Haiku Happenings

dragon - Copy

The volunteers have gone home and the dragon at Te Puna Quarry Park, near Tauranga, slumbers in peace. Photo: Sandra Simpson, please ask before re-using.

April 2020: New Zealand remains at Covid-19 Alert Level 4. Please take the stay-at-home order seriously. For up-to-date and accurate information visit the Government’s Covid-19 website.

With two of us now working at home and the other, classed as an essential worker, now filling night shifts into the early hours, my ‘normal’ has changed. Plans to revamp my personalised filing system (ie, it’s on the sofa) have only got so far – everything is on the floor! On the upside we can still go out for neighbourhood walks and have just come back from an eerily silent, virtually no traffic place where many properties have shut their gates, underlining the term ‘lockdown’. Not much in the way of haiku…

Sad to hear that English poet and editor Stuart Quine last week succumbed to coronavirus. See a brief appreciation below.

Although public buildings around the world are closed, it’s still possible to visit two online exhibitions that feature haiku. An online renku group has started and there are a couple of anthologies calling for submissions so for those who are writing their way through this, there are some new and exciting outlets. For details on all these see below.

Thinking that maybe haiku isn’t a robust enough form to document what’s going on, or not going on, around us the monthly article is about how to create effective haibun (prose + haiku). The Contest listing has been updated and includes tnformation on the NZ Poetry Society Haiku Contests which are being run with online entries and payments only this year.

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

The NZPS annual meeting will be held on June 6 using the online conferencing platform Zoom. More details about the meeting and renewing subs here.

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 Stuart Quine, 1962-2020

Sad news has been received that Stuart Quine, the English haiku poet, died on March 24 from the Covid-19 virus. A former associate editor of Presence haiku journal (he rejoined for a time after the unexpected death of his friend Martin Lucas), Stuart had one of his poems added to the Katikati Haiku Pathway collection last year and kindly agreed to having the one-liner engraved as three lines to fit the boulder. Stuart and Martin attended the 2009 Haiku Pacific Rim conference in Terrigal, NSW, Australia.

Well-known for his single-line haiku, Stuart began exploring that style in 1998, enjoying both their aesthetic appeal and the echo of Japanese haiku. Surprisingly, his two recent books, Sour Pickle (2018) containing 100 one-line haiku and Wild Rhubarb (2019) containing another 80, were his first collections. Read more here. Read a review of Sour Pickle.

A practitioner of Soto Zen Buddhism for more than 30 years Stuart regarded his haiku writing as a dao and was a member of the Red Thread Haiku Sangha.

white rice in a white bowl winter sunlight

– Stuart Quine, Presence 23

Haiku Hecameron

The brainchild of haiku poet and editor Scott Mason – and inspired by the 14th century The Decameron, a book of stories created during a plague outbreak – The Haiku Hecameron will feature 100 haiku poets whose work reflects a spirit of gratitude for something that remains right (possibly even wondrous) in the world of the poet’s present-day experience. Submitting poets must have had work appear in an edited haiku journal (print or online) in the last three years. Work must be the author’s own and not previously published (in print or online) or under consideration anywhere.

Submit: Please send only one submission. A submission may comprise up to a total of three of the following, in any combination: Haiku; Haiku sequence (up to 100 words including title); Haibun (up to 100 words including title); Haiga (minimum resolution 300 dpi). Send submissions by email to Scott Mason with the subject line ‘Haiku Hecameron’.
Haiga should be in jpg format as an attachment. All other work should be provided in the body of the email. Include your name, pen-name name (if used), and your location (town or city; state, province or region; country).
Deadline: April 17 (International Poetry Day). Acceptance notifications by May 17.

The goal is to have The Haiku Hecameron available in late July 2020, approximately 100 days after International Haiku Poetry Day.  Contributors and submitting poets will qualify for discounts.

International Postcard Project

Polish poet Krzysztof Kokot would like to receive picture postcards from all over the world, inscribed with a haiku on the reverse side. He intends to mount an exhibition of  the cards he receives. Send your postcard to arrive before April 30 to: Krzysztof Kokot, os. Witosa 4/7, 34-400 Nowy Targ, Poland.

