The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award is bestowed annually on published collections of poems, or works of scholarship, that represent noteworthy contributions to English-language haiku in the estimation of a distinguished panel of poets, editors and scholars. For current and past award-recipients, please see the Touchstone Archive.
What Books Are Eligible?
Any English-language book or other book-length production that is of or about haiku (and related forms) is eligible for an Award. The Distinguished Books Award is open to books published during the current calendar year. Awards panelists and Awards Committee members are not eligible.
There is no reading fee.
If you have a question about a book’s eligibility, use our Contact page to send us an email.
How to Submit
To qualify for a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award, submit two copies of the book you wish to nominate. The postmark deadline is December 31st of the current calendar year. One copy will be assigned to the panel; the other will become a permanent inclusion in The Haiku Foundation’s permanent hard copy library. Each submitter will be recognized as a donor to the Foundation and cited on the Donation Page of the website. If a submission is recommended for the short list, we will at that time request four additional copies so the entire panel may consider it. Award-Recipients and Honorable Mentions will be cited on The Haiku Foundation’s website. Nominated volumes should be sent to:
The Haiku Foundation
Touchstone Distinguished Books Award
PO Box 2461
Enquiries may be directed to this address, or you can send email from our Contact page.
The Panel for Award Year 2016
Randy Brooks is the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor of English at Millikin University. He teaches courses on the global haiku traditions. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks, are publishers of Brooks Books, and co-editors of Mayfly magazine. He serves as web editor of Modern Haiku magazine and on the Executive Committee of the Haiku Society of America as the Electronic Media Officer, editing the Frogpond web sampler and maintaining the society web site. His collection of haiku, School’s Out, was published by Press Here.
Rebecca Lilly lives near Port Republic, Virginia. She holds degrees from Cornell (M.F.A., poetry) and Princeton (Ph.D., philosophy) Universities and has published several poetry collections, including five volumes of haiku. She has two companion volumes of haiku on butterflies and wildflowers, A Prism of Wings and Light’s Reservoir, both from Antrim House, as well as two haiku collections from Red Moon Press: Yesterday’s Footprints (2012) and Elements of a Life (2014). Her photographic note cards and gift enclosures, some of which feature haiku, can be found at the Haiku Foundation gift shop and online at eBay and Etsy.
Poet, critic, editor and reviewer Michael McClintock has been on the haiku scene in the USA, Canada and Europe since the 1960s, doing work in close association with Eric Amann, William J. Higginson, John Wills and Martin Lucas. Recent honors include a Touchstone Award for an Individual Poem 2015. A selection of his haiku from all periods appears in Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku, edited by Allan Burns (Snapshot Press, UK, 2013). McClintock divides his time between his native Los Angeles and Clovis House, Clovis, California, in the San Joaquin Valley. He is married to artist Karen McClintock (née Karen Jeanne Harlow).
Julie Warther, author of What Was Here (Folded Word Press, 2015) lives in Dover, Ohio and serves as Midwest Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America. In addition to appearing in a number of print and online journals, her haiku and senryu have been included in the Red Moon Anthology (Red Moon Press 2012-2015), Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press, 2014), Haiku 2016 (Modern Haiku Press, 2016) and A New Resonance 9 (Red Moon Press, 2015). In 2015, Julie was instrumental in the creation and installation of The Forest Haiku Walk, a path featuring thirty haiku stones with poems by Midwest writers, on the grounds of The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio.
Don Wentworth is a Pittsburgh-based poet whose work reflects his interest in the revelatory nature of brief, haiku-like moments in everyday life. His poetry has appeared in Modern Haiku, bottle rockets, bear creek haiku, frogpond, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Rolling Stone, as well as a number of anthologies. His first full-length collection, Past All Traps, was published in 2011 by Six Gallery Press and was shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation’s 2011 Touchstone Distinguished Books Award. His poem “hiding” was selected as one of “100 Notable Haiku” of 2013 by Modern Haiku Press. Two additional full-length collections, Yield to the Willow (2014) and With a Deepening Presence (2016), have been published by Six Gallery. For the last 28 years, he has edited the small press magazine, Lilliput Review, the focus of which is the brief poem, 10 lines or less.