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The Betty Drevniok Award Archives


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2014

First Prize
Darrell Lindsey, Nacogdoches,TX

Second Prize
Mark E. Brager, Columbia, MD

Third Prize
Roland Packer, Hamilton, ON


The Betty Drevniok Award 2014 winning haiku [PDF]


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2013

First Prize
Kim Horne, St. Catharines Ontario

Second Prize
Janick Belleau, Longueuil, Quebec

Third Prize
Roland Packer, Hamilton, Ontario

Honourable Mentions
Alan Bridges, Littleton, MA
Jacqueline Pearce, Burnaby, BC
Susan Constable, Nanoose Bay, BC
Ellen Cooper, Montreal, Quebec
Tracy Davidson, Stratford-on-Avon, UK
Elehna de Sousa, Saltspring Island, BC

The Betty Drevniok Award 2013 winning haiku [PDF]


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2011

First Prize

folding sheets
the weight of a flag
still in my arms


Earl Keener
Bethany, West Virginia

Second Prize

snowbound:
the rosebushes
up to their hips


Francine Banwarth
Dubuque, Iowa

Third Prize

once before you go
receding snowbank —
tell me your secrets


Barry George
Philadelphia, PA

Honourable Mentions

snowstorm --
you’ve gained at least a pound
snowman!


Diane Descôteaux
Saint-Nicéphore, Quebec


tidy kitchen
knives all hidden
but handy


Paris Elizabeth Sea
Beaconsfield, Quebec


a bikini top
pinned to the park noticeboard
end of summer


Naomi Beth Wakan
Gabriola, British Columbia


side by side
in the hammock
two unread books


Lois Harvey
Ottawa, Ontario

a red maple leaf
that forgets to fall...
he fingers his shrapnel scar


Scott Mason
Chappaqua, New York


setting off beeps
in my smoke detector
a daddy longlegs


Ellen Cooper
Montreal, Quebec


to that scythe moon
looming over the hospice
his tranquil yielding


Guy Simser
Kanata, Ontario


stargazer lilies my quantum
of time


Roland Packer
Hamilton, Ontario

Judge’s Comments

Claudia Coutu Radmore

In the first place poem the weight of the folded sheet is a physical reminder of a loved one’s death. Eleven words hold the weight of sorrow, the weight of love. The sheets hold memory too, perhaps that of lovemaking which may have produced a child, or the intimacies of a beloved partner. Folding, such a neat word is almost military. Something might be made small and therefore manageable. I am impressed by the poem’s brevity, the word still, a sadness which may never end. Time is stilled for a moment, just as time stilled the loved one.

In the first place poem the weight of the folded sheet is a physical reminder of a loved one’s death. Eleven words hold the weight of sorrow, the weight of love. The sheets hold memory too, perhaps that of lovemaking which may have produced a child, or the intimacies of a beloved partner. Folding, such a neat word is almost military. Something might be made small and therefore manageable. I am impressed by the poem’s brevity, the word still, a sadness which may never end. Time is stilled for a moment, just as time stilled the loved one.

I like the way the second place poem asks us, with its pun, to look for real intention. Only seven words to suggest that the rosebush is to us, so to speak: we too can get physically and metaphorically “up to our hips”. A rosebush could be in trouble if there is not enough, or too much snow. Too much or too little of anything can be dangerous for us too. Again, so few words to say something perfect.

The 3rd place haiku is very Issa-like; we talk to our plants, why not to a snowbank? It has spent all winter growing and witnessing. What sorrows has it been witness to, what joy? How did it manage to survive so long without being shoveled or melting, and how did we survive our winter, our existence? So silent the snow, but we are curious about what it would tell us if it could.

Some of the honourable mentions inspire wonder, others evoke playfulness and whimsy, and still others take on a more serious or ominous tone. All of these poems portray images and moments indicative of wonderful haiku.

Thank you for the honour of judging this contest. As a souvenir I have a packet of haiku to enjoy over and over that includes many more good haiku. Thank you poets. for allowing me to have these poems in hand.

Claudia Coutu Radmore

President of KaDo Ottawa, and editor of the Haiku Canada Anthology, Claudia Coutu Radmore’s poems have been published internationally. Her most recent books of Lyric poems are a minute or two/ without remembering and Accidentals.


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2010

First Prize

whispers of a fragrance
my sister loved
evening in spring


Ellen Compton
Washington, DC

Second Prize

snowflakes...
all the little
self-indulgences


Francine Banwarth
Dubuque, Iowa

Third Prize

star gazing...
one frog answers
another


Carole MacRury
Point Roberts, Washington

Honourable Mention

night comes early --
the last of the potatoes
have eyes


Alice Frampton
Seabeck, Washington


Indian paintbrush --
the myriad colours
of a fire rainbow


Pamela Cooper
Montreal, Quebec


the long day
a maple key’s twirl
wherever


Roland Packer
Hamilton, Ontario


intermission --
a fly on the piano
walks a full scale


Carole MacRury
Point Roberts, Washington

morning hush
the fisherman casts
a thread of sunlight


Catherine J.S. Lee
Eastport, Maine


spring evening --
playing my piano
for all the street to hear


Marilyn Potter
Toronto, Ontario


daylight moon
the chrysanthemums
have covered your name


Ellen Compton
Washington, DC


4-way stop --
everyone waits
for the red corvette


Alice Frampton
Seabeck, Washington

Judge’s Comments

Grant Savage

The winning haiku. The 1st prize haiku, with an element of synaesthesia, achieved with muted personification, invokes as many as four senses with the phrase “whispers of a fragrance” while the nature of the scent itself is left an enigma. This, with the past tense in the second line, creates an air of nostalgia, without being maudlin. Added to this, the line “evening in spring” is the title of the last of Richard Strauss’s “Four Last Songs”, a personal favourite, and among the greatest of German lieder.

