Haiku Websites & Resources

Here we curate a list of fantastic haiku websites and resources from around the world. We’re sure you’ll find something compelling and inspiring so we encourage you to spend some time exploring. Back to Haiku Happenings.

Alexis Rotella Reads : A YouTube video with some of her haiku and “short mystical poems” set to music. Part 2 here.

American Haiku Archives Honourary Curators : There’s a bio of each one and a selection of their work. There are some big names there.

Another Kind of Poetry : A website put up by the British Haiku Society in 2010 as a starting point for anyone interested in the history and practice of haiku in English and in Britain.

Arrivals : The haiku of Stella Pierides paired with images and a soundtrack by Rob Ward (4:51).

Ask Jane : American haijin Jane Reichhold answers your questions on haiku. On the same website is a collection of Jane’s thoughts on how to write haiku.

Bare Bones School of Haiku : American poet and teacher Jane Reichhold has loaded up a series of lessons on her A-Ha website. The lessons are offered for free download and distribution so long as they are not sold.

Basho & Philosophy : A 5-minute YouTube film that covers a great deal.

Basho & the Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones : A YouTube video that is an excellent short film, re-creating a startling incident from Basho’s travels. A print interview with the director, Babak Gray, is here.

Beyond the Haiku Moment : An oft-quoted essay by Professor Haruo Shirane that, among other things, discusses metaphor in haiku, seasonal words and, what he terms, the vertical and horizantel axes of haiku.

Blue Willow Haiku World : US haijin Fay Aoyagi translates a contemporary Japanese haiku into English each day.

Contemporary Persian Haiku : An essay with examples in both the original Farsi and English translations.

Crafting of Haiku : An interview with Anita Virgil on points to keep in mind when mining for “gold” (podcast).

Electronic Poetry Network : A week’s worth of daily poems posted at a time (submissions sought).

The Eternal Grasshopper : Translations of haiku by the Japanese masters, paired with woodblock art, also by the masters.

Four Seasons of Haiku : Haiku written by a group of contributing poets, many of them English, from 2006 onwards (plus the Japanese masters), recording the changing of the seasons.

Gendai Haiku : A collection of some modern Japanese haiku in a variety of media (gendai = modern).

Ginko : A 2012 video interview with Dr Akito Arima (in English, 20 minutes).

Graceguts : Is the website of Michael Dylan Welch, featuring poetry, essays and plenty more.

Haiku, the Art of the Short Poem : A 6-minute trailer (YouTube) for a longer film, featuring some well-known American writers.

Haiku Chronicles : A steadily building collection of podcasts on haiku, tanka and haibun.

Haiku in Classical Greek : An erudite author shares tips on writing haiku in a dead language.

Haiku Dream, Winter Walk : A lovely short film (1min 30) featuring haiku by the masters.

Haiku Movies on You-Tube : A list provided on the World Haiku Association website. Most of the readers are Japanese, but Jack Kerouac and Jim Kacian both feature. Heaps faster if you have Broadband! The content list is updated now and again.

The Haiku Path : Looks at the spirituality of haiku with examples from the old masters (pdf).

Haiku Podcasts : On the website of Haiku Chronicles – for those unfamiliar with the term podcast it essentially means a digital file (audio or visual) that is available via the web only (i.e., it’s not a radio broadcast). More poets will be added as time passes.

Haiku: Poetry of Focus : Scott Mason discusses haiku and his own writing practice (video: 57 minutes).

Haiku Primer by Jim Kacian : Thoughts on his craft by one of the world’s leading contemporary writers.

Haiku in Wales : Welsh poet Nigel Jenkins is interviewed on BBC Wales about haiku and the 2012 Wales haiku anthology Another Country he co-edited. The interview is 8 minutes and 35 seconds long.

HaikuWall : A film that combines a haiku-writing project for students in Pune (India) with art images (7.30).

Haiku in Western Languages : A site from Hungary (TAO) which collects together work by such disparate writers as Leonard Cohen, Billy Collins and Matsuo Basho. There’s much of interest.

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

Issa, read by Robert Hass : A 2-minute YouTube movie.

Kukai

There are some online/email kukai groups operating – poets submit one (anonymous)  entry and all the poets participating then vote to decide the winners. Kukai are for unpublished, un-workshopped poems that are written to a set theme.

