Haiku Happenings

kowhai tui2

A tui enjoys the flowering kowhai in my neighbour’s garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson, please do not reuse without permission.

October 2017:  We had 2 fine days in a row this past week and now it’s pouring with rain again and the temperature has fallen. In other words, welcome to spring!

We have news of the Creative Writing and Zen workshops being run by Richard von Sturmer in Auckland this month, as well as the launch details of this year’s NZPS anthology in November.

The Contest page listings have been updated, while this month’s article by Anita Virgil looks at the cycles of senryu. Scott Mason has been in touch with word of a new book he has edited – The Wonder Code. Find details of the special pricing offer available until the end of November towards the end of this page under Books.

American poet and editor Bruce Ross is starting a new journal, Autumn Moon Haiku, find details under Contest & Journal News below. The annual contest he co-ordinates is also seeking entries. A sad item listed is that there is to be no more Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contests and the club that hosted it, the Central Valley Haiku Club (California), is disbanding at the end of next month.

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 Poetry Society Anthology Launch

after the cyclone will be launched on November 12 at 2pm at the Auckland Central Library. All welcome. The anthology has been edited by Gail Ingram and the launch forms part of the NZ Poetry Conference & Festival (November 10-12).

NZ Poetry Conference & Festival

Takes place from November 10-12 in Auckland. Sadly, it’s slim pickings for anyone writing haiku, tanka, etc. Read more here. One-day passes available.

Auckland Group Wanted

Linda Bartlett would like to start a monthly group to discuss haiku, tanka and haibun, meeting from February. Anyone interested may email her for further details, the venue would be in west Auckland.

Writing Courses

Zen & Creative Writing: October 21 & 22, 10am-3.30pm both days, in Auckland, tutored by Richard von Sturmer, $150. The first workshop on Saturday is The Art of Paying Attention and will look at Zen and haiku, taking lessons from the three great haiku masters: Basho, Buson and Issa. “We’ll also discover how haiku can be a way for us to write in the present moment.” The Saturday afternoon workshop will look at tanka. For full details see the website.

Online: The Passion of Haibun with Alan Summers starts on January 8 and has an earlybird rate of  £110 (about $US150). Read the full details here.

Publishing Opportunity

Word-o-Mat in Glasgow is an independent publisher of new, short, international writing run by Charlotte Ormston. “We have recently published a New Zealand writer Zoë Meager and, as we publish new collections regularly, would be thrilled to receive more submissions from New Zealand writers in the future.” More information from the website.

Thanks Wellington LitCrawl’s Claire Mabey for passing this along.

Kapiti District Goes Haiku

Karen Peterson Butterworth has kindly sent this report.

A whole district was introduced to haiku this year when Kapiti District Libraries held their annual poetry competition on the topic, ‘Haiku about Kapiti’. The judges acknowledged that most contestants were new to the form, and gave poetic quality as much consideration as form or tradition. I thought the quality of the Child Section winners was high enough to suggest some excellent local teaching of the form. [All the Child and Teen entries were in 5-7-5. All the Child entries were titled, some of the Teen and some of the Adult – Ed]

Windy sunshine

Ocean glittering
our island looming over
picnic cups flying

Amaya, 1st child section

Matariki on the Kapiti Coast

We always eat kai
Pancakes are our treat for tea

Keagan Davidson, 2nd child section

Adult winners:

Our lady shines
guiding night travellers
safely home

Susan Elizabeth Byford, 1st

High Tide

eating at the beach
twice a day the waves roll up
for their take-away

Mercedes Webb-Pullman, 2nd

Kapiti Island
sleeping giant on his side
Do not disturb him.

John Ewen, 3rd

Karen received an Honourable Mention for:

commuter train
thumbs and voices all in touch
with somewhere else

Karen Peterson Butterworth

Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology

Margaret Beverland and Sandra Simpson take great pleasure in announcing that a Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology is to be published next year. The anthology will come a decade after the publication of the taste of nashi, edited by Nola Borrell and Karen Peterson Butterworth, which itself followed the two national haiku anthologies  edited by Cyril Childs and published in 1993 and 1998.

