Haiku Happenings

nikau3 - Copy

Berries of our native nikau palm make a natural festive decoration. Photo: Sandra Simpson, please ask before re-using.

January 2018:  Hope you’re all coping with the heat and/or the wet in New Zealand and Australia and the very cold cold in the northern hemisphere!

Hope you’re finding time to enjoy the reading in the Archived Articles section or a browse through our extensive list of web resources related to the Japanese forms. Haiku NewZ is here to be enjoyed and, I hope, help those wanting to learn more. If there’s something specific you’d like to find out more about, please let me know.

The Contest page listings have been updated to the beginning of March, while the current monthly article by Ray Rasmussen is on haibun – timely, given that KYSO Flash is looking for haibun (see details below) for its next issue.

Aucklanders, take note that Linda Bartlett wants to start a haiku group in your fair city, details of how to contact her are below.

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

Auckland Haiku Group Wanted

Linda Bartlett would like to start a monthly group to discuss haiku, tanka and haibun, meeting from February. Anyone interested may email her for further details, the venue would be in west Auckland.

Japanese-themed Exhibitions & Events

1: From January 15-February 8, On the Small is showing at Studio One Toi Tu in Ponsonby, Auckland. Grace Crawshaw McLean has created woven and drawn works inspired by the time she spent in an isolated fishing town in Japan that had been affected by the 2011 tsunami. Read more here.

2: On January 20 from 1-2pm there’s a chance to try taiko drumming thanks to an open day at Narukami Taiko in Newtown, Wellington. Read more here. The website also advises of forthcoming classes.

3: Until January 22, Expressions Whirinaki Arts & Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt is showing Handcrafted Form, a travelling exhibition courtesy of the Embassy of Japan. The centre is open 9am-4pm daily. Read more here. (The exhibition then moves to Auckland for February, see more here.)

4: Until January 28, Japan: Cultural Diversity Photo Exhibition is showing at Elements Cafe in Whanganui, 10am-2pm each weekend. Read more here.

5: February sees the start of this year’s free monthly Japanese films screened at Massey University’s Albany campus (January 31),  Waikato University (Feb 15) and Auckland University library (Feb 23) – click on the link to find out more. Anyone may attend the screenings with the movies subtitled in English. February’s film is Still Walking and for March there is Shin Godzilla.

6: All things Japanese take centre stage in Auckland at Japan Day on February 24 and 25 (3-9pm Saturday; 10am-6pm Sunday) at The Cloud and Shed 10 on the waterfront. As well as food and dance, there will also be an anime movie, Cosplay and traditional arts such as the tea ceremony and ikebana. If haiku isn’t included, the event may well spark a poem or three!

7: Wai Taiko drummers perform on March 3 at the Morrinsville A&P Show. More information here (times not yet posted).

8: March 9 sees a performance of Distances in Wellington, part of the NZ Festival, which brings together musicians from New Zealand, Japan and Germany playing on Japanese and European instruments, interweaving works from the 21st century with ancient pieces. Read more here.

9: Until March 18 the museum in Napier (MTG Hawke’s Bay) is showing Deco Kimono, a collection of six Japanese kimono from the Art Deco period, a time when innovations in silk production led to the first mass-produced, inexpensive silk kimono. The museum is open 10am-5pm daily. Read a little more here.

10: Until December 30 Dunedin Art Gallery is showing World View which includes works from Japan’s Edo period (among many other pieces). Open 10am-5pm daily. Read more here.

Online Haibun Course

English poet Alan Summers will lead a haibun course starting on March 5 with an earlybird rate of  £110 (about $US145). Read the full details here.

February is Haiku Writing Month

Although NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month) is an American invention, poets from anywhere in the world can join in, using a supplied daily prompt to create a poem. Read more here. (There are also Facebook prompts to write a haiku every day of the year!)

Workshop Forum

Inkstone is an online forum for people wanting to workshop their haiku, tanka, sequences, and poetry + prose creations. Read the requirements for membership (free).

Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology

Margaret Beverland and Sandra Simpson take great pleasure in announcing that a Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology is to be published next year. The anthology will come a decade after the publication of the taste of nashi, edited by Nola Borrell and Karen Peterson Butterworth, which itself followed the two national haiku anthologies  edited by Cyril Childs and published in 1993 and 1998.

