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Haiku in the United Kingdom: England

Lafcadio Hearn and Basil Hall Chamberlain are thought to have been the first to have introduced readers in the British Isles to Japanese haiku in the early years of the 20th century. In 1990 the British Haiku Society (BHS) was set up, and its quarterly membership journal, Blithe Spirit, was launched. Since the beginning an increasingly active community of poets in print as well as online have taken part in the international haiku scene.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This article is about England. Please see the separate Haikupedia articles on haiku in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

First Contacts

The UK audience was introduced to the genre of haiku by Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904), a native of the British Isles who took Japanese citizenship), who included a small selection of hokku—considered as Japanese poetry of “strange things” of the epigrammatic sort—in his Kwaidan—Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904). Hearn’s translations are single sentences of prose, elegiac in tone, inserting extra information or syntactical devices that are not explicit in the Japanese originals. In “Bashō and the Japanese Poetical Epigram,” Basil Hall Chamberlain, an English Japanese scholar of Japanese literature, also provided translations of Japanese haiku, which he referred to as “epigrams,” the term “denoting any little piece of verse that expresses a delicate or ingenious thought.”

The first mention of haiku—or hokku as it was still called at the time—in print in English was by W. G. Aston (1841–1911), a British scholar and consular officer who spent many years in Japan. Aston’s work is seminal for the study of Japanese verse and especially haiku, and he was the first to write a grammar of the Japanese language in English (1872). In the chapter titled “Prosody” in the second edition of that work, A Grammar of the Japanese Written Language (1877), he included three verses believed to be the first haiku printed in English.

Although it is not clear whether he was aware of Hearn’s and Chamberlain’s writings, Ezra Pound (1885–1973), the American poet who became virtually an adoptive European, discussed the virtues of the Japanese aesthetic and how they might reinvigorate English poetry.1 Pound made frequent trips to Paris, discovering something of this aesthetic, perhaps intuiting it from impressionist paintings. Japonisme was everywhere.

Pound’s enthusiasm, the impetus for the short-lived imagist movement of 1912–1915, left as its monument the imagist manifesto whose principles are echoed in those of today’s haiku poets writing haiku in English: directness, brevity, presence, using the language and idioms of everyday speech, avoiding flagrant poetic expressions, showing, not telling.

Pound also invented the term “super-positioning,” perhaps being aware of the Japanese technique of kire: proposing a form of juxtaposition which allows two phrases, set side by side, to be appreciated not only in their own right, but also in tandem, when contact between them may yield other impressions, possibly as a result of “lateral intuition.” He illustrated his principle with a Japanese-influenced verse, published in 1913 in the Chicago-based magazine Poetry, that is now hallowed in English haiku history:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition     of these faces     in the crowd:
Petals     on a wet, black     bough .[2]

The outbreak of the Great War in 1914 turned poets’ attention elsewhere, and there appear to be no poets of distinction in the British Isles who engaged with haiku between the two World Wars.

Interest in haiku was rekindled by Reginald Horace Blyth, born 1898 in Leyton, England, known universally as R. H. Blyth, teacher of English literature in Japan from 1925 until his death in 1964), who is likely to have attended the biweekly poetry readings at the Poetry Bookshop in London’s West End where the imagists gathered. It was during Blyth’s captivity as an enemy alien during World War II that many of the books that refueled interest in Japanese poetry in the 1960s were written.

In 1942 Blyth published Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics. The same year he was interned, but allowed access to his library so that even in captivity he was able to continue work on his four-volume Haiku, which appeared in serial fashion 1949 to 1952. The two-volume History of Haiku followed in 1963. In the final chapter of its second volume, Blyth mused, “the last development in the history of haiku is one which nobody foresaw—the writing of haiku outside Japan, not in the Japanese language.” Though “the haiku form is a simple and yet deeply ‘natural’ form,” he foresaw that, like other forms borrowed by English poetry in the past, it would necessarily undergo changes as it was indigenized. The need for this was finally recognized by the Japanese themselves, in the Matsuyama Declaration of 1999, signed by leading scholar-poets.

In Britain, Blyth’s books were reviewed by the Times Literary Supplement. In North America, poets of the Beat movement, foremost of all Jack Kerouac, embraced them as revelations of a new way of life. Blyth’s insistence on the connection between haiku and Zen Buddhism, first appearing in Zen in English Classics, had a powerful attraction for people gripped by existentialism in the postwar period.

In 1964 the well-known English poet W. H. Auden also drew attention to the relevance of haiku as a literary expression of life in the post-Holocaust, post-Hiroshima world. He was entrusted by Swedish editors to make English versions of Vägmärken from the diaries of Dag Hammarskjöld, the late United Nations secretary general, which had been published in his native Swedish just the year before. In his foreword to the Faber edition (titled Markings), Auden describes this collection as “an historical document of the first importance as an account of the attempt by a professional man of action to unite in one life the Via Activa and the Via Contemplativa.”

For Auden, as for many English poets since, form was the mainstay and essence of haiku: “the number of syllables in any one line is optional, but the sum total of the three must always be seventeen.” English lexicographers also have concentrated almost exclusively on form, a typical definition being “A haiku is an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usu. five, seven, and five syllables, respectively.”[3]

Between 1968 and 1970 Penguin published a series of poetry anthologies, Junior Voices and Voices, edited by Geoffrey Summerfield, containing both haiku translated from Japanese and original English haiku, which were popular in British schools. The passage of haiku into the British classroom was indeed facilitated by mention[4] of haiku in the national curriculum at the key stage 3 level (roughly speaking, 10- to 13-year-olds).

Awareness of haiku as a form in the British Isles has increased decade on decade. Evidence of this assimilation of haiku into the poetic mainstream has been the frequency with which contemporary poets of different styles and intentions have found qualities in haiku that resonate with their own creative directions or have been used for their own purposes: its directness and brevity; as a starting point for experiments with syllabic poetry; using its three-line form as a template for “building bricks”) to construct imagistic poems.

Poets as diverse as Tom Raworth (1938–2017), Anthony Thwaite (born 1930), Ken Smith (1938–2003), Seamus Heaney (1939–2013), Thom Gunn (1929–2004), Paul Muldoon (born 1951), Alan Brownjohn (born 1931), Alec Finlay (born 1966) and many others have written poems with a clear and acknowledged relationship to haiku, whether in spirit or in form or both; though in many cases there has been an adaptation to serve the needs of their own creative intentions and style without regard for its status as a concrete expression of the moment, its presence, its rejection of standard poetic tropes and its impersonality.

There are also English mainstream poets such as Gavin Ewart (1916–1995) and Wendy Cope (born 1945) who chose to use the haiku form for humorous or satirical effect, engaging the economy and terseness of haiku to produce aphorisms, epigrams and ironic observations.

