Haiku Happenings

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Detail from the Mairangi Bay School (Auckland) Gold medal garden at the 2018 NZ Flower and Garden Show. PHOTO: Sandra Simpson

December 2018: Last month was spring at its best – and worst! Torrential rain, even snow in the South Island, as well as periods of soaring temperatures. Today, is warm but damp so goodness knows what summer has in store for us. But whatever the weather is doing, Christmas is coming! So let me wish all of you a very happy and safe Christmas and I hope to see you back here again in 2019. It’s hard to believe that it will be my 14th year as editor!

I’m looking forward to having the Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology in my hands early next year. Margaret and I are very pleased with the content so now we want to do our best to make the volume look and feel great.

The Contest listing has been updated to the beginning of March. Please remember that it’s refreshed as information comes to hand so it’s always worth checking back during the month.

I’m delighted to add Jenny Fraser to the Haiku Showcase page – see her page here or have a look at the index of all authors featured. Jenny is a former longtime Waikato resident who now lives in Mount Maunganui.

This month’s article is by Ferris Gilli and discusses verbless haiku.

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

Helen Bascand Book Launch

Helen’s literary executor Joanna Preston reports that Helen’s final collection will be launched by Bernadette Hall on December 13 in Christchurch. time to sing before the dark includes both Helen’s long-form poetry and some of her haiku. Read more here. See Helen’s Haiku Showcase Page here.

AHS Summer Haiku String

The Australian Haiku Society will host a summer solstice haiku string on the theme of change, beginning December 22. See the website for details.

Wellington Japanese Festival

Nola Borrell and Bevan Greenslade took haiku to the people in central Wellington on November 24. Nola writes: “Our Haiku Stall was right at the entrance to the arena.  On one poster I described (concisely!) differences between Japanese haiku and New Zealand haiku. On the other poster I gave a simple account of NZPS’s international haiku competition with examples from the 2018 competition.

“Jennifer King, Festival organiser, wrote: ‘… your haiku lucky dip was a great success. At least 1000 people took away a poem, and many more read one and put it back in the bucket’.”


The Haiku Stall at the Wellington festival. Photo: Jennifer King.

NZPS 2018 Anthology 

The 2018 NZPS anthology, edited by Gail Ingram, is entitled The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation and was launched on November 8 in Wellington. Read how to order here.

NZ Publishing Opportunity

Cloud Ink Press, publisher of Fresh Ink: A Collection of Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand 2017, is gathering material for a second anthology to be published in late 2019. The editors invite submissions of: Haiku, tanka, etc; prose (fiction or creative non-fiction); poetry; illustrated stories or flash fiction (perhaps haibun would fit there too).

Open to: All New Zealanders, who are either living in New Zealand or have a New Zealand passport.
Closes: December 23.
Cost: Send 5 haiku or tanka for $30; or 3 pieces of poetry or flash fiction for $30; or 1 story (maximum 4000 words) for $30.
Full details from the website.

Valley Micropress Closes

Vol 21, issue 10 (out this month) will be the last Valley Micropress – after 21 years. Tony Chad has edited them all and says in his editorial announcing the decision: “I am looking forward now to letting go, ‘finishing the old chapter’ and seeing what will be in the new chapter of life”.

So as we farewell a valuable outlet for New Zealand haiku, tanka and haibun (as well as mainstream poetry), we must also salute Tony for selflessly providing that outlet for a sterling 21 years. He has some back issues on half-price sale, from 2012 although not full sets for every year. Email Tony to find out more.

The Mozzie, the sister publication of Valley Micropress, continues as usual.

Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology

Final selections have been made for the Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology (a catchier title is on the way) and the poems have been assembled into page drafts by editors Sandra Simpson and Margaret Beverland who are beginning the process of working with a printer, including gathering quotes and discussing artwork. To do the collection justice, the decision has been made to delay publication until early-ish next year. The editors thank the 69 poets included for their patience.

Spanish Haiku in Translation

Haiku from Iberia and Beyond is a 318-page anthology featuring poems originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Basque, Catalan and Galician, as well as a selection of haiku by first-generation Japanese migrants living in Latin America. Translated by Danny Blackwell, the volume include footnotes that contextualise the poems for an English-speaking audience. Read more, including purchase details, here. Kindle options are also available.

Publication & Contest News

1: New online journal Human/Kind is seeking submissions for its first issue. Send 5-10 senryu/haiku; 2-4 senryu/haiku sequences; 5-10 tanka/cherita; 5-10 visual art; 2-3 haibun – although any one total submission must be to a maximum of 10 pieces. Editors are Aparna Pathak, Shloka Shankar, Robin Anna Smith and Christine Taylor.
Submit: By December 21. Full details from the website.

2: Online journal KYSO Flash is seeking “haibun and tanka tales” for issue 11.
Submit: By January 31. Full details from the website.

3: Not Very Quiet is an Australian journal: “We seek to publish in the intersection of women and poetry.” For issue 4 it is open to many forms including haiku, tanka and haibun.
Submit: January 1-31. Full details from the website.

4: There are  a couple of French-language haiku contests coming up:

5: Organisers of the Katikati Haiku Pathway Contest advise there not be a contest this year, but that they will be back in 2020 with a competition to mark the 20th anniversary of the pathway opening.

6: Looking for scholarly articles on haiku? JuxtaFour, newly published by The Haiku Foundation, may be the answer. Read the issues here.

7: Atlas Poetica (tanka journal) is facing some technical issues but hopes to bring ATPO35 out in December. Editor M Kei is on the lookout for freelancer who can produce cover images suitable for uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing. A small stipend is available. Read more here.

8: Prune Juice, a journal of senryu, kyoka and haiga, is changing editors – the November issue will be the last edited by Steve Hodge (who has been in the chair since 2009) with Brent Goodman taking over for the March 2019 issue.


To Jenny Fraser who has received an Honourable Mention in the Autumn Moon Haiku Contest (US) with

autumnal colours
falling away
some part of myself

Read all the winning poems here.

To 10-year-old Daniel Flaszynski of Christchurch who has won the youth section of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational (Canada) with

Early morning
the cherry blossom
opens my hand

and the many young writers from Christchurch who received Sakura Awards and Honourable Mentions in the Youth section.

And to Andre Surridge who received an Honourable Mention in the International section with

stroke for stroke
through floating cherry blossom
tandem canoe

Read all the winning poems here.

Contest results

Johnny Baranski Memorial Haiku Contest (US)

Jane Reichhold Haiga Competition (US, opens as a pdf)

Soap Haiku Contest (US)

Porad Haiku Award (US)

Books, New & Noted

1: Wishbone Moon ($US17, Jacar Press, 2018), edited by Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton and Kala Ramesh, an anthology of haiku by women in the international haiku community. Order from the website.

2: Persimmon edited by Stephen Henry Gill ($US18, Hailstone Haiku Circle, 2017). Read a review by Vanessa Proctor.

3: 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 den 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.” Read more, and order, here. 

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 – 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: Haiku Canada, 2019

May 17-19, 2019, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus, Vancouver. Further details from the website.

2: Haiku North America 2019

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

3: World Haiku Association 2019

The 10th conference marks the WHA’s 20th anniversary and will be held in September in Tokyo.