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The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems are bestowed annually on poems that represent noteworthy additions to English-language haiku and senryu in the estimation of a distinguished panel. The Awards are open to any English-language haiku or senryu first published in the current calendar year.

What Is The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Award for Individual Poems?

The Haiku Foundation, as part of its mission to expand possibilities for English-language haiku, created the Touchstone Awards Series in 2010 for individual haiku and senryu (The Touchstone Award for Individual Poems) and books (The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award). In 2022, the Touchstone Award for Individual Haibun was added to recognize individual haibun.

All awards seek to reward excellence and innovation each calendar year. Results are determined through a year-long nomination and selection process and are released the following year on April 17, International Haiku Poetry Day. Award recipients are selected by independent panels comprised of authorities in the field.

How Are Panel Members Chosen?

The panel consists of six members who are chosen by the Touchstone Awards Committee. The Committee chooses panel members who have demonstrated expertise in the haiku and senryu genres.

How Are Haiku Nominated?

The Coordinator for the Touchstone Award for Individual Poems solicits nominations during the award year from editors whose journals publish haiku and senryu. In addition, any individual may nominate two poems (haiku or senryu), one of which may be their own. For the purposes of this award, publication is constituted by, but not limited to, first appearance in a juried or edited public venue such as a book, journal, online site, or contest. The Awards Committee reserves the right to determine whether a poem meets this criterion.

Nominations for the current year will open shortly after the previous year’s awards have been announced. Poems by administrators of the Touchstone Awards, as well as Individual panelists, are not eligible for nomination.

How Are the Winning Haiku Selected?

In the first round, the panel’s six members consider the entire anonymous roster of poems and nominate their highest-ranking haiku and senryu. These comprise the Long List. The panel then discusses the merits of the long-listed poems and votes for the poems to make up the Short List. In the final round, the panel votes to determine which of these will be recognized with Touchstone Awards. Once they have determined the awarded poems, panel members write commentaries for each of them. Authors and citations for winning poems are revealed to the judges only after they have selected the winning poems.

How to Submit

The deadline for the latest Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems is announced on our blog. See Touchstone Awards.

You may nominate no more than two poems, only one of which may be (but does not have to be) your own work. Nominated poems must be submitted with our entry form.

Entry Form: Touchstone Award for Individual Poems

The Panel for Award Year 2022

Roberta Beary began the study of haiku when they lived in Japan for five years in the 1990’s. Their first haiku collection, The Unworn Necklace, was published 15 years later. It received a finalist award from the Poetry Society of America and won both the Haiku Society of America and Snapshot Press book awards. Fast forward another 15 years. Their second haiku collection, Carousel (forthcoming), won a Snapshot Press book award. In 2015, their haibun collection, Deflection (Accents Publishing), was named a National Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books, was a finalist for both the Eric Hoffer and Touchstone awards, and winner of a Haiku Society of America book awardA native New Yorker, they live in the west of Ireland where they recently collaborated on One Breath: The Reluctant Engagement Project, which pairs their haiku with artwork by families of people with disabilities. They are the longtime haibun editor for the journal Modern Haiku.

Gregory Longenecker is a 2019 recipient of a Touchstone Award for Individual Poem and has received honors in haiku/senryu contests both here and abroad. He has served on committees for Haiku North America, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, and the Southern California Haiku Study Group, where he served as Moderator and  Editor of the Members’ Anthology for three years. Gregory was also a Judge for both the Haiku Society of America and the British Haiku Society. Additionally, Gregory has given presentations on haiku topics before several local haiku groups and authored a book of haiku, Somewhere Inside Yesterday (Red Moon Press), and was featured in A New Resonance 9. He and his wife live in Pasadena, California.

Pravat Kumar Padhy has obtained his Masters of Science and Technology and a Ph.D from Indian Institute of Technology, ISM Dhanbad. His literary work is cited in interviews with Indian Writing in English, Spectrum History of Indian Literature in English, Alienation in Contemporary Indian English Poetry, History of Contemporary Indian English Poetry, etc. His Japanese short forms of poetry (haiku, haibun, haiga, tanka, tanka prose, etc.) have been widely published.