Organizing Haiku in the U.K.

The British Haiku Society

In an atmosphere of uncertainty about what haiku is and how an English language equivalent might be generated, British poets Dee Evetts and David Cobb, placed a call to muster, via leaflets in the Poetry Library, London, and notices posted in various poetry journals (1989). Within six months this produced a 40 or 50 strong “Haiku Interest Group.” In 1990 the British Haiku Society (BHS) was established, with Blithe Spirit as its journal. A newsletter, The Brief, was added later.

A selection of Blithe Spirit covers from 2012 through 2019

The first president of the BHS (1990–1997) was James Kirkup, well-known as a linguist, poet, and haiku poet in Japan, where he taught English literature. In 2020 the BHS has a membership of around 390 members from all over the world: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, The Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., and the U.S.A. Overall membership is diverse; in the words of Mark Rutter, writing as editor of Blithe Spirit in 2009:

English-language poets have come to haiku along different paths. For some the haiku is primarily a form of spiritual discipline, others come to haiku as a way of rejuvenating nature poetry. Still others are attracted to the brevity and down-to-earthiness of the form, or by the way it invites the reader to participate in the unfolding of meaning. Some prize the haiku for its attention to the momentary, or for the Zen-inspired ethos of the ego-less look. For others, the haiku movement is a kind of avant-garde, forging a new poetic language by adopting aesthetic ideas from another culture, and for still others haiku is an alternative to poetry altogether.

Understandably, any attempt to devise an absolute “consensus” proved intractable, but after a number of revisions the Society arrived at a text that has broad agreement:[5] The BHS constitution commits it to “the appreciation, creation and dissemination of the literary form known as haiku,” by means of publications, meetings, seminars, newsletters, and public events, including contests; to researching the genre and kindred forms (i.e. senryu, haibun, renga); and there is a commitment to reach out to similar haiku bodies, both at home and abroad, and to provide a resource of expertise for editors of journals and newspapers, radio and TV presenters, librarians, organizers of festivals, and others.

David Cobb and Martin Lucas
at the BHS Annual General meeting in 2007
Photo by Frank Williams

The BHS holds two regular daylong meetings a year, in spring and winter, with the Society’s Annual General meeting convened as part of the Winter Gathering. The program includes a variety of haiku activities. For example, the 2019 BHS Winter Gathering and Annual General meeting was held at Conway Hall, London, November 23, 2019. Featured were a haibun workshop entitled “Dialogues” led by Diana Webb and a presentation by visiting American haiku poet Lee Gurga, followed by a haiku workshop and a discussion of the haiku form, the use of words and how poets to take their writing to the next level.

2019 BHS Annual General meeting and Winter Gathering
From top left clockwise: Diana Webb, Lee Gurga, Mike Keville, Robert Kingston, Paul Hickey, Debbi Antebi, Dee Evetts, Colin Blundell, Katherine Gallagher, Ruth Hanchett, David Bingham, Meg Arnot, and Christine Eales. Photos by Frank Williams

Haiku groups

There are many local groups throughout the U.K.[6] These six are affiliated with the British Haiku Society:

The London Haiku Group was founded by Steve Mason in 2001. It covers London and the South East and regular meetings are held every two months in central London. Non-BHS members are also welcome. The LHG has published six members’ anthologies: Night Bus (2002) and Journeys (2004), edited by Mason and A Trolleyful of Pumpkins (2005), From the Bridge (2014), A Haze of Infinity (2017), and That Kind of Blue (2019), edited by Frank Williams. The group coordinator is Andrew Shimield.

The Oxford Haiku Group was founded by Mark Ritchie and Jane Reed in 2015. The group holds informal evening meetings in Oxford pubs to share and discuss members’ haiku. Non-BHS members are also welcome.

The Green Wood Haiku was founded by David Bingham in 2015 as part of a Green Arts Day event in Ironbridge, Shropshire. The group meets at least four times a years with meetings in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In 2016 the group published its first anthology of haiku, The Scent of Ordinary Things and at present is putting the finishing touches on another that they hope to publish in October 2020. They have performed their haiku at local arts and literary festivals and at the International Haiku Conference in St Albans in 2019. Bingham is in charge of membership, meetings, and events.

The Yorkshire-Lancashire Group was founded in the mid-1990s by Martin Lucas and Fred Schofield. Currently Judy Kendall organizes group meetings about every six weeks online to share haiku with occasional face-to-face meetings. Members are mostly from Yorkshire and Lancashire but some are from much further afield; newcomers always welcome. The group has organized a workshop on haiku at the Edinburgh Festival.

The Newcastle/Gateshead Regional Group held its inaugural meeting on March 15, 2009.

Leaves to a Tree Haiku Group was founded in 2010. The name comes from John Keats’s statement that if poetry doesn’t come as easily as leaves to a tree it had better not come at all. The group meets in Leatherhead, Surrey, four times a year, once in every season, and each October contributes to the local Arts Alive Festival. In addition to holding mini workshops, they have offered an exhibition of members’ haiku mounted on postcards. The group convener is Diana Webb.

The Essex Haiku Group was founded in August 2019 and is still managed by Rob Kingston. The group brings together poets in the Chelmsford, Essex, and surrounding areas on a regular basis.


From the beginning of organized haiku activities in the U.K., presenting the advantages of Japanese short-form poetry to the general public, especially those with an interest in poetry. The flavor of these outreach activities might be gained from the following partial list of events:

