Haiku Happenings

Meri Kirihimete / Merry Christmas / Season’s Greetings / Happy Holidays to all Haiku NewZ readers, near and far, with best wishes for a happy and safe festive period. Photo: Sandra Simpson

As of December 3 a new ‘traffic light’ system governs Covid-19 regulations in New Zealand, including the use of vaccination passes. Until mid-December, the Auckland border stays in place. See the official website for restrictions and information.

December 2021: Well, here we are at the end of another turbulent year with more uncertainty (hi, Omicron) on the horizon. Theoretically New Zealand’s borders will open, albeit with limitations, during 2022. In the meantime we should be proud of our efforts to hit that 90% vaccination mark and our extremely low numbers of deaths from Covid-19.

However, the mental anguish this virus has been causing, as well as the associated restrictions we’ve been living with and the flow-on effects of those, are real. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Talk to someone, please. If you’re too ‘shy’, you might want to try Just a Thought, an online tool to help you understand worry and stress and how to manage it.

If you’re longing to travel overseas again Barbara Strang may ease some of the pain with her travelogue, which forms this month’s article, about a morning of discovery in Tokyo. The Contest listings are updated through to the end of January so there’s no excuse not to give it shot over the summer. If you’ve been writing heaps and would like to try some new outlets for your work, why not peruse the Publications page?

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

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 Anthology

Ordering information for this year’s NZPS Poetry Anthology, Kissing a Ghost, may be found here.

Lockdown Haiku Project

Auckland poets (mother and daughter) Sherry and Zoe Grant have been staying active during Auckland’s extended border closure and creating pleasure for others with their ‘Chalk on the Walk Haiku’ project. See the 3-line haiku Facebook page here. They also chalk up a monoku storm too. See the monoku Facebook page here. Sherry is the community outreach officer for the NZ Poetry Society. Read more here.

Photo: Sherry Grant

Publication & Contest News

1: Two contests have extended their deadlines from November 30 Africa Haiku Prize (to December 20) and Snapshot Press Book Awards (to December 31). See the Contests page for full details.

2: Whiptail is a new journal for single-line poems, including haiku and tanka.
Submit: On a rolling basis from October 1. See submission details here.

3: drifting sands haibun journal has created an online hub for writers of haiku, tanka, haibun, etc to connect and explore their craft. Newcomers are invited to create their own web page, with tutorials being offered or the editorial team can build the page for you. You don’t have to be a drifting sands haibun contributor to have a page. Read more here. The basics of design are here.

4: Changes afoot at UHTS. Previous editors Mike Montreuil and Sonam Chhoki closed their website and believed it to be the end of the day for the United Haiku and Tanka Society. However, UHTS founder an’ya thought the project was too good to lose and has opened a new site here. The organisation has run three annual contests and these will continue – the AHA Haiku/Senryu Contest (January), Fleeting Words Tanka Contest (May) and the Samurai Haibun Contest (September). The cattails online journal will continue as usual and a new edition has just been published.

5: Take 5ive is a new online journal for 5-line forms only – tanka, gogyohka and gogyoshi. The journal may be monthly ‘circumstances permitting’.
Submit: At any time. See the website for full details.


To Owen Bullock and Sandra Simpson who have received Honourable Mentions in the Autumn Moon Haiku Contest (US). Read all the winning poems here.

flint corn –
i’ll learn to live
with the diagnosis

Sandra Simpson

To the several New Zealand poets who had work selected for the Yamadera Basho Haiku Contest e-book (Japan). Read the pdf book here (main winners, p5-8; English selection from p14).

barley moon
how different the branches
in this light

Steven Clarkson

Contest results

Jane Reichhold Memorial Haiga Contest (US)

Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest (US)

Porad Haiku Award (US)

Maya Lyubenova Haiku Contest (Bulgaria)

Sanford Goldstein Tanka Contest (US)

Sonic Boom Vispo Contest (India)

Harold G Henderson Haiku Award (US)

Gerald Brady Senryu Award (US)

HSA Haibun Award (US)

Society of Classical Poets Haiku Contest (US)

Free e-Books

Prune Juice Book of Senryu celebrates 10 years of publishing English senryu from around the world by 85 of the online journal’s contributors. The ebook features 337 poems.

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 e-books for free download and regularly adds new titles. Visit the website to choose a title.