All -Haiku Winner Presentation and Fille

Haiku Contest Results

Thank you so much for participating in our haiku contest!

We are astonished we received such a large number of submissions from all over the world.

We appreciate the judges, Michael Dylan Welch for haiku in English and Hisao Mogi, Mitsuyo Sakai, and Mitsuko Nakata from Rainier Ginsha for haiku in Japanese, for taking the time to review and select the winning poems.

 

We received

  • 356 haiku poems in English, including 37 youth entries

  • 132 haiku poems in Japanese, including 55 youth entries

  • From 33 countries 

俳句コンテストにたくさんのご応募ありがとうございました!

世界中から集まった素晴らしい句の数々に感動しました。 
英語俳句の選者、マイケル・ディラン・ウエルチさん、日本語俳句の選句を担って下さったレニア吟社茂木ひさをさん酒井光代さん中田美津子さんに、感謝申し上げます。 

  • 英語俳句365句(うち子供の作品37句) 

  • 日本語俳句132句(うち子供の作品55句) 

  • 世界33か国より応募

選句及び選評はこちら

 Haiku in English 

1st Place

a shimmer of trout
in the osprey’s talon
summer’s end

Tom Bierovic

DeLand, Florida, USA

Judge's Remarks:

We get an immediate and resonant feeling from this poem. The likely end of the trout’s life echoes with the ending of summer, which evokes a feeling sadness for endings. The poem also exemplifies important aspects of haiku craft. We begin with a strong image of a trout, with the arresting perception that its scales are shimmering, followed by the surprise of discovering that this trout is in the talons of a bird of prey. Perhaps the bird is flying, but it could be on a rock or in a tree, which is a detail the reader can add in interacting with the image. What’s most important, however, is the shift to the last line, a juxtaposition equivalent to the kireji or cutting word in Japanese haiku. It also includes a seasonal reference, in the tradition of using a kigo or season word. All together the poem offers everything we could wish for in both traditional and modern haiku.

2nd Place

beneath the blossoms
she counts her years
on one hand

Sasha A. Palmer

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Judge's Remarks:

We can picture cherry blossoms here, and a young child who is younger than six. The ephemerality of the blossoms echoes with the fleetingness of childhood. We can also feel a sense of delight and wonder in this poem, with the blossoms serving as a seasonal reference. This is a moment that is pleasing to partake in, and pleasing to share.

3rd Place

early jacaranda
I don't want to go back
to normal

Lynn H. Allgood

Pasadena, California, USA

Judge's Remarks:

Jacaranda blossoms are a vibrant purple, and you can immediately picture Southern California, if you’ve experienced jacaranda there. This seasonal occurrence is juxtaposed with a stated feeling, surely a reference to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. We can empathize with the idea of not wanting to go back to a pre-pandemic normal, perhaps because of an increased appreciation for nature. A key word here, though, is “early,” which leaves the poem open-ended as we contemplate its emotional effect in relation to the pandemic.

Adult Honorable Mentions

letting go
of my grandson’s hand
a flock of cranes

Nikolay Grankin
Krasnodar, Russia

Judge's Remarks:

Cranes in some cultures are a symbol of longevity, which produces overtones when paired with the relationship between the grandparent and grandchild. In addition, we are presented with a mystery—why does the grandparent release the grandson’s hand? Surely because of a sense of wonder at seeing the cranes. But what’s unstated is that perhaps the grandchild is rushing forward, and that’s why the hand may be released. This is a vibrant and buoyant poem.

Adult Honorable Mentions

morning light
blossoms along
an abandoned platform

Benedetta Cardone

Massa, Italy

Judge's Remarks:

The key word in this poem is “abandoned,” which makes us wonder why. And just as the usefulness of a train station platform has passed, so too the fallen blossoms are ephemeral. Even the trains are implied, how they too come and go, and may now be gone from this station forever. And yet there’s a hint of promise here, because of the morning light, suggesting the potential of a full day ahead.

Adult Honorable Mentions

lockdown 
the swings sway
without children

Mona Bedi

Delhi, India

Judge's Remarks:

We have had a challenging year with the coronavirus pandemic. It is only fitting that haiku acknowledge this challenge and all its losses. We can imagine this swing set at a school or a neighborhood playground, which the children have not been allowed to use. The wind sways the swings, and we can only hope it’s a wind of change, welcoming more normal days to come. However, another meaning is possible. The lockdown could possibly refer to an active shooter being in the building, a much darker and sadder possibility, yet even that is worth noting in haiku poetry.

Youth Honorable Mentions

cherry blossoms
I will never be 
such a good poet

Andreea Buzuc, age 13

Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

Many possible meanings in this poem. The cherry blossoms are so “poetic” that this young writer may feel incapable of reaching that standard of eloquence and beauty. It also suggests all the thousands of haiku, maybe even millions, that have been written about this hallowed subject, in Japan and elsewhere. The refreshing conclusion is that, with this poem’s humility, the poet is that good a poet.

Youth Honorable Mentions

lockdown 
my friends replaced
by teddy bears

Sebastian Ciobica, age 9
Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

The sad reality of our pandemic year is that many children have been going to school virtually, online, and have been denied the play and interaction of being in the classroom or at recess between classes. No wonder this poet’s friends have been replaced, but we can trust that it’s only temporary.

Youth Honorable Mentions

one by one
the stars pass from sight
cherry blossoms    

Ana Olaru, age 13

Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

At dawn, as the sky lightens, the stars fade. But in this case one sort of beauty is replaced by another, as they cherry blossoms gain color in the brightening light. The number of blossoms may even be seen to mirror the number of stars. The seasonal reference in the last line, and the poem’s two-part structure, and its emotional effect, as with all of the other poems selected in this year’s contest, serve to exemplify the traditional aesthetics of haiku in both Japan and around the world.

