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Polish International Haiku Competition (2011– )

The annual Polish International Haiku Competition was inaugurated in 2011. It was organized for the first five years by Rafał Zabratyński, and in 2016 the recently formed Polish Haiku Association (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Haiku) took over administration of the competition. Poets worldwide are invited to submit one classically structured, original, and unpublished haiku in English. The judges award book prizes for first, second, and third place haiku and certificates for up to ten commendations.


Guidelines

All poets anywhere in the world are invited to enter the Polish International Haiku Competition. Each applicant may submit one haiku that has not previously been published in any form nor currently under consideration in any other contest or publication. Multiple submissions are not accepted. Submissions must be in English, contain an acceptable kigo (season word) in accordance with the seasons in the applicant’s geographical location; be written in three lines, basically within the 5–7–5 syllable pattern but with no specifically required syllable count. There is no entry fee. The window for submissions is typically mid-November to mid-December.

Read the statement on the use of personal data required by the European Parliament and Council in this note.1

Selections are made in a two-stage process: first, one or two pre-selectors read the submissions and prepare a shortlist. Then the final judge chooses first-, second-, and third-place winners and up to ten commended haiku and prepare their commentaries.

Awards are book prizes and certificate for prize winners and certificates for commended entries.

The results of the most recent competition, including the judges’ comments on the winning haiku, are posted and archived on the Polish Haiku Association website at the end of the competition year.

The online entry form may be accessed at the competition website. Queries and other correspondence should also be directed to the competition website.


13th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2023

JudgesCharles Trumbull, Final Judge
Marta Chociłowska, Pre-selector

Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries353 from 50 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeWiesław Karliński,
Poland
return
so much fruit
on the cherry tree
Second PrizeMohammad Azim Khan,
Pakistan
autumn garden
her loneliness
changes colour
Third PrizeChristof Blumentrath,
Germany
graduation day
how small the world
through grandma’s glasses
Commendation (10)
in no specific order
Aljoša Vuković,
Croatia
global warming—
migratory birds
stay home
Marjolein Rotsteeg,
The Netherlands
a hundred years on
Christmas again
in the trenches
Willy Callens,
Belgium
at a fence
leaves are piling up—
asylum center
Andrius Luneckas,
Lithuania
the first frost
ending and beginning
at the same time
Sława Sibiga,
Poland
frost
a new sound
of the wind
M. R. Defibaugh,
U.S.A.
first snowfall
finding more reasons
not to write
Julie Schwerin,
U.S.A.
early spring
the garden and I
work on each other
Sue Courtney,
New Zealand
Valentine’s Day
a bunch of red roses
on the roadside cross
Greg Schwartz,
U.S.A.
low tide …
a crab scuttles across the bottom
of the pot
Vandana Parashar,
India
summer dress
all the ways breeze
finds its way in

12th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2022

JudgesRobert Kania, Final Judge
Małgorzata Formanowska,
Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries318 from 54 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association
website
First PrizeBrendon Kent,
United Kingdom
sumi-e painting
a crow breaks
the snow’s silence
Second PrizeMaria Tomczak,
Poland
deep winter
the harmonious silence
of the reeds
Third PrizeAljoša Vuković,
Croatia
scared starlings—
a dog loans its voice
to the scarecrow
Commendation (9)
listed in alphabetical
order of surnames
Bakhtiyar Amini,
Germany
black clouds
father’s face
unreadable
Keith Evetts,
United Kingdom
winter fog
we wind up in the middle
of everywhere
Željko Funda,
Croatia
late autumn evening
a drunkard is reciting
sonnet eighteen
Ravi Kiran,
India
lifting fog
a wildflower finds
its colours
Nina Kovačić,
Croatia
window ajar …
curtain catches the shapes
of the autumn wind
Indra Neil Mekala,
India
winter solitude
our photos in the album
still stuck together
Elena Naskova,
North Macedonia
Spring thaw …
the snow in my hair
remains
Eduard Țară,
Romania
street lamp
the first snowflakes show up
from the invisible
Susan Yavaniski,
U.S.A.
bitter cold
a streetlight shining
on his pillow