His haiku appeared in World Haiku Review, LYNX, Ambrosia, The Notes from the Gean, Simply Haiku, Acorn, Shamrock, Kokako, The Heron’s Nest, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Tinywords, Presence, Bottle Rockets, Lilliput Review, Bones, is/let, Under the Basho, The Cicada’s Cry, A Hundred Gourds, Akitsu Quarterly, The Mainichi Daily News, The Asahi Shimbun, and others.

His haiku are featured in many anthologies, namely The Temple Bell Stops, A Vast Sky, The Light Singing, Behind the Tree Line, a hole in the light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, behind the mask: haiku in the time of Covid 19, and others.

His poems received many awards, honours, and commendations including the Editors’ Choice Award at Writers Guild of India, Sketchbook, Asian American Poetry, Poetbay, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational, UNESCO International Year Haiku Award of Water Co-operation, The Kloštar Ivanić International Haiku Award, IAFOR Vladimir Devide Haiku Award, and others. He guest-edited “Per Diem (Celestial Bodies-Monoku)”, The Haiku Foundation, November 2019.

His work is showcased in the exhibition “Haiku Wall”, Historic Liberty Theatre Gallery in Bend, Oregon, USA, and the tanka, ‘I mingle’ is published in the “Kudo Resource Guide”, University of California, Berkeley. His taiga (tanka-photo) is featured in the 20th Anniversary Taiga Showcase of Tanka Society of America. “How Beautiful”, a poem written by him, is included in the Undergraduate English Curriculum at the university level. He has seven collections of verse to his credit including Cosmic Symphony: A Haiku Collection (Cyberwit.net, 2019) and The Speaking Stone (Authors Press, 2020).

He has experimented with a new genre “Hainka”, a poetic fusion of haiku and tanka, with the image linking of the ‘fragment of the haiku as the ‘pivot line’ of the following tanka.

Marianne Paul is a Canadian poet and writer. Her chapbook, Body Weight: A Collection of Haiku and Art, was published by Human/Kind Press and won the Haiku Canada Marianne Bluger Chapbook Award. Her haiku and art have also been recognized through first place standings in the Jane Reichhold Memorial Haiga Competition, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Festival, and the Shambhala Times Midwinter Haiku contest. Her full-length poetry book, Above and Below the Waterline, was published by BookLand Press as well as three novels: Tending Memory, Dead Girl Diaries, and Twice in a Moon (originally published as The Shunning). Marianne’s willingness to innovate with poetry was recognized through being chosen as a finalist in the first annual Trailblazers Contest. Her short-form poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, online and in print. A member of Haiku Canada, she served as co-editor of the members’ anthology, random sampling.

Marianne’s happy obsessions include book arts and bookbinding, easy kayaking, shade gardening, and back porch birdwatching. She enjoys playing with a holistic approach to the arts, blending media and types of writing while still honouring the importance of form. Her latest project is paper heron press, a micro-publishing house that focuses on the tactile relationship between book and poem. Each chapbook is a limited edition and handcrafted with the first in the series, humming right along. You can see more of Marianne’s work on Instagram @ms.haiku and Twitter @mariannpaul.

Agnes Eva Savich is a university program coordinator, oboist, and widely-published haiku poet since 2004. Among her other activities, she founded (2019) and still leads the Austin Texas Haiku Group; served as judge of The Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards (2022) and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Contest (2020); edited A Charm of Finches: The Haiku Society of America Southwest Region 2021 Members’ Anthology; and co-presented the Memorial Presentation for Haiku North America 2021. Savich has resided in Poland, France, and Chicago, and currently lives in Pflugerville, near Austin, Texas.

Angela Terry is a Seattle, WA-area poet whose work has been published in numerous print and online journals and anthologies, received awards in a variety of international haiku contests, and been translated into a number of languages. She is a New Resonance poet and a winner of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award. Angela is a past member of the Haiku Society of America Executive Committee, and has served as Washington State Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, and President of Haiku Northwest.

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