Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 1978

Haiku Society of America

Merit Book Awards for 1978

for books published in 1975-1977

Virginia Brady Young (chairperson)
L. A. Davidson, Alan Gettis, and Sydell Rosenberg


First Place

Foster Jewell for the body of his work to date including these two books.

Foster Jewell. Haiku Sketches, Sangre de Cristo Press, Venice, California, 1971.

This puddle, so small,
the skidding of a leaf
     starts it shivering.

Foster Jewell. 9 Days on the Desert, Sangre de Cristo Press, Venice, California, 1977.

The buzzards come
   to see how I do.


Second Place

Elizabeth Searle and F. Bruce Lamb. Picasso’s “Bust of Sylvette”. Garlinghouse Printers, Topeka, Kansas, 1977. Text by Elizabeth Searle Lamb; photographs by F. Bruce Lamb.

not knowing
this is the New Year, she smiles
in the same old way

going out to look at her
on the day he dies


Third Place

Geraldine C. Little. Stilled Wind. Bonsai Press, Prescott, Arizona, 1977.

after Bach
the bare beauty
             of a winter branch

The swarming cities
     this lifted rock!


Honorable Mention

Robert Mainone. High on the Wind. privately published, 1975.

In each snowy footprint
     the fox is leaving
          a bit of his shadow

Wobbly puppy
          the wobbly moon


Honorable Mention - for a book of translation and criticism

Makoto Ueda. Modern Japanese Haiku: An Anthology. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1976.

Eating grapes—
like one word, another word,
and still another.

~ Nakamura Kusatao

I kill an ant
and realize my three children
have been watching.

~ Kato Shuson




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.