11th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2021

JudgesIliyana Stoyanova, Final Judge
Wiesław Karliński, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries420 from 59 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeNadejda Kostadinova,
Bulgaria
calm by the sea
a little sand crab
carries moonlight
Second PrizeMichael Henry Lee,
U.S.A.
first snow
imagine
my child’s surprise
Third PrizeScott Mason,
U.S.A.
snowmelt
the church carillon
changes its tune
Commendation (10)
listed in no particular order
Mirela Brăilean,
Romania
autumn end—
the spinster knits a scarf for
the unborn snowman
Mihai Moldoveanu,
Mirco, Romania
kite taken by the wind—
hide-and-seek
among the clouds
Angiola Inglese,
Italy
remembering
that scent of lime trees …..
the hour of the pill
Polona Oblak,
Slovenia
wild cherry
the comings and goings
of bees
Stoianka Boianova,
Bulgaria
autumn leaves
the winds are scattering
my loved ones
Jonathan Aylett,
U.K.
fading memories
dry patches in the car park
after a rainstorm
Shanmao,
Russian Federation
first day of winter
icing sugar melts
on a chocolate muffin
Nadezhda Stanilova,
Bulgaria
autumn evening
I still look for my home
in people’s eyes
Lyudmila Hristova,
Bulgaria
winter sun
shining like silver
dust on the piano
Janina Kołodziejczyk,
Italy
barbed wire
on both sides of the border
creaking frost

10th Jubilee Polish International Haiku Competition, 2020

JudgesMarta Chociłowska, Final Judge
Robert Kania, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries320 from 52 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeDaniela Lăcrămioara Capotă,
Romania
corner of the window—
Hunter’s Moon and the spider
same size
Second PrizeTom Bierovic,
U.S.A.
clap of thunder
a heron unfolds
into the echo
Third PrizeEwa Moskalik,
Poland
we are walking
me and the autumn leaf
on my shoe
Commendation (10)
listed in alphabetical
order of surnames
Alfred Booth,
France
from dawn to dusk
every color shimmers …
first frost
Sebastian Ciobîcă,
Romania
swirling leaves …
the old wish fountain
fills with golden coins
Anthony Itopa Obaro,
Nigeria
end of war—
frogs’ croaking fills
an abandoned trench
Semih Özmeriç,
Turkey
cloudy harvest moon—
fumes above the chimney
of my late neighbour
Kerstin Park,
Sweden
beyond mist
and dripping foliage
—full moon
Gregory Piko,
Australia
morning fog
the warmth of her horse’s
breath
Srinivas S,
India
dry summer
deep inside a well
daylight dies
Maria Teresa Sisti,
Italy
silent nest—
I hold another autumn
inside the coat
Debbie Strange,
Canada
forgotten grave
only the small bones
of leaves remain
Li Xiao,
Russia
Christmas eve
little angel
picks his nose

9th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2019

JudgesColin Blundell, Final Judge
Robert Kania, Pre-selector
Ernest Wit, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries360 from 55 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeMarina Bellini,
Italy
windy day
the old neighbor rakes
dead leaves
Second PrizeShloka Shankar,
India
winter sun …
just enough warmth
in your hug
Third PrizeJerzy Małysz,
Poland
silhouettes in fog
on the back of the photo
faded initials
Commendation (9)
listed in no particular order
Vessislava Savova,
Bulgaria
clear water
just a single
maple leaf
Maria Teresa Sisti,
Italy
autumn evening—
your favorite tea
in my cup
Nikola Ðuretić,
Croatia
winter evening
every snow flake adding
its share of silence
Deborah Carl-Brandt,
Germany
midsummer sky
the frogs croak
into the blue
Barbara Strang,
New Zealand
overnight frost
your whiskers glistening
in the morning sun
Peter Jastermsky,
USA
autumn’s end
the last birdsong fades
to wind
Geethanjali Rajan,
India
retirement home—
mist smudges out
a mountain peak
Tomislav Sjekloća,
Montenegro
winter moon
she adjusts his necktie
one last time
Nazarena Rampini,
Italy
Autumn sunset
my mother tells me
about heaven

