Complete Collection of the Haiku Society of America Rengay Awards - 2022

Haiku Society of America Rengay Award
in Honor of Garry Gay


Judged by
Kristen Lindquist & Michael Dylan Welch
Judges Commentary


2022 First Place


An Extra Leaf

there ll be no grandkids
winter deepens  

another autumn 
too old for a puppy

always leftovers
we fatten up
the strays  

an extra leaf
in the closet
family dinner  

spare rooms
just spare rooms  

samara seeds  
a blue ribbon tied
to the neighbor s mailbox  

Bryan Rickert 1, 3 & 5
Terri L. French 2, 4 & 6


2022 Second Place



rose-laced dawn
a young girl sweeping petals
from the courtyard

old narrow bed
     our parents sleep entwined

Ganga ghat
the barefoot cobbler
with crossed legs

a rickshaw puller
     wipes his sweat
     city din

festival tuk-tuk
my driver s betel-stained teeth

Vedic chants
     weaving prayers in one thread
     a garland of marigolds

Billie Dee 1, 3 & 5
Neena Singh 2, 4, & 6


2022 Third Place


In the Expanse

faint echoes
from the stones
a raven s call

guinea fowl pick over
the empty waterhole

scratched onto blue
the black
of an eagle s wings

emus . . .
to the horizon

crested bellbird – courting notes 
buried in the dunes

a puddle
filled with sky
pink cockatoos

Kristen Lang 1, 3 & 5
Lorraine Haig 2, 4 & 6


2022 Honorable Mentions (in judges' rank order)



sneaking back in
past curfew
a prick of the rose bush

snapped twig
the motion sensor light

my mother
sits on my bed
not another talk

waning moon
my daughter s
monosyllable answers

two weeks grounded
my light turns off

bathroom trash can
I worry about
her period      

Yvette Nicole Kolodji 1, 3 & 5
Deborah P Kolodji 2, 4 & 6


Drifiting Out of the Frame

turning to dust
what s pinned in
the shadowbox

her love letters
in faded ink

becoming more
mother s face
or less mine

wings worn down
to gossamer

lavender sachet
her memories no longer come
when called

dandelion seeds drifting
out of the frame

Michele Root-Bernstein 1 & 4
Laszlo Slomovits 2 & 5
Jennifer Burd 3 & 6


Off You Go!

corn stubble
the camouflage
of a killdeer's egg

dots under a dock leaf
left by a butterfly

on a pond
the sound of nothing . . .

filling the blossoms
with bees

milkweed fluff
off you go!

the last crack
opens the world

Alan S. Bridges 1, 3 & 5
Jacquie Pearce 2, 4 & 6



Desert Highway

the feather trapped
in a Chevy grill
dust devil horizon

riding an updraft
          turkey vultures

rock doves
preen in the heat
ATV exhaust

windswept dunes
          distant echoes
          from campfires

old coyote
scavenging scraps

star-filled night
          a kangaroo rat
          noses the tent flap

Billie Dee 1, 3 & 5
Naia 2, 4 & 6

~ ~ ~




These awards for unpublished rengay are sponsored by the Haiku Society of America in honor of Garry Gay, the inventor of rengay.

Winners by Year: | 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 |

See the contest rules for entering the next Haiku Society of America Rengay Award competition. 


Ingredients We Look for in Exemplary Rengay:

by Garry Gay and Renee Owen

Adherence to Form – 2-person rengay (3/2/3/3/2/3) and 3-person rengay (3/2/3/2/3/2).

Compelling Themes – at least one discernable primary theme with a possible bonus for a secondary theme.

Universality of Meaning – why the poem matters and what it speaks to.

Effective Haiku – preferably strong haiku that carry enough weight to stand on their own.

Linking & Shifting – linking creates a pleasing flow, with 2-line stanzas linking well with the lines directly above and below, while the shift adds a new dimension.

Interesting Title – especially compelling if it doesn’t echo a line from the first few stanzas.

Exceptional Writing Style – incorporates poetic techniques, fresh imagery and word choices, a variety of sensory details, varied line/stanza structure, noteworthy sounds (like alliteration, consonance, etc.), avoids clichés and contains no spelling or grammatical errors.

Sense of Mystery or Something Left Unsaid—to engage and stimulate the reader.

Satisfactory Ending – a sense of completion and a possible link between the final and first stanza.

Multiple Rereadings – the poem continues to deepen and hold our interest.