  • 1989–1991—Stephen Henry Gill prepared a series of 20-minute programs for BBC Radio 3 illustrating how various season words (kigo) are employed in Japanese haiku.
  • 1991—The BHS operated information tents at the Japan Festival in Hyde Park, London and Cardiff, Wales.
  • 1992—BHS poets set up a “haiku trail” at the Garden Festival Wales in Ebbw Vale.
  • 1992––David Cobb was named haiku poet in residence at the King’s Lynn Festival in Norfolk.
  • 1992—Signposts to Haiku, a BHS poster exhibit was circulated among some 30 libraries and museums.
  • 1995—The BHS prepared a Haiku Kit for Teachers and distributed it free of charge to a thousand U.K. schools.
  • 1994—The BHS, jointly with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, mounted a celebration of the 300th anniversary of Bashō’s death. The papers were published as Rediscovering Bashō, edited by Stephen Gill and Andre Gerstle.
  • 1994—Two “haiku song cycles,” settings of James Kirkup’s haiku by Colin Blundell, were performed by members of State Opera, Constanța, Romania.
  • 1995—At the John Keats Bicentenary celebration at Keats House, Hampstead, on Midsummer’s Night, James Kirkup lectured on “Keats and Bashō” while Colin Blundell played his “haiku song cycles.”
  • 1996—The BHS was recognized with a Japan Festival Award for its efforts in the fields of literature and education.
  • 1997—A haiku workshop was organized at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in Herefordshire.
  • 1999—David Cobb led a weekend haiku workshop for the Poetry School, London.
  • 2000—The BHS conducted a competition to select a haiku to be engraved on the Millennium Bell at the church of St John the Baptist, Purbrook. The winning poem was Geoffrey Daniel’s
fresh bronze
salt on the sea air
striking the tongue
  • 2002—BHS participated in the Swansea Festival of Japanese Arts.
  • 2003—Haiku and Glass, a collaboration between BHS poets and leading glass artists, mounted exhibitions at four U.K. museums.
  • 2010—BHS poster display Signposts to Haiku was replaced by a presentation on a separate website.
  • 2012–2013—BHS collaboration with an independent provider was demonstrated by the White Peak/Dark Peak project, billed as “Britain’s largest public artwork,” commissioned by Derbyshire Arts Development Group and realized by the independent artist, Alec Finlay. A very large number of haiku writers were required, each assigned to a particular location in the Peak District National Park where he/she was set to compose a solo renku based on the experience of walking the terrain.
  • 2013—With Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation funding and BHS support, David Cobb’s What Happens in Haibun was published.
  • 2013—On the BBC World Service, BHS Committee member Lynne Rees evaluated entries to a contest organized by NASA for haiku on the subject of a human landing on Mars.
  • 2016—In celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day BHS members Iliyana Stoyanova, Frank Williams, and Susan Lee Kerr handed out 108 haiku to complete strangers on London’s Southbank.
  • 2016—The BHS again had a table at the Poetry Book Fair in Conway Hall, London.
  • 2017—The Haiku Moment was the title of an event held at the Poetry Library of the Royal Festival Hall and attended by 60 people.
  • 2017—18 BHS members participated in a three-part BBC4 documentary series called Utopia.
  • 2017—The BHS was cosponsor of Japan Day in Bath.
  • 2017—For the third year running, the BHS took part at the Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall, London.
  • 2018—BHS member Rose Booth attended the opening of Wagamama, Japanese influenced restaurants in Liverpool, Chelmsford, and Covent Garden, London, and introduced haiku basics to the patrons.
  • 2018—BHS manned a table at the Poetry Society’s event, Free Verse, The Poetry Book & Magazine Fair, at their new venue, Senate House, London.
  • 2018—Iliyana Stoyanova held an interactive workshop at University College Cork in Ireland.
  • 2019—The Bristol Museum & Art Gallery invited poets to send in haiku inspired by the Masters of Japanese Prints exhibition. More than 800 poems from 30 countries were submitted; a selection of the poems, paired with woodblock prints, is featured on the museum website.
Celebrating the International Haiku Day in 2016
All 108 leaflets distributed to the public at the Southbank, London


Gerry Loose edited Haiku Byways (later called Byways), the first haiku magazine in the U.K. The journal published some of the leading haiku poets of the day but ran for only three issues, 1970–1971. These three haiku by Britons appeared in Haiku Byways:[7]

                          caught out in the snow
for a moment, I seem to recognize something
                           in the dog’s eyes                                                 
                                                                              Bill Wyatt
a small ceremony
lifting stakes now thinner than
my trees come of age 
                                                                               Dee Evetts
white butterfly, blue cabbage
the allotment hut sags
in noonday heat 
                                                                                Chris Torrance

Wiltshire-based Kevin Bailey founded HQ Poetry Magazine: The Haiku Quarterly in 1990. The journal publishes a wide range of Japanese short-form poetry, which occupies about one-third of a typical issue, the remainder going to general short poetry. Two sample haiku from HQ:

drunken derelict slips
on the moon 
                                                                                Sheldon Young, 
                                                                               The Haiku Quarterly 2 (Spring 1991)
passing a broken wall
at dusk
                                                                  A A Marcoff, from “Three Haiku,” 
                                                                  HQ Poetry Magazine: The Haiku Quarterly 
                                                                   27/28 (2002)

Blithe Spirit is the membership journal of the British Haiku Society. Its first editors were Richard Goring and Colin Blundell; the latter went on to edit it for 14 years on and off. Since 2022 the editor has been Iliyana Stoyanova, the current president of the British Haiku Society. The journal’s name is a salute to R. H. Blyth and to poetry via Shelley’s poem “To a Skylark”: “Hail to thee, blithe spirit!” (by inference proposing a cheerful season word to characterize the society’s activities). Blithe Spirit has continued to publish volumes of four issues a year featuring a wide variety of haiku and related forms, book reviews, and essays. These two haiku appeared in issue 2:1 (January 1992) in a section titled Season Corner Autumn:

stubble field:
                  a squad of crows
                  stalks the ruins of
                         yet another year                        Geoffrey Daniel
Heavy night fog makes
one stilled explosion of light
diffused from wet streets                                 James Kirkup

Brian Tasker published his haiku journal, Bare Bones, from Frome, Somerset, for eight issues from 1992 to 1995, and during these years put out chapbooks of his own work, culminating in A Ragbag of Haiku (1996). Afterward he turned to publishing chapbooks of the work of other British poets as well. From a 1995 issue of Bare Bones:

     as she lies dying
I tell her the crocuses
    are early this year                                           David Cobb

Time Haiku, a magazine set up in London by Erica Facey in 1994, was later edited by Doreen King and now by Diana Webb in Surrey. Two haiku, both from Time Haiku 46 (2017):

on the speeding train
daydreaming about
this world of shadows                                       Frank Williams
war memorial
he scrapes the moss
to find his father                                                 Kevin Goldstein-Jackson

Presence (sometimes called Haiku Presence) was founded by Martin Lucas in Leeds and has been publishing three issues per year since January 1996. Lucas was joined by David Steele and, following Lucas’s death in 2014, Ian Storr took over as editor with others, including Matthew Paul, Stuart Quine, Chris Boultwood, Judy Kendall, and Alison Williams, assisting in various capacities. Presence, which bills itself as “Britain’s leading independent haiku journal,” takes haiku, senryu, tanka, linked forms, book reviews, and haiku-related essays from poets worldwide. It also sponsors the annual Martin Lucas Haiku Award. These three haiku from issue 63 (March 2019) won readers’ choice best-of-issue awards:

a wash of pink
on the rose                                                            Rachel Sutcliffe
dust motes
in a shaft of sunlight
we’re losing her                                                   Lew Watts
deep summer grass
how gently he removes
her glasses                                                             Roberta Beary

