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Topics - meghalls

Contests and Awards / Heliosparrow awards
April 10, 2024, 04:23:58 PM
The Haiku Frontier Awards, new this year from Heliosparrow Poetry Journal, have been announced.

Some here may be interested to see them-- a bit of a contrast to the Touchstones.
With apologies to Lorraine Pester, I have deleted my posts which were an attempt to start a discussion
on haiku and poetry.


sometimes discussions begin in the Troutswirl blog but tend to get lost because features get archived pretty quickly. This happened with the announcement for the Touchstone Awards (individual poems) except I couldn't find the archive. I had to look on Facebook to get the link-- turns out the announcement was archived under "Uncategorized"-- who would know? Anyway, some comments may be of interest for discussion, so I'm copying the page here in case anyone wants to pick it up. (Please not the order of comments, which appear here as third, first, then second.


The Touchstone Individual Poems Award recognize excellence and innovation in English-language haiku and senryu published in juried public venues during each calendar year. The committee received overwhelming response to its call for submission for poems published in 2016, with 660 nominations. To those many editors and individual haiku poets who answered the call this year, a sincere thank you.

After much deliberation, the panel has selected a shortlist of poems that will move on to the final round. Many thanks to the distinguished panelists, Gary Hotham, Ron Moss, Renee Owen, Michele Root-Bernstein, Dietmar Tauchner and Diane Wakoski, who have been so generous with their time and effort over the past few months.

Award-recipients will be selected from the following list. Final results are scheduled to be announced in mid April. Author names are in alphabetical order:

new home
we unpack
our old habits

     — Debbi Antebi, Failed Haiku 1.6

off to on I disappear into the visible

     — Francine Banwarth, Frogpond 39:3

winter sun
a crow gives in
to the wind

     — Brad Bennett, Presence 55


where the river ran
this bed of stones

     — Susan Constable, Acorn 36

the world winnowed down

to wheat

     — Alan S. Bridges, The Heron's Nest 18:2

midnight call
his car
a pumpkin

     — Helen Buckingham, Mayfly 60

night sky
I release the minnows
all at once

     — Glenn Coats, Acorn 36

late winter
I hit the bottom
of my fantasy world

     — Robert Epstein, Mariposa 34

slip one knit one the pattern of winter bones

     — Lorin Ford, Living Haiku Anthology contest

the length of the night when it matters why

     — Samar Ghose, Sonic Boom 5


     — LeRoy Gorman, is/let 1

drunk on snow melt
from your clavicles
wolf moon

     — Anita Guenin, Living Haiku Anthology contest

death what kind of plan is that

     — Carolyn Hall, Mariposa 34

the squeak of tulips
into a vase . . .
hospice reception

     — Michele L. Harvey, Frameless Sky 4

campfire light
the color returns
to dead leaves

     — Alexander B. Joy, The Heron's Nest 18:1

whale vertebrae
drifting from one god
to another

     — Nicholas Klacsanzky, A Hundred Gourds 5:3

all day rain
the weight of trees
in my bones

     — Ben Moeller-Gaa, Modern Haiku 47.3

the groundhog's shadow
white where there shouldn't be
on her mammogram

     — Elliot Nicely, Modern Haiku 47.2

November wind
the hollow places
that form a song

     — Peter Newton, The Heron's Nest 18:1

slow thunder

a lizard's ribs
 against concrete

     — Polona Oblak, The Heron's Nest 18:2

death anniversary . . .
his fading odor
in treasured shirt

     — Aparna Pathak, Wild Plum 2:2

wheeling her chair
through leaf fall . . .
we sure knew how to dance

     — Bill Pauly, The Heron's Nest 18:4

darkness . . .
her name slips
into it

     — Dave Read, Acorn 37

restringing fence wire —
meadowlark's song one post
ahead of the wind

     — Chad Lee Robinson, Mariposa 35

thin harvest —
I salt the bitterness
out of the gourd

     — Carl Seguiban, The Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award contest

