Today is our global day of celebration of all things haiku, International Haiku Poetry Day 2019. Here’s the schedule of events:
HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2019
We look forward to sharing your HaikuLife, video haiga, or other haiku video production with the haiku community. We will screen offerings in 3 modes: HaikuLife Format (17 segments of 17 seconds each: view our demo); Free Format (pretty much anything goes, and including video haiga like this one); and Feature Format (we select one film to be the anchor of the festival).
EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration
The United Nations has designated 2019 as Year of the Indigenous Language. Plan to share one poem or many in the world’s largest collaborative poem — last year we had over 500 submissions! (Perhaps we ought to give The Guinness Book of World Records a call . . .) Beginning at 1 minute past midnight at the International Dateline.
Local Haiku Celebrations
Amy Losak writes: I will be conducting two free Poetry Times at the Teaneck Library – my local library – on April 17. Of course, I will present H IS FOR HAIKU by Sydell Rosenberg and Sawsan Chalabi (Penny Candy Books). I also will talk to young attendees about this poetic form, and encourage them to try their hand at haiku! See the Teaneck (NJ) Library site for additional information.
kjmunro writes: I am planning a launch event for my first full-length collection, contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019), for 17 April 2019 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.
Terri L. French writes: I will read next Wednesday night at Redstone Village Retirement Community “Poetry Night” in Huntsville, AL. I will be reading several haibun, including a few from my book, Keepers.
Ellen Evans writes: I have issued a haiku challenge to all the residents in my retirement community to write one or more haiku of any subject they choose. My neighbors include more than 300 seniors between the ages of 62 and 98. At 8:59 PM on April 16 I will remove the individual haiku submission slips, mount them to posterboard, and hang them in a prominent location by the 17th, where they can be enjoyed by all.
By Friday (April 12) we had already received 97 individual haiku with four days remaining — the enthusiasm here is impressive!
John S. O’Connor writes: I am hosting an event, The Inheritance of Memory: Songs, Poems, and Stories, at the East – West University at 816 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago at 7:00pm on April 17, 2019 — International Haiku Poetry Day. You can find more information here. See you there!
We welcome additional notifications of local haiku celebrations — just let us know!
The Touchstone Awards
The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for books published in 2018
The Haiku Foundation is pleased to announce The Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards Award Winners and Honorable Mentions for books of haiku and related forms published in 2018. The sixty-seven books nominated for this year’s award represent a rich variety of English-language books from many nations and haiku traditions. In the first round, each panel member read a variety of books and nominated three books which formed the Shortlist. In the next round the panel members read each book on the Shortlist and through a series of votes and discussion, arrived at three Award Winners and three Honorable Mentions. I speak for the entire panel in saying that everyone recognized that each book on the Shortlist was unique and excellent and can attest to the difficulty of distinguishing the ‘best’ of the books. As one member exclaimed, “What a group of books we had this year!” I wish to thank the panel for their diligence, expertise and effort.
Touchstone Distinguished Books Award Winners
• Wishbones: Haiku & Senyru. Ben Moeller-Gaa (Meredith NH: Folded Word Press).
• Unsealing Our Secrets: A Short Poem Anthology About Sexual Abuse. Alexis Rotella, Curator/Editor (Arnold MD: Jade Mountain Press).
• Shades of Absence. Harriot West (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press).
Touchstone Distinguished Books Honorable Mentions
• A Thousand Years. by Marco Fraticelli (Carlton Place ON: Catkin Press). • Okinawa. Kai Hasegawa, translated into English by David Burleigh and Tanaka Kimiyo. (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • The Tender Between. Eve Luckring (Princeton NJ: Ornithopter Press).
2018 Touchstone Distinguished Books Award Shortlist
• Broken. Steven Carter (Uxbridge UK: Alba Publishing). • A Thousand Years. by Marco Fraticelli (Carlton Place ON: Catkin Press). • Okinawa. Kai Hasegawa, translated into English by David Burleigh and Tanaka Kimiyo. (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • old song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017. Jim Kacian et al., editors. (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • senior admission. Bill Kenney (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • A Piece of the Berlin Wall. Marcus Larsson (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • The Tender Between. Eve Luckring (Princeton NJ: Ornithopter Press). • My Afterlife. John Martone (Charleston IL: Tufo). • Wishbones: Haiku & Senyru. Ben Moeller-Gaa (Meredith NH: Folded Word Press). • Simple Gifts. Natalia L. Rudychev (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • Night Ferry. Kim Richardson (Uxbridge UK: Alba Publishing). • Unsealing Our Secrets: A Short Poem Anthology About Sexual Abuse. Alexis Rotella, Curator/Editor (Arnold MD: Jade Mountain Press). • An Unmown Sky 2: An Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry 2008-2018. Durda Vukelic Rozic, editor. (Croatia: Haiku Association “Three Rivers). • Shades of Absence. Harriot West (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press). • Tsugigami: gathering the pieces. Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoof and Connie R. Meester (Winchester VA: Red Moon Press).