Twelve issues of the journal Snapshots were published by Snapshot Press, then based in Liverpool, beginning in 1998. Edited by John Barlow, the journal was discontinued after 2006, but Snapshot Press continues as a major U.K. publisher of anthologies and collections, as well as The Haiku Calendar, which has appeared annually since the 2000 edition. The press also sponsors the Snapshot Press Book Awards, international annual prizes for unpublished book-length collections of haiku, tanka, and other short poetry. Two haiku from Snapshots 12 (2006):

washing mud
from a leek
the autumn rain                                                  Martin Lucas
winter solstice
I kiss the scars
on her wrist                                                          Stephen Toft

Moongarlic E-zine, began in May 2013 under the direction of Sheila Windsor and Brendan Slater, and their Yet To be Named Free Press. Its Facebook page describes it as “a biannual e-zine for short, imagist verse, including the haikai forms, monostiches, zappai, and also the newly conceived forms of zip-ku, and cherita. We are also very interested in the visual arts, both hand made and digital.” After issue 8 (May 2017), Moongarlic went on hiatus. These two haiku appeared in the first issue (No. 0), May 2013:

hot day—
on the train only the dog
meets my eye                                                       Stella Pierides
my horse heart in a jar-meat scandal          Brendan Slater

According to its home page, hedgerow: a journal of small poems “is a quarterly short-poetry journal dedicated to publishing an eclectic mix of new & established voices across the spectrum of the short poem, with particular attention to the constantly evolving forms of haiku, senryu and tanka.” Published since 2014, hedgerow was founded by Caroline Skanne. Early issues are archived on the website. Two haiku by Britons from recent issues:

in the packed church an empty man          Stephen Toft, hedgerow 119 (2017)
wildflowers …
as if their names
don’t matter                                                          Brendon Kent, hedgerow 123 (2018)

In its Per Diem series, October 2016, The Haiku Foundation featured a small anthology titled Haiku from England, selected by Matthew Paul, still available on the THF website.

Other Per Diem collections curated by British haikuists have included: One-Line Haiku, by John Barlow, November 2012; Senses, by Stella Pierides, March 2012; Worker’s Haiku, by Matthew Paul, February 2013; Light & Dark, by Stella Pierides, December 2014; Slip-Realism, by Alan Summers, January 2014; New Beginnings, by Iliyana Stoyanova, January 2018; Loaded, by Marion Clarke, October 2018; Rain, by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, June 2018; Spanish-language Haiku, by Danny Blackwell, August 2018; Iberian Haiku, by Danny Blackwell February 2019; Connection, by Caroline Skanne, April 2020.

Elsewhere in the U.K., Paul Chambers has been publishing the online Wales Haiku Journal since 2018, while in Scotland, Colin Stewart Jones and his Gean Tree Press published the quarterly e-zine, Notes from the Gean (2009–2013), and later, since 2019, Puddock Haiku Journal.

Book and chapbook publishers

Colin Blundell founded Hub Editions about 1992. He declares on the website, “Hub Editions is what is called ‘Subsidy Press’ which should be carefully distinguished from Vanity Press: you pay for your book to be produced, just as though I were building a house for you, but I will refuse to publish what I don’t think is worth publishing.” The place of publication for Hub books was originally Flitwick, Bedfordshire, later Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, and after 1999 Spalding, Lincolnshire (and sometimes elsewhere). To date Hub has published upwards of 85 books by top-ranked, mostly British poets, including David Cobb, Andrew Detheridge, Caroline Gourlay, Doreen King, Martin Lucas, John McDonald, Stanley Pelter, Fred Schofield, Diana Webb, and Bill Wyatt. Ten books from 1993 to 2004 contained works written by James Kirkup or translated by him from the Japanese.

The United Kingdom is a major player among producers of haiku and haiku-related books and chapbooks, and three publishers dominate the British market: Hub Editions, Snapshot Press, and Alba Publishing.

Alba Publishing, under founder and publisher Kim Richardson and based in Uxbridge, publishing collections of poetry, haiku and senryu poetry, and related haikai forms. English poets publishing with Alba have included: Peter Butler, David Cobb, Tim Gardiner, Mark Gilfillan, John Hawkhead, Graham High, Brendon Kent, Susan Lee Kerr, Kirstin Maguire, John Parsons, Stuart Quine, John Rowlands, Andrew Shimield, and Diana Webb, as well as Ken Jones, Noragh Jones, and a number of other Welsh and Irish authors.

Founded by John Barlow in 1997, Snapshot Press has been publishing high-quality haiku collections since 1998, and annual editions of The Haiku Calendar since 1999. An independent commercial publisher, Snapshot Press has also published major haiku anthologies, including The New Haiku, edited by Barlow and Martin Lucas (2002); Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, written and compiled by Barlow and Matthew Paul (2008); and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku, edited by Allan Burns (2013).

Peter Mortimer’s Iron Press based in South Shields, Northumberland, published a number of important anthologies beginning with The Haiku Hundred, edited by James Kirkup, David Cobb, and Peter Mortimer (1992) and containing 100 haiku (selected from 5,000 submissions) by 88 poets, including 7 children. This was the first ever anthology of British haiku; an astonishing 15,000 copies were sold. Other anthologies from Iron Press included The Iron Book of British Haiku, edited by David Cobb and Martin Lucas (1998); Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-wide, edited by George Swede and Randy Brooks (2000). Cobb’s The Euro-haiku: A Bi-lingual Anthology (2007), and his The Humours of Haiku (2012), in addition to monograph collections by leading British haikuists.

From 2001 to 2010 through his company, RAM Publications, in Isleworth, Middlesex, and London, Graham High published seven collections of his own work, including his translation (with Gunvor Edwards) from Swedish of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Great Enigma in 2008. RAM Publications has also published works by other English poets including Martin Lucas, David Cobb, Doreen King, and Steve Dolphy, as well as members’ anthologies of the London Haiku Group.

Bare Bones, Gerry Loose’s Byways Press, Brendan Slater and Sheila Windsor’s Yet to be Named Free Press in Stoke-on-Trent, Colin Stewart Jones’s Scotland-based Gean Tree Press, and Caroline Skanne’s wildflower poetry press are all small publishers associated with a print or online journal.

The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse, edited by Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite, an early comprehensive survey of haiku and other Japanese verse in English, published by a major publisher came out in 1964.

In 1994 The Genius of Haiku: Readings from R. H. Blyth, edited and published under the BHS imprint sold some 2,000 copies.

In 2002, British Museum Press commissioned David Cobb to edit an anthology of haiku and artwork from the museum’s collections titled The British Museum Haiku. This proved to be the museum’s best-selling publication over a period of six months and was eventually reprinted nine times. Sales in the U.K. edition alone have exceeded 21,000 copies. In 2010 the British Museum Press asked Mavis Pilbeam to compile a companion volume, Haiku Animals.

