A Little Haiku Contest by the Croatian Haiku Magazine IRIS
“Oil Haiku and Senryu Contest in English”
THEME: Crude Oil, 2023
Judged by David McMurray
David McMurray’s Judging Comments for the “Oil Haiku and Senryu Contest in English”
Over 100 participants from 22 countries participated in the “Oil Haiku and Senryu Contest in English” for the Haiku Association Three Rivers and the Little Iris Haiku Contest. Contacting me from Ivanić-Grad, Djurdja Vukelic Rozic suggested the intriguing theme of “crude oil.” I was generously allowed to select three winning haiku, three winning senryu, and have a free hand in making ten honorary mentions from a numbered list of submitted haiku and senryu – neither identified by names nor addresses.
Many haiku associations, including the Haiku Foundation kindly encouraged their members to enter this contest and enjoy the “oil” prompt, noting it would be fun, interesting and lead haikuists to write about a topic they may not have tackled before. Julie Bloss Kelsey mentioned, the “A Little Iris Haiku Contest held recently with the theme of ‘crude oil.’ was not a topic about which I ever envisioned writing haiku!”
Crude oil affects our everyday lives–many of us use the energy source to keep warm and to generate electricity to power the lighting we use to read haiku books long into the night. Even master poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) relied on oil to write hokku, here’s one about his reading lamp (Japanese Haiku, Peter Pauper Press, 1956).
No oil to read by…
I am off to bed but ah!…
My moonlit pillow
In modern times, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 2011 to Tomas Transtromer, a member of the Swedish Haiku Society who wrote this haiku in his book, “The Sorrow Gondola.”
The orchid flowers.
Oil-tankers are gliding past.
The moon is full.
Most recently, the Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo also ran a regular column on December 2, 2022 of the Asahi Haikuist Network containing many haiku composed about oil, including this open-ended one by Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14780408)
alongside the pipeline
no one knows where to!
Selected Winners of the “Oil Haiku and Senryu Contest in English”
Haiku Grand Prix
Edward Cody Huddleston, USA
a steel dinosaur pulls
itself from the earth
Julie Bloss Kelsey, Germantown, Maryland, USA
under the …