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2023 HSA Haiku Contest
Judged by
Brad Bennett & Caroline Skanne
See 2023 judges' comments

~ First Place ~

milkweed husks
the dusk greens
with dragonflies

Joshua Gage, OH, USA


~ Second Place ~

moonlit shallows . . .
     horseshoe crabs appear
          from deep time

Scott Mason, NY, USA


~ Third Place ~

unable to fit it
on one sketchbook page
the young hawk’s circle

paul m., Florida, USA

~ Honorable Mention ~

where the bufflehead
entered dark water
bubbles of light

John Barlow, Ormskirk, UK


~ Honorable Mention ~

one log left
beside the log-splitter
a sliver of moon

Temple Cone, MD, USA


~ Honorable Mention ~

desert dawn an ash-throated flycatcher

M F Drummy, CO, USA


~ Honorable Mention ~

maple stump
the sky still holding
the old treehouse

Jacquie Pearce, BC, Canada


2023 HSA Haibun Contest
Judged by
Marilyn Ashbaugh & Sean O’Connor
2023 Judges Commentary

2023 First Place:

by Dru Philippou, NM, USA


On my way to Fuji-san, I stop by a bakery and buy their specialty tribute bread, made from the finest ingredients: Yamanashi wheat flour, Fujigane Kogen milk for its velvety richness, and Kyoho grape juice for sweetness and color. I slice through the loaf and see a striking blue-and-white rendition of the mountain. Biting into its pillowy softness, I think of the fabled Princess Kaguya, who gave the Emperor a vial containing the elixir of life before she left for home on the moon. Unable to live without her, the Emperor ordered his warriors to burn her farewell offering on the highest mountain, giving it the name Immortal. On a day like this, it could live forever.

shining through
the morning mist . . .
Fuji’s many paths

the wind of Mt Fuji
I’ve brought on my fan
a gift from Edo

Note: The haiku in italics is by Basho, translated by Etsuko Yanagibori.

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Second Place:

by Alan Peat, Staffordshire, UK

Corpse Way*

On this long, flat stone — the first of six where the dead were rested — I am sat with my dad, watching crows. Not crows in flight, but walking crows, the ones that move between sheep with that slow, yet determined gait, enlivened now and then with a fluttering hop. This is our regular stop: for tea and biscuits as the views open up.

dawnlight —
with no map or compass
our whole day ahead

A wicker coffin to lighten the load. Too poor for a horse and cart, his neighbors will carry him — sixteen hard, winding miles from Keld to Grinton — over tree roots, across flowing water, then up to the high ground, far from hushed hamlets, where the living might tempt a dead man back. And when they reach St. Andrew’s lichgate, the old warden will lift the lid and, if his body is wrapped in wool cloth, his bones will be fit for the consecrated ground.

less trodden path —
the unpicked berries
black and shrunk

On the last of the coffin stones I am sat quite alone. It is a fine spot to rest in the gentle lower dale, in the heart of its patchwork of drystone-walled grass. The church door marks the end of my walk. I will pass through it soon enough, but for now I am content to stay seated; happy to listen to the lapwings’ calls.

unmoved for so long —
the yew tree I climbed
as a boy

*Corpse Ways are medieval paths that remote English communities walked to the closest consecrated burial ground.

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Third Place:

by Barbara A Sabol, OH, USA


Wide open at thirteen. It was a year of blood, of trying to fit into a bewildering body. On the doorstep of summer break, I was itching for freedom. As I pulled on my wool uniform, thoughts of sleeping late, running wild ’til the streetlights came on ... . The news of Bobby’s death rang from the transistor on my dresser. I fell back onto the bed as our house plunged off its foundation. I refused to go to school. Diagrams and fractions suddenly meaningless. Catechism, more than ever, hollow rote.

I had had my schoolgirl crushes, my disappointments. This was a different kind of heartbreak. A rip in the seam of the world I was just getting to know.

bird bone flute
the hollow sound
wind makes

What I remembered about his brother’s assassination five years earlier was that it made my impassive mother cry for days. Then the never-ending funeral procession on television. Otherwise, my childhood world remained intact. That was the same year my uncle fell from a ladder and lay for the rest of his days staring at the ceiling in the Veterans Hospital.

But mom still put dinner on the table every day, dad kept going to his job at the mill, and I would learn how to find a common denominator that bound together fractured things.

lightning-split redbud
and yet

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2023 HSA Rengay Contest
Judged by
Marcyn Del Clements & Seren Fargo
Judges Commentary

2023 First Place


Yellowing Maple

Japanese garden—
the emptiness
of the teahouse

grass in the cherry orchard
wet with dew

stepping stones . . .
different languages
in the air

hungry koi —
the moonbridge crowded
with children

the calligraphy
of pine branches

a turtle sunning
at the pond’s edge—
yellowing maple

Ion Codrescu 1, 3 & 5
Michael Dylan Welch 2, 4 & 6

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The Haiku Society of America is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1968 to promote the writing and appreciation of haiku in English. The HSA has been meeting regularly since its inception and sponsors meetings, readings, publications and contests. The HSA has over 1000 members around the country and overseas. Membership is open to all readers, writers, and students of haiku. Join today.

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Haiku Society of America
Senryu Awards for 2023

Judges: Julie & Dan Schwerin
See 2023 judges' comments

First Place

          sexagenarian —
          it’s not what I thought
          it would be

                    John Savoie, IL, USA


Second Place


                    Lev Hart, Alberta, Canada


Third Place

          coastal clean-up
          the message in
          an empty bottle

                    Alvin Cruz, Manila, Philippines


Honorable Mention

          his ego dusting the mantel mallard

                    Richard L. Matta, USA


Honorable Mention

          the soldiers
          on both sides, the shells
          of sunflower seeds

                    Spyros Mylonas, TN, USA


Honorable Mention

          security deposit
          the bride hocks
          her husband’s ghost gun

                    Peter Jastermsky, CA, USA

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Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 2023

James Chessing and Sondra J. Byrnes, judges
of the best books published in 2022
see the judges commentary


First Place

Where Rain Would Stay: The Haiku Poetry of Peggy Willis Lyles, Edited by John Barlow & Ferris Gilli, Snapshot Press, 2022

Second Place

Peter Newton. Glide Path. Winchester, VA; Red Moon Press, 2022

Third Place

John Hawkhead. Bone Moon. Uxbridge, UK; Alba Publishing, 2022

Honorable Mentions (not ranked but in alphabetical order by author)

Brad Bennett, A Box of Feathers, Red Moon Press, 2022

Bill Cooper. Rounded by the Sea. Winchester, VA; Red Moon Press

Bruce H. Feingold, Everything with an Asterisk, Red Moon Press, 2022

Aaron Barry, Eggplants & Teardrops: A Haiku Collection, 2022

See the complete listing of all awards as well as the 2023 judges commentary at this page: Merit Book Awards 2023.

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See the web site sampler of
Frogpond 46.2, 2023

Frogpond cover 45-3

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Check out our Frogpond history:

the Archive of
Frogpond Journal

Archive of Frogpond Journal

(all issues from 1978-2020)

Haiku Society of America is pleased to provide access to PDF copies of back issues of Frogpond. This includes all but the most recent issues published in the last two years.

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Support HSA with a Donation

The Haiku Society of America is a not-for-profit organization that is dependent on membership dues and much appreciated donations.

Friend: Up to $49
Donor: $50-$99
Sponsor: $100 or more

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