International Activities of British Haiku Poets

English poets have been very active on the international haiku scene, taking part in international contests, winning awards and distinctions, and participating in international haiku organizations.

Awards and contests

British haikuists who have received awards for individual haiku include:

  • Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems—a project of The Haiku Foundation since 2010: Frances Angela, John Barlow, Marion Clarke, Mark Holloway, John McManus, John Parsons, Alan Summers.
  • Museum of Haiku Literature Awards—The awards of £50 are funded by an annual gift from the Museum of Haiku Literature in Tokyo, whose generosity commenced in 1992. Awards are made for a single haiku or other poem chosen from the latest issue of the BHS quarterly, Blithe Spirit. The winning poet from one issue chooses the next award.

British haikuists who have received awards for books include:

  • Merit Book Awards—bestowed by the Haiku Society of America under various names since 1978: David Cobb, Matt Morden, Stella Pierides
  • Touchstone Distinguished Books Awards—a project of The Haiku Foundation since 2010: Paul Chambers, Matthew Paul

International haiku contests:

The following is a list of the major English-language contests in which English haikuists have won prizes or honorable mentions. See the Haikupedia entries for the individual contests and poets for details.

United Kingdom

  • The first national haiku contest in the U.K. was organized by The Times in 1957 and the second in 1967. By 2000, when David Cobb promoted and judged the contest, entries totaled 7,500. British schoolchildren also participated in the contests sponsored by Japan Air Lines that began in 1982.
  • In 1991 the Welsh Academy organized the International Haiku Competition, which drew more than 1,000 entries.
  • The British Haiku Awards under this name have been made since 2010 but began as the James W. Hackett Award (established in 1991): R M Atkinson, Jill Bennett, John Barlow, Edward Beach, David Bingham, D W Brydon, Helen Buckingham, Peter Butler, Simon Chard, Trevor Christie, Ken Cockburn, Tom Cunliffe, Ian Daw, Graham Duff, Claire Everett, Jane Fraser, Vin Godier, Hamish Ironside, David Jacobs, Jean James, Ken Jones, Doreen King, Robert Kingston, Claire Knight, Martin Lucas, Martha Magenta, Clare McCotter, Matt Morden, John Parsons, Catherine Redfern, Tamsin Reeves, Fred Schofield, Katrina Shepherd, Andrew Smith, Alan Summers, Richard Tindall, Diana Webb, Sheila Wild, Alison Williams, Malcolm Williams, Sheila Windsor
  • Snapshot Press sponsors a number of contests that result in publications by the press. The Haiku Calendar Competition has taken place annually since 1999, when the calendar for 2000 was published. Edited by John Barlow, the calendars feature the work of haiku poets from around the world who have submitted haiku appropriate to a particular month. The Snapshot Press Book Awards are international annual prizes for unpublished book-length collections of haiku, tanka, and other short poetry. The Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards are similar, but for unpublished small collections; award winners have their collections published online by Snapshot Press.
  • In 2002 the BHS launched the biennial Nobuyuki Yuasa International Haibun Contest, the first competition for English-language haibun anywhere in the word. The contest results for the first three years were published by the BHS in anthologies titled Brushwood 1 (2002), Brushwood 1 (2003), and Brushwood 3(2004).
  • The Haibungaku Awards are given for single works judged to add significantly to the theoretical understanding and/or practice of English-language haiku or haibun. The awards were instituted in 2003, and two books have been honored: Martin Lucas’s Stepping Stones (2007) and Graham High’s A Silver Tapestry (2015).
Stepping Stones: A Way into Haiku by Martin Lucas
British Haiku Society, 2007

Eastern and southeastern Europe

  • Diogen pro Cultura webzine competitions, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, Romanian Kukai Group: John Hawkhead, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Martha Magenta, Stella Pierides
  • Polish International Haiku Contest of the Polish Haiku Association: Helen Buckingham, Katherine Gallagher, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, John Hawkhead, Niiko Jesensky, Andy McLellan, John McManus, Daniel Richard, Alan Summers, Frank Williams
  • International Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest, Bulgaria: Debbi Antebi, Graham High, Jon Horsley, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Martha Magenta, Andrew Shimield, Paul Smith, Iliyana Stoyanova, Rachel Sutcliffe, Diana Webb, Lucy Whitehead, Frank Williams, Sheila Windsor
  • Online European Kukai, conducted from Poland: Edward Beach, Marion Clarke, John McManus, Iliyana Stoyanova, Rachel Sutcliffe, Sheila Windsor, Sara Winteridge
  • Each year since 2010 Polish haikuist Krzysztof Kokot has selected The European Top 100 most creative haiku authors and listed them on the web. U.K. poets have fared exceptionally well: Debbi Antebi, Joanna Ashwell, John Barlow, Edward Beach, Danny Blackwell, Helen Buckingham, Robert Davey, Tracy Davidson, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, Claire Everett, Seánan Forbes, Tim Gardiner, Mark Gilbert, Mark Gilfillan, Dan Grace, John Hawkhead, David Jacobs, Bernard T. Joy, Brendon Kent, Robert Kingston, John Kinory, Claire Knight, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Martin Lucas, Martha Magenta, Ann-Marie McHarg, Andy McLellan, John McManus, John Parsons, Matthew Paul, Stella Pierides, Geoff Sanderson, David Serjeant, Nick Sherwood, Brendan Slater, Paul Smith, Iliyana Stoyanova, Alan Summers, Rachel Sutcliffe, Alan D. Taylor, Stephen Toft, Roger Watson, Diana Webb, Lucy Whitehead, Sheila Windsor, Sara Winteridge

North America

  • The Harold G. Henderson Awards for best unpublished senryu have been given out by the Haiku Society of America since 1976: Dee Evetts, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, Martha Magenta, Alan Summers
  • The Gerald M. Brady Awards for best unpublished senryu have been given out by the Haiku Society of America since 1988: Dee Evetts
  • A New Resonance, biennial anthologies from Red Moon Press since 1999 featuring new voices in haiku; British haikuists featured have included: Annie Bachini, Harsangeet Kaur Bhullar, Helen Buckingham, Ian Daw, Claire Everett, Jon Iddon, Colin Stewart Jones, Stella Pierides, Thomas Powell, David Serjeant, Brendan Slater.
  • Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational has been awarding a great number of prizes in several categories since 2006: Helen Buckingham, Marion Clarke, Tracy Davidson, Jamie Edgecombe, Martin Fraser, Katherine Gallagher, Mark Gilbert, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, John Hawkhead, Cathy Keal, Brendon Kent, Martha Magenta, Oliver Mead, Nicky Phillips, Stella Pierides, Katrina Shepherd, Ian Storr, Iliyana Stoyanova, Rachel Sutcliffe, Alan Taylor, Diana Webb, Juliet Wilson, Sheila Windsor, Sara Winteridge
  • The online Caribbean Kigo Kukai has been coordinated by Gillena Cox since about 2009: Mark Gilbert, Ingrid Jend, Brendon Kent, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Martha Magenta, John McDonald, Stella Pierides

The work of UK poets has also been included in major web-based cumulative anthologies such as The Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Registry and the Living Haiku Anthology.


