Viewing Stone Association of North America
First Haiku Poetry Contest 2020
Eligibility: Open to the public worldwide, no entry fee.
Criteria: The haiku* needs to be original, not posted online or in print. Each one should be three lines (in English) with no specific syllable count, just a song-like haiku rhythm a short, long, short, or close to it. The haiku must relate directly or indirectly to what the viewer sees/feels in this stone.
(Furuya stone from Wakayama, Japan (24 cm wide, 9 cm high, 8 cm deep)
Submissions: February 3 through March 31 only. Each person can submit up to three haiku using the official online entry form. The submission form will be available online at www.vsana.org beginning February 3, 2020.
Results: Only the winners will be notified by email shortly after the deadline. The winning haiku will be published on the VSANA website approximately one month after the close of the contest. All rights revert back to the authors after the posting on the VSANA website. If reprinted later, first-credit should be given to VSANA.
Places and Prizes: First, second, third prizes and two honorable mentions. First Prize receives $100 plus a viewing stone book, second Prize receives $50 plus a book, and the third prize receives $25 plus a book. All prize winners and honorable mentions will receive a certificate.
Judging: This contest will be blind judged; that is, the judge will not know the names of the people submitting entries. The judge’s name and comments will be revealed when the winning haiku are published at the VSANA website.
*haiku is a succinct non-rhyming non-titled poem arranged in three lines of fewer than seventeen syllables. In Japanese a typical haiku has seventeen "sounds" (on) arranged five, seven, five. However, translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about twelve syllables in English approximate the duration of seventeen Japanese (on). Traditional Japanese haiku include a "season word" (kigo), a word or phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the haiku, and a "cutting word" (kireji), a sort of spoken punctuation that marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the haiku. In English, season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on a seasonal experience captured in clear images continues. The most common technique is juxtaposing two images or ideas (Japanese rensô). Punctuation, or a grammatical break may substitute for the cutting word.
Examples: (these poets can also enter)
in pine shade for a while I forget this life will end
Robert Epstein San Francisco, USA
transience . . . petal by petal we let go
Debbie Strange Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
leafless tree lifting a cup of nest to the sky
Adjei Agyei-Baah Ghana, West Africa