  • The Caribbean Kigo Kukai closes on the 10th of the month.
  • The European Quarterly Kukai is open for the first week of the month that starts each quarter. Open to all, not just residents of Europe.
  • The International Kukai closes on the first of each month.
  • The Romanian Kukai celebrated its fifth birthday in 2012. This one is run in the Romanian language only.
  • The long-established Shiki Kukai holds two monthly contests, one for a set kigo and one for a “free format” topic (with or without a kigo). More information, including archives, may be found on the website. The kukai closed in 2016.
  • Sketchbook journal holds the occasional kukai.

James Hackett : A site featuring the poetry and thoughts of an acknowledged leader in bring haiku to the West.

Janice Bostok : A leader in bringing haiku to mainstream attention in Australasia.

Japanese Haiku Poets : Old and new poets, an extensive resource from Dr Gabi Greve.

Jim Kacian, an Interview: The interview ranges over his life and work and includes haiga.

John Cage : Seven Haiku (2.06).

Juxtapositions is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to haiku research and scholarship, put out by The Haiku Foundation.

Kiwi Poets on Film : As part of The Haiku Foundation video archive see Ernie Berry (2012, 4.55 minutes long); Sandra Simpson (2012, 7.44); Catherine Mair (2012, 3.52).

Matsuo Basho’s Trails : A two-part YouTube film. Part 1 explains something of the historical backdrop of the Edo period to Basho’s life. Part 2 continues the story and explores the development of hokku (haiku).

Lafcadio Hearn and Haiku : An essay by Cor van der Hueval about the life and work of the Irish-Greek man who was one of the first to  translate haiku into English.

Learning to Write Haiku : NZPS member Katherine Raine has done a brilliant job in compiling a 47-page booklet for those teaching and wanting to teach haiku.

Lesson Plans : For all ages, but particularly aimed at schoolchildren.

The Living Haiku Anthology : Poets from around the world contribute their thoughts and favourite haiku. The site is ongoing.

Mann Library’s Daily Haiku : Featuring a new author each month, as chosen by Tom Clausen. Archives available.

Marlene Mountain : The site of a woman who has pioneered all sorts of things, haiku and otherwise, but primarily one-line haiku.

Modern Haiku : The august American journal has collected together its first 10 years of work (1969-79) and put it on to a CD-ROM, available for purchase. Read full details here.

Monostitch : A site dedicated to one-line haiku. Submissions by invitation only.

Narrow Road to the Disaster Zone : In 2012 Japan-based haiku poet Stephen Henry Gill (Tito) made a BBC radio documentary following in Basho’s footsteps but looking at the journey through contemporary eyes and contemplating the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The documentary is 30 minutes long and may be heard here.

Nick Viriglio Poetry Project : Is maintained by Rutgers University in the US in memory of the late poet.

Natsume Soseki’s London : 2016 marked the centenary of Natsume Soskei’s death, while 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of his birth. Damian Flanagan has given a talk about the London that Soseki knew. Watch a video of it here (1 hour 5 minutes). Soseki, who wrote haiku and renku as well as novels, is considered the greatest modern writer in Japan. He lived in London from 1901-03.

Resilience : Is a documentary film about poets who have survived great trauma in, for instance, Japan, and Rwanda. Read more about the film and see a trailer here. Haiku poet Yasuhiko Shigemoto, who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, features in the stills gallery.

R H Blyth : A website on the life and work of the poet and translator.

Scandanavian Haiku : Irish poetry journal Shamrock here features a selection of poems (in English) from writers in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Teaching Haiku to Children : A list of links to lesson plans and ideas. NB: Children in Grade 1 in the US are 6 years of age.

Temps Libre : Is a bilingual (English/French) site that includes poems, articles, essays, etc.

World of Haiku : A growing collection of histories at The Haiku Foundation. A new country posted each month in 2015 and 2016.

Zip : A rundown on what zip poems are, and why the form was developed. From the always-erudite and always-entertaining John Carley.

Tanka:

A History of Tanka in English Part 1 : The North American Foundation, 1899-1985 (this version completed on January 4, 2011)

Atlas Poetica : In 2010 this online journal began a series of “special features” collecting the work of 25 poets from selected countries.

Bibliography of English-Language Tanka : Updated to December 31, 2010.

