Competition Guidelines

The Robert Spiess Memorial
2008 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.

Modern Haiku is pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest. There were 405 entries from 103 poets in 9 countries.

Judges were Lee Gurga and Peter Yovu.

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

A haiku is a profound testimony that a most humble object of nature when put into the simplest of aesthetic forms can become a revelation.


First Prize: Natalia L. Rudychev

letting go
the heart
of a sparrow

Natalia receives $100 plus a signed, previously-loved copy of The Turtle’s Ears (1971).


Second Prize: Linda Jeannette Ward

cog railway —
white sky
becomes snowflakes

Linda receives $50 plus a copy of Bob’s The Shape of Water (1982).


Third Prize: Peggy Willis Lyles

daffodils —
a laughing girl
with rain in her shoe

Peggy receives $25 plus a copy of Bob’s Some Sticks and Pebbles (2001).


Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order). Each receives a copy of Bob’s A Year’s Speculations on Haiku (1995):

wide open
the roses we leave
on the motel dresser

Janelle Barrera

lantern shadows
two-teat harmony
in the milk pail

ken hurm

sparse shadow
of the plum tree
the pull of an old friend

Dru Philippou

hot night
at the filling station
songs of love

Sandra Simpson

Shop window —
winter light along
the violin strings

Eduard Tara


Contest coordinator Billie Wilson, the judges, and the editors of Modern Haiku thank all those who sent their haiku to the competition and congratulate the winners.



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