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Book of the Week: Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2016: An Anthology of the Winners of the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2016

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award was created to celebrate classical and modern haiku. In the Commentary, Alan Summers writes: “Haiku often feature the human condition in an unexpected way. A subtle ‘sadness’ that isn’t ‘sad’, or an ‘aloneness’ that isn’t ‘lonely’, which is so typically Japanese. This is often a keynote in haiku and draws on the universality of experience. Each haiku evoked a deeply poignant response within me, and I hope they do the same for you.”

first knock in
my moonlit womb
— Ramesh Anand, India

black-and-white photo –
my father
younger than I
— Minh-Triêt Pham, France

on a cold doorknob
I feel loneliness
behind the walls
— Nina Kovačić, Croatia

two snails
rightly divide
the grape leaf
— Vitali Khomin, Ukraine

every step we take
we lurch against gravity –
walking miracles
— Helen May Williams, United Kingdom

sunny afternoon
a shadow
on the mammogram
— Suraja Roychowdhury, United States

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library and please share your favorite poem from the book with us.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2017 or earlier that you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details. Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. From the poems I too selected this amazing poem with so much feeling as the best one. Well deserved .

  2. Thanks for posting this, ever topical.

    My judge’s commentaries appear from page 106 onwards including:

    “I was delighted to see so many authors use the theme of justice as inspiration for their haiku. There are all kinds of justice – it has its own lexicon of both sorrow and joy, from the victims who barely survive injustices, to those who win the fight for justice. These remarkable haiku showcase various poignant approaches to the conference theme.”

    “Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese term that describes the acceptance of imperfection, impermanence and incompletion, manifested in the art of kintsugi (金継ぎ) in which broken pottery is repaired with golden lacquer. These haiku are likened to the golden repairs, in that they represent the acceptance, reflection and celebration of the overcoming of injustice.”


    sunny afternoon
    a shadow
    on the mammogram

    Suraja Roychowdhury, United States


    “We start with an innocuous sunny day and then a shadow, and all seems well. Then the last line jolts us. The shadow is not an innocent passing phenomenon of a bright sunny day, but is instead a more ominous presence on a breast cancer x-ray. The haiku is well crafted, building up line by line until the reveal, the twist in the narrative, perhaps encouraging us as readers to appreciate every single second of a sunny day.”
    — judge, Alan Summers

    Thankfully we still have Suraja Roychowdhury with us.


    The Grand Prize winning entry by Suraja Roychowdhury of the United States was also the 1st Choice
    of Guest Judge Alan Summers. Thus winning both sections of the Haiku Award!


    Dr Drago Štambuk, Founding Judge of the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award
    and former Croatian Ambassador to Japan

    Justice (conference theme) judge:
    Alan Summers, Call of the Page (formerly known as ‘With Words’)

    warm regards,

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