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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

To qualify for a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award, submit six copies of the book you wish to nominate. The postmark deadline is December 31st of the current calendar year. One copy will be sent to each member the panel; the other will become a permanent inclusion in 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

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) is eligible for an award. The Distinguished Books Award is open to books published during the current calendar year. 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 2020

Patricia J. Machmiller began writing haiku in 1975 with Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi, founders of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS). With Jerry Ball, and now Emiko Miyashita, she writes a column of haiku commentary, “Dojin’s Corner,” for GEPPO, the YTHS newsletter. She has two books of haiku, Blush of Winter Moon (Jacaranda Press, 2001) and Utopia: She Hurries On (Swamp Press, 2017). With Fay Aoyagi she translated the haiku of Kiyoko Tokutomi, Kiyoko’s Sky (Brooks Books, 2002). She has four books of haiga, one of which, Mountain Trail: Following the Master was recently featured on THF’s Book of the Week. Her haiku have twice been honored with the Touchstone Award. Her artwork, including haiga, can be seen on her site.

Scott Mason is an editor with The Heron’s Nest and author of The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes, recipient of the Kirkus Star from Kirkus Reviews as well as the Touchstone Distinguished Books Award from The Haiku Foundation and the Merit Book Award (Prose) from the Haiku Society of America. His individual haiku have received nearly two hundred awards — including more than twenty first place finishes — in various international competitions. Scott serves on the executive committee of the Katonah Poetry Series, now in its sixth decade, near his home in northern Westchester County, New York.

Beverly Acuff Momoi has written many forms of poetry and has a particular interest in Japanese short forms. Her work has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including Haiku 2015, Wishbone Moon, The Wonder Code, Echoes 2, Earth in Sunrise: A Course for English-Language Haiku Study, and Snapshot Press’s Haiku Calendars in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Her haibun collection, Lifting the Towhee’s Song, was a Snapshot Press eChapbook Award winner. She served as 2nd Vice President of the Haiku Society of America from 2017-2019. In addition to the HSA, she is a member of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, and several international haiku and tanka organizations. She lives in northern California with her husband and two cats.

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.

Mike Rehling is a quiet vegan haiku poet living in Northern Michigan.

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