  • Itoen Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest—annual contest sponsored by the canned tea company; the English Haiku Division has awarded prizes since 1989: Helen Buckingham, Trevor Christie, James Kirkup, David Cobb, Vivienne Russell, Gracie Starkey
  • Kusamakura Haiku Competition, held in Kumamoto City since 1996: Annie Bachini, John Barlow, Helen Buckingham, Moira Clark, David Cobb, Tracy Davidson, Leslie Giddens, Radcliff Kit, Leo Lavery, Robert Marks, Anne-Marie McHarg, Andy McLellan, Moria Merryweather, Phillip Murrell, John Parsons, Stella Pierides, Lynne Rees, Andrew Schimield, David Simmonds, Iliyana Stoyanova, Diana Webb
  • Mainichi Haiku Contest—annual contest sponsored by the Mainichi Daily News since 1997: Debbi Antebi, Sheila K. Barksdale, Helen Buckingham, David Jacobs, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Philip Noble, John Parsons, Kit Radcliffe
  • Suruga-Baika Literary Prize was offered at the Suruga-Baika Literary Festival annually from 1999 through 2008: Wendy Lockwood, Sheila Windsor, Helen Buckingham, Oliver Mead, John McDonald
  • Haiku International Association (HIA) Haiku Contest held since 1999: Helen Buckingham, Trevor Christie, David Cobb, Malcolm Creese, Jeremy Das, David Dayson, Andy Hunter, Tom Lowenstein, Alan Summers
  • Kikakuza International Haibun Contestran from 2009 to 2011): John Parsons, D. J. Peel
  • Genjuan International Haibun Contest—superseded the Kikakuza contest in 2012: David Cobb, Jane Fraser, Judy Kendall, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, John Parsons, D J Peel, Diana Webb
  • IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Awards—annual contest organized since 2010 by several Japanese literary organization in memory of pioneering Croatian haikuist Vladimir Devidé: John Barlow, Marion Clarke, Tracy Davidson, Andy McLellan, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Niiko, John Parsons, Jack Pemberton, Adrian Pickett, Alan Summers, Roger Watson, Steve Wilkinson, Helen May Williams
  • A number of British poets have also been selected for inclusion in the World Haiku Association’s Featured Haiku section, a cumulative anthology.
  • British schoolchildren also participated in the annual international contests sponsored by Japan Air Lines that began in 1982.


The online Indian Kukai from IN Haiku: Marion Clarke, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Sheila Windsor

Events / Activities:

Relations with foreign haiku organizations

British poets have been well represented at European haiku events. An Anglo-French Haiku Festival, planned jointly by the British Haiku Association and the Association Française de Haiku with additional support from Eurotunnel, was held in Calais, France, and Folkestone, Kent, on National Poetry Day 1997. Fifteen BHS members met in Calais with counterparts from seven countries and wrote “haiku under the sea” on their return trip. Other festivities included a public display of haiku banners along the seafront and an outdoor haiku performance.

David Cobb attended the 1st European Haiku Conference, Bad Neuheim, Germany, in 2005 and delivered a talk titled “Process and Product: Prospects For European Haiku.” Britons were also present at the 2nd European Haiku Conference, Vadstena, Sweden, in 2007, the International Haiku Festival, Ghent, Belgium in 2010, and the 2nd International Haiku Conference in Kraków, Poland, in 2015.

“Haiku as Poetic Spell,” a paper by Martin Lucas with Stuart Quine, was presented at Wind Over Water, the 4th Haiku Pacific Rim conference in Terrigal, Australia, September 22–25, 2009, and published in the conference proceedings.

With the prominence of Bulgarian-born poet Iliyana Stoyanova in the BHS and the haiku enterprise in the U.K. generally, it is not surprising that relations with Bulgarian haiku poets have gotten close. In April 2016 BHS members and friends of the Society took part in the 2nd International Haiku Cherry Blossom Contest in Sofia, and in 2018 David Bingham, Frank Williams and Iliyana Stoyanova traveled to Sofia for the launch of a Bulgarian/English collaborative haiku anthology Отвъд думите: Хайку антология / Beyond Words: Haiku Anthology.

David Bingham, Frank Williams, Iliyana Stoyanova, and members of the Bulgarian Haiku Union at the launch of the bilingual haiku anthology Отвъд думите/ Beyond Words

The first international haiku conference to be held in the U.K. convened in St Albans in late May 2019. The International Haiku Conference—St Albans was sponsored and organized by the BHS on the theme “Haiku Crossing Cultures, Harmony within Diversity.” The event attracted more than 75 participants from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.A.

AUTHOR: David Cobb with contributions by: Colin Blundell, Iliyana Stoyanova, and the Haikupedia editors

ADAPTED FROM: Cobb, “A History of Haiku in the British Isles,” World of Haiku, The Haiku Foundation website

Sources / Further Reading (Print)

Haiku history, criticism, and composition:

