Deadline: January 31, 2021

Theme: Protection and restoration of nature and the nature-based solutions to achieve the sustainable development goals in its three complementary dimensions (social, economic and environmental). Please read the article by UN Environment Assembly at


Send 3 unpublished haiku by e-mail, to the coordinator D.V.Rozic: dvrozicatgmail.com


The results will be during March 2021. The winners will be informed by e-mail.

The contest will be judged by Neal Whitman.

BIO: Neal Whitman resides in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife, Elaine, where they retired as professional educators. Both are award-winning members of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Neal is Vice President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society and haiku editor for Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine. In 2019, Neal’s haiku won BEST USA in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and Gold Medal in the Ito En North American Haiku Grand Prix, having in past years won Silver and Bronze. Neal is the author of a haiku collection, From This Moment On, and a tanka collection, How Pleasant It Is, published by Cyberwit (2020).…




Theme: Indigenous Languages


The International Year of Indigenous Languages is a United Nations observance in 2019 that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation.



We received 341 haiku by 128 authors from 32 countries.

The judge was Jim Kacian




The challenge of writing to a contest topic is often not simple, and, given that one’s entries are certain to be compared with many others in the same vein, a premium is placed on finding originality of approach and expression. Inevitably many poets arrive at the same place, and so here there was a plethora of poems illustrating the impossibility of communicating in any language, or else the similitude that exists between all of them. Our winners managed to rise above these compelling but obvious truths by showing the specifics through which our efforts to talk with one another, parallel with our contemporaries or vertically with our ancestors and progeny, met with success or failure.


Certain kinds of poems were inevitable with this topic. For example, several poets treated language as a mutually irreconcilable obstacle


nodding the shared misunderstanding

[Kristyn Blessing, Wisconsin, USA]


often with humorous overtones

after a vodka
I suddenly speak
very well Russian

[Cezar Florin Ciobica, Romania ]


Similarly, many treated language as a lost signifier, either forever gone

with him they bury
his whole culture

[Tomislav Sjekloća, Montenegro]


or the provenance of the few, tenuously retained

dad tells us
what the talking drum says —
new yam festival

[Anthony Itopa Obaro, Nigeria]


For some, the “old tongue” is an exercise rich in nostalgia (this slightly edited)

star-filled skies . . .
mother sings a lullaby
in Noongar

[Vanessa Proctor, Australia]


and for some it goes beyond the verbal

Native rug —
the language 
of several generations

[Zornitza Harizanova, Bulgaria ]


My top winners also created something more, and it is in this something more that the highest art is achieved — going beyond the topic and connecting it with other aspects of the human condition. It was difficult to “rank” these, and I think they should be treated as co-equal, even though a number is being assigned to …


The Haiku Association „Three Rivers“
The „Pumpkin Festival“
The Tourist Board of Ivanić-Grad, Croatia

in English
For all poets, all ages and nationalities

Deadline: May 30, 2020.

The theme: The Cucurbits

Gourd, pumpkin, squash, cucumber, melon, calabash, zuchini, melon, loofa …

The Cucurbitaceae consist of 98 proposed genera with 975 species!

Please send three unpublished haiku in English to the coordinator:

E-mail: dvrozic@gmail.com

SUBJECT: Pumpkin Haiku Contest  

The results will be published at www.tri-rijeke-haiku.hr during October 2020, and in IRIS International haiku magazine No 6/2020. The awarded and commended authors will be advised by e-mail.

Haiku Asociation „Three Rivers“, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia

The President of the Haiku Association „Threre Rivers“, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia





This year we received 262 haiku by 101 author from 26 countries: Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Germany, India, Italy, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States


The judge was Ikuyo Yoshimura, Japan.


Radove 101 autora (262 haikua) iz 26 zemalja ocijenila gđa Ikuyo Yoshimura (Japan).


1st Prize/1.nagrada: Ljubinka Tošić, Užice, Serbia/Srbija


Down the country road                                      Seoskim putem

a crackling oxen cart                                          škripe volovska kola

full of pumpkins.                                                 puna tikava.



