Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 1985

Haiku Society of America

Merit Book Awards for 1985

for books published in 1983-1984

R. W. Grandinetti Rader (chairman)
Frank Robinson and Ruth Yarrow


First Place

Rod Willmot, Editor. The Erotic Haiku Anthology. Black Moss Press, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1983.

wild raspberry taste on the tip of your tongue

~ Eric Amann

holding you
in me still . . .
sparrow songs

~ Anita Virgil

       dawn spreads
   between the curtains
your thigh behind mine

~ Ruth Yarrow


Second Place

Bob Boldman. Wind in the Chimes. Juniper Press, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1983.

leaf by leaf

lark song
down to
its bones


Third Place

Adele Kenny. The Roses Open. Jade Mountain Press, Morristown, New Jersey, 1984.

heavy flower scent —
the curve
of your dead mother’s hand

while I sleep
the roses


Honorable Mention

Alexis Rotella. After an Affair. Merging Media, Westfield, New Jersey, 1984.

Wild touch-me-nots:
you never
touch me

After an affair
all the rooms


Honorable Mention

Hal Roth. The Way the Wind. Wind Chimes Minibook, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 1983.

the way the wind
arranges her hair
. . . rearranges it

toward dawn
a bar of moonlight
touches her breast




The purpose of the Haiku Society of America's Merit Book Awards is to recognize the best haiku and related books published in a given year in the English language. Every year sees a fresh crop of fine individual collections, anthologies, translations, critical studies and innovative forms.

In the past, the HSA Merit Book awards were partially supported by a memorial gift. Leroy Kanterman, cofounder of the Haiku Society of America, made a gift to support the first place award in memory of his wife Mildred Kanterman. See the archives of Merit Book Awards.

The Merit Book Awards competition is open to the public. Books must have been published in the previous year and must clearly contain a printed previous year copyright. A member, author, or publisher may submit or nominate more than one title. At least 50 percent of the book must be haiku, senryu, or haibun, or prose about these subjects (books mostly of tanka, for example, are not eligible). HSA will also consider collections that have only appeared in an e-book/digital book format. Two print copies of the digital book may be sent by the publisher. Books published by HSA officers are eligible for this award. Books published by the national HSA organization, however, are not eligible.

Winners by Year (with judges' comments):

2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1985 | 1983 | 1981 | 1978 | 1975 |

See the contest rules for entering the next Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards competition.