New Zealand residents may submit up to 10 haiku/senryu that have been published since 2008, including publication details. The anthology is intended as a survey of New Zealand haiku over the past 10 years so submissions of fewer than 10 haiku are also welcome.

Closing date for submissions is April 30, 2018. The editors require that only one submission be made. Email submissions and/or queries to the editors at Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology.

Publication News

1: KYSO Flash is looking for haibun and tanka prose of up to 1,000 words per piece for issue 9.
Submit: By January 31. Full details from the website.

2: Dream Alchemy tanka are to form a special feature at Atlas Poetica.
Submit: By January 31. Full details from the website.

3: Inner Voices International Women’s Haiku Festival celebrates US National Women’s History Month (March) by publishing haiku/senryu about women and all aspects of women’s experience. Selected poems will be published in March on a rolling basis on the Inner Voices blog.
Submit: February 1-28. Full details from the website.

4: The Heron’s Nest has added a new editor – Martin Taankink of South Australia takes up the new post of art editor. Martin has created cover images for Volumes 18 and 19 (the latter due out in April) of the annual The Heron’s Nest collection. Managing editor John Stevenson says: “We are excited about the prospect of working with Martin and look forward to a new look for future print editions of The Heron’s Nest.”

5: Word-o-Mat in Glasgow is an independent publisher of new, short, international writing run by Charlotte Ormston. “We have recently published a New Zealand writer Zoë Meager and, as we publish new collections regularly, would be thrilled to receive more submissions from New Zealand writers in the future.” Thanks to Wellington LitCrawl’s Claire Mabey for passing this along.
Submit: Full details from the website.

6: Wild Plum haiku journal has closed – its last hurrah is the contest, which closes on February 28, and an anthology of haiga. The journal has run for 3 years.

7: The online moongarlic journal is on a hiatus and hopes to back in 2018. Read back issues here.

8: Changes are afoot at Failed Haiku. Editor Mike Rehling advises that the monthly online senryu journal will become a quarterly publication from January 1. However, there will still be 12 issues a year under the masthead – the other 8 will be special format issues, including: Discussions of the senryu form; haiga-only issues and haibun-only issues. Mike emphasises that editing Failed Haiku has never felt like work and that he’s going nowhere, just tweaking!


To Anne Curran who received an Honourable Mention in the Japan-Russia Haiku Contest (Japan) with

a daisy chain
beaded through her hair…
garden wedding

See the full results here.

To Anne Hollier Ruddy who is the runner-up in this year’s Kathleen Grattan Prize for a sequence of poems. Although this is a prize for longer poetry, Anne has also been known to write the odd haiku too!

To Tony Beyer who last month published a book of longer poetry, Anchor Stone, available for $39.85 (incl P&P).

Contest results

Polish International Haiku Contest (Poland)

Irish Haiku Society Contest (Ireland)

The Heron’s Nest Illustration Award (US)

World Haiku Contest (US)

Haiku International Association Contest (Japan)

Kusamakura Haiku Contest (Japan)

Sonic Boom Senryu Contest (India)

World Haiku Association Contest (Japan/Italy)

Jane Reichhold Memorial Haiga Contest (US)

Autumn Moon Haiku Contest (US)

Porad Haiku Award (US)

Basho Memorial Haiku Contest (Japan). The link takes you to the 2 Grand Prizes. At the bottom of the page is the link to the Honourable Mentions page.

Kaji Aso Haiku Contest (US)

Where Tanka Prose Grows (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 der 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. (There’s a buy-three-get-one-free offer.)

John Stevenson, The Heron’s Nest managing editor, says “The Wonder Code is both a book about haiku and a book of haiku. It contains five linked essay chapters by Scott (plus an Introduction and Afterword) as well as five extensive ‘galleries’ of haiku poems, each related to the theme of its preceding chapter. Altogether the volume features more than 450 standout haiku, all of which first appeared in The Heron’s Nest in the last two decades. And for those who have come to appreciate Scott’s own work, the book includes a separate, generous selection of his haiku.”

2: 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.

3: 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.

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.

Free e-Books

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: Asian Conference on the Arts & Humanities

March 30-April 1 2018, Kobe Japan. Full details from the website.

2: Haiku Canada Weekend

May 2018, Bishop University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

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.