The Robert Spiess Memorial 2012 Haiku Awards

2012 Competition Guidelines


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

Theme: Haiku are to be written in the spirit of the following Speculation (Robert Spiess, A Year’s Speculations on Haiku, Modern Haiku Press, 1995):

"Haiku have three forms or manifestations: the written, which enters the eye; the spoken, which enters the ear; and the essential . . . which enters the heart." [Prompted in part by a passage by Sa'in al-Din ibn Turkah.]

Deadline: In hand no later than March 13, 2012

Rules: The competition is open to everyone but the staff of Modern Haiku, the competition coordinator, and the judges. Entries must be in English. Each entry must be the original, unpublished work of the author, and should not be under consideration in a contest or for publication elsewhere. For purposes of this competition, appearance of a haiku in an Internet journal, a Web site, or a blog is considered publication, but posting haiku on a private e-mail list is not. Of course, entries should not be shared in an Internet journal, Web site, blog, or haiku list during the term of the competition.

Submission guidelines: Poets may submit a maximum of five haiku written in the spirit of the above Speculation. Entries should be typed or printed legibly. Submit three copies of each haiku on plain white 3 x 5 cards or paper. The haiku (one haiku per card) should appear on the face of each card. The poet’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if any) should appear on one of the three cards, in the upper left-hand corner above the haiku; the other two copies should contain only the haiku. Please keep a copy of your submission; entries will not be returned. Please follow the instructions carefully: entries that are incomplete or that do not comply with the instructions will be discarded.

Entry fee: $1 per haiku, cash or check (U.S. funds); make checks payable to Modern Haiku.

Send submissions to: Billie Wilson, 1170 Fritz Cove Road, Juneau, AK 99801-8501 USA.

Adjudication: Two judges will be selected by Modern Haiku; their names will be announced at the time of the awards. Judging will be double-blind, and the judges will not know the identity of the entrants. Judges’ decisions are final.

Selection criteria: The judges will look for entries that hew to Western norms for haiku as published in Modern Haiku and other leading English-language haiku journals and that best capture the spirit of the theme Speculation above. There are no rules as to syllable or line count.

Awards: First Prize: $100 plus a previously-loved copy of The Heron’s Legs (1966, out of print; copy #19 of 335, signed for "Rita and Vern"). Second Prize: $50 plus a copy of Bob’s The Shape of Water (1982); Third Prize: $25 plus a copy of Bob’s Some Sticks and Pebbles (2001). Up to five poets will be awarded Honorable Mentions and each will receive a copy of Bob’s A Year’s Speculations on Haiku (1995).

Notification: Winners will be notified by e-mail or phone before the general announcement. Winning entries will be published in the summer 2012 issue of Modern Haiku and posted on the Modern Haiku Web site, <>, on or before July 1, 2012. If you would like a list of the winners, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE) with your entries. Overseas entrants should provide one IRC or one U.S. dollar in cash with a self-addressed envelope. These will be mailed when the summer issue of Modern Haiku is released.

2011 Modern Haiku • PO Box 33077 • Santa Fe, NM 87594-3077

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