  • Aston, William George. A Grammar of the Japanese Written Language, with a Short Chrestomathy. London: Trübner & Co., 1872. 2nd edition, 1877.
  • Auden, W. H. Markings. London, UK: Faber & Faber, 1964.
  • Barlow, John, and Matthew Paul. Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku. Liverpool, Eng.: Snapshot Press, 2008.
  • Blundell, Colin, ed., with Iliyana Stoyanova and David Bingham. Harmony within Diversity: A Collection of Papers Delivered at the International Haiku Conference in St Albans, U.K.; British Haiku Society, 2019.
  • Blyth, R. H. A History of Haiku. Volume 1: From the Beginnings up to Issa. Volume 2: From Issa up to the Present. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 2 volumes, 1963–64.
  • Blyth, R. H. Edo Satirical Verse Anthologies. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1961.
  • Blyth, R. H. Haiku. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 4 volumes, 1949–52.
  • Blyth, R. H. The Genius of Haiku: Readings from R. H. Blyth on Poetry, Life, and Zen. Edited by David Cobb. Introduction by James Kirkup. England / Tokyo: British Haiku Society / Hokusaido Press, 1994, 1995.
  • Blyth, R. H. Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1942.
  • Blyth, R. H., trans. Senryu: Japanese Satirical Verses. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1949.
  • British Haiku Society. the wind that blows through us …: exploring the world of haiku and well-being. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions, 2015. Essays.
  • Chamberlain, Basil Hall. “Bashō and the Japanese Poetical Epigram.” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan XXX (1902), 243–362. Essay.
  • Chamberlain, Basil Hall. Japanese Poetry. London / Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore: John Murray / Kelly & Walsh, 1910.
  • Chamberlain, Basil Hall. The Classical Poetry of the Japanese. London: Trübner & Co., 1880. Full text available online at https://archive.org/stream/classicalpoetryo00chamuoft/classicalpoetryo00chamuoft_djvu.txt
  • Cobb, David. English Seasonal Images: Almanac of Haiku Season Words Pertinent to England. No place [Shalford, Essex]: [Equinox Press], 2004.
  • Cobb, David. What Happens in Haibun. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2013.
  • Ewart, Gavin. The Complete Little Ones. London: Hutchinson, 1986.
  • Fenton, James. An Introduction to English Poetry. Viking, 2002.
  • Gill, Stephen Henry, and C. Andrew Gerstle, eds. Rediscovering Basho: A 300th Anniversary Celebration. Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 1999.
  • High, Graham, ed. A Silver Tapestry: The Best of 25 Years of Critical Writing from the British Haiku Society. Selected by Jon Baldwin and Margery Newlove. Ramsgate, Kent, U.K.: The British Haiku Society, 2015. 50 essays, 1992–2014. Haibungaku Award winner.
  • International Haiku Conference Anthology. St Albans, U.K.: British Haiku Society, 2019.
  • Lucas, Martin. Stepping Stones: A Way into Haiku. Hornchurch, Essex: British Haiku Society, 2007. Haibungaku Award winner.
  • Pound, Ezra. “Contemporanea,” Poetry 2:1 (April 1913), 12.
  • Smith, Richard Eugene. “Ezra Pound and the Haiku.” College English 26 (April 1965), 522–27.
  • the wind that blows through us… (exploring the world of haiku and well-being), Hub Editions for the British Haiku Society, 2015.
  • Trumbull, Charles, “Research Note: W. G. Aston,” Modern Haiku 39:3 (Autumn 2008).

Selected haiku collections:

  • Bachini, Annie. The River’s Edge. Frome, Somerset: Bare Bones Press, 2003.
  • Cobb, David, ed. Tadpoles: Haiku by British School Children. Shalford, Essex: British Haiku Society, 1999.
  • Cobb, David. Jumping from Kiyomizu; A Haiku Sequence. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 1996.
  • Cobb, David. Marching with Tulips. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2013. Haibun.
  • Cobb, David. Mounting Shadows. Braintree, Essex: Equinox Press, 1992.
  • Cobb, David. Palm. Shalford, Essex: Equinox Press, 2002. Incorporating ‘A Day in Twilight’ and with a Foreword by Carol Rumens. Illustrated.
  • Cobb, David. Plops! Mal englisch, Plops! mal deutsch: eine kleine zweisprachige Sammlung von Haiku and Senryu. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions, 1999. In German and English.
  • Cobb, David. Spitting Pips. Shalford, Essex, U.K.: Equinox Press, 2009.
  • Cobb, David. The Spring Journey to the Saxon Shore. Shalford, Essex: Equinox Press, 1997. Haibun.
  • Cope, Wendy. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis. London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1986. Contains “Strugnell’s Haiku,” which are also available on The Poetry Archive website: https://poetryarchive.org/poem/strugnells-haiku/.
  • Grant, Paul. The Loose End of the Night: Haiku. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2006.
  • Haining, Mark. One Hundred Film Haiku: The Reel Thing. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2013.
  • Hammarskjöld, Dag. Markings. Translated from the Swedish by Leif Sjöberg and W. H. Auden. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Borzoi Books, 1964.
  • Hardy, Jackie. The Dust Is Golden. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 1999.
  • Ironside, Hamish. Our Sweet Little Time: A Year in Haiku. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2009.
  • Jones, Colin Stewart. Thinking Once a Week: Haiku. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2014.
  • Jones, Ken. Stallions Crag: Haiku and Haibun. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2003.
  • King, Doreen. The Katsura Tree. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2004.
  • Lucas, Martin. Violin. Frome, Somerset: Bare Bones Press, 1998.
  • Schofield, Fred. Small Snorings. Leeds, England: Bare Bones Press, 2000, 2004.
  • Tasker, Brian. A Ragbag of Haiku. Frome, Somerset: Bare Bones Press, 1996.
  • Tasker, Brian. The Sound of Rain: A Year in Haiku and Senryu. Frome, Somerset: Bare Bones Press, 1999.
  • Tasnier, Maurice. Circling the Sunset. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2005.
  • Tranströmer, Tomas. The Great Enigma. Translated from Swedish to English by Graham High and Gunvor Edwards. Blackheath, U.K.: RAM Publications, 2008.
  • Wilkin, Mike. Venice Haiku. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 2011.
  • Hammarskjöld, Dag. Markings / Vägmärken. Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Förlaf, 1963.
  • Hearn, Lafcadio. Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1904.