Buddha Haiku Anthology 

Editors Adjei Agyei-Baah and Gabriel Rosenstock are looking for contemporary haiku, published or unpublished, which are Buddha-themed; haiku which may or may not mention the Buddha specifically, but which are infused with the spirit of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism or any other school of Buddhism. The meditative spirit is universal and Buddhist self-effacement and egolessness can be found in other traditions as well, such as Daoist, Christian, Sufi etc. Haiku that are influenced by Buddhist-like teachings and practices will also be considered.

Submit: Up to haiku before Buddha’s birthday on May 8, including a brief biography, not more than 200 words. English translations required of haiku submitted in languages other than English. Payment will be one copy of the ‘pocket anthology’. Send submissions to both editors: Adjei Agyei-Baah and Gabriel Rosenstock or by post to Adjei Agyei-Baah, c/- 7 Rehua Drive, Ngaruawahia 3288, Waikato, New Zealand.

Join …

a: A Renku Group

We might be self-isolating as individuals but the internet allows communal gatherings that don’t break the rules. David Lanoue (who has translated thousands of Issa’s haiku) has started a renku website for anyone who wants to have a go, no previous experience necessary.

b: A Kukai Group

There are several public kukai available online, and The Haiku Foundation has just started a new monthly one. Each participant in a kukai submits poem/s for scoring by every other participant (ie, every entrant is also a judge). Full details of the THF kukai here.

c: An Online Course

An online writing course might be just the thing for lockdown. Alan Summers (UK) is starting three – Introducing Haiku (April 2); The Passion of Haibun (April 6); and Shahai (April 9). For full details see Call of the Page.

Online Haiku Exhibition 1

The California State Library has partnered with Google Arts & Culture to create online exhibits and one of the first exhibits is about the Shikishi Haiku Collection (shikishi are square poem cards) which comprises 24 haiku written in calligraphy on colourful paper by some well-known 20th century Japanese poets. Each haiku is accompanied by an English translation. These shikishi were given to the Haiku Society of America in New York City to celebrate the society’s 10th anniversary in 1978. They are part of the American Haiku Archives official collection located at the California State Library and were originally translated by Hiroaki Sato in 1978. See the exhibition here.

Online Haiku Exhibition 2

The Bristol Museum in Britain has mounted an online exhibition of a selection of its Japanese woodblock prints paired with haiku selected from international submissions. See the exhibition here.

Our New Normal

benita pic

Benita Kape in Gisborne has sent in this photo of her normal-normal workday, and says: “For some time I have been doing an on-line study of Jane Reichhold’s book Writing and Enjoying Haiku and in another Zoom meet in a US-based group writing after a shared poem each day. I asked if we could look at a New Zealand poem and our tutor chose The Entrance to Purgatory by Ian Lonie which appears in NZ Best Poems 2015. So lots of exciting things to remain engaged with.”

Publication, Contest & Event News

1: Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America, needs frogs!
Submit: Black and white drawings only. Full details here.

2: To mark the 20th anniversary of the Tanka Society of America, the TSA’s social media will run a tanka haiga feature in April.
Submit: One tanka haiga by April 14. Full details from the website.

3: drifting-sands-haibun is a new online journal for haibun and tanka prose with submissions being sought for the first issue.
Submit: Up to two haibun/tanka prose by April 15. Full details from the website.

4: Country Roads magazine is seeking 5-7-5 haiku written during the global coronavirus lockdown for publication. They’re calling it a contest.
Submit: Full details from the website.

5: Online journal KYSO Flash has closed. The archives remain available here.

6: There will be no Jane Reichhold International Haiku Contest this year (usually closes in April). The organisers of the ukiahaiku festival do not say why, just that they plan to return in 2021.

New Haiku Books

1: windflowers is the latest Red Moon Anthology surveying the best English-language haiku and linked forms, this time those published in 2019. New Zealand poets featured are Steven Clarkson, Jenny Fraser, Patricia Prime, Sandra Simpson and André Surridge. Ordering details here.

2: one hundred petals is a collection of 100 haiku and senryu by André Surridge, the first collection by the late poet. The 64-page book is printed on recycled paper and is available for $20 within New Zealand and $NZ25 elsewhere (both including postage) – Andre kindly donated all proceeds to Kokako journal. To order a copy please email Elaine including your name, postal address and how you’re paying. Payment for NZ orders may be made by bank transfer to Kokako 12 3071 0355785 00 using ‘petals100’ in the reference line. International orders may use PayPal, Elaine will reply with payment details. Read a review of one hundred petals here.

