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Volume 36.1
Spring 2005

Robert Spiess Memorial
2005 Haiku Award Competition

Modern Haiku is pleased to announce the Robert Spiess Memorial Award Haiku Competition for 2005. The 2004 competition brought 191 entries from 104 poets.

Haiku are to be written in the spirit of the following "Speculation" (Robert Spiess, A Year’s Speculations on Haiku, Modern Haiku Press, 1995):

It is [the] subjective aspect that accounts for very much of the difference between a haiku that is merely descriptive per se and one that engenders intuitional feeling—and this is the deciding factor between a haiku in which the poet simply records stimuli and one in which the poet is in accord with the haiku moment.

In hand no later than March 13, 2005.

The competition is open to everyone but the staff of Modern Haiku, the competition coordinator, and the judges. Entries must be in English. Each entry must be the original, unpublished work of the author, and should not be under consideration in a contest or for publication elsewhere. For purposes of this competition, appearance of a haiku on an Internet journal or Web site is considered publication, but sharing of a haiku on an e-mail haiku list is not. Note, however: the judges will be instructed to disregard any entries that they have seen before. Of course, entries should not be shared on Web sites or haiku lists during the term of the competition.

Submission guidelines:
Poets may submit a maximum of five haiku written in the spirit of the above Speculation. Submit three copies of each haiku, on 3 x 5 cards or slips of paper. Entries should be typed or printed legibly. The haiku should appear on the face of each card (one haiku per card). The poet’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if any) should appear on one of the three cards only, in the upper left-hand corner above the haiku; the other two copies should contain only the haiku. Please keep a copy of your submission; entries will not be returned. E-mail submissions are not allowed. Please follow the instructions carefully: entries that are incomplete or that do not comply with the instructions will be discarded.

Entry fee:
$1 per haiku, cash or check (U.S. funds); make checks payable to Modern Haiku.

Send submissions to:
Billie Wilson, 1170 Fritz Cove Road, Juneau, AK 99801-8501 USA.

Two judges will be selected by Modern Haiku; their names will be announced at the time of the awards. Judging will be double-blind, and the judges will not know the identity of the entrants. Judges’ decisions are final.

Selection criteria:
The judges will look for entries that hew to Western norms for haiku as published in Modern Haiku and other leading English-language haiku journals (no rules as to syllable or line count, etc.) and that best capture the spirit of the theme Speculation above.

Awards: First Prize:
$100 plus a signed, like-new copy of Bob’s first book, The Heron's Legs (1966, 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). Up to five poets will be awarded Honorable Mentions and each will receive a copy of Bob’s A Year's Speculations on Haiku (1995).

Winners will be notified by e-mail or phone before the general announcement. Winning entries will be published in the summer 2005 issue of Modern Haiku and will be posted on the Modern Haiku Web site, <https://www.modernhaiku.org/>, on July 1, 2005.

If you would like a list of the winners, please enclose a stamped, addressed business-sized envelope (SASE) with your entries. Overseas entrants should provide an addressed envelope and one IRC. These will be mailed when the summer issue of Modern Haiku is released.


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


©2004 Modern Haiku • PO Box 68 • Lincoln, IL 62656