New Zealand residents may submit up to 10 haiku/senryu that have been published since 2008, including publication details. The anthology is intended as a survey of New Zealand haiku over the past 10 years so submissions of fewer than 10 haiku are also welcome.

Closing date for submissions is April 30, 2018. The editors require that only one submission be made. Email submissions and/or queries to the editors at Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology.

New Zealand Writer Residencies

Needing some time for a writing project? While it’s hard, if not impossible, to obtain funding for haiku, etc, projects here are some ideas that may be useful (note that most application periods will now be 2018).

NZ Pacific Studio, Wairarapa – from 1 week to 3 months, open year-round. See the website for full details (self-funded).
Wild Creations – a relaunch of the award that was available until 2013. Note that, unfortunately, you’ll have to apply through Creative NZ. But it seems like a good fit for haiku poets.
Caselberg Trust, Dunedin – funded and self-funded residencies.
Asia NZ Foundation – various study grants and residencies.
Auckland Council Artist in Residence – placement in a regional park.

Unesco World Heritage Status Pursued for Haiku

Sort-of an update but also a useful backgrounder to this campaign being run out of Japan. Read the article here.

Free Haiku Writing Help

Quendryth Young of Australia has penned A Haiku Workshop guide, made available for free download through the Sydney School of Arts, for those new to haiku or wanting to revisit their writing practice.

And don’t forget the excellent Learning to Write Haiku booklet put together by Katherine Raine for the NZ Poetry Society, which contains lesson plans for teachers, as well being a ‘teach yourself’ guide. Click on the link to download the document for free. 

Contest & Journal News

1: Bruce Ross is starting a new journal – Autumn Moon Haiku – which will be published twice a year. Poems should have an emphasis on feeling connected to nature and, if seasonal, match that issue’s season. Haiku should also tend towards the traditional though one-line poems are welcome. Send 1 to 3 original unpublished haiku for each issue through email (Subject line: ‘Autumn Moon Haiku Journal’) in the body of the email. Haiku in languages other than English welcome if an English translation is included.
Submit: A website is being constructed. In the meantime send 1-3 haiku by email to editor Bruce Ross. Deadlines are November 1 (autumn/winter) and May 1 (spring/summer).

2: Results to the Fleeting Words Tanka Contest will be published in the November edition of Seedpods, the United Haiku and Tanka Society newsletter (free to subscribe).

3: Pulse journal is accepting haiku submissions in October with a selection published next year. The journal emails haiku to subscribers and posts them on the Pulse home page every other week before archiving. Haiku editor is Neal Whitman – read his outline of what he wants here.
Submit: By October 31. Full details from the website (scroll to bottom).

4: The latest special feature edition from Atlas Poetica is science fiction tanka and and kyoka co-edited by Julie Bloss Kelsey and Susan Burch. Poets are invited to send up to 10 poems each, although each poet selected will be represented by only one poem.
Submit: By November 30. For full details see the website.

5: Yvonne Cabalona, administrator for the Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contest, which usually closes on December 1, advises there will be no further iterations of the contest. “Our club [Central Valley Haiku Club in California] has grown quite small and the current members have moved away from writing haiku into other areas of creativity.  Next month (November) we will hold our last meeting and disband the group.”

6: Nominations have opened for this year’s Touchstone Poem Awards  and Touchstone Book Awards run by The Haiku Foundation. For the poem awards each nominator may select up to 2 haiku for an award – one by someone else and one of the nominator’s own poems.
Submit: By December 31. Poem award details here. Book award details here.