The Touchstone Award for Individual Poems for poems published in 2017
We had a tremendous number of submissions to the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems. The Awards recognize excellence and innovation in English-language haiku and senryu published in juried public venues during each calendar year. Twenty-six editors nominated about 500 haiku, and there were about 300 individual haiku nominations. Haiku were nominated from around the world, including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Africa, Japan, Israel and the Philippines. We would
like to thanks all the editors and individual haiku poets who nominated poems published during 2018.
After much deliberation, the panel has selected the Award winners from the Shortlist. The award winners are selected by six panelists first selecting ten favorite haiku from the total pool of 800 plus nominations, or 60 haiku; in this first round, only three haiku were nominated by two of the panelists. In the second round, in another round of voting, the panelists winnowed
the nominated 57 haiku down to the Shortlist. The Shortlist includes at least top three or four haiku chosen by each panelist. After the Shortlist is selected the panel is open to communicate about the poems and vote two more times to arrive at the Awarded poems. Throughout the process the selection is a ‘blind’ as the panelists do not know where the haiku was published or who published it. Six poems out of over 800 made it to the Awarded category!
Reflecting the various haiku sensibilities of the panel, the Shortlist includes a range of traditional to experimental haiku, and this year there were three single line haiku. Twenty-one haiku on the Shortlist haiku were nominated by editors, and eleven were nominated by individual haiku poets (there are 31 haiku on the Shortlist due to a tie). Award recipients are listed below in alphabetical order by author, not by merit.
Terry Ann Carter
2018 Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Winners
blood moon he doesn’t take no for an answer — Susan Burch (2018 Marlene Mountain Memorial Haiku Contest, Femkumag) crow . . . the dark crackle of river ice — Elinor Pihl Huggett (Geppo 43:3) crown of thorns things we make with our hands — Jessica Malone Latham (Mariposa 39) the blade after the whetstone — summer rain — Tanya McDonald (Mariposa 38) deep night sky the dashboard lights too bright for this loneliness — Chad Lee Robinson (Frogpond 41:3) more automatic words about weapons — John Stevenson (Frogpond 41:2)
2018 Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Shortlist
housewarming . . . a swarm of honey bees in the crawl space — Barnabas I. Adeleke (The Heron’s Nest XX:4) summer’s end the fence splinters into meadowlarks — Elizabeth Alford (Stardust Haiku 20) learning to eat around bruises winter apples — Debbi Antebi (The Heron’s Nest XX:1) lilac on her dress for a moment I’m in the fields — Faten Anwar (The Mamba 6) Russian nesting dolls — where’s the room to be oneself — Betty Arnold (Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 2018 Members’ Anthology) blood moon he doesn’t take no for an answer — Susan Burch (2018 Marlene Mountain Memorial Haiku Contest, Femkumag) pre-dawn stars plumes of breath from a cattle truck — Paul Chambers (Acorn 41) spring wind a young sheepdog skedaddles the lambs — Claire Everett (The Heron’s Nest XX:3) morning frost how brightly shines the barbed wire — Florin C. Florian (Johnny Baranski Memorial Haiku Contest) signs of spring at the bottom of one pot shards of another — Robert Gilliland (Mariposa 38) your absence in my hands snowdrop — Eufemia Griffo (Modern Haiku 49.2) the mountains Santōka never saw again — closed saké shop — Engin Gülez (IRIS Little Haiku Contest 2017 (published, February 1, 2018)) silent as a mouse the trap — John Hawkhead (The Heron’s Nest XX:1) crow . . . the dark crackle of river ice — Elinor Pihl Huggett (Geppo 43:3) keepsache —± David J. Kelly (Frogpond 41:1) crown of thorns things we make with our hands — Jessica Malone Latham (Mariposa 39) petroglyphs the short drive to Los Alamos — paul m. (Acorn 40) the blade after the whetstone — summer rain — Tanya McDonald (Mariposa 38) family gathering sliced warm beetroot stains what it touches — Ron C. Moss (Acorn 40) stepping stones . . . someone else years ago — Guy Nesom (Mayfly 64) all soul’s day something startles a field of doves — Polona Oblak (Presence 60) another year the weight of my shadow on new snow — Joseph Robello (Mariposa 39) rain one steeple at a time — Bryan Rickert (Modern Haiku 49.1) deep night sky the dashboard lights too bright for this loneliness — Chad Lee Robinson (Frogpond 41:3) the heartbeat of a painted pony winter prairie — Chad Lee Robinson (Mariposa 38) skinny-dipping in the outback river paperbark trees — Maureen Sexton (Creatrix 43) summer visit mother fits into a smaller hug — Sushma A. Singh (The Heron’s Nest XX:4) more automatic words about weapons — John Stevenson (Frogpond 41:2) fallow fields a light dusting of snow geese — Debbie Strange (Mariposa 39) peat bog the spreading fire of cloudberries — Debbie Strange (Shamrock 40) the thin whistling of the wind in the bottle has faded away — Max Verhart (Chrysanthemum 24)
We will honor each of the winners over the course of the next several days with their own posts, and commentaries on their winning work.
Chair, Touchstone Awards
Be a part of it — celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day, April 17.