2nd Prize/2. nagrada: Aljoša Vuković, Croatia/Hrvatska


half of melon                                                     polovica dinje

a wasp studying diameter                              osa uči o promjeru

over the wrap foil                                             preko PVC-a



3rd Prize/3. nagrada: Mark Miller, Australia/Australija


farmers market                                                             gradska tržnica

sharing a watermelon                                                 ljubavnici dijele lubenicu

two lovers lips to lips                                                  usne na usne



HONOURABLE MENTIONS (10) in no particular order



Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana /New Zealand – Gana/Novi Zeland 


Halloween over                                                   nakon noći vještica

discarded pumpkins                                           odbačene buče

return to enrich the field                                   vraćene na polje



Goran Gatalica, Croatia/Hrvatska


harvesting gourds –                                            berba tikvica –

sounds of the sitar                                               zvuci sitara

in my ears                                                              u mojim ušima



Pitt Büerken, Germany/Njemačka


some gourds don´t comply                             neke buče nisu u skladu

with the EU-standards                                      sa EU standardom

eat by yourself                                                      pojedi ih sam



Kristina Kroupa, Croatia/Hrvatska


in the nook of a hall                                           u kutu hodnika

a snake gourd dries up                                      suši se i presvlači

changing its look                                                 zmija bundeva



Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, USA/SAD


giggling child –                                                     kikotanje djeteta –

the gift of a pumpkin                                           na dar ogrlica od

seed necklace                                                        koštica buče



Jasminka Predojević, Croatia/Hrvatska


sunny autumn day                                            sunčan jesenji dan

the children lawn bowling                              djeca bočaju

with cucurbit gourds                                        s ukrasnim tikvicama



Debbie Strange, Canada/Kanada


prize pumpkins                                                    nagrađene buče

our hayrack buckles                                            naša kola prepuna

with light                                                               svjetlosti



Steven John Clarkson, New Zealand/Novi Zeland


forty days of rain                                               kiši četrdeset dana

fixing the hole in my shoe                               rupu u cipeli krpam

with gourd                                                           bučicom



Toni Pavleski,

Deadline: December 31, 2019

Theme: Languages

The International Year of Indigenous Languages is a United Nations observance in 2019 that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation.

Please send up to 3 original, unpublished haiku in English.

E-mail: dvrozicatgmail.com

The results will be during February 2020.

The winners will be informed by e-mail.…

The Haiku Association „Three Rivers“

The „Pumpkin Festival“

The Tourist Board of Ivanić-Grad, Croatia



in English

all ages and nationalities


Deadline: May 31, 2019.


The theme: The Cucurbits


gourd, pumpkin, squash, cucumber, melon, calabash, zuchini, melon, loofa …

The Cucurbitaceae consist of 98 proposed genera with 975 species!


Please send three unpublished haiku in English to the coordinator:

E-mail: dvrozic@gmail.com

SUBJECT: Pumpkin Haiku Contest



The results will be published at www.tri-rijeke-haiku.hr during October, and in IRIS International haiku magazine No 13/2019. The awarded and commended authors will be advised by e-mail.



                                                                                                                              President of the Association „Three Rivers“Coordinator:                                                                                                       Stjepan Rožić                                        

Đurđa Vukelić Rožić                                            



Ivanić-Grad, Croatia, 6.3.2019.





The judge was Jim Kacian.

142 authors, 409 haiku from 36 countries! The theme – FREE.


First Prize


Sandra Simpson, New Zealand:

humming as i weed
around the hive 


Second Prize


Jay Friedenberg, USA:

slow summer clouds
the formless shape
of desire


Third Prize


Martha Magenta, UK:

peacock’s cry
the silence
between stars


Honorable Mentions in no particular order:


Martha Magenta UK:

I slip 
into your language
babbling stream


sanjuktaa asopa, India:

this wish
to look into your eyes . . .
garden buddha


Nicholas Klacsanzky, Ukraine:

I say om
a few more times . . .
dripping icicle


Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Indonesia:

summer river 
the thing you keep 


Commended haiku, in no particular order


Julie Bloss Kelsey, USA:

the little things
we have in common … 
third cousins


Zornitza Harizanova, Sofia, Bulgaria:

snow moon
my first breastfeeding
on a rocking chair


Vanice Zimerman, Brasil

open window-
on the blue carpet of the room
the shadow of the hummingbird


Ashoka Weerakkody, Sri Lanka:

two monks
discussing a flight delay
buddha gaya


Carole MacRury, USA:

regrets . . .
a fishbone caught
in my mouth


Henryk Czempiel, Poland:

on the husband’s grave
whose candle?


