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The Haiku Foundation Announces Its Touchstone Individual Poems Long List for 2020

The Haiku Foundation is pleased to announce The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2020 Long List. The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems recognize excellence and innovation in English-language haiku and senryu published in juried public venues during each calendar year. In 2020 we had exponential growth in the number of submissions to the Awards, comprising 1302 distinct entries. Forty-two editors nominated 945 haiku, and individual poets nominated 357 haiku. Haiku were nominated from 31 countries: Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece,  India, Indonesia, Ireland,  Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nepal,  Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pakistan,  Philippines  Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. Our heartfelt thanks to the editors and poets who nominated poems published during 2020.

In the first round, the six panel members consider the entire anonymous roster and nominate their ten highest-ranking haiku. These poems become the Long List (56 poems this year due to a small overlap in panel members’ choices). In the second round the panel will select their top 6 selections each from the Long List, which becomes the Short List. In the final round the panel selects the haiku from the Short List that will be recognized as the Awarded haiku for 2020.

The Long List includes a range of haiku from traditional to experimental. It represents work from twenty-five journals. 39 of these haiku were nominated by journal editors and 17 by individuals.

Many thanks to our distinguished panelists: Chuck Brickley, Anna Maris, Pravat Kumar Padhy, Christopher Patchel, Michelle Tennison, and Angela Terry. They have been incredibly generous with their time and effort over the last several months. Their diligence, expertise, and thoughtful consideration have been beyond exemplary.

The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems final results will be announced on April 17, as part of the Haiku Foundation’s celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day.

Bruce H. Feingold
Chair, Touchstone Awards


to be to become to remain to seem a mushroom cloud
Melissa Allen, is/let (2020)
through the cracked window
                      a chirp
                                of sunlight
Kelly Sauvage Angel, Wales Haiku Journal (Summer 2020)
within the song
of a winter wren
another begins
Joanna Ashwell, Shamrock 43
first to go 
the pencil’s 
Francine Banwarth, The Heron’s Nest 22:3
radish harvest 
a child’s tug of war 
with the earth 
Saumya Bansai, 25th International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition, First Prize 
viewing the tree
three generations
of crossed arms
Roberta Beary, Modern Haiku 51.1
Helen Buckingham, Bones 20
midnight blue 
a grandma-shaped crater 
on the moon 
Hemapriya Chellappan, Blo͞o Outlier Journal 1 
a hot date 
the gentle creaking 
of moored boats 
Marta Chocilowska, Frogpond 43:3 
returning time a poppy seed drops the sun
Beate Conrad, Sonic Boom 18
all the rage white masks 
Cherie Hunter Day, Acorn 44
rock, paper, flower 
the temple 
of forgotten things 
Cherie Hunter Day, hedgerow 133
on the altar 
with the host and wine 
hand sanitizer 
Karen DiNobile, Modern Haiku 51.3
a cloud becomes a cat the dr i f t of th in g s 
Lorin Ford, Presence 68
contact tracing 
a cold breeze sweeps
through the meadow grass
Jay Friedenberg, bottle rockets 44 
crocus buds 
the flavor of my friend’s 
new pronoun 
Joshua Gage, Frameless Sky 13.1 
zen garden 
every snowflake 
finds a stone 
William Scott Galasso, Wales Haiku Journal (Autumn 2020)
tideline . . . 
a breaker delivers sea glass 
to an old sailor’s feet 
Beverley George, Kokako 33
windswept leaves— 
the memory of mother 
combing my hair
Trivarna Hariharan, Isacoustic (July 16, 2020)
finding deeper water 
the last skip 
of the child's stone 
Gary Hotham, Presence 68 
 in the space
our light makes
Gary Hotham, Gratitude in the Time of Covid-19: The Haiku Hecameron
washing our hands— 
each soap bubble holds

