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Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems

The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems were first presented by The Haiku Foundation in 2011 for works (haiku and senryu published in 2010) that represent noteworthy additions to English-language haiku in the estimation of a distinguished panel of haiku poets, editors, and scholars.


Since 2011 the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone awards for excellence in haiku in the previous year have been given out in two categories, Individual Poems and Distinguished Books. Selections in each category are made by a separate panel of prominent haiku poets, editors, and scholars who typically serve a three-year term. The process is overseen by an awards committee chair: Jim Kacian was the first to perform this task, replaced by Mark Harris, and then, since 2015, Bruce H. Feingold.

Nominations for the annual Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems are accepted from any individual who has had at least one haiku or senryu published during the award year. A person may nominate no more than two haiku or senryu, one of which may be his or her own. For the purposes of this award, publication is constituted by, but not limited to, first appearance in a juried public venue such as a book, journal, online site, or contest. The Selection Panel reserves the right to determine whether a poem meets this criterion. Work by members of the Selection Panel, Committee members, and THF Board members are not eligible for consideration. A nomination form with detailed instructions is available on The Haiku Foundation website.

The Selection Panel selects a shortlist of typically about thirty haiku or senryu, then a few weeks later announces six to eight winning entries. Award laureates receive an etched glass plaque with their winning poem. Competition results are announced on The Haiku Foundation website. 

Below are listed, most recent first, the name of the poets who won the Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems for the years from 2010 to the present, the publication in which each poem appeared, and links to The Haiku Foundation’s web pages, with the text of the winning poems and the Selection Panel’s comments.


Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2019

Selection Panel:

Chuck Brickley
Susan Constable
Anna Maris 
Christopher Patchel 
Wally Swist
Michelle Tennison 

Nominations: Nearly 900

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (6):

Gregory Longenecker, The Heron’s Nest 21:2
Leanne Mumford, Echidna Tracks 2: Landscapes (March 17, 2019)
Polona Oblak, The Heron’s Nest 21:4
Renée Owen, Modern Haiku 50:2
Robin Anna Smith, 7th Annual Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Awards, 3rd Place
Julie Warther, Acorn 42

Other poems that were shortlisted (24):

Adjei Agyei-Baah, Wales Haiku Journal, Spring 2019
Francine Banwarth, The Heron’s Nest 21:3
Sondra J. Byrnes, Sonic Boom 15
Paul Chambers, Presence 67
Simon Chard, Presence 64
Sarah-Jane Crowson, Wales Haiku Journal, Autumn 2019
Lucia Fontana, Failed Haiku 46
Lorin Ford, The Heron’s Nest 21:2
Warren Gossett, Acorn 42
Lee Gurga, Mariposa 40
Elmedin Kadric, Presence 64
Marietta McGregor, The Heron’s Nest 21:4
John McManus, Hedgerow 129
Lori A Minor, Troutswirl Blog (The Haiku Foundation)
Ben Moeller-Gaa, Hedgerow 129
Bryan Rickert, The Heron’s Nest 21:2
Chad Lee Robinson, Acorn 43
Dan Schwerin, Modern Haiku 50:3
Charlie Shiotani, The Heron’s Nest 21:4
Debbie Strange, Seashores 2
Debbie Strange, Shamrock 42
Debbie Strange, Acorn 42
Mary Weiler, Frogpond 42:2
Lucy Whitehead, Modern Haiku 50.3

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2018

Selection Panel:

Terry Ann Carter
Gary Hotham

Renée Owen
Michele Root-Bernstein
Wally Swist
Dietmar Tauchner

Nominations: More than 800

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (6):

Susan Burch, Marlene Mountain Memorial Haiku Contest 2018, FemkuMag
Elinor Pihl Huggett, Geppo 43:3
Jessica Malone Latham, Mariposa 39
Tanya McDonald, Mariposa 38
Chad Lee Robinson, Frogpond 41:3
John Stevenson, Frogpond 41:2

Other poems that were shortlisted (25):

Barnabas I. Adeleke, The Heron’s Nest 20:4
Elizabeth Alford, Stardust Haiku 20
Debbi Antebi, The Heron’s Nest 20:1  
Faten Anwar, The Mamba 6
Betty Arnold, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society 2018 Members’ Anthology
Paul Chambers, Acorn 41
Claire Everett, The Heron’s Nest 20:1
Florin C. Florian, Johnny Baranski Memorial Haiku Contest, 2018
Robert Gilliland, Mariposa 38
Eufemia Griffo, Modern Haiku 49:2
Engin Gülez, Little Haiku Contest, 2017 (Iris)
John Hawkhead, The Heron’s Nest 20:1
David J. Kelly, Frogpond 41:1
paul m., Acorn 40
Ron C. Moss, Acorn 40
Guy Nesom, Mayfly 64
Polona Oblak, Presence 60
Bryan Rickert, Modern Haiku 49:1
Joseph Robello, Mariposa 39
Chad Lee Robinson, Mariposa 38
Maureen Sexton, Creatrix 43
Sushma A. Singh, The Heron’s Nest 20:4 
Debbie Strange, Mariposa 39 
Debbie Strange, Shamrock 40
Max Verhart, Chrysanthemum 24