8th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2018

JudgesKala Ramesh, Final Judge
Marta Chociłowska, Pre-selector
Robert Kania, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries331 from 52 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeCarl Seguiban,
Canada
home-bound train—
bare aspens stitching
the earth and sky
Second PrizeIndra Neil Mekala,
India
Women’s Day
she applies makeup
to her bruise
Third PrizeKlaus-Dieter Wirth,
Germany
gentle breeze
the lifted feathers
of a seagull asleep
Commendation (10)
listed in no particular order
Frank Williams,
U.K.
blue twilight
sitting on fallen leaves
the shape of a fox
Olivier Schopfer,
Switzerland
summer night
from an open window
smooth jazz
Stoianka Boianova,
Bulgaria
dry lake
the splash of water
still heard
Zvonko Jurčević,
Croatia
full net
a fisherman and seagulls
haul the fish
Jerzy Małysz,
Poland
vacant nest
in the broken lamp—
house for sale
Isabella Kramer,
Germany
puddle
all my wishes
upside down
Anthony Itopa Obaro,
Nigeria
summer dawn
we jog from birdsong
to birdsong
Marina Bellini,
Italy
raking leaves
I watch the dogs
chasing the wind
Agus Maulana Sunjaya,
Indonesia
fading light …
alone with the cry
of a cicada
Boris Nazansky,
Croatia
steeple pierces
the leaden December sky
call of the crow

7th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2017

JudgesHidenori Hiruta, Final Judge
Marta Chocilowska, Pre-selector
Robert Kania, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries366 from 54 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
Akita International Haiku
Network website
First PrizeDarrell Lindsey,
U.S.A.
spring garden
the color returns
to her cheeks
Second PrizeIndra Neil Mekala,
India
mom’s lullaby—
the full moon now halved
by sardine clouds
Third PrizeMohammad Azim Khan,
Pakistan
morning frost
granddaughter measures
my footprint
Commendation (10)
listed in seasonal order
Nancy Brady,
U.S.A.
first steps …
catching cherry blossoms
in chubby fist
Zlata Bogović,
Croatia
Sound of raindrops
dispersing our silence
under an umbrella.
Veronika Zora Novak,
Canada
by moonlight …
i slip into the stars of
my kimono
John Hawkhead,
U.K.
Autumn moon
the burnt almond scent
as she leaves the room
David McMurray,
Japan
one last look before
getting on the tourist bus—
maples in Senshu Park
Maria Piasecka,
Poland
snip of paper—
painting in a black ink
an autumn leaf
Minh-Triêt Pham,
France
autumn wildflowers—
feeling like picking one up
on her party dress
Pasquale Asprea,
Italy
Snow at night
hidden under the wing
the duck’s head
Andy McLellan,
U.K.
winter evening
I knit another row
of stars
Lorin Ford,
Australia
winter alone …
sometimes a chimney gust
stirs the embers

6th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2016

JudgesDavid McMurray, Final Judge
Robert Kania, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries396 from 57 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PrizeAndy Burkhart,
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
bitter cold
a woodpecker knocks
for breakfast
Second PrizeAnna Maris,
Hässleholm, Sweden
harvest festival
my shadow on the wall
still a young woman
Third PrizeIndra Neil Mekala,
Rajahmundry,
Andhra Pradesh, India
paddy field—
the farmer plows
through a sea of clouds
Commendation (11)
listed in seasonal order
Michael Dylan Welch,
Sammamish, Washington,
U.S.A.
falling blossoms …
I can say nothing
that’s not been said before
Lavana Kray,
Iași, Romania
May fragrances—
the old man takes a selfie
with a dry plum tree
Olivier Schopfer,
Geneva, Switzerland
wildflower seeds
carried by the wind
the words I didn’t say
Gordana Vlašić,
Oroslavje, Croatia
Felled tree.
Its green leaves suspect
nothing.
Andrius Luneckas,
Vilnius, Lithuania
summer holiday
greeted with hugs my old friend
scarecrow
Alan Summers,
Chippenham, Wiltshire, England
painting a forest
another of the red leaves
caught on an easel
Elena Naskova,
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
autumn rains …
the dampness settles
deep inside me
Magdalena Banaszkiewicz,
Zielona Góra, Poland
end of the alley
from an old man’s shoulders
falling leaves
Eduard Țară,
Iași, Romania
sweeping leaves—
always one step
behind the silence
Maria Tomczak,
Opole, Poland
blazing sunset
how warm are the tones
of the fresh snow