Eucalypt : Is Australia’s first and only journal dedicated to tanka. Its website includes essays and reviews.

Kozue Uzawa’s Page : The co-editor of Gusts has her own page in both English and Japanese. Also poems by contemporary writers.

Tanka Online : A help desk for tanka writers, featuring articles, recommended reading and a tanka gallery.

Wind Five-Folded School of TankaJane Reichhold’s tanka school in her free Bare Bones series (links to the Bare Bones Schools of Haiku and Renku may also be found on Worth a Look).

Renku/Renga:

Bare Bones School of Renga : By Jane Reichhold. The lessons are offered for free download and distribution so long as they are not sold.

Haikai Poetics: Buson, Kitō and the Interpretation of Renku Poetry : Is a dissertation by Herbert Jonsson. To read it in pdf format scroll down the page and click on Fulltext01 under “File Information”.

Issa’s Snail : Is an online writing site, open to all. Generally, a team of writers is recruited before a sequence begins.

Omelette : Is a 2-person “traditional spring kasen” by Jane Reichhold and Sue Stanford which appears with the author’s comments appended under each verse to give some insights into the writing.

Renku Home : By the late William Higginson, includes sample renku.

The Renku Group : Is an online site where participants are encouraged to learn how to be a sabiki (renku leader), as well as to sign up to join the many renku (and many forms on renku) on offer. There are also workshops and exercises, as well as wider reading on renku.

Haiga:

A Leaf Rustles : The site of Canadian writer and photographer Laryalee Faser.

Butterfly Dreams : A sample of the book by William J Higginson and photographer Michael Lustbader which contains translated classical Japanese haiku.

The Green Leaf Files : A British site that offers haiga created from haiku by the Japanese masters, contemporary haiga by a variety of artists and poems illustrated by the green leaf. Note that the poetry pages are free verse, but include works by Billy Collins (Japan, among them) and, of interest to New Zealanders, by Kapka Kassabova.

HaikuBuds : The website of Carol Raisfield (US). Enjoy her photos and haiga, as well as haiku and multi-media exercises.

HaikuLife 2015 : Stella Pierides marries her haiku to the seascape paintings of Alfred Wallis (4:51).

Jerry Dreesen : An American poet and artist, including haiga.

Narrow Road Haiga : Well-known haiga artist Kuni-san is creating digital art to go with Basho’s haiku in The Narrow Road to the North.

Narrow Road to the Deep North : A gallery of 5 images by Michael S Yamashita of the National Geographic.

Ray’s Web : Ray Rasmussen is a Canadian photographer and writer of haiku and haibun. See haiga using his own poems or those using his pictures and poems by others.

Ron Moss : Ron, who lives in Tasmania, is a poet and artist, creating haiga from both photographs and paintings.

See Haiku Here: Is the blog of Japanese haiga artist Kuniharu Shimizu.

Starting Out in Haiga : This is a practical tuition by Ray Rasmussen from the Haiga Online website.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird : A computer animation take on the famous (haiku-like) Wallace Stevens’ poem. Click on “start” then choose a number to see the interpretation by Edward Picot.

Write a Haiku Inspired by a Photo : An English-language site out of Japan offers the chance to add your haiku to a wide range of photos. You can contribute words and/or photos.

Free to Read Online

A Film of Words : Linked verse by Jane and Werner Reichhold, “symbiotic multi-genre poetry”.

AHA Books : Many titles, mostly haiku and/or tanka collections, but not only.

A Hundred Gourds : The archives of the well-respected journal 2011-16.

American Haiku in Four Seasons : Haiku by Jane Reichhold, selected by Kazuo Sato (president of the Museum of Haiku Literature in Tokyo, Japan). Published in 1993 by Yilin Press, Nanjing, China.

A Procession of Ripples : An anthology selected by Laryalee Fraser. Published online in 2012.

Around the World as Briefly as Possible : Jim Kacian’s diary of his journeys and haiku 2000-2002, including New Zealand. An extended haibun of sorts.

Basho’s Haiku :  Selected and translated by David Landis Barnhill with a Basho timeline and a lengthy introduction. Published 2004.

Blue Moon : by Hiromi Kawakami and translated by Lucy North (Granta). Published 2014.

Brooks Books : A series of haiku and and haiku-related books from this US publisher, some by well-known poets. Donations happily accepted.