3: number eight wire is the fourth NZ haiku anthology, containing 330 haiku by 70 poets of all ages and surveys the period 2008-18. Read ordering details here. The first review has been published, on the Australia Haiku Society website. Read Vanessa Proctor’s thoughts here. Short reviews are also available in Frogpond 42.2 and Modern Haiku 50.2.

The editors of number eight wire wish to apologise for the following errors contained in the volume: The haiku that appears on p104 credited to Rosemary Scott was, in fact, written by Lynn Tara Austin. Kirsten Cliff Elliot’s first name has been spelled incorrectly throughout the volume, apart from the bio notes at the end. Elaine Riddell’s haiku on p87 should be set out to resemble a star. Which rather reinforces the editors’ decision that this volume was their one and only foray into publishing an anthology!

4: Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 days of haiku for children young and old is published on November 9 by Brooks Books. Edited by Jessica Latham Malone, the book has a pre-order special offer – $US24 for the books and a 20% discount on shipping ($US15 for outside North America). Ordering details here.


To Adjei Agyei-Baah who has a haiku shortlisted in the Touchstone Awards (US)

country road
the long ride through the scent
of cattle gone ahead

See the full shortlist here. Results announced on April 17.

To Sandra Simpson who has been Highly Commended in the Martin Lucas Haiku Award (UK) with

harvest moon –
the kitchen table laid
with pieces of gun

Read all the winning poems here.

To Kirsten Cliff Elliot, whose collection Patient Property: a journey through leukaemia has been shortlisted for a Touchstone Book Award (US). Results on April 17. See the shortlist here. Copies of the book are still available, ordering details here.

To Isabel Caves and Sandra Simpson who have both had haiku selected for the online Masters of Japanese Prints: Haiku (Bristol Museum, UK), click on the link to see the prints and their matched haiku.

yamabuki flowers…
i too
bear no fruit

Isabel Caves

To Jenny Fraser who has had a poem Commended in the AHA Haiku/Senryu Contest (US):

intermittent rain
the small talk
of sparrows

The full results are in the UHTS newsletter, Seedpods. To receive a copy (free) email Mike Montreuil.

To Sandra Simpson who has had a haiku chosen to be displayed in Washington DC as part of the Golden Triangle Haiku Contest (US):

road works –
the billow and sag
of a cobweb in the wind

See all the chosen haiku here (1700+ entries) with only the winning entries shown here.

Sandra has also had a haiku chosen to be displayed in the Chicago Botanic Garden (US) in the northern spring.

To Anne Curran who has had a haiku selected by judge Arima as one of his 10 winning works in the Basho-an Haiku Contest (Japan):

a pair of birds
fly high in the heavens –
requiem mass

See all the winning haiku here (opens as a pdf), 1271 poems entered.

To Barbara Strang who was one of three semifinalists in the Sable Books Women’s Haiku Competition (US).

Contest results

Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest (Romania, 176 poets entered)

BHS Haiku, Tanka & Haibun Awards (UK, opens as a pdf; 477 haiku, 158 tanka and 59 haibun entered)

Santoka Haiku Contest (Serbia, 219 entries)

Santoka Haiga Contest (Serbia, 45 entries)

Maya Lyubenova International Haiku Contest (Bulgaria)

Wild Plum Haiku Contest

Akita International Haiku Contest (Japan, 337 poets entered)

Samurai Haibun Contest, results available in the UHTS newsletter, Seedpods. To subscribe (free) email Mike Montreuil.

HMs in the Soka Matsubara International Haiku Competition (Japan, opens as a pdf). The top haiku are here, scroll to the bottom of the page for English

Little Iris Haiku Contest (Croatia)

Haiku International Association Contest (Japan)

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. Visit the website to choose a title.

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


Cradle of American Haiku: August 7-9 in Walker House, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, US.

Seabeck Haiku Getaway: October 29-November 1, Washington State, US. Tom Painting is the guest speaker at this annual Haiku Northwest event.

Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Annual Retreat: November, Pacific Grove, California, US.

Haiku North America 2021: Victoria (Vancouver Island), British Columbia, Canada.