  • Barlow, John, and Martin Lucas, eds. The New Haiku. Liverpool: Snapshot Press, 2002. Work by 100 poets.
  • Barlow, John, and Matthew Paul. Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku. Liverpool: Snapshot Press, 2008.
  • Bingham, David, and Iliyana Stoyanova. Where Silence Becomes Song: International Haiku Conference Anthology. St Albans, U.K.: British Haiku Society, 2019.
  • Blundell, Colin, and Graham High, eds. Dover Beach and My Back Yard: British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2007. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions for the British Haiku Society, 2008.
  • Blundell, Colin, comp. A Surprise for David. Spalding, Lincs: Hub Editions, 2019. Prepared as a gift to participants in the World Haiku Conference—St Albans, May 2019.
  • Bownas, Geoffrey, and Anthony Thwaite, eds. and trans. The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse. Hammondsworth, Middlesex / Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1964, 1972, 1983.
  • British Haiku Society. Brushwood 1: Anthology of the Nobuyuki Yuasa International English Haibun Contest, 2002. Shalford, Essex: British Haiku Society, 2002.
  • British Haiku Society. Brushwood 2: Anthology of the Nobuyuki Yuasa International English Haibun Contest, 2003. Shalford, Essex: British Haiku Society, 2003.
  • British Haiku Society. Brushwood 3: Anthology of the Nobuyuki Yuasa International English Haibun Contest, 2002. Shalford, Essex: British Haiku Society, 2004.
  • Bulgarian Haiku Union, Haiku Club Plovdiv, and the British Haiku Society. Отвъд думите: Хайку антология / Beyond Words: Haiku Anthology. British Haiku Society, 2018.
  • Burns, Allan, ed. Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2013. Work by 40 poets.
  • Cobb, David and Martin Lucas, eds. The Iron Book of British Haiku. North Shields, Northumberland: Iron Press, 1998.
  • Cobb, David, and Colin Blundell, eds. Spindrift: Haiku from the Saxon Shore. North Elmham, Norfolk: British Haiku Society, East Anglia Branch, 1997.
  • Cobb, David, and Ken Jones, eds. Table Turning: British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2005. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions for the British Haiku Society, 2006.
  • Cobb, David, and Ken Jones, eds. Table Turning: British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2005. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions for the British Haiku Society, 2006.
  • Cobb, David, ed. The British Museum Haiku. London: British Museum Press, 2002.
  • Cobb, David, ed. The Euro-haiku: A Bi-lingual Anthology. North Shields, England: Iron Press, 2007. 80 haiku by 80 European poets from 26 countries in the original languages and English.
  • Cobb, David. Haiku: The Poetry of Nature. London/New York: British Museum Press/Universe Publishing, 2002. Color illustrations.
  • England, Gerald, ed. The Art of Haiku 2000: A Guide to Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, Haibun, Renga, Sedoka, Sijo and related genres. Cheshire, Eng.: New Hope International, 2000.
  • Hardy, Jackie, ed. Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern. London: MQ Publications, 2002. Also parallel editions—American: Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern. Rutland, Vt. and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 2002; in French: Poésies anciennes & modernes: une anthologie. Paris: Éditions Vega, 2003; and in German: Haiku: Alte und moderne Meister. Düsseldorf, Germany: Patmos-Verlag der Schwabenverlag AG, 2004.
  • Higginson, William J., trans. Thistle Brilliant Morning. Arkesden, Essex, England: Byways Press, 1973.
  • High, Graham, ed. Barbed Wire Blossoms: The Museum of Haiku Literature Award Anthology 1992–2011. Essex, U.K.: British Haiku Society, 2012.
  • Jenkins, Nigel, Ken Jones, and Lynne Rees, eds. Another Country: Haiku Poetry from Wales. Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales: Gomer Press, 2011.
  • Kirkup, James, David Cobb, and Peter Mortimer, eds. The Haiku Hundred. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K.: Iron Press, 1992. 100 haiku by 88 poets, including 7 children.
  • Mason, Steve, ed. Journeys. Isleworth, Middlesex: RAM Publications, 2004. London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 2.
  • Mason, Steve, ed. Night Bus. Isleworth, Middlesex: RAM Publications, 2002. London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 1.
  • Pilbeam, Mavis, ed. Haiku Animals. London: The British Museum Press, 2010.
  • Rees, Lynne, and Jo Pacsoo, eds. The Unseen Wind: British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2009. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions for the British Haiku Society, 2010. 25 haibun.
  • Summerfield, Geoffrey, ed. Junior Voices. Several issues. Harmondsworth, U.K. Penguin, 1968–1970.
  • Swede, George, and Randy Brooks, eds. Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets World-wide. North Shields, Northumberland, U.K./ Oakville, Ontario–Niagara Falls, New York: Iron Press / Mosaic Press, 2000.
  • Williams, Alison, and Timothy Collinson, eds. Fragments. Spalding, Lincolnshire, U.K.: Hub Editions, 2001.
  • Williams, Frank, ed. A Haze of Infinity. Barking, Essex: London Haiku Group, 2017. London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 5.
  • Williams, Frank, ed. A Trolleyful of Pumpkins (2005). London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 3.
  • Williams, Frank, ed. From the Bridge (2014). London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 4.
  • Williams, Frank, ed. That Kind of Blue (2019). London Haiku Group Members’ Anthology 6.

Sources / Further Reading (Online)

Blithe Spirit website: http://britishhaikusociety.org.uk/journal/.

British Haiku Society website: http://britishhaikusociety.org.uk.

Call of the Page website: http://www.callofthepage.org.

Cobb, David. “English Haiku: A Composite View.” British Haiku Society website: britishhaikusociety.org.uk › 2011/02 › English-haiku-a-composite-view; posted February 13, 2011.

Gill, Stephen Henry, coordinator. Hailstone Haiku Circle website. http://www.writersinkyoto.com/2015/11/hailstones-haiku-circle/.

Lucas, Martin. “Haiku as Poetic Spell.” in the proceedings of Wind Over Water, the 4th Haiku Pacific Rim Conference September 22–25, 2009, Terrigal, Australia; Republished in Presence 41 (May 2010) and available on the Presence website: https://haikupresence.org/essays/poetic%20spell.

Marsh, George, ed. In the Moonlight a Worm website. An introduction to writing haiku for teachers and students: http://www.haiku.org.uk/

Moongarlic E-zine Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mgezine/. The Moongarlic website is no longer active.

Notes from the Gean. Archives of the haiku monthly: https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/omeka/files/original/09d979313e6264f39a146357fca25df7.pdf

Paul, Matthew, selector. Haiku from England. The Haiku Foundation website: https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/omeka/files/original/90d676f2a3535cff79c786fd59b4a343.pdf

Presence website: https://haikupresence.org/home.

redthread haiku sangha website: http://redthread.darkislands.co.uk.

Snapshot Press website: http://www.snapshotpress.co.uk.

Takei-Thunman, Noriko. “Haiku: A Bridge between Sweden and Japan.” Available of The Haiku Foundation website: publications.nichibun.ac.jp/region/d/NSH/series/symp/2014…/article.pdf.

Wales Haiku Journal


  1. Ezra Pound, “Vorticism,” The Fortnightly Review 96 [n.s.] (September 1, 1914), 461–71. See also Richard Eugene Smith, “Ezra Pound and the Haiku,” College English 26 (April 1965), 522–27.

  2. Ezra Pound, “Contemporanea,” Poetry 2:1 (April 1913), 12.

  3. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition. Springfield, Mass., Merriam-Webster, Inc. ©2003.

  4. Great Britain. Department of Education and Science. Inspectorate of Schools. Teaching poetry in the secondary school: an HMI view. London: H.M.S.O., 1987.

  5. David Cobb, “English Haiku—a Composite View.” British Haiku Society website: britishhaikusociety.org.uk › 2011/02 › English-haiku-a-composite-view; posted February 13, 2011.

    See http://britishhaikusociety.org.uk/uk-haiku-groups/.

    Cited in William J. Higginson, The Haiku Handbook (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1985), 71–72.



  1. Pound, “Vorticism” (1914). See also Smith, “Ezra Pound and the Haiku” (1965). []
Updated on December 31, 2023