This year, our sixth as Genjuan (and ninth if we include its predecessor, the Kikakuza Contest), we welcome one new judge, Ellis Avery. The addition of an American female poet/writer to the existing panel of two Japanese and one British resident of Japan is sure to give our judging new impetus. Judge Emeritus is Nenten Tsubo’uchi, one of Japan’s most prominent and well-respected haijin. If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to send something off soon to our officer, Eiko Mori, as the deadline is January 31st. Usually she waits for a few extra days in case there are stragglers. The Contest is free, but there are real prizes and signed certificates. In due course, we aim to compile a book of the best works from 2015-2017. There are still some copies of our 2012-14 anthology available (see the ‘Publications’ page link at top right). Non-native writers, please note: perfect English is not a prerequisite for a piece to be considered for a prize or subsequently published. Full Contest details are given under the ‘Genjuan Guidelines‘ page link. We look forward to reading your work next month. Good luck!
Archive for Genjuan Haibun
This is still Japan’s only international haibun contest. Entry is free and there are prizes and certificates. This year we have one new judge, Ellis Avery, who is American, female, a haiku poet, but also a novelist and a fiction writing teacher at Columbia University. She is a contributor to Icebox, too.
Ideally, there will be one Grand Prix, a number of An Prizes (‘Cottage’ Prizes, highly commended), and some Honourable Mentions, too. The authors of entries chosen for the first two of these categories will receive prizes, and all decorated works will warrant a certificate from the organizers. In the late spring, the results will be displayed here on the Hailstone Icebox and elsewhere. You can read last year’s winning pieces on a separate page (‘Genjuan ’16 Winning Haibun’).
Entries to : Ms. Eiko Mori, 2-11-23-206 Jokoji, Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken 660-0811, Japan (to arrive between 1 Oct. 2016 and 31 Jan. 2017)
We have lowered the minimum length stipulation to make it easier for writers using English as their second language. Each entry should total 7 to 35 lines (at 1 line = 80 spaces), with title and at least one haiku (no formal restrictions). Print on one side of A4, if possible, with your name and address, tel. no., and email address typed along the bottom. The judges will not get to know your identity until judging is over and the Genjuan Contest Office already knows the results. We are sorry, but email entries are not accepted.
Judges: Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill, Hisashi Miyazaki, Ellis Avery.
Full details via the page link (top right) ‘Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2017 Guidelines’. Please do take part!
A Small Act – Diana Webb (UK)
An (Cottage) Prizes:
What’s in a Name? – Ignatius Fay (Canada)
The Great South Gate – Matthew Caretti (USA)
Arm in Arm with Iza – Maria Tirenescu (Romania)
Love Story – Anita Curran Guenin (USA)
Majesty – Geethanjali Rajan (India)
A Spectacle – Branko Manojlovic (Japan)
One Grain of Sand – Mel Goldberg (Mexico)
Geronimo – Terri L. French (USA)
Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill (Tito), Hisashi Miyazaki
. This year we had 127 entries from 16 different countries, our best ever response. The judges wish to thank all those who took the trouble to send something in to the Contest Office and they offer their hearty congratulations to the authors of the above decorated works.
. From a short-list of 14 works, it proved extremely difficult this year to decide on the winners. In the end, Diana Webb’s A Small Act appeared to be closest to exemplary. It is a very fine, open-ended work with good haikai taste.
. We were bold with our AP selection, for one contained such beautiful haiku imagery, we overlooked the English errors, telling ourselves that they lent charm (a sort of ‘special encouragement prize’, if you like); and another had the ‘haiku’ dovetailed into the prose as isolated phrases, resulting in a captivating rhythmical momentum, although in isolation perhaps many of them would not be construed as bona fide haiku! We felt that we should choose pieces that had some charm and flair. All of the HMs were considered for prizes, but fell because of some unfortunate transgression in the eyes of at least two judges. It was a long session this year!
. Now that we have been told the identities and countries of residence of the awardees, it is clear that the results well represent the geographical spread of entries, and we are pleasantly surprised by this. The last five short-listed (but un-awarded) works also included, it turns out, entries from Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, though none from South Africa: the Southern Hemisphere did not fare so well this year.
