2017 Tokutomi Haiku Contest

The 2017 Kiyoshi & Kiyoko Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest

In-hand Deadline: Wednesday May 31, 2017

Prizes: $100 $50 $25

Contest Rules

  • Haiku must be in English.
  • Haiku must each have 17 syllables in a 5-7-5 pattern.
  • Each haiku must use only one kigo from the contest list.
  • Haiku with more than one recognized kigo will be disqualified.

2017 Contest Kigo List

New Year: first morning
Spring: tadpole, departing spring
Summer: midday nap, flea
Autumn: school begins, harvested fields
Winter: early plum blossom, winter cloud

Contest Entry Details

Entry fee is $7.00 per page of three haiku; $8.00 if using PayPal. No limit on entries. Entries will not be returned. No refunds. For paper submissions, put three poems per page and send 4 copies of each page, with your name and address on only one copy, typed on 8 ½ x 11 paper.

For Email entries, use PayPal and send payment to YukiTeikei@msn.com. (In the PayPal “note” box enter: YTContest, <your name>, and <number of haiku submitted>). For paper entries, send checks or money orders payable to “Yuki Teikei Haiku Society.” Overseas entrants please use International Postal Money Order, in U.S. currency only. For a paper copy of the contest results (which will also be Web-available) send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) marked “Contest Winners.” Those abroad: Please enclose a self-addressed envelope (SAE) plus enough postage in international reply coupons for air mail return.

Entries must be original, unpublished, and not under consideration elsewhere. No previous winning haiku are eligible. This contest is open to anyone, except for the YT President and Contest Chair. Final selection will be made by one or more distinguished haiku poet(s).

If not pre-paying by PayPal, send entries with entry fee by mail to:

  • YTHS Tokutomi Contest
  • Mimi Ahern – Contest Chair
  • 980 Twin Brook Drive
  • San Jose, CA 95126

Send Email entries to Mimi Ahern at:             2017YTHSContest@gmail.com

YTHS may print winning poems and commentary in its newsletter, web site, annual anthology, and brochures. The judges and the contest results will be announced in the autumn of 2017 at the YTHS Annual Haiku Retreat in Asilomar. Shortly thereafter they will appear on this website.

Previous Contest Winners

The year 2017 marks the 34th year of this esteemed contest, since there were no contests in five of the early years, around the passing of Kiyoshi. To honor the winners through the years, YTHS has created a document of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place haiku with the author’s name for every year a contest was held. Contestants may wish to study these winning haiku. Here is the link. Many of the contests put out brochures with both the winners, and the honorable mentions, along with the comments of the judge(s) on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place haiku. Here is the link.

Contest Kigo Caution

In past Tokutomi contests, a significant number of submitted haiku have had to be removed from consideration. This was primarily because they failed to meet the last of the four rules: “Haiku with more than one recognized kigo will be disqualified.”

The Tokutomi Contest coordinator for the 2013 and 2014 contests, Joan Zimmerman, has written a thoughtful essay on this topic.  Link to it here.  All poets considering entering the 2017 Tokutomi Haiku Contest are encouraged to read this essay, and to adhere to one kigo from the list above for each submitted haiku.