20th Anniversary Haiku Collection – I Wish

Hailstone Haiku Circle was founded on 11.11.2000 at a meet in Shiga prefecture. That day, we visited Ukimido 浮御堂 and noticed a rainbow over the northern part of Lake Biwa. It had seemed to stay with us, there to the right of  Mt. Hira, all afternoon long! 20 years on, I feel that rainbow is still with us now, shining on miraculously in the sun and rain.

So, we are 20 years old, and may be feeling in need of an anniversary collection? Well, it has just come out! I’ve called the book ‘I Wish’ … for reasons only hinted at in the foreword and in the ‘wish’ haiku that crop up here and there within the book. The cover was painted by Richard Steiner (Tosai). There is an afterword by Gerald (Duro Jaiye). Besides the individual author pages, the book also contains rensaku (haiku sequences) on earthquake, flood, heatwave, typhoon, wildfire, and, of course, on pandemic, too. There is also a short In Memoriam section, a Glossary and an Events List at the end. No haibun, though, as Hailstone will be issuing an anthology of Genjuan Awarded Pieces (2018-20) in a few more months – and that will be “haibun max”! Watch this space.

‘I Wish’ is A6 (pocket-size), 104pp, costs ¥1,200 for single copies, and contains 218 haiku by about 60 poets, both Japanese and foreigners, mainly living in Kansai, West Japan. It will be available at most Hailstone events from Dec. 24 onwards … till at least mid-spring next year and can be ordered through the avenues described at the bottom of our Publications page. The publications officer will then send you details of payment options, depending on where you are, as well as of postage and packing costs.

I hope you will enjoy our new book. Long live that Hailstone rainbow !

Genjuan 2021 open

The Genjuan 2021 International Haibun Contest office opened for your entries on Dec. 1st. It will close on Feb 1st, but this year our officer will only accept email entries (up to 2 per person), so there’s still plenty of time to send something in. Free entry. The judges are the same as for last year. We welcome your participation. Full details may be found on our Guidelines page. Note: this is not a haiku contest, but one for English prose pieces that include one or more haiku.

To give you an indication of how international our contest is, here is a run-down of countries of residence of awardees (plus the total number in each) in the Genjuan (and earlier Kikakuza) Contests, 2009-2020.

USA – 32, UK – 22, Japan – 11, Canada – 10, India – 7, Ireland – 6, Australia – 5, South Africa – 4, New Zealand – 4, Romania – 4, Bhutan – 4, Italy – 2, Bulgaria – 2, Mexico – 1, Slovenia – 1, Denmark – 1

The awards are usually 1 Grand Prix, 2 or 3 An (Cottage) Prizes, and approx. 6 Honourable Mentions. The new Contest Officer awaits your creations.