Haiku Society of America Rengay Awards

Haiku Society of America Rengay Award
in Honor of Garry Gay

HSA Rengay Awards 2024

Judged by
Billie Dee & Richard L. Matta
Judges Commentary


2024 First Place


Ding Dong Ding

white coral bells —
those endless rounds we sang
as children

still wanting to believe
life is but a dream

the third blind mouse
able to see

the fuzziness
between sleep and wakefulness
morning bells are ringing 

the farmer’s wife pauses
to catch her breath

warm breeze . . .
cherry petals drift
gently down the stream 

Angela Terry 1, 3 & 5
Julie Schwerin 2, 4 & 6


2024 Second Place


Post Roe

without her
bindweed starts
to flower

until the smell
mousetraps forgotten

a monarch stops
in the purple aster

front porch
a dish of water
for the strays

trust the barn light
to cross the prairie

far back pasture
a young cow
drops her calf

Dan Schwerin 1, 3 & 5
Julie Schwerin 2, 4 & 6


2024 Third Place


Blow on By

whoosh of wind
a crimson leaf lands
in a new year

around the corner
unseen chimes

cool breeze
the scattering scraps
of a torn letter

sharp screech
high above the well pump
metal blades wheel

origami cranes
fly in the swift draft

in the garden
a whirligig cardinal
wings spinning

Eavonka Ettinger 1, 3 & 5
Annie Holdren 2, 4 & 6


2024 Honorable Mention



cradled in a curve 
of wave-carved sandstone
intertidal life
sprouting from the millennia  
jewelweed in a roadside cut
midsummer heat 
we escape into the coolness
of an escarpment crevice
where Thoreau's writings 
come alive                              
kettle pond
fossil hunting 
another layer of memory
holding up  
this blue sky
basalt columns

Jacquie Pearce 1, 3 & 5
Alan S. Bridges 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These awards for unpublished rengay are sponsored by the Haiku Society of America in honor of Garry Gay, the inventor of rengay.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.