Day’s End : Is an online collection of haiku, tanka and photos about ageing, chosen by Ray Rasmussen and Anita Virgil. To read the poems choose “index of poets” from the left-hand menu.

Day’s End II : From the same source but in this one click on the “next” at the top right-hand corner of the screen to turn pages.

Gean Tree Books : Shut up shop in 2013. The free e-book archive disappeared and then re-appeared. Don’t blame me if it’s gone again when you try the link! 🙂

Haiku Dreaming : A collection of Australia-theme haiku (not all written by Australians, submissions sought).

Haiku Harvest : A pdf collection of the journal for the years 2000-2006.

Haiku News : A compilation of haiku, some by well-known writers, based on current events and headlines, 2012-2015.

History of Australian Haiku : By Rob Scott, his Master’s thesis (download as a pdf).

History of New Zealand Haiku : By Sandra Simpson et al (download as a pdf).

Imprints of Dreams :  A collection of haiku by Damir Damir, a sailor in the merchant navy who was born in Montenegro. Read the poems in pdf form (click on the link to download). The haiku appear in his native language, English and Japanese. Published 2011.

Juxtapositions : A journal dedicated to haiku theory and research, some articles scholarly, some less so. Downloads as a pdf.

Manyoshu : This is the title of a book of poetry that celebrated its 1250th anniversary in 2010. The link takes you to a pdf selection of poems, most of which are tanka. Published 2009.

Montage : On The Haiku Foundation site is a collection that features 3 poets at a time on an overall theme. Published weekly in 2009.

Muttering Thunder 2014: An annual of haiku and art.

Nothing but the Wind : By John Carley. Haiku inspired by the artwork of Hiroshige. Click on the title or the cover image on the bookshelf.

Practical Haiku : By Dylan Tweney is a short how-to book with examples.

Romance Under a Waning Moon : A collection about love in later life, edited by Ray Rasmussen and featuring haiku, tanka, haibun and illsutrations. An ongoing project.

Round Renga Round : A collection of 15 kasen that began in 1989 and included some well-known poets. Editor Jane Reichhold made the book freely available on line in 2012 with a new introduction.

Simply Haiku Journal : Archives from 2003-2009.

Simply Haiku : Apparently defunct, but the journal’s website is still active and 2 issues from 2013 are available.

Snapshot Press e-books : Many e-books available, a good resource.

The Digital Library : Is a project at The Haiku Foundation.

Tobacco Road  : US writer’s Curtis Dunlap lively website/blog included the 3 favourite poems of well-known authors and their answers to  “three haiku questions”.

Views : A collection of essays by Jack Galmitz on authors, books and haiku pushing the boundaries of the form.

Where Light Begins : The haiku of Gabriel Rosenstock available to read online here. The book includes an essay on Issa by Gabriel Rosenstock. Published 2012.

White Heron, the authorised biography of Janice Bostok : By Sharon Dean.

Wind : Is an e-book by Kuni Simizu, featuring his digital art combined with haiku by poets from all over the world, including Ron Riddell of New Zealand. The book is available to read for free online. Use the magnifying glass tool in the top right corner to zoom in to the pages.

With Cherries on Top : A pdf book edited by Michael Dylan Welch and containing work from NaHaiWriMo 2012.

World of Haiku : A collection of essays and articles at The Haiku Foundation, published from 2015-2017, one country a month.

Discussion:

Big Sky Haiku : Find out more about Japanese writer Hosai Ozaki and read a review of Right Under the Big Sky, I Don’t Wear a Hat, a collection of one-line haiku that, according to a post by W F Owen, go back to the roots of seeking out the marvellous in our mundane lives. To read more of Bill’s insightful thoughts go here and scroll down to “The Simple Life”.

Haiku Economics : Is the title of an essay on the Poetry Foundation website, written by Stephen Ziliak, a professor of economics … and also a writer of haiku.

Seamus Heaney on Haiku : The Irish poet in The Guardian newspaper (UK).

What is Haiku? : In 2009 Haiku Oz members were invited to send definitions to the website. Moderator John Bird has archived them all and drawn some conclusions.

What a Haiku Isn’t : John Dunphy cogitates in the St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper (US).

Useful Lists:

Haiku Blogs : A list of many of the internet’s many, many haiku-related blogs.