The 2nd place haiku, “snowflakes”, is notable for its lack of verbs. Its “little self-indulgences” can refer to the speaker or to snowflakes. All snowflakes are individuals, and that, when transferred to the human and animal worlds, with elements of volition and conscious will, is definitely a luxury.

The 3rd prize haiku, simple and pared down, suggests the quest for intelligent life beyond earth and humanity. The hope, perhaps futility, of this search for higher meaning is compared with the frogs’ approach, their songs on a clear spring evening.

The honourable mentions are all fine haiku. All eleven winners suggest the season; all, except one, avoid blatant simile or metaphor, and one way or another go beyond the uniformity that’s creeping into haiku. Many haiku were eliminated on the basis of an excess of images, articles and/or adjectives. The simplest edit might have put some of these at the top.

Grant Savage

Grant Savage won the Drevniok Award in 1999. He wrote The Swan’s Wings (renku with Ruby Spriggs, Groundhog Press, 1994), Their White With Them (Bondi Studios, 2006) and Finding a Breeze (King’s Road Press, 2009).

 


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2009

First Prize

autumn light
just this much
to go on


Francine Banwarth
Dubuque, Iowa

Second Prize

mountain clearing
a hawk carves
all the rest


Scott Mason
Chappaqua, New York

Third Prize

farmer’s scythe
a harvesting song
in each sweep


an’ya
La Pine, Oregon

Honourable Mention

endless rain
in my mother’s kitchen
the snap, snapping of beans


T.A. Carter
Ottawa, Ontario


a heat wave
the butterfly
fans its shadow


Natalia L. Rudychev
Des Plaines, Illinois


autumn foliage past its peak—
the pathway home
in sepia


Scott Mason
Chappaqua, New York


meadow pond
our blades slice figures
on the moon


Catherine J.S. Lee
Eastport, Maine

retirement home—
each time the heron comes
another goldfish gone


elehna de sousa
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia


foreign airport—
a baby’s cry
takes me farther from home


Michael Dylan Welch
Sammamish, Washington


they all hush
when she walks past
–sparrows in the hedge


Liz Fenn
Wellsville, New York


cattails in moonlight--
no such
urges at my age


Bill Pauly
Dubuque, Iowa

Judge’s Comments

Angela Leuck

Each of the three prize-winning haiku immediately struck me as classics. In the case of the first, the poem seems almost effortless, completely pared down and lacking in embellishment or artifice. The poet began with the phrase “autumn light,” followed by the simple commentary “just this much to go on.” This was a poem I felt “in my bones.”

The second place poem possesses a sense of timelessness, and its greatness hinges on the poet’s choice of the verb “carves,” which gives us as well the pleasantly repeated “c” sound.

The third place poem also has an ageless quality. I could almost imagine it being written in the time of Basho.

Of the poems selected for Honourable Mention, the first four give us clear images of season and in each case heighten our awareness through the skillful use of sound, sight and touch. We can hear the “snap, snapping of beans” and the scrape of skates on ice; we can see the sepia of late autumn foliage and the bright colours of the butterfly; and we can feel on our skin the blistering heat of a summer day and the exhilarating cold of a winter night.

The last four haiku are closer to senryu and evoke an emotional response. They give us a moment to reflect on the passage of human time, our connections to home and family and those occasions of joy and sensuality that come and eventually pass us by.

It was a pleasure judging this year’s Betty Drevniok contest, and I congratulate all the winners. There were of course many other poems that I would like to have selected but was unable to because of the necessity to choose. To their authors, too, I offer a tip of my hat.

Angela Leuck

Angela Leuck is vice president of Haiku Canada and the author of Flower Heart (Blue Ginkgo Press, 2006).


The Betty Drevniok Award Results 2006

The results of the Betty Drevniok Award 2006 were announced at the Haiku Canada Weekend Conference in Ottawa in May, 2007.

Judge: Angela Leuck
Contest coordinator, broadsheet: Ann Goldring
Sumi-e paintings: Cassandra Wyszkowski

First Prize

a whitetail flickers
into birch...
what time I have left


Scott Mason
Chappaqua, New York

Second Prize

valentine's day
the twinging
of angina


John Ower
Midland, Texas

Third Prize

solstice
minnows darting above
their darker selves


Timothy Russell
Toronto, Ohio

Honourable Mention

silhouette
the moon outlines
her single breast


Grant Savage
Ottawa, Ontario


Wild geese in flight
suddenly the sky
so wide


Helen Baker
Vancouver, British Columbia


summer afternoon
settling into its shadow
the old labrador


André Surridge
Hamilton, New Zealand


On the old wall
pictures of the past
the plaster falling.


Frances Mary Bishop
Alexandria, Ontario

his sister's funeral
trimming his hair
before he goes


Patricia M. Benedict
Calgary, Alberta


call of a loon
cove light and shadow
ripple in


Scott Mason
Chappaqua, New York


keeping them for a day
the broken pieces
of the heirloom bowl


Michael Dylan Welch
Sammamish, Washington


Easter Sunday
neighbours on their knees
weeding


Ernest J. Berry
Picton, New Zealand





Haiku from the 2013 Haiku Canada Holographic Anthology

one blossom closes
another opens
spring morning

~kjmunro~

cranberry bog
wading through
a million suns

~Ellen Cooper~

Anniversary
on his bedside table
a thin film of dust

~Pat Benedict~

wind on the water
I change the colour of her hair
in my poem

~Nick Avis~


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