Haiku Society of America Senryu Awards for 2010 - Judges Commentary

Haiku Society of America Senryu Award
in Memorial of Gerald Brady

Judges Commentary for 2010

Judges: Linda Jeanette Ward & Marsh Muirhead

As judges who've never met, live more than a thousand miles from one another, and are of dissimilar gender and background, we were very pleased to have arrived at close to the same top twenty senryu in our initial separate surveys of the hundreds of entries. This year's contest received 525 senryu from writers in seven countries. After exchanging thoughts on our favorites, putting them aside for several days, then considering them again, we found our top ten to twelve were, again, very similar. Agreeing on our top three and four honorable mentions took a few more days of re-reading and thoughtful consideration. The results are as follows:

 

First Place

my skeleton
going for a walk
in the cemetery

Garry Gay

The first-place senryu offers a very fresh image, funny, ani- mated, containing both the cartoon image of a literal skeleton, jauntily walking through the cemetery, and on a more serious note, the poet's contained skeleton on his or her own walk— that skeleton, the one which will possibly inhabit this place in the future, reminds us of our final end.

 

Second Place

mother's day
she puts me
on hold

Roberta Beary

Mother's day: So much to said, the moment so understood in just seven words. (Our senryu averaged only 7.5 words and 12 syllables each.)

 

Third Place ($50) Cathy Drinkwater Better, Maryland

final note
my g-string
too tight

Again, with just a few words, the reference to music is quickly noted, followed by so many funny possibilities fo the other image of "g-string."

 

Honorable Mentions

wishbone
as we pull it apart
I change my mind

Gary Gay, California

 

my blind date
disarming the alarm
she invites me in

Neal Whitman, California

 

graveside service
no one wants to leave
first

Julie Warther, Ohio

 

soothsayer
by appointment
only

Roland Packer, Ontari

 

Precision, concision, and cleverness of image—an image the reader is able to fashion in innumerable variations—again made these our next favorite poems, the honorable mentions, in no specific order:

 

 

 

 

These awards for unpublished haiku were originally made possible by Mrs. Harold G. Henderson in memory of Harold G. Henderson, who helped found The Haiku Society of America.

Winners by Year:

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See the complete collection of award-winning haiku from all previous Senryu Award competitions

See the contest rules for entering the next Haiku Society of America Senryu Award.