f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 10, 2008

off the wire: some haiku winners

Filed under: haijin-haikai news,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 5:29 pm

The past couple of weeks, while waiting to get over the flu, I’ve been catching up on the first four seasons of the HBO show The Wire. I can understand why some have called it the best show on television, with “scope, observational precision and moral vision of great literature.” I hope the dvd set of the 5th and final season, which ended on January 6, 2008, is available soon and added to the Schenectady Public Library’s collection, so this cable-less soul can see how it all ended.

As you may know, the show takes place in Baltimore, MD, a City that I only tend to think about while driving down I-95 to D.C. (when required to either bypass or traverse its tunnel). However, much of the political maneuvering in The Wire involved the Baltimore mayor, so I couldn’t help but think of my old law school classmate Kurt Schmoke, who spent quite a few years as Baltimore’s mayor, and made ripples by arguing for drug legalization.

Kurt popped up in one episode during Season 3 (shadowing his current academic role as dean of Howard Law School), which raised drug immunity-legalization issues. (a prior f/k/a post featured Schmoke’s thoughts on law school rankings).

after hours gym –
a heavy bag sways slowly
in the window

Barry George Haiku Harvest (Jan-Feb 2003)

No, I don’t know where I’m going with this musing — chalk it up to my flu-addled brain. So let me just transition to the real purpose of this post, which is to tell you about the winners of the 2008 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards, which were announced last week (and see the NCHS Blog), and the poems honored in the Mainichi News Annual Selection 2007 as the best haiku from that publication in 2007.

The Weiss Awards are sponsored annually by the Haiku Poets of Central Maryland, which serves haikuists in the greater Baltimore Metro Area [hey, there was a tenuous connection to The Wire]. Anita Sadler Weiss was a much-respected and loved Baltimore-based haiku poet, enthusiast, and teacher. This year’s First Place prize went to a poem by Tony A. Thompson, of Lufkin, Texas. As you know, we don’t reprint poems here without permission from the author, so I can’t share Tony’s “mountain stillness” haiku with you — but, I’ll provide a link as soon as one is available.

Among the other winners, however, are three of our f/k/a Honored Guest Poets, allowing us to share them with you. Of course, the honorees are among the usual suspects:

Second Place:

winter dusk—
when dad
would phone

…………….. by Roberta Beary, Washington, DC

Third Honorable Mention:

at Gettysburg…

………………. by Barry George, Philadelphia, PA

Fifth Honorable Mention:

scenic vista
looking out
for ticks

…….. by Paul Miller, Bristol, RI

I‘m sorry to say that one of the Weiss “winners” has garnered a spot on our hold the anchovies page of notable “tell-em” psyku. It’s a fine example of half a haiku attached to a (not particularly interesting or creative) intellectual conclusion.

The Annual Selection 2007 from Mainichi editor Isamu Hashimoto: Every month, you’ll find a dozen or so new poems on the English haiku page of Mainichi Daily News. This year’s First Prize went to a poem by Hubertus Thum, of Barsinghausen, Germany, who had ten poems chosen for Mainichi publication in 2007. The “best of” selections by Editor Hashimoto also include the following poems by our f/k/a Poet Family:

2nd Prize, co-wiiner:

distant shoreline —
silence catches up
with the train

—- Laryalee Fraser (Salmon Arm, BC, Canada)

Honorable Mention . . .

I start to judge
the haiku contest entries …
falling leaves

… by George Swede

grey Atlantic
a pelican crosses
the rainbow

… by Peggy Willis Lyles

Congratulations to all the winners!

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