5th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2015

JudgesAgnieszka Żuławska-Umeda,
Final Judge
Rafał Zabratyński, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries336 from 41 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PlaceStanka Boneva,
Varna, Bulgaria
a dandelion
in the window box
I dare not breathe
Second PlaceQuendryth Young,
Alstonville, N.S.W., Australia
broken glass
some of the shards
glisten
Third PlaceMarinko Kovačević,
Praputnjak, Croatia
a puppy
licking the moonlight
off its paws
Commendation (10)
listed alphabetically
by haiku
Keith Simmonds,
Rodez, France
a housewife sweeps up
the aroma of spring …
glow of cherry blooms
Alina Kizierowska,
Borówiec, Poland
Between one raindrop
And just the following one—
It is not raining
Robert Kania,
Warsaw, Poland
fourth anniversary—
only the wind sweeps the leaves
from the grave
Owen Bullock,
Canberra, Australia
harbour light show—
a little boy points out
the half-moon
Vasile Moldovan,
Bucharest, Romania
hidden deep
beneath the morning glory
hero’s name
Engin Gülez,
Ankara, Turkey
no stars tonight—
my daughter brings me
a jar of fireflies
Daniela Lacramioara Capotă,
Galați, Romania
only the wind whistling
from time to time—
abandoned train station
Sergiu Vlad,
Botoșani, Romania
still lake
out of the blue
a water lily
Sneha Sundaram,
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
summer vacation
even the sun jumps
into the ocean
Rob Woods
Darwin, Australia
yellow blossoms
fall into a street
of yellow blossoms

4th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2014

JudgesRafał Zabratyński, Final Judge
George Swede, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries386 from 47 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PlaceRamesh K,
Adyar, India
long afternoon …
the church spire shade
reaches the beggar
Second PlaceAlexey Andreev,
Moscow, Russia
silence
breaking in two
a log on the fire
Third PlaceCherese Cobb,
Maryville, United States
the scarecrow
slips the harvest moon
into his sleeve
Commendation (10)
listed alphabetically
by haiku
Olivier Schopfer,
Geneva, Switzerland
after our argument
fireflies
on the way home
Florin C. Florian,
Botoșani, Romania
delaying
the night falling
field of rapeseed
Steliana Cristina Voicu,
Ploiești, Romania
grace of the night—
a swan leans to pick up
a falling star
Boris Nazansky,
Zagreb, Croatia
late autumn
the old stump
is in leaf
Nikolay Grankin,
Krasnodar, Russia
on the drawn heart
walking doves
inside … outside…
Julie Warther,
Dover, United States
open lotus
a pond makes room
for the rain
Marta Chociłowska,
Warsaw, Poland
rendezvous—
on my lips
Indian summer
Helen Buckingham,
Wells, Great Britain
wildlife park
lovers peck at baguettes
and each other
Terry Ann Carter,
Victoria, British Columbia,
Canada
wild roses—
the way she ties back
her hair
Maria Kowal-Tomczak,
Opole, Poland
wind chill
among trembling leaves
more and more sky

3rd Polish International Haiku Competition, 2013

JudgesGeorge Swede, Final Judge
Rafał Zabratyński, Pre-selector
Contest founderKrzysztof Kokot
Number of entries369 from 47 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PlaceJulie Warther,
Dover, Ohio, U.S.A.
breaching whale
the time between
too soon and too late
Second PlaceErnest J Berry,
Blenheim, New Zealand
august mist
the magnificence
of thought
Third PlaceBouwe Brouwer,
Emmeloord, Netherlands
street musician
the winter cold passes through
his accordion
Commendation (10)
listed alphabetically
by haiku
Mihail Buraga,
Bucharest, Romania
daylight kiss
in all the crowd
just you and me
Seren Fargo,
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.
first thaw—
a hawk leans further
toward its target
Niiko Jesensky,
London, U.K.
grey rainy day
she polishes silverware
third time round
Sandra Simpson,
Tauranga, New Zealand
late strawberries—
the story of how he saved me
gets a bit longer
Kevin Goldstein-Jackson,
Poole, Dorset, U.K.
lost for words
exploring blank paper
a fly
Daniel Richard,
Millom, Cumbria, U.K.
migrating birds—
I leave a note for her
on the fridge
Dietmar Tauchner,
Puchberg, Austria
mountain long before i was an idea
Andrea Cecon,
Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Italy
our first date
the redness
of maple leaves
Jan Dobb,
Canberra, Australia
season’s end
the colours of rust
in a scrap yard
Yesha Shah,
Surat, Gujarat, India
twilight
helping mother take
baby steps

