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Africa Haiku Prize (2020–2021)

The inaugural Africa Haiku Prize, a project of the Africa Haiku Network, was awarded in 2020. The annual competition is open to Africans and non-Africans alike, with no restriction as to residence, nationality, or age. The contest has not been continued after 2021.

Submission Guidelines

The following submission guidelines for the Africa Haiku Prize are derived from the announcement for the 2020 contest in the Africa Haiku Network website.

Only haiku are eligible for this competition. No senryu , sequences, tanka, haiga, haibun, or any other Japanese-style forms are acceptable.

The Africa Haiku Prize competition is open to everyone with the exception of members of the Africa Haiku Network editorial team. There is no restriction on submitter’s residence, nationality, or age.

There is no special category for youth haiku at the moment.

There is no fee to submit.

A minimum of two (2) and maximum of five (5) haiku may be submitted for this contest. Please indicate the section—African Category or Non-African Category—under which you submit your poems. A person cannot submit poems in both categories—one category only.

Africa-themed haiku—i.e., haiku about African sights, sounds, and settings— are preferred. Haiku about locales other than Africa will not be accepted, although poems on universal themes may be considered.

The use of wording that suggests or pertains to the seasons in Africa, as opposed to the Japanese kigo , is preferred.

Haiku must contain clear images, settings, and juxtaposition.

Haiku must be concise. Verses written in fewer than 17 syllables are preferable, though well-written haiku in the classic 5–7–5–syllable structure are acceptable.

One-word, one-line, vertical, and concrete haiku are not accepted.

Plagiarism, profanity, and politically motivated verses are not tolerated. Poems that have been previously published or are under consideration elsewhere, including contests, are not acceptable.

The submission window is open from April 1 to June 30 every year. Submissions are accepted via email only (i.e., no postal submissions) and should be sent to the Africa Haiku Network, africahaikunetwork@gmail.com. Email messages should carry “Africa Haiku Prize” in the subject line. The body of the message should contain the haiku submissions, the poet’s name, and his/her country of residence. No attachments.

Adjudication is by one or more judges appointed by the Africa Haiku Network. Judging is conducted double-blind, that is, submitting poets do not know the identity of the judges and the judges do not know the authors of the poems they are seeing. The judges’ decisions are final and may only be reversed for a violation of contest rules.

The 1st Prize winners in each category receive small gifts and a certificate; 2nd and 3rd Prize winners receive a certificate only. Other distinguished entries may be awarded Honourable Mention.

Contest results together with the names of the judges will be announced between July and August on the AHN website and its social media platforms. Prize-winners and Honorable Mentions will be personally notified by email before the public announcement.

The latest guidelines for the Africa Haiku Prize may be viewed here.

2nd Africa Haiku Prize, 2021

Judging Panel
Adjei Agyei-Baah,
Emmanuel J. Kalusian,
Celestine Nudanu,
Justice Joseph Prah, and
Kwaku Feni Adow

Kwaku Feni Adow
Number of entries406 from 33 countries
First Prize
Gabriel Awuah Mainoo,

shrine ritual
a toad’s solo deviates
from the incantation
Second Prize
Anthony Itopa Obaro,

refugees’ night—
the camp filled with battle cries
of mosquitoes
Third Prize
Priscilla Arthur,

rainy day
her thirst
for sunlight
Honourable Mentions (2)
Oluwasegun Adesina,

Independence Day—
the chicks wander around
without mother hen

Pralini Naidoo,
South Africa

misty morning
a thousand valleys
hide their secrets
First Prize
Alexander Shytkovskiy,

pyramid shadow
an ant drags
the moth’s wing
Second Prize
Zoran Doderović,

dry riverbed
a boat in the mud awaits
rainy season
Third Prize
Teji Sethi,

jungle safari
all necks stretched up
towards a giraffe
Honourable Mentions (3)Željko Funda,
Varazdin, Croatia

savanna at night
stars, stars, stars
and hyena eyes
Richa Sharma,

Africa Day
an elephant’s silhouette
drinks sunset
Helen Barysheva,

night snowfall—
photos of the Sahara
keep me warm

1st Africa Haiku Prize, 2020

Judging PanelAdjei Agyei-Baah,
Emmanuel J. Kalusian,
Celestine Nudanu, and
Justice Joseph Prah
CompilerKwaku Feni Adow
Number of entries201 from 55 countries
First PrizeMercy Ikuri,
approaching curfew
quickened steps shuffle
past padlocked shops
Second PrizeAnthony Itopa Obaro,
sacred river …
worshippers fill their bottles
with goddess’s blessings
Third PrizePrecious Oboh,
midday drizzle—
a loneliness overgrown
with green moss
Honourable MentionUgwu Erochukwu Shedrach,
varsity strike—
only the chirp of birds
in the campus
First PrizeMohammad Azim Khan,
Mara river …
the approaching thunder
of hooves
Second PrizeAndrija Osman,
soundless night—
an owl on a chilled branch
following shadows
Third PrizeSandra Simpson,
New Zealand
midday heat …
village cattle flicking
their tails out of synch
Honourable Mention (3)Tomislav Maretić,
Sahara horned wiper1
waiting in the dune—
hidden devil’s eyes
Saumya Bansal,
sunken sun
old baobabs
still lit
Mona Iordan,
flamingo hues washed
over the lake

Africa Haiku Network

Compiled by Kwaku Feni Adow and the Haikupedia editors


  1. Surely “viper,” Cerastes cerastes, is intended. []
Updated on September 4, 2023