Haiku Happenings



June 2019:  Our balmy autumn has possibly lulled us into a false sense of security but the long-range forecast is predicting average or above average winter temperatures for most of the country. So, despite what some local councils (and the odd mayor) are saying, the climate is actually changing! It’s great to see young people putting this deadly problem front and centre in their thinking and, hopefully, actions. Every little bit we can do to try and save our beautiful planet is worth it. My orchid club, for instance, is not going to use plastic bags at this year’s show. Getting our collective head round what we can give buyers instead of plastic bags to hold their plants has seen some creative thinking about recycling, upcycling and plastic-free alternatives.

Okay, enough time on the soapbox. What’s in Haiku NewZ this month? A great monthly Article by Philip Rowland looking at what haiku might be in the English-speaking world of the 21st century.

The Contest listing has been updated to the end of August. Please remember that the list is refreshed as information comes to hand so it’s always worth checking back during the month. And for your diaries is advance notice of a rugby-theme haiku contest being held to coincide with the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Closing date will be October 13. Inspiration might strike while you’re on a muddy sideline over the next couple of months!

number eight wire has almost sold out, which is amazing! See below for the link to details on how to purchase a copy if you don’t yet have one.

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

NZ Haiku Books

1: Kirsten Cliff Elliot has published a collection, Patient Property: a journey through leukaemia through Velvet Dusk Publishing, a new US indie publisher started by Christine L. Villa. Patient Property includes 61 haiku and tanka, with a foreword by Owen Bullock and an afterword by Patricia Prime.

2: There’s been a limited reprint of 2018 NZPS anthology,  The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation, so if you missed out the first time, get moving! Full details 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. Editors Sandra Simpson and Margaret Beverland thank Windrift haiku group, Small White Teapot haiku group, NZ Poetry Society and Haiku Festival Aotearoa 2012 for the seed funding that helped bring the project to fruition.

Leslie McKay is to be featured in the June 5 West Coast Messenger, after the weekly paper ran a general piece about number eight wire in the May 22 edition.

Winter Solstice Kukai

The Australian Haiku Society is hosting a kukai in two sections (both inspired by a supplied image) to mark the winter solstice, closing June 28. Join the non-seasonal kukai here or the seasonal kukai here. Winners posted to the AHS website.

Haiku Abroad

1: The Ulysses Haiku Project opens this month in Dublin, part of the city’s annual tribute to novelist James Joyce. Curator Nickie Hayden says: “I chose haiku because every line in Ulysses has the same kind of richness that is carried in each line of a haiku.”

Print maker Robert Russell was struck by Joyce’s portrayal of Dublin in Ulysses, and working with Stephen Fry, Paula Meehan, Rachael Hegarty, Theo Dorgan and Patricia Ross, imprinted their haiku on five etched images on copper plates. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to write their own Ulysses, Joyce or Bloomsday-inspired haiku to become part of the exhibition – or email your haiku. Read more here.

2: Paul Chambers, editor of the Wales Haiku journal, took a visit to his hometown of Pill (part of Newport) and worked with some senior students on haiku. The area is often portrayed negatively in the media. Watch the BBC Wales film here (4 mins).

Publication News

1: To mark the Year of the Pig, Corine Timmer is producing an anthology of pig-theme haiku to be published by bicadeideias (Portugal). Each poet may send 3 haiku – it is possible to send two that have previously been published (include credits) but at least one must be unpublished. Proceeds will go to the UK charity, Farms not Factories.
Submit: By June 30. Full details from the website.

2: Puddock is a new haiku journal from Scotland. For its first issue editor Colin Stewart Jones is seeking haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga and renga (renku). Work in English, Gaelic or Scots is welcomed.
Submit: By June 1 Extended to July 1. Full details from the website.

3: Incense Dreams is seeking haiku, tanka and haiga for issue 3.1.
Submit: By July 5. Full details from the website.

4: Online journal KYSO Flash is looking for haibun and tanka prose for its next issue.
Submit: By July 31. Full details from the website.

5: Akira Yagami, editor of the new paper journal Leaf-fall, is seeking artwork for the cover of issue 2. All kinds of art considered, but please send only jpeg files. Publication of haiku in Leaf-fall opens later in the year.
Submit: By email to Aikra Yagami with the subject line ‘art cover submission’.

6: Atlas Poetica is seeking ‘flowing tranquility’ tanka for a special feature.
Submit: Up to 5 tanka (only one will be chosen) by August 1. Full details from the website.


To Andre Surridge who has received an Honourable Mention in the AHA Haiku Contest (US, 955 poems entered) with

fading light
the warm scent
of poached quinces

The full set of winning poems is available to read in Seedpods, the newsletter of the United Haiku and Tanka Society. To access Seedpods, you must join the mailing list (free). Email Mike Montreuil with your details.

To Steve Clarkson who has received an Honourable Mention in the Betty Drevniok Haiku Award (Canada). Read all the winning haiku.

she describes its flight
with her eyebrows

Steven Clarkson

To Anne Curran and Sandra Simpson who have both been Commended in the Anam Cara Haiku and Senryu Contest (Ireland, 250 poems entered). Read all the winning haiku here.

he reaches
for her hand –
school dance

Anne Curran

To Ghanian national Adjei Agyei-Baah (studying at Waikato University) who has two poems in the Shortlisted Haiku for the RH Blyth Award (UK). And to Owen Bullock, Ben Clarkson and Sandra Simpson who all had poems selected as Haiku of Merit.

heat wave –
melting asphalt
reshaping a shoe print

Adjei Agyei-Baah

sable door mat
watches me with one eye
and a languid stretch

Ben Clarkson

Read all the winning poems here.

Contest results

OtherWordly Haiku Contest (US)

Mainichi Haiku Contest (Japan, opens as a pdf)

Setouchi Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest, set theme (Japan, 1256 entries)

Setouchi Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest, original photos (Japan, 1583 entries)

Santoka Haiku Contest (Serbia, 179 entries)

Santoka Haiga Contest (Serbia, 38 entries)

Writers in Kyoto Competition (Japan)

Jane Reichhold International Haiku Award (Ukiahaiku Festival, US)

Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest (Romania, 224 haiku)

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.


1: Haiku North America: August 7-11, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. See the website.

2: World Haiku Association: September 13-15, Meiji University, Tokyo.  The 10th conference marks the WHA’s 20th anniversary. See the website.

3: Haiku Northwest Getaway: October 24-27, Seabeck, Washington state, US. Further details from the website.