Haiku Happenings

This graveyard is beside St John’s Church in Wakefield, the South Island’s oldest church (1846). Wherever your summer takes you, physically or mentally, I hope it’s a good one. Photo: Sandra Simpson

January 2021: New Zealand is at Alert Level 1 for Covid-19. See the official website for restrictions.

I’ll keeping Haiku NewZ ticking over for January but won’t make major updates, for instance, the monthly article remains the same. Besides feeling like a break I’ve got plenty of ‘homework’ to be doing as we look forward to starting some renovations! 

The Contest listing has been updated to the end of March and if you haven’t dived into the monthly article by Lynne Rees – looking at why haiku may be uncut and how to achieve that technique successfully – then January and all its connotations of a fresh start may be just the month to do it.

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 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 2020 Anthology

The 2020 NZ Poetry Society anthology, Haumi ē! Hui ē! Tāiki ē! Stay Well Here, is now available. Read more, and find an order form, here

Breaking my Journey

Australian poet Greg Piko has a new collection of haiku – his first solo effort – published by Red Moon Press in the US. Purchase Breaking my Journey through Greg’s website using PayPal, $A20 within Australia, $A25 for New Zealand, $A30 for the rest of the world.

I risk showing
a little more of myself
hibiscus bud

Gregory Piko


David Cobb, 1926-2020

David, who had been in hospital for a little while in the period leading up to his death on November 11, was one of the leading lights of haiku in the UK, but, as I can attest, was someone who was supportive of anyone who reached out to him.

David has been a good friend to Haiku NewZ, kindly allowing his essays to be published here (the most recent being in October 2020), while in 2011 selected his Favourite Haiku for that feature.

David made a teaching research trip to Japan in 1977 and, with the encouragement of a local high school teacher, began to learn how to write haiku. In 1989 he helped establish the British Haiku Society, serving as secretary (1990-97) and president (1997-2002). He started the BHS newsletter and its magazine, Blithe Spirit.

nearby in the dark
someone calls someone else
using my name

David Cobb

His haiku and haibun have received numerous international awards, as have his collections of his work. His most recent awards are the the Oi-Ocha Prize (for a single haiku) in 2010, a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award in 2007 and the Genjuan International Haibun Contest Grand Prix in 2020. For more information about his publications see his website. The British Haiku Society has renamed its haiku award in honour of David.

Matthew Paul has written a nice piece about for David. Read it here. David, who was 94, died in his sleep.

Garry Eaton, 1941-2020

Canadian haiku poet and longtime volunteer digital librarian at The Haiku Foundation, Garry Eaton died suddenly on November 26. Read the THF tribute here. Garry, who lived in Port Moody, British Columbia, began writing haiku in 2006 and since then has won several awards and been widely published.

roadside memorial
morning glories
ruffled by the wind

Garry Eaton

Dr Akito Arima, 1930-2020

The nuclear physicist, former politician and award-winning haiku poet Akito Arima died on December 7. He was a long-serving president of the Haiku International Association. A translated collection, Einstein’s Century, was published in 2016. Read more here.

a single thread
from the Hall of Light:
snowmelt water

Akito Arima

Winona Baker, 1924-2020

Canadian haiku poet Winona Baker died on October 23. An award-winning haiku poet, the story of her life in haiku was featured in a book by Terry Ann Carter. You can read the chapter here.

in the stubble
a ball of blue wool
unwinds in the wind

Winona Baker

2021 Online Course

Introducing Haiku, starts April 27, earlybird cost £99 (about $US134). Tutor is Alan Summers. Instruction is by email.

Publication News

1: Tandem is a new rengay journal that is seeking submissions for its first issue. Rengay is a linked verse form invented by Garry Gay of the Haiku Poets of Northern California.
Submit: By January 31. Full details, including verse schemes, from the website.

2: Drifting Sands haibun journal submissions are now open at any time and the journal will be published when 20 to 30 works have been accepted. Guest editor for issue 7 is Marilyn Humbert of Australia. Read more here.

3: National Haiku Poetry Writing Month starts again on February 1, and although ‘National’ = United States, it’s an online event open to anyone anywhere.
Submit: Full details from the website.

4: On the Haiku Connects Us website Polish poet Krzysztof Kokot is featuring all the postcards and haiku he was sent after putting out a call (last year). He has photographed all the postcards – hover your cursor over the image to read the haiku.

5: Tia Haynes has taken over from Brent Goodman at Prune Juice Journal of Senryu and Related Forms. Read more here. Submissions for the next issue began on January 1.


To Jenny Fraser who has received an Honourable Mention in the Autumn Moon Haiku Contest (US). See all the winning poems here.

To Jenny Fraser who has received an Honourable Mention in the Jane Reichhold Haiga Contest (US, traditional section). See all the winning haiga and judges’ comments here.

Contest results

Polish International Haiku Contest (Poland)

Kusamakura Haiku Contest (Japan)

Irish Haiku Society Contest (Ireland)

Akita Haiku Contest (Japan)

HIA Contest (Japan)

Morioka Haiku Contest (Japan)

Soap Haiku Contest (US)

Porad Haiku Award (US)

COBKA 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.

2021 Events

Haiku Canada Weekend: May 21-23, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

Haiku North America: October 13-17, Victoria (Vancouver Island), British Columbia, Canada.