2nd Polish International Haiku Competition, 2012

JudgesJim Kacian, Final Judge
Rafał Zabratyński, Pre-selector
Contest administrationKrzysztof Kokot, Coordinator
Number of entries312 from 40 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PlaceRoberta Beary,
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.
autumn moon
her brain a tangle
of white string
Second PlaceDietmar Tauchner,
Puchberg, Austria
2nd hand bookshop
i release
the smell of time
Third PlaceAlan Bridges,
Littleton, Massachusetts,
U.S.A.
shooting stars
the pop of gravel
on a country road
Commendation (10)
listed alphabetically
by haiku
Agnieszka Malinowska,
Zgierz, Poland
double rainbow—
people working in the fields
are standing up
Raj Bose,
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Lost
I follow my dog’s bark
into the fog
Marleen Hulst,
Musselkanaal, Netherlands
obituary
a gust of wind
touches the hedge
Sanja Petrov Vlahović,
Oprtalj, Croatia
Roasted chestnuts
the sweet scent brightens
this cloudy day
Quendryth Young,
Alstonville, Australia
steady rain
each surface tolls
its own tone
Sergio Ortiz,
San Juan, Puerto Rico, U.S.A.
terminally ill
a snowman melts
into darkness
Anna Goluba,
Warsaw, Poland
The wishing well—
Just a few words
In all languages
Nola Borrell,
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
wild coast
the sea still sorting
stones
Darrell Lindsey,
Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.A.
winter moonlight—
some shattered glass
between fingers
Eduard Țară,
Iași, Romania
Year’s end—
the old suitcase still waiting
at the door

1st Polish International Haiku Competition, 2011

JudgesJane Reichhold, Final Judge
Rafał Zabratyński, Pre-selector
Contest administrationKrzysztof Kokot, Coordinator
Grzegorz Sionkowski, Secretary
Number of entries304 from 41 countries
Announcement of winnersPolish Haiku Association website
First PlaceCynthia Rowe,
Woollahra, Australia
tidal flats
the white-faced heron wades
into a rainbow
Second PlaceKlaus-Dieter Wirth,
Viersen, Germany
late summer breeze
vesper bells begin to bronze
the evening sky
Third PlaceBouwe Brouwer,
Emmeloord, Netherlands
dawn—
winter light slides into
my slippers
Commendation (10)
listed alphabetically
by haiku
Adrian Bouter,
Gouda, Netherlands
an old typewriter
in the quiet of morning
the woodpecker’s work
G. R. LeBlanc,
Dieppe, Canada
ashes to ashes
the north star
still burns
Eryk Margolak,
Kielce, Poland
election evening
the zigzag flight path
of a firefly
Wolfgang Beutke,
Barum, Germany
rain forest
the sharp blade of a
parrot’s cry
Alexander Joy,
Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.A
shoreline
the sea spray breaks
into seagulls
Andra Andronic,
Botoșani, Romania
summer rain—
the church bells soothing
my pain
John McManus,
Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.
summer’s end
wringing the ocean
from her hair
Guy Vanden Broeck,
Avelgem, Belgium
Virgin snow—
that queer urge
to leave traces
Margaret Beverland,
Katikati, New Zealand
wading naked
into the mountain stream …
the blue blue sky
Katherine Gallagher
London, U.K.
waiting for the bus—
a small boy measures his shoe
against his father’s

Authors: Polish Haiku Association and the Haikupedia Editors

Adapted from information, archives, and contest statistics on the Polish Haiku Association website.

Note

  1. Accessing the competition is tantamount to consenting to the processing of the participant’s personal data for the purposes necessary to organize and conduct the competition and with the consent of the authors of the awarded and commended haiku for publication on the internet site psh.org.pl. Expressing consent is voluntary, but necessary to participate in the competition in accordance with the Act of 10 May 2018 on the protection of personal data (Journal of Laws from 2018, item 1000) and in accordance with the Regulation of the European Parliament and Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC. The administrator of personal data is the Polish Haiku Association, ul. Kacza 6 m. 65, 01-013 Warsaw. []
Updated on March 31, 2024