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Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards 2003

The Haiku Society of America sponsors this annual award for excellence in published haiku, translation, and criticism.

Merit Book Awards judges commets by year: 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

Return to archive of Merit Book Awards archive.

For full details about the contest rules, see Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards.


Merit Book Awards for 2003 (for books published in 2002)


This year was our turn to select from among twenty-three books presented for the Merit Book Award. We carefully read and reread each selection. Our discussions were lengthy, as well as satisfying. Happily, we were able to agree on which books we thought deserved special recognition. Without exception, we offer our praise, and thank the authors for their dedication and hard work.

Michael Ketchek and Tom Painting

First Place

finding the way, by paul m. Typography by Michael Dylan Welch. Press Here (22230 NE 28th Place, Sammamish, WA 98074-6408 USA) $6.00 postpaid in the United States (add $1.00 in Canada, $2.00 elsewhere), checks payable to "Michael D. Welch," at Press Here, 22230 NE 28th Place, Sammamish, WA 98074-6408 USA (for more information, please e-mail WelchM@aol.com; please note new postal address for Press Here!).

finding the way is a collection of 55 haiku that invite the reader on journey of the author’s observations and musings. paul m’s haiku resound long after the initial reading, and make a return visit to his poems most rewarding. The subtle play of images and juxtaposition makes the haiku in this collection a pleasure to ponder. The beauty of this book extends beyond the poetry. Its modest size, beautiful cover art and eloquently written narrative between sections contribute to a unified whole, sure to please.

Highly Commended

Shadwell Hills, by Rebecca Lilly (Birch Brook Press, P.O. Box 81, Delhi, NY 13753) ISBN 0-913559-79-2, 72 pp., 5.5" x 8.5". $16. Rebecca Lilly presents one hundred haiku, firmly rooted in the tradition of seasons and nature. This is a very satisfying collection that becomes more enjoyable with each read. Several wood engravings by Frank C. Eckmair enhance this lovely book.

Still Here: collected haiku and senryu by H.F. Noyes (self-published). No ISBN, 88 pp., 5.75" x 8.75". No price given. Still Here is a collection that encompasses a wide range of subjects. With wit and wisdom these haiku and senryu explore not only nature, but also the heart and mind of the author. Nicely illustrated by David Kopitzke.


To Hear the Rain: Selected Haiku of Peggy Lyles (Brooks Books, 3720 N.Woodridge Dr., Decatur IL 62526). ISBN 1-929820-03-8, 128 pp., 5.75" x 8.75". $22 .To Hear the Rain is a stunning book featuring poems in a wide range and breadth from one of our most highly regarded English-language haiku poets.

This Wine, by William M. Ramsey (Evanston, Ill.: Deep North Press, 2002). Book designed by Lidia Rozmus; typography and layout by Charles Trumbull. 96 unnumbered pages, paperback, perfectbound, 4 1/2" x 8 1/4". Printed on fine wove paper with translucent flyleaves; two-color cover. ISBN 1-929116-08-X. $15.00 postpaid in North America from the author at 1217 Berkeley Ave, Florence, SC 29505-3008. This Wine is a collection of haiku that have the ability to draw the reader into contemplating the author’s compelling world view.

Award for Best Anthology

the loose thread: The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2001, Jim Kacian, editor-in-chief (Red Moon Press; P.O. Box 2461, Winchester, VA 22504-1661; ISBN 1-893959-32-5, 160 pp., 5.5" 8.5". $19.95 ppd. email redmoon@shentel.net

The annual Red Moon Anthology continues to present the best of English language haiku, haibun, linked forms and essays. This attractive volume features the work of a diverse group of writers, consistent with the Red Moon editorial philosophy to present choice haiku in a wide range of style and form. Those familiar with the Red Moon anthology format will appreciate the continued high standard set by Jim Kacian and his editorial staff. Those for whom this book will be their first in the series will be glad they ventured in.

Highly Commended

listening to the rain: an anthology of Christchurch haiku and haibun, edited by Cyril Childs and Joanna Preston, The Small White Teapot Haiku Group, 6 Ballantyne Avenue, Christchurch 4 New Zealand). ISBN 0-473-08339-6, 72 pp., 5.75" x 8". No price given. This collection of outstanding haiku and haibun is spiced with regional flavor on universal themes. listening to the rain offers the reader an opportunity to become more familiar with a group of poets who have and will continue to receive critical acclaim.

The British Museum Haiku, edited by David Cobb (British Museum Press, 46
Bloomsbury St., London WC1B 3QQ). ISBN 0-7141-2401-X, 6.25" x 7.5". No
price given. ). This book is a splendid collection of haiku by the Japanese Masters. The haiku are presented not only in translation, but also in Japanese. Text is accompanied by high quality reproductions of Japanese art from the British Museum collection. This appealing book will be treasured, whether one is a haiku enthusiast or not.

Award for Best Book of Haibun

a delicate dance of wings, by Linda Jeannette Ward (Clinging Vine Press and Winfred Press; Clinging Vine Press, P.O. Box 231 Coinjock, NC 27923 and Winfred Press, 364 Wilson Hill Rd. Colrain, MA 01340). ISBN 0-9702457-4-2, 5.5" x 8.5". $11.a delicate dance of wings is a wonderful book that features consistently good haibun. Ms. Ward employs a straightforward style of prose, complimented by solid haiku. The haibun in this collection are accessible and poignant. Prints by Pamela A. Babusci and J.W. Stansell add another delightful aspect to this publication


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