all the colors       
Christine Horner, GEPPO XLV:3
moving van . . .       
everything but the growth marks
on the closet door
Elinor Pihl Huggett, GEPPO XLV:3
rolling thunder 
what the heron swallowed 
Humphrey, Jonathan, The Heron’s Nest 22:1
deep autumn							
now I am
the oldest
Bill Kenney, The Heron’s Nest XXII.3
steady rain
might as well
keep walking
Bill Kenney, The Heron’s Nest XXII.1
fall starts measuring time in butterflies
Craig Kittner, Bones 21
what remains
after the river is gone
this empty bed
Kat Lehmann, Mayfly 68
saltmarsh dawn
fish scales glinting
in the otter scat
Kristen Lindquist, Mariposa 42
long before language the S of the river 
Anette Makino, Francine Porad Haiku Award, 2020, First Place
switching to
    a lower case i
autumn stars
Matthew Markworth, Modern Haiku 51.3
pre-dawn stars
the rattle of glass bottles 
from a passing milk truck 
John McManus, hedgerow 132
bloodwood moon
a starving dingo paces
the rain shadow
Ron C. Moss, Failed Haiku 49
dusk between the fragments of a prehistoric bird I recognize my mother’s beak
Reka Nyitrai, NOON: journal of the short poem 16
behind a mountain mother's face becomes a lake 
Réka Nyitrai, Modern Haiku 51:3 
look down for cosmos most roots form worlds 
Victor Ortiz, Heliosparrow Poetry Journal (27 Oct 2020)
her eulogy—
the sound of the ocean
in a small shell
Carol Ann Palomba, Mayfly 68

an orchid

trapped in a paperweight 
child bride
Vandana Parasha, The Heron’s Nest XX11.4
horse pasture
the prairie wind moves
with muscle
Chad Lee Robinson, The Heron’s Nest 22:4
Mark Rutter, Blithe Spirit 30.4 
Olivier Schopfer, tiny words (3/30/20) 
adult coloring book 
I still can’t stay
within the lines
Adelaide B. Shaw, Failed Haiku 51
in the space
left by twilight
Ann Schwader, tiny words (8/13/2020)
before we were human the sparrow’s call
Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, Heliosparrow Poetry Journal (10 Jan 2020)
bristlecone pine 
such a long life 
with so few choices 
Barbara Snow, The Heron’s Nest 22:2 
taking their heat 
with them through the barn door 
winter solstice 
Barbara Snow, bottle rockets 42 
ripening pear the bruises that never heal 
Debbie Strange, #FemkuMag 27
pasture fence
where the paint ran out
a bluebird’s song
Rick Tarquinio, The Heron’s Nest 22:1
harder now 
the ground beneath 
a pile of leaves 
Rick Tarquinio, Modern Haiku 51.3 
our car never nearer the shimmer of black water on the desert road 
Richard Tice, The haiku pea podcast Series 3, Episode 24, 2020
sprouting grass— 
the slaughter tag 
in the lamb's ear 
Corine Timmer, Modern Haiku 51.1
blackbird singing light into the womb
Stephen Toft, is/let (2020)
what pines!
what lady's slippers!
when i take tomorrow's walk
Vincent Tripi, Modern Haiku 51.3
rain-soaked earth
a robin tugs one end
of the universe
Julie Warther, Frogpond 43:3
kicking the tires 
to stay warm — 
hearse driver 
Lew Watts, Modern Haiku 51.3 
moss-grown stone 
a daughter’s age 
in days
Mike White, Frogpond 43.3

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. A bit shocked and quite honored to be included.

    A question…will the “short list” be announced before the 17th, or is it revealed on the 17th with the winners. Asking for friend (which happens to be my anxiety….)

  2. Congratulations to all! Especially those nominees who managed to make it to the long list with even two poems, chosen from an anonymous roster containing more than a thousand submitted pieces. And many thanks to all the judges – I believe the same ones as last year – for their expertise and countless hours of efforts.