Japanese Literary Terms : A glossary by Jane Reichhold.

William Higginson’s Useful List : Links to haiku & related form journals, groups etc.

Writer Profiles : A series of biographies of North American writers has been put together by students at Millikin University.

Season Words:

A list by the late Bill Higginson; a list by Jane Reichhold; a list from the Yuki Teikei Haiku Group (California).

The list being developed by World Kigo Database. There is a section for the Southern Hemisphere, but no entries yet for New Zealand. There is also the possibility to ask questions about season words.

John Bird at Haiku Dreaming has some thoughts on seasonal words for Australia.

John has also written Coming Clean on Kigo, an essay applicable to any country outside Japan.

This list at the University of Virginia website includes pictures, audio, etc in its “full entry” list. The sajiki is more of a traditional Japanese one.

Japanese Masters:

Narrow Road to the Deep North : A website full of fascinating bits and pieces to illuminate Basho’s great work, plus links to other useful sites. This website is a translated and illustrated reproduction of the book. Find ordering details of the sheet music of The Narrow Road to the Deep North (music by Roger Smalley) here.

Matsuo Basho : This is a link to the National Geographic website about the reasearch behind an article on Retracing Basho’s Footsteps.

Basho’s Poems : A selection of haiku by three different translators. More poems here and links to similar pages for Buson and Issa.

Janice Bostok on Basho : Some thoughts on his life and work.

Basho’s Sexuality : An essay by Dimitar Anakiev offers an insight into this poet we all think we know so well.

Database of Japanese Haiku Poets : Old and new, an extensive resource from Dr Gabi Greve.

Japanese Literature Author Index : Includes biographies of modern and “pre-modern” writers in all genres, as well as samples of their work.

31 old pond Translations : Ha! (Includes a limmerick by Alfred Marks.)

9000 Issa Haiku : Dedicated to the Japanese master, created and maintained by David Lanoue.

Janice Bostok on Issa : Some thoughts on the poet’s life and work.

Yosa Buson – Haiku Master : An article, including haiku from Kyoto Journal.

Janice Bostok on Buson : Some thoughts on the poet’s life and work. (undated)

Janice Bostok on Shiki : Some thoughts on the poet’s life and work.

A Selection from the Masters : Terebess Asia Online (TAO) has collected work by Basho, Buson, Shiki, Santoka and Nakagawa with biographical information about each poet. The translations can be a bit wild, but they’re okay generally.

Stanford M Forrester on Santoka Taneda : This drunkard was a failure at most things (including suicide) until he was taken into a Buddhist temple. He became a Zen monk who walked … and wrote. Taneda died in 1940.

Publishers:

Red Moon Press : Run by Jim Kacian, a tireless publisher of haiku and related forms (US), with a formidable reputation.

Snapshot Press : Run by John Barlow, produces award-winning books. including e-books, and the annual haiku calendar (UK).

Academic Resources:

American Haiku Archives : The largest collection of books, papers, etc., in English, held in the California State Library in Sacremento. The collection may be searched online.

John O’Connor of New Zealand has donated his papers to the MacMillan Brown Library at Canterbury University.

Juxtapositions : A journal of haiku theory and practise published once a year by The Haiku Foundation. The journals are also able to be purchased as print on demand.

Other:

Katikati Haiku Pathway : Profile of the riverside walk in Katikati (NZ) featuring boulders inscribed with haiku (opened 2000).

Open Air Art Museum : A forest trail featuring 30 haiku on metal plaques in the grounds of an inn in the heart of Amish country in Ohio (opened 2015).

Haiku Stone Path : Gualala Arts Centre, California (opened 2014).

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird : Has been engraved on to 13 rocks in Hartford, Connecticut, the home town of Wallace Stevens. He worked at the same insurance company for 39 years and walked to and from there daily – that commute now comes with poetry waymarkers.

NZ Writer Residencies :

Cloud Appreciation Society : A “cloud of the month”, information and great photos.

Japanese Gardens

1: Bowdoin College (US) maintains this informative site about classical Japanese gardens.

2: Waitakare City (NZ) has been gifted a Japanese garden by its sister city, while the Paradise Gardens collection in Hamilton (NZ) includes a Japanese garden.

3: Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle has a Japanese Garden, designed in 1960 by Juki Iida.

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