2017 Tokutomi Memorial Contest Results

The 2017Tokutomi Contest Results Announced by the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

by Mimi Ahern, 2017 and 2018 Contest Chair

The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society announces the winners of the 2017 Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi Haiku Contest. The judges for the 2017 contest were Nanae Tamura and Nozomi Sugiyama:

  • Nanae Tamura is a haiku poet, haiku essayist, and translator. She has written a column in the “Shiki-shimpo” (Shiki Newsletter) for more than two decades. Translator for the yearly Shiki Calendar of Ehime University, she also translated and co-edited with Cor van den Heuvel the book Baseball Haiku (W.W. Norton & Co. 2007). She learned haiku mainly from her third teacher, Kiyoko Tsuda, who was a disciple of Takako Hashimoto and Seishi Yamaguchi. She is a judge of both the non-Japanese haiku for the “City Haiku Post” and the Haiku Koshien (Nationwide haiku competition for high school students held in Matsuyama). In her words, “I love haiku because it brings me close to nature and has magical power to tell me who I am always.”
  • Nozomi Sugiyama was born and raised in Hiroshima. After moving to Matsuyama in 1993, she joined the Japanese Haiku group Kunugi (Japanese Chestnut Oak), which follows the yuki teikei form of haiku. She is the current dojin and editor of “Kunugi,” the group’s monthly magazine. As a member of the Association of Haiku Poets, in 2010 she published a haiku collection, Gacho (A Sketch Book). She has been teaching haiku and renku for beginners, as well as lecturing at the NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Association) Culture Center on Oku no Hosomichi, Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Deep North. In fear of death by boredom, she constantly kept herself busy. Now, however, she believes that perhaps the most precious resource is, indeed, idle time to hatch haiku and enrich her life.

1st Place:

early plum blossom
the faint recollection that
i’ve been here before

~ Michael Henry Lee


2nd Place:

winter clouds blanket
tents in the refugee camp
stray cats yowl all night

~ Neal Whitman


3rd Place:

first morning sunrise
shines through the open window
spotless countertop

~ Jenny Katherine Luu


An Honorable Mention was awarded to each of the following:

Priscilla Lignori, Kit Nagamura, Deborah P Kolodji, Hiroyuki Murakami, Barbara Snow, Kath Abela Wilson, Earl Keener, Karina M. Young, and Linda Papanicolaou

Congratulations to all these poets and great gratitude to the judges.

The illustrated brochure of all the haiku and the judges’ comments on the winners may be viewed and/or downloaded here.