Violeta Urda, Romania:

crescent moon –
the pregnant woman
hums a lullaby 


Violeta Urda, Romania:

after chemo –
in the flock of flying cranes 
an empty space 


Margherita Petriccione, Italy:

willow branch …
upon us the weight
of a crow’s shade


Margherita Petriccione, Italy:

homecoming –
in the cup remains
of your coffee


Ann Magyar, USA: 

giraffe’s neck
the quick hands
of the balloon seller


Helen Buckingham, GB:

kid in the crowd
team flag running
down his face


Pravat Kumar Padhy, India:

floating clouds
the softness of her


Peter Jastermsky, USA:

family belongings
the anger I never wanted
becomes mine


Diana Teneva, Bulgaria:

my father’s
disappearing smile…
hunter’s moon


Jenny Fraser, New Zealand:

all the things
i want to say
    the depth of water


Ed Bremson, USA:

mushroomy August
a mosquito on the arm
of a blistered child


Corine Timmer, Portugal: 

leaf-strewn street—
my reflection
in a passing hearse


Corine Timmer, Portugal:

family gathering …
the fish father caught…

Judged by Marta Majorka Chociłowska




1st Prize


Saša Važić (Serbia)


hidden in the cornfield

a dewdrop sliding into

a lone pumpkin flower



u samotni cvet tikve

klizi kap rose



2nd Prize

Radostina Dragostinova (Bulgaria)


string of gourds

on the rusty fence

grandma’s ancient necklace


niz buča

na hrđavoj ogradi

bakina stara ogrlica



3rd Prize

Ann Maqyar (USA)


rain-scented morning

pumpkin vines

extend their reach


jutro s mirisom kiše

produljile se

vriježe buča


Honorouable mentions

(in no particular order)


Violeta Urda, Romania



the moon is hidden

in a carved pumpkin


Noć vještica–

mjesec je skriven u

izrezbarenoj buči



Neal Whitman (USA)


the crone next door

scatters pumpkin seeds …

she talks to crows


stara susjeda

prosipa koštice buče …

razgovara sa vranama



Stjepan Rožić (Croatia)


ripe Hokaido squash

in the shade of its leaf

a shell with dozing snail


zrela bundeva

u sjeni lista spava

puž u kućici




1st Prize

Aparna Pathak (India)


pumpkin soup

the family’s oneness

in slurps


juha od buče

obiteljsko zajedništvo

u skranju



2nd Prize

Eduard TARA, (Romania)


small pumpkin–

the young pregnant

cupping her moon


mala buča–

mlada trudnica

obujmila svoj mjesec


3rd Prize

Capotă Daniela Lăcrămioara (Romania)


pumpkin –

teacher teaches us

the circle lesson



učitelj predaje

o krugu


Congratulations to all authors!


Our gratitude to all poets taking part in our haiku contest, and special thank to Ms Marta Majorka Chociłowska for being so kind as to judge the poems.


We hope you join us next year, your haiku will be read on our Pumpkin Festival, at the meeting of Croatian Haijins in the town of Ivanić-Grad and published in the next number of magazine IRIS.


D.V.Rozic, the Secretary of the Haiku Association “Three Rivers”, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia…



By Jim Kacian


If seeing the daily routine with new eyes is the inspiration for haiku, then surely travel is its antithesis. In a foreign setting, everything is new, and even when we hew to our personal routines, we are beset by unaccustomed images every moment. Hence the challenge of writing cogently to the theme of this contest: much of the reason we travel abroad is just for such new stimulation, and most of us will take months, not to say years, to process this newness into something like understanding, where it might become available for our haiku.


