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Volume 34.2
Summer 2003

Robert Spiess Memorial
2003 Haiku Awards

As a memorial to Editor Bob Spiess, who died on March 13, 2002, Modern Haiku sponsors The Robert Spiess Memorial Award Haiku Competition.

Speculation Theme for 2003: Haiku written in the spirit of the following "Speculation" (Robert Spiess, A Year’s Speculations on Haiku, Modern Haiku (1995):

Most haiku of excellence are serenely vibrant. Although they seldom are concerned with grand or marvelous events, or employ highly charged language, or possess startling qualities, they nonetheless are intensely alive in their quiet and deep evocation of aspects of life and the world, aspects that can easily be overlooked. In and through these haiku we are able to live more fully and with a non-exclusiveness that lets us participate in and appreciate multitudinous event-experiences.

The 2003 judges were Peggy Lyles and Lee Gurga. We received 376 entries from more than 20 countries.

Awards: First Prize: $100 plus a signed and previously-loved copy of Bob’s The Turtle’s Ears (1971, out of print); Second Prize: $50 plus a copy of Bob’s The Shape of Water (1982); Third Prize: $25 plus a copy of Bob’s Some Sticks and Pebbles (2001). Five poets will be awarded Honorable Mentions and each will receive a copy of Bob’s A Year’s Speculations on Haiku (1995)

Special thanks to Billie Wilson for the idea of a competition to remember Bob Spiess and for all her hard work as contest coordinator.


First Prize:

winter solitude—
the lima beans soaking
in half-moonlight
James Chessing

Second Prize:

first light
dark limbs of the walnut
holding their snow
Ellen Compton

Third Prize:

rumors of war
up into a darkening sky
—a child's newsprint kite
Angelee Deodhar

Honorable Mentions (unranked):

summer meadow
a blade of grass
becomes a whistle
Connie Donleycott


deep night . . .
a moth stirs
the windchime
Maria Steyn


steady snowfall . . .
I make hot chocolate
grandmother's way
Marjorie Buettner


quiet night
the watchman bends
to touch a rose
Marlene J. Egger


gentle rain—
a shimmer of pennies
beneath the koi
Ellen Compton


©2003 Modern Haiku • PO Box 68 • Lincoln, IL 62656