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The Spiess Awards from Modern Haiku

Posted to Haiku Board

this happened awhile back, but not sure if i posted it. spiess was a respected american haiku poet and the editor of the first american haiku magazine, american haiku, as well as the long-running mag, modern haiku. cor van den heuvel called him a "trailblazer" in american haiku. unfortunately, he died a year ago (the day after kerouac's birthday) and i just recently discovered his home was less than an hour away from mine. what follows are the award winners.



As a memorial to Editor Bob Spiess, who died on March 13, 2002, Modern Haiku sponsors The Robert Spiess Memorial Award Haiku Competition.

Speculation Theme for 2003: Haiku written in the spirit of the following "Speculation" (Robert Spiess, A Year’s Speculations on Haiku, Modern Haiku (1995):

"Most haiku of excellence are serenely vibrant. Although they seldom are concerned with grand or marvelous events, or employ highly charged language, or possess startling qualities, they nonetheless are intensely alive in their quiet and deep evocation of aspects of life and the world, aspects that can easily be overlooked. In and through these haiku we are able to live more fully and with a non-exclusiveness that lets us participate in and appreciate multitudinous event-experiences."

The 2003 Winners
First Prize:
winter solitude—
the lima beans soaking
in half-moonlight
James Chessing

Second Prize:
first light
dark limbs of the walnut
holding their snow
Ellen Compton

Third Prize:
rumors of war
up into a darkening sky
—a child's newsprint kite
Angelee Deodhar

Honorable Mentions (unranked):
summer meadow
a blade of grass
becomes a whistle
Connie Donleycott

deep night . . .
a moth stirs
the windchime
Maria Steyn

steady snowfall . . .
I make hot chocolate
grandmother's way
Marjorie Buettner

quiet night
the watchman bends
to touch a rose
Marlene J. Egger

gentle rain—
a shimmer of pennies
beneath the koi
Ellen Compton