  3. What a surprise that my haiku was selected for the long list! Thanks to Patricia McGuire for nominating it.

  4. Thanks so much to all the judges, and to Johannes Bjerg for publishing my ku in the first place. Congratulations to everyone who’s made it this far – a real accolade in itself.

  5. What a wonderful surprise! I am deeply honored and thrilled to be on this list in such admirable company! Thank you so much!

  6. Grateful thanks to the esteemed panelists for this awesome birthday gift, and to Lori Minor for publishing this haiku in #FemkuMag. How wonderful to have work included among these fine offerings. I look forward to nominating poems for the Touchstones every year, and I thank The Haiku Foundation for the opportunity to do so!

    shine on,

  7. I am deeply honored to be included with such skilled company.

    My gratitude to the panel and to Johannes S. H. Bjerg who let my work find a good home in Bones.

  8. I’m so thrilled to have one of my poems nominated amongst a list of such beautiful haiku. So many of these stay with you – a wonderful spectrum of the haiku world.

  9. It’s a thrill to read the haiku on this long list and quite a surprise to find one of mine among them.

    Every year I nominate individual poems for this award.

    What poems do I nominate for a Touchstone Award? Ones that stay in my heart long after the page is turned or the screen is off. I encourage anyone reading this comment to do the same by next December’s nomination deadline.

  10. What an honor to find that ‘what remains’ has been long-listed for a Touchstone Award with these wonderful others! Many thanks to the panelists and to Randy and Shirley Brooks for giving my haiku a home in Mayfly 68.

  11. So honored to be included here, with otter scat no less—thank you! Such a pleasure to read through this list of great poems. Congratulations, all!

  12. Someone has just now let me know about this list. Wow!
    I’m most honoured to have my cloud/ cat haiku on the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2020 Long List. What were the odds when these featured ‘long list’ haiku were selected from “1302 distinct entries.”? !!!
    a cloud becomes a cat the dr i f t of th in g s
    – Lorin Ford
    My thanks to Ian Storr for selecting and publishing this haiku in Presence 68 , without which, of course, it couldn’t appear on this list or any other.

  13. What an unexpected surprise! I’m honored to appear on the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2020 Long List. Thanks, panelists and The Haiku Foundation for making it all possible. Congratulations to everyone on this list!

    sprouting grass—
    the slaughter tag
    in the lamb’s ear

    Corine Timmer, Modern Haiku 51.1

    This haiku won first place in the Robert Spiess Memorial 2020 Haiku Awards.

  14. Dear Bruce, dear Panelists , I am unable to express how happy I feel seeing my haiku on this list!
    Many, many thanks!
    Best wishes, stay safe
    Marta Chocilowska, Poland

    1. a hot date
      the gentle creaking
      of moored boats
      Marta Chocilowska, Frogpond 43:3

    1. Thank you, Alan, for the lovely shout-out! I send my congrats back to you and Hemapriya for the long-listed poem published in the first issue of Blo͞o Outlier!

      1. I love so many of the haiku here, of course! Though to see Blo͞o Outlier Journal was an incredible thrill. Although I’ve co-founded ground-breaking journals such as “Haijinx-haiku with humor” and “Bones Journal” I’ve never created a journal as sole founding editor, and editor-in-chief when someone amazing like you, and Grix, are guest co-editors in the second issue!

        warm regards,

  15. Delighted for everyone, of course.

    But also super delighted that The Blo͞o Outlier Journal Winter Christmas Eve Special Issue 2020 (Issue #1)
    got a mention! 🙂

    It took me a while nine minutes to nab Hemapriya Chellappan’s haiku. I knew it was incredibly special, and if I’d opened my email sooner, I’d have replied in under a minute!

    midnight blue
    a grandma-shaped crater
    on the moon

    Hemapriya Chellappan
    Blo͞o Outlier Journal 1

    Huge congratulations to Hemapriya and everyone else here!

    warm regards,
    Blo͞o Outlier Journal
    Founding Editor, Alan Summers

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