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Herb Barrett Award (1996–2000)

Competitions for the Herb Barrett Award, “an annual prize for poetry in the haiku tradition,” were held from 1996 through 2000, sponsored by the Hamilton (Ontario) Haiku Press, in memory of the founder of the press, Herb Barrett (1912–1995).


Competitions for the Herb Barrett Award, “an annual prize for poetry in the haiku tradition,” were held for five years, from 1996 through 2000. The international contests were sponsored by the Hamilton Haiku Press, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in memory of the founder of the press,Herb Barrett (1912–1995), distinguished poet, painter, editor, and publisher.

The competition attracted entries from throughout North America, atthough Canadian poets were best represented among the award winners. In addition to Sandra Fuhringer, the founder of the Hamilton Haiku Workshop, two other residents of the city, Margaret Saunders and Mary Partridge, were among the laureates. Prizes of Can$150 for First Place, $125 for Second, and $100 for Third.

Contest adjudication was handled by a single judge selected by the sponsors. The judge also edited the award anthology for the given year—see the list of publications under Sources below. These anthologies included not only the winning haiku but a selection of other entries as well.

Herb Barrett Award, 2000

JudgeDenver Stull
First PrizeJoanne Morcomprairie sunset
the old shed
leans into it
Second PrizePatricia M. BenedictLop-sided swing —
The broken seat supports
one yellow leaf.
Third PrizeHans Jongman deertracks
around the snowman
his carrot-nose gone
Honourable Mention (3)Becky D. Alexanderriding the grapevine
through the wind
             — a flock of blackbirds
Louise Beavenamong the antiques
                                   an ivory elephant.
                                   tuskless
L. DeVar Dahlfirst snow
the paperboy’s path
from house to house

Herb Barrett Award, 1999

JudgeHans Jongman
First PrizeSandra Fuhringerfrom table to table
the cafe waiter
sweeping leaves
Second PrizeHarry R. Gillitiny pie-billed grebe—
its wake the width
of the river
Third PrizeDorothy McLaughlin
field of ripe pumpkins,
their orange vanishing
into twilight
Honourable MentionDorothy McLaughlin
in father’s garden
we pick his last tomatoes,
dew chilling our hands

Herb Barrett Award, 1998

JudgeMichael Dylan Welch
First PrizeTimothy Russell cold morning—
the sparrow’s twitch
ripples through the spirea
Second PrizeA. C. Missiascity park—
the wind takes a leaf
from the chessboard
Third PrizeFerris Gilliwhite sand—
the injured wasp
draws another loop
Honourable Mention (2)Izak Bouwerlonger days—
        behind the icicles
a little spider
Sandra Fuhringermidnight rain
the vacancy sign
is turned off

Herb Barrett Award, 1997

JudgeMargaret Saunders
First PrizeGiovanni Malitocold morning —
the man at the bus stop
swallowing his neck
Second Prize
Elizabeth St Jacques
Spring break
    my old tomcat
    limping home
Third PrizeSandra Fuhringer in a backyard
two women folding sunlight
into sheets
Honourable Mention (3)Winona Bakerhorse’s muzzle
melts the moon
in the trough
Ann Goldringon my knees —
    the taste of that
    first strawberry
Myra StilbornClear ice on the pond —
the skater cuts figure eights
on moving clouds

Herb Barrett Award, 1996

JudgeLeRoy Gorman
First PrizeJeffrey Witkingathering light …
    one swell of the sea
becomes another
Second PrizeBrian David Johnstonfox sparrow
disturbing dead leaves …
reading your epitaph
Third PrizeMary PartridgeTwo miners still trapped
    we wait through another
          commercial break
Honourable MentionMargaret Saundersstep by step
          from the river’s roar
the river’s hush

Sources / Further Reading

The Herb Barrett Awards anthologies:

  • Gorman, LeRoy, ed. Gathering Light, an international haiku anthology: the winning poems of The Herb Barrett Award, 1996. Illustrated by Gilda Mekler. Hamilton, Ont.: Hamilton Haiku Press, ©1997.
  • Saunders, Margaret, ed. Cold Morning: an international haiku anthology: the winning poems of The Herb Barrett Award, 1997. Illustrated by Gilda Mekler. Hamilton, Ont.: Hamilton Haiku Press, ©1998.
  • Welch, Michael Dylan, ed. Through the Spirea, an international haiku anthology: the winning poems of The Herb Barrett Award, 1998. Illustrated by Gilda Mekler. Hamilton, Ont.: Hamilton Haiku Press, ©1999. Black-and-white illustrations.
  • Jongman, Hans, ed. Sweeping Leaves, an international haiku anthology: the winning poems of The Herb Barrett Award, 1999. Illustrated by Gilda Mekler. Hamilton, Ont.: Hamilton Haiku Press, ©2000.
  • Stull, Denver, ed. Prairie Sunset, an international haiku anthology: the winning poems of The Herb Barrett Award, 2000. Illustrated by Gilda Mekler. Hamilton, Ont.: Hamilton Haiku Press, ©2005.

Compiled by the Haikupedia Editors

Updated on March 31, 2024