last day of summer
the taste of the wooden stick
inside the ice cream

     — Katrina Shepherd, The Heron's Nest 18:4

house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

     — Alan Summers, Blithe Spirit 26.1

winter night —
the last tram carrying
only the light

     — Eduard Tara, 2016 Concorso Internazionale Haiku in Lingua Italiana

length of the night

on her knitting needles

     — Maria Tomczak, The Heron's Nest 18:3
Bruce Feingold
Chair, Touchstone Awards

Comment #3

Meg Halls says
April 15, 2017 at 11:11 am
Hello Peter and others who may be interested. I do agree with you. I have learned a lot from THF and am sorry, as I think I've said before, that there is not more discussion. I seem to have missed the more active years in that regard. // My remarks may seem mean-spirited or simply negative to some. Mostly, I am disappointed, and I do feel that it would be rare for a panel of judges to agree on a haiku with real edge. The tendency, it seems, is to choose some kind of "average". This is true of the Red Moon Anthologies as well, which includes (don't want to sound mean, but just say what I see) the "best of the average". // You know, when I first started reading haiku, including haiku from the RM Anthologies, I was very excited. I thought I'd stumbled on something new and fresh. I don't know when it happened, exactly, but at some point I felt that the poems I was seeing were not quite as good as they once were. Then I realized that was not really it. It was more that what I was now reading wasn't worse than before, it was just . . . the *same*, just variations on what I'd seen, repeated again and again. It no longer seemed new and fresh. My own fault? Maybe. // Some very good poets somehow manage to do "the same" but to keep it fresh. Gary Hotham for one. That's rare. And it's not like I think poems in Bones, for example, are always examples of what is new and fresh. Different, for sure, but even there, only a few poems stand out for me as really good. Most are exercises in willed surrealism.// Anyway, I do kind of wish there could be some more discussion of this kind of stuff– and yes, THF seems about the only place for it to happen: it just doesn't happen anymore.

Comment #1

Meg Halls says
April 10, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Some nice haiku. But . . .
Obviously a lot is determined by who chooses to nominate. Nothing here from
Otata, Bones, Noon, or publications like that. With only a couple of exceptions, the haiku here are pretty standard in approach and subject matter. Seems like when a group of judges come together to choose a poem for an award like this, edges get smoothed.
Nice haiku. That's kind of concerning.

Comment #2:

Peter Newton says

April 11, 2017 at 7:59 pm
In my opinion, it's not the publication as much as the poem. You may have noticed that there are a good half dozen or more poets here who publish regularly in the more contemporary journals you cite like Otata, Bones and Noon — all great outlets I think. Unless there are blind submissions, contests are subjective. Even then, there's always a judge's or panelist's personal taste. I love an edge to any poem. It's kind of a necessity. But I support, as I suspect you do, the effort and enthusiasm The Haiku Foundation offers the greater community of haiku poets.

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Discussion?
October 17, 2016, 03:20:53 PM
Hello to those few (apparently) who come to the in-depth discussions board. Reading the latest re:Virals
where Scott Mason makes some interesting comments about the nature of haiku, I wonder what other people think. Truly though, I am reluctant to start another thread. As interesting as I find Alan Summers' thoughts, and as much as I admire his generosity here and that of a couple of other people, I think these
discussions need more participation. All the interesting boards listed seem to be dead right now.

I don't know what's needed. Probably someone will suggest I contact Jim Kacian, but I think it would be better if someone with more, I don't know, clout or something did that. Maybe even to just open up the re:Virals to comments. At least there sometimes a variety of people participate.

Just sayin'

Looking at today's re:viral, which is      dandelion antsronauts    by Tom Sacramona,
I'm curious how many current editors of haiku magazines would say that they have expanded what
they accept to include short poems which may not be haiku, but which are interesting anyway. I know there is ongoing debate about what is and is not a haiku, but it does seem that there are poems which would be hard to fit into any category except maybe haikuesque or something. I personally think this is a good thing, and besides, where else are these strange little poems going to go?

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