contest (US)

Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award (US)

Sonic Boom Senryu Contest (India)

Books, New & Noted

1: Wishbone Moon ($US17, Jacar Press, 2018), edited by Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton and Kala Ramesh, an anthology of haiku by women in the international haiku community. Order from the website.

2: Persimmon edited by Stephen Henry Gill ($US18, Hailstone Haiku Circle, 2017). Read a review by Vanessa Proctor.

3: 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. 

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: Seabeck Haiku Getaway

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

2: Yuki Teikei Asilomar Retreat

November 9-12, Asilomar State Beach and Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California. Full details from the website.

3: Haiku Canada, 2019

May 17-19, 2019, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus, Vancouver. Further details from the website.

4: Haiku North America 2019

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

5: World Haiku Association 2019

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