Haiku Happenings

One of two haiku by Andre Surridge painted on to steps at Macandrew Bay school, near Dunedin, as part of the Step Sisters collection in and around the city. Andre also has a tanka featured on steps in Moray Place, Dunedin. The Step Sisters are Ruth Arnison and Sheryl McCammon. Photo: Ruth Arnison

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

May 2021: This is it! The month to polish up your best haiku and submit to the NZ Poetry Society International Haiku Contest. If you haven’t been writing much lately, why not visit our stash of Archived Articles and enjoy the accumulated wisdom there, including The Haiku Habit by Jeanne Emrich; Guidelines for Editing Haiku by Lee Gurga; Thoughts on Juxtaposition by Carmen Sterba; The Use of Language in Haiku by Jim Kacian; and Clarity in the Unsaid by Aubrie Cox. Our own Katherine Raine has composed a useful Haiku Checklist for anyone unsure of the difference between a haiku and a short poem, and a brilliant 47-page booklet on How To Write Haiku, useful for anyone but perhaps especially helpful for teachers.

The Contest listing has been updated to the end of July, while this month’s article by Robert Epstein on the healing powers of haiku.

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: Unfinished Conversations is a free, online collection of tanka by New Zealand poet Anne Curran (Title IX Press, US). Read it here. Go almost to the end of this page to see other books that may be read for free online.

2: Last Train Home is an anthology of contemporary haiku, tanka, and rengay edited by Jacqueline Pearce that includes four New Zealand poets – Nola Borrell, Keith Nunes, Elaine Riddell and the late André Surridge.

childhood summers …
our one day a year
seaside visit
come rain, hail or shine
the train to Scarborough

André Surridge

The book is available from Amazon. A public launch was held on March 22  with a celebration on Facebook and a virtual train tour. Read more about the project here.

3: 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).

dance performance
the front row full
of wheelchairs

Nola Borrell

4: 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

5: 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

6: 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

Online Events

1: Haibun 2×2 (shorter haibun) course with Alan Summers starts June 24. Earlybird price until June 3: £150 (approximately US$209).

Publication & Contest News

1: 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.

2: Life Haiku is a project from Kyoto in Japan sparked by the global pandemic.
Submit: Further, sparse, details available from the website.

3: Bull Headed will be the fourth haiku anthology in a series themed around the Asian Zodiac, edited by Corine Timmer. The project will support the charity Care for Cows Vrindavan. Send up to 3 haiku or senryu (one can be previously published) inspired by oxen, cows or bulls.
Submit: By May 31. Full details from the Facebook page (no login needed).

4: kontinuum is a new online journal from Hungary for haiku and senryu of ‘today and tomorrow’ and is seeking a variety of work including sic-fi haiku, found haiku and monoku (single line), as well as articles. The website contains much more information. The journal will be published in Hungarian and English, twice a year.
Submit: By May 31. See the website for full details.

5: vines is a newish online journal seeking collaborative poetry, sequences and linked verse poems (collaborative or solo). Articles welcomed. Work will be accepted on a rolling basis. vines is part of the hedgerow group.
Submit: See the website for full details and to read the current and past issues of the journal.

6: The Einbond Renku Award, run by the Haiku Society of America, will not take place this year either, after having skipped last year. Vice-president Chuck Brickley says: ‘HSA has decided to postpone the Einbond competition during this year of the continuing pandemic. Our sincerest apologies to anyone who was preparing to enter their work into the contest this year. Hopefully by 2022, renku poets will be gathering together with renewed enthusiasm to practice their beloved art in the manner they are accustomed to, face to face, and the Einbond Renku Award competition can resume.’

7: 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. Ron C Moss of Tasmania and Michelle Root-Bernstein of the US have also been added in March.


To Patsy Turner who has received an Honourable Mention in the Steouchi-Matsuyama Haiku Contest (Japan) with

the shadows
on your doorstep

See all the winning poems written to a photo.

To Sandra Simpson who has been placed Second in the Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest (Romania) with

longest night –
the clay bowl’s
whorls and ridges

See all the winning poems and judge’s comments.

To Owen Bullock who has received an Honourable Mention in the David Cobb Award (British Haiku Society Haiku Contest) with

slow night
at the kebab shop
they watch us eat

Read all the results, haiku, tanka and haibun.

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

emerald sheen 
in the turn of a leaf –
tui song

Contest results

John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku (Australia)

Setouchi-Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest (Japan)

HIA Contest (Japan)

Yugen Haiku Contest (Romania, this is the only display of results I can find)

Touchstone Haiku Awards (US)

Touchstone Distinguished Books Award (US)

Martin Lucas Haiku Award (UK)

AHA Haiku Contest (US) has been won by Daniela Misso of Italy. To see all the winners and the judges’ comments subscribe to the seedpods e-news by joining the UHTS (email Iliyana).

Mainichi Haiku Contest (Japan, opens as a pdf)

Genjuan Haibun Contest (Japan)

Maya Lyubenova Haiku Contest (Bulgaria)

Santoka Haiku Contest (Serbia)

Santoka Haiga Contest (Serbia)

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.

Japan Writers Conference: October 16-17, Tokai University, Shonan Campus in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, free. Most presentations in English. Deadline for proposals is June 1.

Seabeck Haiku Getaway: October 28-31, tentatively, Washington State, US.