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The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award, the pre-eminent award in the genre, is bestowed annually on published collections of poems, or works of scholarship, that represent noteworthy contributions to English-language haiku in the estimation of a distinguished panel of poets, editors and scholars. For current and past award-recipients, please see the Touchstone Archive.

How to Submit

For Print Books: To qualify for a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award, submit six copies of the book you wish to nominate. The postmark deadline is December 31 of the current calendar year. One copy will be sent to each of the five panel members; the other will be entered into The Haiku Foundation’s permanent hard copy library. There is no reading fee. Each submitter will be recognized as a donor to the Foundation and cited on the Donation Page of the website. Award-Recipients and Honorable Mentions will be cited on The Haiku Foundation’s website. Nominated volumes should be sent to:

The Haiku Foundation
Touchstone Distinguished Books Award
PO Box 2461
Winchester VA
22604-1661 USA

 

For Electronic Books: To qualify for a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award, we require both an electronic copy of the book you wish to nominate, and one copy of the print version (if there is one). First, email a PDF of your e-book to touchstonebookaward@gmail.com. Then send the hard copy to:

The Haiku Foundation
Touchstone Distinguished Books Award
PO Box 2461
Winchester VA
22604-1661 USA

The postmark deadline is December 31 of the current calendar year. The electronic version of your submitted book will be copied and sent to each of the five panel members. There is no reading fee. Each submitter will be recognized as a donor to the Foundation and cited on the Donation Page of the website. Award-Recipients and Honorable Mentions will be cited on The Haiku Foundation’s website.

Enquiries may be directed to this address, or you can send email from our Contact page.

What Books Are Eligible?

Any English-language book or other book-length production that is of or about haiku (and related forms) — print or electronic — is eligible for an award. The Distinguished Books Award is open to books published during the current calendar year. Anyone may nominate a book for the Awards. Awards panelists and Awards Committee members are not eligible.

If you have a question about a book’s eligibility, use our Contact page to send us an email.

The Panel for Award Year 2022

Susan Antolin fell in love with modern Japanese poetry while living in Japan in the late 1980s. She has served as the newsletter editor for the Haiku Society of America; newsletter editor and past president of the Haiku Poets of Northern California; a frequent judge of haiku contests; and the job she loves most, editor of Acorn: A Journal of Contemporary Haiku. Her first collection of haiku and tanka Artichoke Season was published in 2009, and her recent collection The Years that Went Missing was the winner of the Backbone Press haiku chapbook contest, the Touchstone Distinguished Book Award from the Haiku Foundation, and first place in the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 2021.

Tia Haynes resides in Ohio by the shores of Lake Erie. She is the author of leftover ribbon and the award-winning After Amen: A Memoir in Two Voices, co-authored with poet Jonathan Roman. Along with traditional publications and anthologies, her haiku have been on display in Washington D.C., the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Holden Arboretum. Tia currently serves as the editor of Prune Juice: A Journal of English Senryu & Related Forms.

Kat Lehmann is a haiku poet and scientist based in Connecticut, USA. A Best of the Net nominee, Kat’s haiku have been honored in The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Awards (individual poems), the Haiku Society of America Harold G. Henderson Haiku Award, and Japan’s Basho-an Award. She is a Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Whiptail: Journal of the Single-Line Poem and a judge in the inaugural Trailblazer Contest. Kat has gifted free copies of her books in more than a dozen countries as part of her Ripples of Kindness project. Her third book is Stumbling Toward Happiness: Haibun and Hybrid Poems. Kat’s work can be found on her site and on Twitter and Instagram.

Peter Newton is the author of several books in the Japanese short form tradition including What We Find (haiku), Welcome to the Joy Ride (winner of a 2014 Merit Book Award for the Best Book of Haibun from the Haiku Society of America), A Path of Desire (tan renga with Kathe L. Palka), The Searchable World (First Place in the haiku category in the 2018 Merit Book Awards from the Haiku Society of America). He has two new collections forthcoming: Part-Time Gods (winner of the 2022 Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for haibun), and Glide Path (haiku, Red Moon Press).

Born in Detroit and raised north of Boston, Peter makes his home in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. He has spent more than thirty summers as a staff member at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Since 2012, he has served as co-editor for the online literary journal tinywords.

Victor Ortiz discovered haiku many years ago while thinking about how to engage his Latin students in using Latin creatively. His poetry may be found in national and international journals and anthologies as well as two published chapbooks, and he enjoys collaborating on haiku projects with poets, artists, and scholars. He now makes his home in Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest, with his wife.

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