. A Japanese language haibun contest is to be held this autumn by Nenten’s ‘Sendan’ group and the three judges have been invited to turn their minds to those pieces, too! The winning piece in that contest last year was translated and posted to this site in November https://hailhaiku.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/when-tuna-die/. It is interesting to see how it compares to the entries in our own international competition. Certainly it has humour. We hope to translate and publish here this year’s Sendan winning piece, too. The top four Genjuan 2016 works will be posted later this month as a special page on the Icebox for all to enjoy.
. Guidelines and deadline for the 2017 Genjuan Contest have now been posted on a separate page (find the page link at top right). Next year we will welcome one further judge, American haiku poet, novelist, contributor to Icebox and member of the Hailstone Haiku Circle, Ellis Avery, now based in New York. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University, and her writer’s acumen and consciousness of haiku as a vehicle for story-telling will no doubt help us to sort the sheep from the goats next year as well as augmenting the comments we will be offering each of the awardees.
Haibun is one of the most rewarding of the haiku arts, both for writer and reader. The deadline for entries to this year’s Genjuan Haibun Contest is coming up fast – January 31st. The Office is apparently lenient with entries received a few days after that date, but only a few days! Entry is free. This is still Japan’s only English language haibun contest and we welcome your participation, whatever country you may live in. Two of the three judges are Japanese haijin. The Contest Guidelines (incl. Office address) are to be viewed through the page link at top right of our top page. (Click the Icebox header photo of hailstones to return to the top page.) Examples of previous years’ decorated pieces are accessed via further page links at top right. Please enjoy them! Your entries will certainly be carefully read.
The Office of the Genjuan Haibun Contest hopes that by now all those who took part in the Genjuan Haibun Contest in any or all of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 will have received their free copy of the recently published compilation of decorated pieces (see March 30 posting below for description and a photo of the cover). We trust you will enjoy reading it. If you still haven’t received it by the end of May, please contact our officer, Eiko Mori (her details are given on the Genjuan Guidelines page – click link at top right). If you notice any errors of transcription, please notify us.
One, for which we sincerely apologize, has recently been discovered on page 76 in John Kinory’s piece, Prime Meridian. Near the end, “He smile” should be “Her smile” and, in the same sentence, “had brought me” should have been “had bought me”.
Fortunately, we have already received some very encouraging feedback from prominent haibun writers:
“With its 120 pages, judges’ comments and ‘classical Japanese haibun’ this is a considerable work, and a significant contribution to contemporary haibun literature, meriting congratulations to all involved. Incidentally, it’s also a crisp and attractive book production.” (Ken Jones)
“Congratulations on another successful haibun contest. it has been instrumental in keeping haibun an active and vibrant genre. thanks for the good work.” (Jim Kacian)
“… a masterpiece of inspiration and production, not to overlook generosity and ‘haiku spirit’. I was completely taken by surprise and totally overwhelmed to receive it. Thank you so much.” (David Cobb)
Should you wish to order your own copy, details are given on our Publications page (click link at top right).
The four prize-winning pieces in the 2015 Contest are now up on our Genjuan ’15 Winning Haibun page (link at top right).
The Guidelines for the 2016 Contest are now up on our Genjuan Guidelines page (via another link at top right).
Guidelines and deadline for the 2016 Genjuan Contest have now been posted on a separate page (click the page link at top right).
We are glad to report that “Genjuan Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2012-2014” has just been published. It contains all 29 awarded haibun pieces from these years and follows on the heels of its sister publication, “Kikakuza Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2009-2011”, which was compiled by the same two judges, Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill. The works come from many different countries around the world. The book costs ￥1,000 and the p&p charge to be added is likely to be around ￥510 abroad and ￥220 within Japan. We will decide a round figure and post it onto the Publications page soon (see link at top right of this page).
All entrants to the Contest during the years 2012-14 will in due course be sent a complimentary copy! Hopefully this will be done by May. Entry into our Contest has always been free, yet we send out real prizes and certificates to awardees, and we have always felt that we wish to return the support we enjoy from so many poets by also sending out a free copy of our resultant publication. Please be patient as we strive to find the time to perform this task.
The book also contains 4 classical haibun (by Basho, Kyorai, Buson, Issa), 3 haibun by the judges, judges’ comments, 13 classical illustrations (by Basho, Taiga, Buson, Goshun), 4 photos of classical haibun sites, and a preface and ‘farewell’ (including some words on the nature of haibun) by Nobuyuki. SHG has added a postscript.
This year’s judging has reached its final stage, but the announcement of the 2015 Contest results is likely to take a few more weeks, please note. When ready, it will be made here.