Haiku Happenings

The Indian Paradise Garden looking stunning at Hamilton Gardens. Photo: Sandra Simpson

As of midnight on February 22 all of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 1. See the official website for restrictions.

February 2021: Thought I’d sneak a few extra days into February this year, especially as I didn’t do a proper update in January.

Forget the Year of the Ox, 2021 is clearly the Year of Rengay – a new journal, two contests … it’s beginning to feel like world domination for this linked verse form. Don’t know what rengay is? Its founder, Garry Gay, reveals all in this month’s article and includes a couple of lovely examples.

The Contest listing has been updated to the end of April, but there will be some additions this month as a couple of contests open only after February 1, and one of them is only open for the month. Don’t forget that February is also NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month) and you can be anywhere in the world to participate. Details are below in Haiku Happenings.

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

New Books

1: jar of rain is the 25th anniversary edition of the annual Red Moon anthology, which collects ‘the finest haiku and related forms published around the world’ in a calendar year. Congratulations to New Zealand writers Nola Borrell, Isabel Caves and Sandra Simpson who all have haiku included, and Tim Roberts, whose essay on haiku and Parkinson’s disease was first published by Haiku NewZ! Click on the link for ordering information ($US17).

2: 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

3: Light and Counterlight is a new book of haiku and senryu by Australian poet Mark Miller (Ginninderra Press). $A20 from the publisher, I couldn’t easily work out postage costs.

inside the ocean the names of all the rivers

Mark Miller

4: 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


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 Events

American poet and editor Charlotte Digregorio is hosting a Zoom poetry workshop, Write & Publish Great Poetry, on Sunday, April 18, 2 to 3.30pm (Illinois time; Auckland is 19 hours ahead). For information and registration (free workshop for all from everywhere) visit this website. Charlotte is the author of seven books, one of her most recent being Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All.

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

Publication News

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

2: In 2021 Poetry Pea, until now a quarterly print journal, has become a monthly online journal combined with a podcast which includes the reading of selected haiku and senryu.
Submit: Full details from the website.

3: New online journal tsuri-dōrō is accepting submissions for its second issue until the end of April. Editor Tony Pupello is seeking haiku, senryu and ‘related’.
Submit: By April 30. See the website for full details.

4: 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.

5: Failed Haiku editor Mike Rehling has added a YouTube channel to his empire! He has recently posted two interviews with Roberta Beary – one on haiku (48:27) and one on haibun (42:09, a how-to talk from Roberta). Great craic, as they might say in Roberta’s adopted homeland of Ireland.

6: NOON, journal of the short poem, is moving to an annual publication. Details will be posted on the website soon.

7: Skylark tanka journal has closed. Editor Claire Everett says small books may be produced from time to time. Issues from 2013-17 are available to read on the website.

7: 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.


To Anne Curran who has won the Pinesong Haiku Award (US) with

emerald sheen 
in the turn of a leaf –
tui song

To Anne Curran who has received an Honourable Mention in the HPNC Tanka Contest (US) with

table talk
spills into politics––
I seize the nutcracker
from my sister
and squeeze

See all the winning poems, including haiku and senryu, and judge’s comments here.

Contest results

Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest (US)

Iris Haiku Contest (Croatia)

Basho-an Haiku Contest (Japan)

Debbie Strange is the winner of the Snapshot Press Book Award for 2020 (UK).

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)

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 15-17, a virtual event via Zoom coming to you from Victoria (Vancouver Island), British Columbia, Canada.