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Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards 2017

The Haiku Society of America sponsors this annual award for excellence in published haiku, translation, and criticism. This page includes judges' comments for the awards.

These awards are for books published in 2015. The First Place award was originally made possible by LeRoy Kanterman, cofounder of the Haiku Society of America, in memory of his wife Mildred Kanterman. Congratulations to each of the winners, and to many additional poets who published other worthy books. If you might be interested in serving as a judge for future HSA Merit Book Awards, please notify any Haiku Society of America officer.

Merit Book Awards web pages: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

Return to archive of Merit Book Awards archive.

For full details about the contest rules, see the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards.


Merit Book Awards for 2017 (for books published in 2016)


Terri L. French, Huntsville, Alabama
LeRoy Gorman, Napanee, Ontario

This year’s selection of 48 single author titles and 7 anthologies was wide-ranging in form and content. Consideration was given to dividing titles into distinct categories such as: haiku only works, haiku with tanka, haiku with essays, haiku with non-haiku related poetry, and a variety of other combinations. In the end, it was decided to go with two divisions: single author works and anthologies. In each entry, the judges looked for originality of individual poems and prose selections, clearness of voice, thematic unity and physical presentation.

Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award, First Place $500

George Swede. Helices. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2016. 118 pages, perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-936848-70-6. Price: $15.00 from the publisher at www. redmoonpress.com.


Second Place $100 (tie)

Amanda Bell. Undercurrents. Uxbridge, UK: Alba Publishing, 2016. 72 pages, perfectbound, ISBN 978-1-910185-35-3. Price $14.00 from the publisher at www.albapublishing.com.

Margaret Lane Dornaus. Prayer for the Dead: Collected Haibun & Tanka Prose. Ozark, AR: Singing Moon Press, 2016. 107 pages, perfectbound. ISBN 978-0-9982112-0-6. Price: $15.00 from www.lulu.com.

Third place $50 (tie)

Maxianne Berger. Winnows. Toronto, ON: Nietzsche’s Brolly, 2016. 60 pages, perfectbound. ISBN 978-0-920489-48-2. Price: $22.00 CDN from Imago Press at imagorediron@gmail.com.

Peter Yovu. Imago. Princeton, NJ: Ornithopter Press, 2016. Unpaginated, saddle-stapled. ISBN 978-1-942723-02-8. Price: $11.00 from the publisher at www.ornithopterpress.com.


Honorable mentions (unranked, in alphabetical order by book title)

Kyle D.Craig. Invisible Tea. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2016. 72 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-936848-71-3. Price: $15.00 from the publisher at www.redmoonpress.com.

Carol Judkins. at the water’s edge. San Bernardino, CA: wildflower poetry press, 2016. 40 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-535538-59-6. Price: $15.30 from www.amazon.com.

Deborah P Kolodji. highway of sleeping towns. Pasadena, CA: Shabda Press, 2016. 104 pages, perfectbound. ISBN 978-0-9915772-3-1. Price: $16.00 from www.amazon.com.

Giselle Maya. Cicada Chant: Collected Haibun and Tanka Prose. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2016. 78 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-936848-60-7. Price: $17.00 from the publisher at www.redmoonpress.com.

Philip Rowland. Something Other Than Other. London, UK: Isobar Press, 2016. 94 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-4-907359-14-0. Price: from the publisher at http://isobarpress.com.


Best Anthology (tie)

nada annunaad: an anthology of contemporary world haiku edited by Kala Ramesh, Sanjuktaa Asopa and Shloka Shankar, Vishwakarma Publications, 2016. 266 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-93-85665-33-2. Price: $6.86 from www.amazon.com.

galaxy of dust: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2015 edited by Jim Kacian & The Red Moon Editorial Staff, Red Moon Press, 2016. 184 pages perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-936848-55-3. Price: $17.00 from the publisher at www.redmoonpress.com.


Honorable Mention Anthology

Scent of the Past. . . Imperfect edited by Renée Owen, Two Autumns Press, 2016. 31 pages saddle stapled. Price: from the publisher at http://www.hpnc.org/Home/Welcome/hpnc-books.






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