Haiku Happenings

ashhurst - Copy

This month’s photo was taken in Ashhurst looking towards a Manawatu windfarm. Photo: Sandra Simpson

October 2019: And the cold snaps keep rolling across the islands. With luck it won’t be much longer and we can start enjoying more settled weather but in the meantime, spring’s strong winds have arrived, as they almost always seem to do, to coincide with the wisteria flowering.

Perhaps you have a spring-theme haiku or tanka that you consider one of your best. Robert Epstein is making a collection of these so-called signature haiku and would like to see yours. Details below in Haiku Happenings.

This month’s article is a personal look at haibun, and why it is the perfect form at different times and for different things. The Contest listing has been updated to the end of January, although there are some limited notice contests that are likely to be added through the month. Interesting to note there are three publishing awards open at present, one for women only. Why not take advantage and enter a collection?

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

2019 NZPS Anthology Launch

The Perfect Weight of Blankets at Night, edited by Raewyn Alexander, will be launched on Saturday, November 16 at 5.30pm at the Grey Lynn Community Centre in Auckland. RSVP by October 30 (by email).

NZ Haiku Books

1: one hundred petals is a collection of 100 haiku and senryu by André Surridge, the Hamilton poet’s first collection.  The 64-page book is printed on recycled paper and is available for $20 within New Zealand (includes postage) and $NZ25 elsewhere. To order a copy email André. Read a review here.

2: Kirsten Cliff Elliot has published a collection, Patient Property: a journey through leukaemia through Velvet Dusk Publishing, a new US indie publisher. Patient Property includes 61 haiku and tanka, with a foreword by Owen Bullock and an afterword by Patricia Prime. Purchase from the publisher or from Kirsten ($20 , including postage within New Zealand, or $NZ25 for overseas). Email Kirsten for details.

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. The first review has been published, on the Australia Haiku Society website. Read Vanessa Proctor’s thoughts here. Short reviews are also available in Frogpond 42.2 and Modern Haiku 50.2.

The editors of number eight wire wish to apologise for the following errors contained in the volume: The haiku that appears on p104 credited to Rosemary Scott was, in fact, written by Lynn Tara Austin. Kirsten Cliff Elliot’s first name has been spelled incorrectly throughout the volume, apart from the bio notes at the end. Elaine Riddell’s haiku on p87 should be set out to resemble a star. Which rather reinforces the editors’ decision that this volume was their one and only foray into publishing an anthology!

4: Summer Haiku is a new collection from expat Kiwi Owen Bullock. Read more and how to order here ($A8.95). Read a review here.

Books New & Noted

1: NOON: An anthology of short poems has been reviewed for Haiku NewZ by Tony Beyer. Read the review here. The anthology is a collection of work published both in print and online by NOON: Journal of the short poem from 2004-17.

2: Broken Starfish is a new volume of haiku and art by Ron C Moss of Tasmania. Read more, and how to order, here. Ron has generously offered buyers in New Zealand the same price as that for Australia, $A22 (includes postage).

3: field of stars is a new collection of haiku and senryu by Lynn Reeves of Tasmania. Read more and see ordering details here.

4: Richard von Sturmer has created Postcard Stories, a collection of 100 old postcards matched with tanka-like poems or text. It was selected as Book of the Week by Newsroom in June. Read that article here.

Publication News

1: Robert Epstein is calling for submissions for an anthology of Signature Haiku (also senryu or tanka): “What is a signature haiku, you ask? Well, it’s one of those poems that you regard as your best, one that defines you as a poet or by which you wish to be remembered.” Unpublished poems accepted but only one poem only per contributor. Your submission may include up to one paragraph of commentary about the poem, which is subject to editing. No remuneration for inclusion.
Submit: By December 31 to Robert Epstein.

2: 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. (Submission of haiku to Leaf-fall opens on October 15.)
Submit: By email to Aikra Yagami with the subject line ‘art cover submission’.

3: 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 November 1. Full details from the website.


To all the winners and placegetters in the NZPS International Haiku Contest (NZ).

Senior (judge Greg Piko, 532 entries): Jac Jenkins (Kohukohu, Hokianga) First & Jeanette Stace Memorial Award; Katherine Raine (Milton, Otago) Second; Vanessa Proctor (Sydney) Third; Sandra Simpson (Tauranga) Fourth; Laurel Astle (Australia) Fifth.

Highly Commended: Katherine Raine (2); Scott Mason (US); Nola Borrell (Lower Hutt, 3); Barbara Strang (Christchurch, 2); Debbie Strange (Canada, 2).

Commended: Vanessa Proctor; Laurel Astle; Barbara Strang; Margaret Beverland (Katikati); Keith Nunes (Pahiatua); Jenny Fraser (Mt Maunganui); Marion Moxham (Palmerston North, 2); Elaine Riddell (Hamilton, 2); Patsy Turner (Akaroa); Catherine Bullock (Waihi).

Junior (judge Anne Curran, 214 entries): Primary/Intermediate: Nikita Ballard (Waiheke Island) First; all other winners are from Christchurch! … Ameer Livne Second; Susanne Rajapaksha Third. Secondary: Evie Johnson First & Jeanette Stace Memorial Award; Finnian Bierwirth Second; Katie Zhang Third.

Read judges’ comments here.

To the New Zealanders with poems selected for the book of the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum Haiku Contest (Japan, 1277 haiku submitted – Ben Clarkson, Steve Clarkson, Barbara Strang, Andre Surridge, Keith Nunes and Farhan Behden. Read it here (opens as a pdf).

Contest results

Harold G Henderson Haiku Award (US)

Gerald Brady Award for Senryu (US)

HSA Haibun Award (US)

HSA Merit Book Awards (US)

Morioka International Haiku Contest (Japan)

Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest (US)

Kaji Aso Haiku Contest (US)

Resobox International Haiku Contest (US)

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

2: Haiku North America 2021, Victoria (Vancouver Island), British Columbia, Canada.