To Sandra Simpson who has received two Honourable Mentions in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Invitational (Canada). Read all the winning poems here.

taking his nap outside
my father returns
with blossoms in his hair

– Sandra Simpson

And to 16-year-old Amy Wells of Christchurch who won the Youth section with

blossoms float down
graduation hats fly up
a new beginning

– Amy Wells

To Barbara Strang, Hansha Teki and Patsy Turner who all have work included in the  Jumble Box anthology edited by Michael Dylan Welch and chosen from haiku posted on Nahaiwrimo during February this year. It contains work by 100 haiku poets from around the world.

To Steven Clarkson who has received a Merit Award in the inaugural Montenegro International Haiku Festival with

heat wave
the house fly drinks
my beer

NZPS International Haiku Contest: First place and the Jeanette Stace Memorial Award Margaret Beverland of Katikati (also a Commended poem). Second Katherine Raine of Milton (also 2 Highly Commended and 5 Commended!); Third Simon Hanson of Australia; Fourth Jan Dobb (Australia, plus one Commended) and Fifth Catherine Bullock (Waihi, plus one Highly Commended).

sowing mustard seed …
the brush of a bumblebee
against my skin

– Margaret Beverland, First & the Jeanette Stace Memorial Award

Highly Commended: Barbara Strang (Christchurch); Cynthia Rowe (Australia, plus one Commended); Vanessa Proctor (Australia). Commended: Nola Borrell (Lower Hutt); Ron C Moss (Australia) and Karen Peterson Butterworth (Waikanae).

Read all the winning poems and the judge’s report here.

Other Contest results:

Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards (US)

Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award (US), 1,624 haiku from 359 poets.

Mandy’s Annual Tanka Contest (US), 84 entries.

Ito-en Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest (Japan), 18,248 entries in the English section.

Books, New & Noted

1: The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes edited by Scott Mason, associate editor at The Heron’s Nest. The book has received high praise from Cor van der Heuval and Michael McClintock. “… it shows how the mindful and pleasurable practice of reading haiku poetry can help us reconnect with the everyday wonder we may have last experienced as children.” Special introductory pricing applies until the end of November. Read more, and order, here.

John Stevenson, The Heron’s Nest managing editor, says “The Wonder Code is both a book about haiku and a book of haiku. It contains five linked essay chapters by Scott (plus an Introduction and Afterword) as well as five extensive ‘galleries’ of haiku poems, each related to the theme of its preceding chapter. Altogether the volume features more than 450 standout haiku, all of which first appeared in The Heron’s Nest in the last two decades. And for those who have come to appreciate Scott’s own work, the book includes a separate, generous selection of his haiku.”

2: Bushfire Moon, by Ron C. Moss, is subtitled “poems and prose by a Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Fighter”. To order a signed copy, and inquire about postage, email Ron.

3: Blowing Up Balloons: Baby Poems For Parents (Red Moon Press, 2017) is a collection by Vanessa Proctor and Greg Piko. New Zealanders can order the book directly from the authors, $NZ24 for a single copy (PayPal available). For more information email Vanessa or Greg. Read a review here.

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.

Free e-Books

Snapshot Press has a number of recent e-books for free download – Stone Circles by Cynthia Rowe (haibun), A Fence Without Wire by Simon Chard (haiku), thronging cranes by Allan Burns (haiku), The Eternity of Waves by Susan Constable (tanka) and All the Windows Lit by Rich Youmans (haibun) join A Dawn of Ghosts by Thomas Powell (haiku), A Colour for Leaving by Cherie Hunter Day (tanka), Goodbye by Roger Jones (haibun) and the unseen arc by Kala Ramesh (tanka). Visit the website to choose a title. There are other, previously published titles also available.

Ancient Bloodlines is a free e-book of collaborative rengay by Simon Hanson and Ron C Moss, plus artwork by Ron. Download here.


1: Zen & Creative Writing Workshop

October 21-22, Auckland, New Zealand. Full details posted here.

2: Seabeck Haiku Getaway

October 26-29, Seabeck Conference Centre, Washington State. Details posted here.

3: Haiku North America

August 7-11, 2019, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. See the website.tle