Haiku Happenings


Te Parapara kumara patch, Hamilton Gardens. Photo: Sandra Simpson (please do not reuse without permission).

March 2017: You may remember that back in November I used a shot of this same kumara patch in Hamilton Gardens. I was there again at the end of February and thought it would be nice to see how the plot looks now the plants have sprouted. Read more about Te Parapara – New Zealand’s only traditional Maori productive garden.

American poet and writer Roberta Beary has been having a grand time, meeting haiku poets (and other poets) the length and breadth of the country. Her final stop was Christchurch, from where she left Aotearoa for Australia. Haere ra Roberta and Frank, and safe travels for the rest of your globe-trotting. Roberta is the inaugural Roving Ambassador for The Haiku Foundation and has done a tip-top job in New Zealand.

This month’s article is by Hilary Stace, daughter of the late Jeanette Stace, and is an appreciation of her mother’s life and work to mark the centenary of Jeanette’s birth. And we have another selection of Favourite Haiku, this crop by Bruce Ross, a well-known US editor.

And a review of Owen Bullock’s latest collection, River’s Edge, is now available.

The Contests list and the list of Publications have also been updated. See them both 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

Haiga Kukai – and you’re invited!

The Australian Haiku Society is hosting a Haiga Kukai, both seasonal and non-seasonal, featuring images by Ron Moss as the inspiration. They’d like to see entries from “our friends in New Zealand” before the event closes on March 27.

See the seasonal image; see the non-seasonal image.

THF Roving Ambassador in New Zealand

Roberta Beary is the inaugural Haiku Foundation Roving Ambassador and as she and her husband Frank Stella make their way though New Zealand she will be trying to contact as many haiku writers and groups as possible. She’s had lunch with Pat Prime in Auckland and toured the Katikati Haiku Pathway with a local group (read more and see some photos from the Katikati visit), met with Windrift (Wellington) and Small White Teapot (Christchurch), as well as some individual poets here and there. Roberta and Frank leave for Australia on March 1.

Roberta’s visit to Katikati was featured in two local newspapers. Read a report here.

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.

The Passion of Haibun: Starts March 27; all levels; earlybird rate (paid by March 13) £105 / $US135, otherwise £125/ $US160.
Senryu: Starts April 6; beginners and improvers; earlybird (pay by March 23) £83/$US110, otherwise £95/ US$125.
Ekphrastic Tanka: Starts May 2, all levels; earlybird (pay by April 11) £83 or $US110, otherwise £95/$US125.

Haiku Masters Episode 11

The video is available until March 28. Watch it here (scroll to bottom, 28 minutes). This episode is filmed at Happo-en in Tokyo (the name means a garden that is beautiful from all sides), and features as special guest Kenchi Tachibana, a dancer with a pop group. Haiku Masters focuses on photo + haiku.
Submit: By March 14 your own photo haiku, or a haiku to a supplied photo. Full details here.

Bonsai Anthology Update

From the editors Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan and  James Norcliffe: “We are full steam ahead and deep into the reading period for Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories. We have such a marvellous selection of submissions, we will be reading through February, with updates about inclusions in early March. In the first part of the year, we’ve been working toward securing our publisher and a publication date. We are also very pleased that Tim Jones and Graeme Lay have joined us as consulting editors, bringing their considerable expertise to the project.

“We thank you for your patience while we continue to read story submissions, previously published works and also essays that will be included in the final book. It’s sure to be an exciting collection, and we appreciate your interest and support.”

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 will be officially launched on March 24 in Hobart.

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 will be officially launched in Sydney on March 25 and in Yass, NSW on April 1.  Details at Greg’s website.

International Day of Forests & World Poetry Day

Mt Coot-ha Botanic Garden, near Brisbane, is marking International Day of Forests and World Poetry Day on March 19 by offering visitors to the Japanese garden a chance to try sumi-e painting and/or writing haiku. Full details here.

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: New online journal Stardust Haiku is looking for poems on the topic of blossoming plants (including trees).
Submit: By March 14. Full details from the website.

3: 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).


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).

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

Christmas eve –
the pop-up book’s manger
missing its baby

Read all the winning poems and judge’s comments here. There were 477 haiku from 80 poets.

Other Contest results:

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.

KYSO Flash Haibun & Tanka Prose contests (US)

Print Express Haiku Contest (UK)

Japan Information & Culture Centre Contest (US), 475 entries from 30 countries.

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.

5: Seven Suns / Seven Moons by Michael Dylan Welch and Tanya McDonald. Read more, and order, here.


1: Asian Conference on Literature, 2017

March 30-April 2 in Kobe, Japan. Full details here.

2: Haiku Canada Weekend 2017

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

3: International Tanka Festival

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

4: World Haiku Association Conference 2017

September 8-10, Parma, Italy. See a pdf flyer here (6MB)

5: Haiku North America 2017

September 13-17, Santa Fe, New Mexico. More details posted here.