Haiku Society of America Haibun Student Haiku Awards for 2022

Haiku Society of America Student Haiku Awards
in Memorial of Nicholas A. Virgilio

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Student Haiku Awards for 2022

Alan S. Bridges and Shirley Brooks

Here are the winning haiku, listed alphabetically by author's last name:

Priscilla Arthur - Grade 12, Ghana, West Africa
Almila Dükel - Grade 11, Mugla, Turkey
Talia Ghose - Grade 7, Atlanta, GA
Henry Lew - Grade 12, Newport Beach, CA
Kaeden Quarles - Grade 8, Atlanta, GA
Colin Thomas - Grade 8, Atlanta, GA

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sabbath morning—
dancing to the church bell 
the abandoned ribbon

Priscilla Arthur - Grade 12, Ghana, West Africa

A playful visual image contrasts with a solemn human day of rest-- We are left to contemplate how the ribbon was left behind, perhaps a joyful event such as a wedding the preceding day, and it is as if the ribbon has continued the celebration. ~ ASB

Such freedom in the wind — even for a ribbon that is lost or intentionally removed from a little girl’s hair or perhaps from a stray balloon. Because this poem is set on a sabbath morning either just outside or near a church, it makes me ponder the narrow restrictions too many religious groups place on people who are different from them. I prefer seeking love and freedom for all to dance in the wind to the music of life. ~ SB

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ice-gloved branches
a crow clings
to the hedgerow

Almila Dükel - Grade 11, Mugla, Turkey

There is a sweet melody to this haiku and one can easily imagine the tinkling sounds as the crow alights on an “ice-gloved” branch, a particularly poetic expression. ~ ASB

I love the image of “ice-gloved branches”. The human experience of putting on a glove compared to the natural covering created by glazing ice is brilliant. Nonetheless, the crow is still there, hanging on to the icy branches within the hedgerow, perhaps oblivious to the ice. Life goes on. ~ SB

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divorce papers
his signature
in black sharpie

Talia Ghose - Grade 7, Atlanta, GA

Haiku reveal themselves in infinite shades and in this instance leans toward the dark end of the spectrum in a convincing way. The effectiveness is furthered by the repeated 's' and 'p' sounds. ~ ASB

This haiku features a vivid juxtaposition of the final execution of divorce papers with a permanent, bold signature. This is real! The divorce is happening and is boldly embraced, or at least responded to, by the signer. Many experiences in life happen quietly and without notice, while others are defining moments etched forever in our hearts and minds. The power of this haiku is the way it captures a moment of intensity. ~ SB

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power outage
our house
comes to life

Henry Lew, Grade 12, Newport Beach, CA

This artfully crafted scene evokes memories of the times we share as families when inevitable electrical failures bring us together with lit candles and things like story-telling, board games and other non-powered devices to occupy our time and minds. The 'ow' sounds in the first four words create a subtle continuity to the poem. ~ ASB

This poem resonated with my own experience of working in an office setting filled with a mixture of cubicles and private spaces. QUIET was the norm. But the occasional power outage, with the resulting loss of computer access, almost immediately led to voices chattering. People abandoned their workspaces to talk and share in these moments of disconnectedness with a refreshing connectedness under the dimness of natural light flowing in from the outer rim of windows. Perhaps we all should intentionally “power down” more often. ~ SB

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a kick
of the pinecone
my journey begins

Kaeden Quarles - Grade 8, Atlanta, GA

This haiku has a sense of youthful exuberance, as someone embarks on a new path, be it physical or metaphorical. A pine cone may be symbolic of sowing seeds. Perhaps the author is out to do the same. ~ ASB

Take a hike! Combining the playful kick of a pinecone with beginning a journey can be read literally on a trail, but also evokes other journeys we might take. Perhaps it takes a kick – from ourselves or someone else — to initiate a pursuit of a new hobby, a new career, a new relationship, a new adventure. Kicking the pinecone might lead to seeding something new and unexpected ahead. Sometimes we all should “take a hike”! ~ SB

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the stadium lights
summer moon

Colin Thomas - Grade 8, Atlanta, GA

This revealing haiku perhaps says as much about the observer as it does about the palpable beauty of our natural world — maybe the sporting event is not exciting or the moon is simply magical on a lovely summer evening. The contrast between man-made and nature elevates this poem to a level that prods us to look deeper into what surrounds us each day. ~ ASB

This haiku moves us beyond the walls of our daily experiences, which so often occur within a constructed world. At least for a moment, the visual wonder of a summer moon far outshines the activities and excitement occurring within the confines of a stadium. The poet captures the expanded world available to us when we only take a moment to observe. ~ SB

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About our 2022 judges:

Alan S. Bridges works as a Patient Services Representative at a small hospital near Boston, Massachusetts. Twice he has been voted poet-of-the-year by readers of The Heron's Nest. His collections include In a Flash (Snapshot Press, 2019), Stirring Ashes (Turtle Light Press, 2020) and In the Curves(Red Moon Press, 2020).

Shirley Brooks is a retired professional editor who enjoys living on a lake in central Illinois. She and her husband, Randy Brooks, founded High/Coo Press in 1976 and have been publishing haiku magazines, postcards, chapbooks, and related books ever since. Their first journal, High/Coo: A Quarterly of Short Verse, was published from 1976 until 1989. After moving from Indiana to Illinois, they re-established the company into Brooks Books and started co-editing haiku books and Mayfly magazine. Four of their most recent award-winning publications are: (1) The Collected Haiku of Raymond Roseliep; (2) Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 Days of Haiku for Children Young and Old; (3) My Red: The Selected Haiku of John Stevenson; and (4) Walking Uneven Ground: Selected Haiku of Bill Pauly.




The Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition for Grades 7-12 was founded in 1990 by the Sacred Heart Church in Camden, N.J. It is sponsored and administered by the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association in memory of Nicholas A. Virgilio, a charter member of the Haiku Society of America, who died in 1989. See the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association for more about Nick.

The Haiku Society of America cosponsors the contest, provides judges, and publishes the contest results in its journal, Frogpond, and on its Website (www.hsa-haiku.org). Judges' comments are added to the web site following publication in Frogpond.

Winners by Year (with judges' comments):

2024 | 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 |

For details about the contest rules, read the complete contest submission guidelines.

See the Haiku Society of America publication of the award winning haiku and senryu:

Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition Anthology

edited by Randy M. Brooks
designed by Ignatius Fay

© 2022 HAIKU Society of America


To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition, the executive committee of the Haiku Society of America published this anthology of award-winning haiku and senryu. The student observations, insights, experiences, emotions and insights evident in these haiku and senryu are a wonderful testament to the fresh voices and vivid imagery of young people. We believe the judges’ commentaries add a valuable layer of meaning as we see how leaders, editors, writers and members of the Haiku Society of America carefully consider the significance of each award-winning poem.

This collection celebrates the work of students whose teachers have gone beyond the stereotypical haiku lesson plan emphasizing only one dimension of haiku—the five/seven/five syllable form. In these haiku and senryu the reader will find a wind range of form, carefully constructed arrangement of lines, surprising juxtaposition of images, and fresh sensory perceptions. They will find what we all love in haiku—the human spirit responding to the amazing diversity of experiences and emotions offered to us in our everyday lives.

Come, enjoy these award-winning haiku and senryu full of the wonder, surprise and angst that are the gifts of being young. These young people enjoy being alive and effectively share that joy through their haiku and senryu.

~ Randy M. Brooks, Editor