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Vanessa Proctor

Vanessa Proctor

Born: in Singapore
Resides: Sydney, Australia
E-mail: vanessa (at) hr42 (dot) com

Vanessa Proctor is the immediate past president of the Australian Haiku Society (2016 -2020). She is a founding member of the AHS, a founding member of the online international haiku group Zazen, (originally based in New Zealand) and she continues to lead the Sydney Haiku Group the Red Dragonflies which she founded in 2008.
Her interest in Japanese poetry began while she was working as an English teacher in Japan in the early 1990s. She was invited to give a speech on haiku at Kyoto University in 1994, where she won the Kyoto Foundation Essay Award. She has lived in eight countries and now lives in Sydney with her husband, children and an assorted collection of wildlife.
She has judged numerous poetry competitions, as well as organizing haiku readings at the Art Gallery of NSW and at the Auburn Botanic Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival. She is currently involved in an art installation in Sydney where haiku are engraved onto bricks. Her work has been set to music by the Argentinian composer Fernando Strasnoy and her haiku also appear on tea bag labels from Monji Tea.
Her most memorable haiku moment was seeing the boulder carved with her haiku 'night kayaking' being blessed in the rain by Maori elders on the Katikati Haiku Pathway in New Zealand in 2010:

night kayaking
never quite reaching
the moon

Awards and Other Honors:

Winner: Kokako New Zealand Haiku Contest, 2003, NZPS International Haiku Competition, 2014, Co-winner: Haiku Calendar Competition 2011 and 2017. Runner up in the Haiku Calendar Competition 10 times since 2001. Second: 2000 Paper Wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Award, Haiku Presence Award, 2002, Romanian Haiku Society First International Haiku Contest 2007. Third: International Kusamakura Haiku Competition 2001, 2003 Paper Wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Award, FreeXpression Haiku Competition 2014, Wild Plum Inaugural Haiku Contest 2015, City of Perth Library Competition 2014, NZPS International Haiku Competition 2019. Joint Third: British Haiku Society Tanka Awards 2014. Fourth: NZPS International Haiku Competition 2015.
Vanessa is featured in New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku (Red Moon Press, 2001). Her haiku have appeared in several Red Moon anthologies. She has also been a featured poet in Presence.

Books Published:

Haiku and the Personal.

Selected Work
the hunter kneels
to brush his dog
starless night
the flicker of a moth
in my hands
starry night
snapping the wishbone
by myself
the slow drip of rain
on the nursery roof
a bench by the sea
it never leaves me
this loneliness
cloudwatching . . .
my son’s small hand
curled in mine


Presence #33 (2007); "starry night" - First Honorable Mention, Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards (2007); The Dragonfly: Newsletter of the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland (2007); "a bench by the sea" - Presence 31 (2007); Presence 32 [announcing winner of best of issue award for Presence 31](2007); "starless night" - Frogpond XXX:2 (2007); Runner-up,The Haiku Calendar Competition 2007; The Haiku Calendar 2008(Snapshot Press, 2007); Presence’s Seashell Game, 7th place (2010); "breastfeeding" - Commended, Paper Wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Award (2006); A Fine Line (New Zealand Poetry Society Magazine, August 2008); cloudwatching" - Frogpond 32:2 (2009); Winner for June, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2011; The Haiku Calendar 2012 (Snapshot Press, 2011); Jacaranda Baby (Snapshot Press, 2012).

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