It will come as no surprise, then, that the best of the poems on this topic seem not to dwell on the new sights, but rather the old routine that insists upon itself even in new surroundings. Another strategy is to imagine our new experience through the eyes of another to whom it is not new. However we arrive at it, travel haiku need some combination of old and new to come home to us. The very best of these do exactly that.



My top prize winner is this modern conundrum:


home of my ancestors
I download an app
that speaks their language

[Ann Magyar, MA, USA]



The travel here is virtual: whether the poet makes an actual trip to his homeland is indeterminate, but s/he recognizes that the journey will be foreign. The fact that it is “their” language suggests the felt distance between heritage and present circumstance. And the fact that the intermediary is equally foreign — a machine that will do the “interpreting” — recognizes the true strangeness of the situation. Sounding out the way people speak their language is an important physical clue to the way people are, but that won’t even be attempted here. And so the contemporary traveler remains “other,” even if it were possible to go home again . . .


My second choice is this bit of historical reminiscence:


the mountains
Santōka never saw again —
closed saké shop

[Engin Gülez, Turkey]


Those mountains never again seen are certainly the physical barriers that the poet crossed to arrive at his final abode on the Inland Sea, but they also possess a spiritual dimension. The fact that Santoka did not see them again testifies not …

The results of the Croatian International Haiku Contest on theme GOURD

We received haiku by 72 authors from 26 countries. The Selector was Carole MacRury.


Na natječaj se odazvalo 72 pjesnika i pjesnikinja iz Australije, Belgije, Bosne i Hercegovine, Brazila, Bugarske, Crne Gore, Filipina, Francuske, Gane, Hrvatske,

Indije, Italije, Kanade, Nigerije, Njemačke, Novog Zelanda, Poljske, Rumunjske, Rusije, SAD-a, Singapura, Sjeverne Irske, Slovenije, Srbije, Švicarske i Velike Britanije.

Sudila je Carole MacRury.




Ana Drobot, Romania


pumpkin field–                                                         polje buča –

unknown faces                                                         nepoznata lica

in the crowd                                                               u masi



Eduard ŢARA, Romania


towards dawn –                                                     pred svitanje

the full moon leads                                               puni mjeseci predvodi

a row of pumpkins                                                red buča



Carl Seguiban, Canada


family dinner—                                                     obiteljska večera –

the taste of a bitter gourd                                   okus gorke buče

lingers                                                                    nas povezuje




Jan Benson, USA


pumpkin harvest                                                 berba buča

the old straw-man                                              sve tanji je stari

thinning                                                                čovjek od slame


Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Romania


after Halloween–                                                  Noć vještica –

the pumpkins’                                                       izdubljen izgled

hollow looks                                                          buča



Goran Gatalica, Croatia


pumpkin blossoms–                                           cvjetovi bundeve –

our migrating silence                                         tišina među nama

across the field                                                    putuje poljima




Jonathan Humphrey, Tennessee, USA


mining town–                                                           rudarski grad –

ants file                                                                      mravi ispunjavaju

into pumpkin blossoms                                          cvjetove buča



Lee Nash, France


standing in line                                                     u redu za

for winter soup                                                     zimsku juhu

a harvest of gourds                                              berba buča



Vanessa Proctor, Australia


blazing sunset                                                   gorući zalaz

the farmer sings NessunDorma                   ratar pjeva Nessun Dorma

to his pumpkins                                              svojim bučama


“Nessun dorma” (“None shall sleep”) is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini‘s opera Turandot.

“Nitko neće spavati” je arija iz završnog čina opere Turandot, Giacoma Puccinia.





Adjeji Agyei-Baah, Ghana


an old man                                                            starac

harvesting pumpkins                                         ubire buče

the stiffness of his spine                                    ukočenost njegove kičme



Elisa Allo, Italy/Switzerland


Filling the silence                                              Ispunjavajući tišinu

pumpkin seeds crumble                                  koštice buče drobe se

beneath my feet                                                pod mojim stopalima




Marilyn Appl Walker, Georgia, USA


darkness. . .                                                         tama…

our smiley-faced pumpkin                              naša nasmiješena buča

lights the way                                                     osvjetljava put




Julie Bloss Kelsey, USA


a smell of wood smoke                                     miris dima drva

combined with …