HaikuNow! Contemporary Haiku
We are accepting entries for this contest from now until March 31, 2013.
All haiku must be in English and must meet the criteria for the Contemporary category, as described in Examples of Contemporary Haiku in English below. All poems must be the original, unpublished work of the submitter.
Each person can submit no more than one unpublished haiku per category: one traditional haiku, one contemporary haiku, and/or one innovative haiku—a maximum of three haiku per person.
Publication is defined as an appearance in a printed book, magazine, or journal (sold or given away), or in any online journal that presents edited periodic content. The appearance of poems in online discussion lists or personal Web sites is not considered publication.
Contemporary Haiku Contest Entry Form
Click this link to access the Contemporary Haiku Contest Entry Form.
The most common literary adaptation in English of haiku looks something like this: one to four lines, no strict syllable count but brief, and often with a long/short or short/long asymmetry. These poems too utilize a caesura. Images need not be taken from nature, though they may be and often are. Seasonality is optional, though often featured. Here’s an example:
in the woodpile the broken ax handle
The poet, Michael Facherty of Ireland, chooses two lines, with the first line establishing the context and suggesting the season. Again the diction is image-based and straightforward, without words that indicate judgment, or that pad out the syllable count, or that tell the reader what to think. The image is vivid, and the conclusion given an ironic twist (though irony is only one of dozens of poetic strategies that contemporary haiku employ).
Here are a few others. After you’ve studied them and have come to understand how they work and why, you will also understand what we’ll be looking for in the contemporary category of the HaikuNow! contest.
Moon's brightness I wonder where they're bombing —Taneda Santoka (Japan, translated by Hiroaki Sato)
fallen leaves the abbot sweeps around them —John Brandi (USA)
losing its name a river enters the sea —John Sandbach (USA)