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The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award Committee Announces Its Shortlist for 2017

The Haiku Foundation is pleased to announce The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award Shortlist for books of haiku and related forms published in 2017. The eighty books nominated for this year’s award represent a rich variety of English-speaking books from many nations and haiku traditions.

It was with great effort that the panelists narrowed their choices to the 15 books on the list. In the first round of reading, each panelist reads approximately 16 randomly assigned books of haiku collections by individual authors, haibun collections, anthologies and books on haiku criticism, and then nominates three books for the Shortlist. There is also an opportunity for panelists to choose books that they have read on their own as substitutions if they feel another book deserves recognition. In the next round, each panelist reads each book on the Shortlist to decide which books will receive further recognition.

On April 17, the Foundation will post the final awards for 2017. We extend our congratulations to the following authors and publishers (books are arranged by alphabetical order by author):

Brandi, John & Martinez, Noriko Kawasaki. A House By Itself: Selected Haiku: Masaoka Shiki. White Pine Press.

Brickley, Chuck. earthshine. Snapshot Press.

Buckingham, Helen. sanguinella. Red Moon Press.

Busch, Simone K. von Schatten trinken / sipping from shadows. Books on Demand.

Carter, Terry Ann. Tokaido. Red Moon Press.

Coman, Sonia. Passages. Hoshin Media Group.

Day, Cherie Hunter. for Want. Ornithopter Press.

Deming, Kristen. plum afternoon. Red Moon Press.

Epstein, Robert (editor). They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku. Middle Island Press.

Latham, Jessica Malone. cricket song: Haiku and Short Poems form a Mother’s Heart. Red Moon Press.

Mason, Scott. The Wonder Code. Girasole Press.

McCullough, Vicki (editor). Sisyphus: Haiku Work of Anna Vakar. catkin.

Montreuil, Michael (Editor). At the Edge: Raw NerVZ Haibun. Éditions des petits nuages.

Polette, Keith. the new world. Red Moon Press.

Tiwari, Paresh. Raindrops Chasing Raindrops. Red River.

I wish to thank the distinguished Books Award Committee: Randy Brooks, Rebecca Lilly, Michael McClintock, Julie Warther and Don Wentworth.

Bruce H. Feingold
Chair, Touchstone Awards Committee
The Haiku Foundation

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. All the books are worthy winners!
    I created a post about Helen Buckingham’s collection (oddly the only British author represented, as there’s been a renaissance after a bit of a sleepy period):
    I will be excited to read the Blithe Spirit book review of At the Edge: Raw NerVZ Haibun this coming May. I was a Raw NerVZ poet but mostly one to four line haiku. It was a very exciting journal that felt light years ahead.

  2. Congratulations to everyone!
    It’s been wonderful and inspiring to see Sonia Coman come back to haiku a few years ago, as she was a World Ambassador for haiku at the age of twelve years old, and already a formidable force as a poet often overtaking seasoned adults in this genre.
    Already a seasoned haiku poet at 12, from Constanta, Romania, she is now a poet and artist in many genres:

    Sonia Cristina Coman was Director of the World Haiku Festival 2005 in Romania in the capacity as World Haiku Ambassador and WHChaikujunior Associate Director of the World Haiku Club by the age of 17. At only eleven years old she won a prestigious prize, followed by others made her well known in the haiku world, and received a congratulations letter from an American president too!
    More about Sonia Coman’s book Passages from Hoshin Media Group:
    Pure poetry. Deeply moving. Reading PASSAGES fillls my heart with joy.
    ~ Rev. Howard Lee Kilby, Former Secretary, The Haiku Society of America
    Sonia Coman’s haiku surely heals readers’ minds.
    ~ Yasuomi Koganei, Director, The Meguro International Haiku Circle (Tokyo)
    Sonia Coman has come a long way from the landmark set by Harold G. Henderson, with her elegant haiku style in ve languages and her own haiga mode.
    ~ Shokan T. Kondo, Professor Emeritus of Seikei University (Tokyo)
    Destined to become an instant favorite, Passages: Haiku through the Seasons is an enchanting collection in five languages. Written by celebrated haiku poet Sonia Coman, whose first haiku poem at age 10 was shared across Japan by one of the country’s leading tea companies, Passages invites us to explore the many facets of the diamond of the everyday and the beauty of life between heartache and promise. Presented with original illustrations from the author, the haiku in Passages take you from the humorous to the sublime to the soaring and back again. Enjoy the journey.
    Sonia Coman is a Harvard- and Columbia-educated art historian, awarded haiku poet, and published graphic artist. This is her third poetry book. She lives in New York City.


    Helen Buckingham follows up her astonishedly accomplished and laid bare Water on the Moon with this equally vibrant and brutally honest collection.

    I very quickly purchased Terry Ann Carter’s Tokaido from Red Moon Press, and is a must read, and Cherie Hunter Day defines and defies brilliance in everything she does too.
    I don’t have every book here, just most of them and have a signed copy of Paresh’s Raindrops Chasing Raindrops which is both elegant and yet you feel it’s part of the elements and will rejoin a rain cloud any day. I cannot urge you enough to buy his book, and the others listed here.
    I’m off to check this month’s book budget right now!
    Alan Summers
    President, United Haiku and Tanka Society
    Haibun Editor, Blithe Spirit (British Haiku Society)
    co-founder, Call of the Page

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