 Haiku in Japanese 

1st Place - 特選句1席

夏⾄の⽇の海⾵を切るホームラン

Yoshiseko Mari

Seattle, WA, USA

選評:

「海風を切る」から景が浮かんで来ます。シアトル界隈だとマリナーズの球場でしょうか?打者は大谷翔平?真夏の大空へ飛んで行ったホームランが、自粛を強いられてきた人々の未来を祝福しているようです。(光)

2nd Place - 特選句2席

青葉騒そっと始まる反抗期

Tetsuya Ohsawa

Shizuoka, Japan

選評:

青葉がざわざわと風に騒ぐ心地よい季節となったが、いつもと子供の言動が少し違う。そういえば我が子もそろそろ反抗期に入ったかなと云う親の気付きを句にした。
青葉騒(あおばざい)は若葉を過ぎた深緑色の樹々に心地よい風が吹く頃をいう。(ひ)

3rd Place - 特選句3席

単⾝の春⼟曜⽇の1万歩

Mitsuharu Mano

Puyallup, WA, USA

選評:

春は異動の季節でもある。作者はこの春から単身赴任をされたのだろうか。独りの週末は、寂しくもあり気楽でもある。健康維持のため自らに一万歩あるくことを課されたのであろう。人生を前向きに楽しんでおられる姿がうかがえる。(美)

佳作 - Adult Honorable Mentions

鉄錆の外階段や星涼し

Totsuki Mikura

Tokyo, Japan

選評:

人里から離れた別荘地であろう。夏になって久しぶりに訪れた別荘で涼を求めて外階段に出ると階段が赤く錆びてしまっている。空を眺めると満天に星が輝き涼しさを放っている。階段の鉄錆から夏の星への視点の移動が見事である。(ひ)

佳作 - Adult Honorable Mentions

夏の風クレーンの先星条旗

Yuzo Arai

Nagano, Japan

選評:

建設中のビルの屋上のクレーンだろうか。夏風が吹いているのがクレーンの先につけられた星条旗のはためきで分かる。力強いはためきは、コロナ禍を乗り越え、再び立ち上がろうとするアメリカ経済を象徴しているようにも思える。(美)

佳作 - Adult Honorable Mentions

紫陽花の香り幽かに傘の中

FURAKOKO

Japan

選評:

紫陽花は香りの強い花ではありませんが、雨の日のほうがより香立つような気がします。その場を離れても傘の中や身のまわりからほわっと優しい香りがします。雨の季節もまた佳きかなです。香りに焦点を当てたことに惹かれました。(光)

児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

ゆきのはなまっしろなそらまいおちた
 

Ethan Xu, age 9

Sammamish, WA, USA

選評:

ゆきのけっしょうは、はなのようなかたちをしているので、はいくでは「ゆきのはな」というきご(はいくのためのことば)になっています。ゆきがあんまりしろくてきれいなので、ひょっとしたらそらのかけらがまいおちたのかな、とおもって、それをそのままはいくにしたのですね。すなおなかんどうが、うまくはいくにまとめられていますね。(美)

児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

春が来た鳥がチリチリ鳴く声だ
 

Senna Nelson, age 10

Renton, WA, USA

選評:

冬のあいだ暗かった空が明るくなってきて、さあ春のおとずれです。たくさんの鳥が鳴いています。チリチリ鳴く鳥のすがたはみましたか。大きさや羽の色なども俳句にしたら楽しいと思います。(光)

児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

ばんりょくからねこ子ねこ子ねこ子ねこ

Takuya Ii, age 11

Smyrna, DE, USA

選評:

みわたすかぎりのみどりの中からねこのおやこがでてきた。子ねこ、子ねこ、子ねこと3かいくりかえすことによって子ねこのかわいらしさが3ばいにも4ばいにもかんじられるはいくになりました。575にとらわれないじゆうりつのはいくです。(ひ)

 
 

About the judges:

For haiku in English

Michael Dylan Welch is founder of National Haiku Writing Month and the Seabeck Haiku Getaway, cofounder of the Haiku North America conference and the American Haiku Archives, webmaster for Haiku Northwest (www.haikunorthwest.org), and president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword. He was keynote speaker for the 2013 Haiku International Association conference in Tokyo and has been teaching haiku for thirty years. His haiku have won numerous prizes and have been translated into at least twenty languages. Michael’s website, devoted mostly to haiku, is www.graceguts.com.

For haiku in Japanese

Rainier Ginsha (レニア吟社) is a Seattle-based Haiku club since 1934. Hisao Mogi (茂木ひさを) has been served as the president of Rainier Ginsha since 2012. He is also a photographer and submitting haiku to Hototogisu, the traditional haiku club founded by Kyoshi Takahama in 1897. Mitsuyo Sakai (酒井光代) has been a member of Tachibana Ginsha in California since 1998 and has been a member of the Rainier Ginsha since 2011. She is also an executive member (dojin) of the Haiku Society Dancho in her hometown, Aomori. A monument with her Haiku was built at the gateway of the Shirakami Mountains. Mitsuko Nakata (中田美津子) joined Rainier Ginsha in 2008. All the judges are the authors of the monthly article “Kongetsu-no-kigo (seasonal word of the month)” on the community paper “Soy Source.”

Rainier Ginsha HP: https://sites.google.com/site/haikunorthwest/rainier-haiku-ginsha