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Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards 2013

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

Previous year Merit Book Awards web pages:
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 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 2013 (for books published in 2012)

The Haiku Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Kanterman Book Awards, for books published in 2012, judged by Paul MacNeil and Paul Miller.

These awards are for books published in 2012. The First Place award is made possible by LeRoy Kanterman, cofounder of the Haiku Society of America, in memory of his wife Mildred Kanterman. Congratulations to each of the winners, and to many additional poets who published other worthy books. If you might be interested in serving as a judge for future Kanterman Awards, please notify any Haiku Society of America officer.

Kanterman Award, First Place, $500

Carolyn Hall. The Doors All Unlocked. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012.
102 pages, perfectbound, 4.25 x 6.5 inches. ISBN 978-1-936848-16-4. $12.00.

Hall’s latest collection of haiku confirms her appreciation and expression of both her emotional and natural worlds. On page after page we find strong poems mixed with a few just “very good.” This is a high standard. This is art from an English-language haiku master.

Second Place, $100

Rebecca Lilly. Yesterday’s Footprints. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012.
66 pages, perfectbound, 4.25 x 6.5 inches. ISBN 978-1-936848-17-1. $12.00.

Landscape is important to Lilly; her relationship to it, equally so. Her poems examine the past and present, and look inwards at how they all connect. The reader will recognize many of her questions as their own.

Third Place, $50

Stella Pierides. In the Garden of Absence. Afterword by Michael Dylan Welch. Neusaess, Germany: Fruit Dove Press, 2012. 76 pages, perfectbound, 5 x 7.5 inches.
ISBN 978-3-944155-00-5. $10.00.

A charming collection in which the poet revisits childhood loneliness (although one-liness might be more appropriate), yet “located within adult concerns, uncertainties, anxieties, as well as pleasures.” This intersection of the past and pre- sent is within all of us, and Pierides mines it well. A very satisfying read.

Honorable Mentions

Victor Ortiz. Into Borrego Valley. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012. 20 pages, saddle-stapled, 4 x 5.25 inches. No ISBN. $10.00.

Bruce Ross. Spring Clouds. Bangor, ME: Tancho Press, 2012. 150 pages, perfectbound, 5.5 x 8.5 inches. ISBN 978-0- 9837141-1-8. $14.95.

Michael Henry Lee. Against the Grain. Saint Augustine, FL: Eleventh Hour Press, 2012. 56 pages, spiral bound, 5.5 x 8.5 inches. No ISBN. $8.00.

Best Anthology

Robert Epstein, ed. The Temple Bell Stops: Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss and Change. Baltimore, MD: Modern English Tanka Press, 2012. 256 pages, perfectbound, 6 x 9 inches. ISBN 978-1-9353983-0-1. $19.95.

Epstein’s interest in the multiple sides of loss isn’t an interest in masochism; rather, he is interested in the courageous ways people confront a part of life that is completely natural. There are many kinds of loss, from simple goodbyes to the death of a loved one, and everything in between, and this volume contains them all. Life-affirming rather than morbid.

Honorable Mentions for Best Anthology

Jim Kacian, et al., eds. Carving Darkness: 2012 Red Moon Anthology. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012. 176 pages, perfectbound, 5.5 x 8.25 inches. ISBN 978-1-946848-10- 2. $17.00.

Patricia J. Machmiller, ed. Bending Reeds: 2012 Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Members Anthology. San Jose, CA: Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2012. 94 pages, perfectbound, 6 x 9 inches. ISBN 978-0-9850972-1-9. $14.00.

Best Criticism

Stephen Addiss. The Art of Haiku. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 2012. 384 pages, hardbound, 6.3 x 9.2 inches. ISBN 978-1-59030-886-8. $24.95.

An excellent introduction to haiku that takes the reader from its humble beginnings through Shiki and a few contemporaries. Not only does it discuss the path of haiku’s development in Japan, but also how haiku work—and the volume contains numerous examples. The perfect book to give someone with an interest in haiku.

Special Award for Fiction

David G. Lanoue. Frog Poet. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012. 184 pages, perfectbound, 5 x 7.25 inches. ISBN 978-1-936948-03-4. $17.00.

The capstone to a wonderful quartet. Not only a wonderful way to learn about haiku, but a fun story as well, in which Old Japan appears alongside present-day New Orleans, both full of poets and poetics. And a frog.



Paul MacNeil has been an associate editor of The Heron’s Nest since 2000. He is a member of teams winning a number of the HSA Einbond Renku Competition prizes and was awarded an engraved river boulder, one of 41 haiku stones in the Katikati Haiku Pathway, New Zealand. His haiku have been anthologized in a variety of publications and most recently in Haiku in English: The First 100 Years, 2013, and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku, 2013.

Paul Miller is the editor of Modern Haiku. His haiku and essays have been widely published and anthologized. He most recently won the Haiku Society of America Mildred Kanterman Award for his latest collection, Few Days North Days Few (Red Moon Press, 2011).



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