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2017

Selection Panel:

Gary Hotham
Ron C. Moss
Renée Owen
Michele Root-Bernstein
Dietmar Tauchner
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: 730

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (6):

Frances Angela, Acorn 38
Cherie Hunter Day, Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award, 2017 (Modern Haiku 48:2)
Rajandeep Garg, Modern Haiku 48:3
Michele L. Harvey, The Heron’s Nest 19:3
Sharon Pretti, Frogpond 40:2
John Shiffer, Acorn 38

Other poems that were shortlisted (25):

Frances Angela, Modern Haiku 48:2
Debbi Antebi, Presence 58
Debbi Antebi, Tinywords 17:2
Bill Cooper, The Heron’s Nest 19:4
Robert Epstein, The Heron’s Nest 19:2
Seren Fargo, Frogpond 40:2
Lucia Fontana, Chrysanthemum 22
Ruth Holzer, Frogpond 40:1
Frank Hooven, The Heron’s Nest 19:1
Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Kokako 26
Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Modern Haiku 48:2
Gregory Longenecker, Sonic Boom 8
Indra Neil Mekala, 22nd International Kusamakura Haiku Competition
Lori A Minor, H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest (Prune Juice 22)
Peter Newton, Bones 12
Anthony Itopa Obaro, The Heron’s Nest 19:2
Olivier Schopfer, Modern Haiku 48:1
Dan Schwerin, Frogpond 40:1
John Stevenson, Modern Haiku 48:1
Michael Stinson, Stardust Haiku 3
Hilary Tann, The Heron’s Nest 19:4
Ernest Wit, Bones 12
Karina M. Young, Mariposa 36
Romano Zeraschi, Chrysanthemum 22
David He Zhuanglang, Stardust Haiku 5

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2016

Selection Panel:

Gary Hotham
Ron C Moss
Renée Owen
Michele Root-Bernstein
Dietmar Tauchner
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: Nearly 500

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (5):

Nicholas Klacsanzky, A Hundred Gourds 5:3
Peter Newton, The Heron’s Nest 18:1
Dave Read, Acorn 37
Katrina Shepherd, The Heron’s Nest 18:4
Alan Summers, Blithe Spirit 26:1

Other poems that were shortlisted (24):

Debbi Antebi, Failed Haiku 1:6
Francine Banwarth, Frogpond 39:3
Brad Bennett, Presence 55
Alan S. Bridges, The Heron’s Nest 18:2
Helen Buckingham, Mayfly 60
Glenn G. Coats, Acorn 36
Susan Constable, Acorn 36
Robert Epstein, Mariposa 34
Lorin Ford, The Living Haiku Anthology Annual Haiku Competition, 2016
Samar Ghose, Sonic Boom
LeRoy Gorman, is/let, 1 October 2016
Anita Guenin, The Living Haiku Anthology Annual Haiku Contest 2016
Carolyn Hall, Mariposa 35
Michele Harvey, Frameless Sky 4
Alexander B. Joy, The Heron’s Nest 18:1
Ben Moeller-Gaa, Modern Haiku 47:3
Elliot Nicely, Modern Haiku 47:2
Polona Oblak, The Heron’s Nest 18:2
Aparna Pathak, Wild Plum 2:2
Bill Pauly, The Heron’s Nest 18:4
Chad Lee Robinson, Mariposa 35
Carl Seguiban, The Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award, 2016
Eduard Țară, Concorso Internazionale Haiku in Lingua Italiana, 2016
Maria Tomczak, The Heron’s Nest 18:3

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2015

Selection Panel:

Carolyn Hall
Eve Luckring
Lenard D. Moore
Ron C Moss
Barbara Ungar
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: Nearly 500

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (6):

Mary Frederick Ahearn, Frogpond 38:3
Francine Banwarth, The Heron’s Nest 17:1
Robert Epstein, The Heron’s Nest 17:4
Patricia J. Machmiller, Frogpond 38:2
Michael McClintock, The Heron’s Nest 17:3
John McManus, Acorn 35

Other poems that were shortlisted (24):

Fay Aoyagi, Mariposa 32 (2 nominations)
Paul Bregazzi, Shamrock 32
Helen Buckingham, NOON 10
Matthew Caretti, The Heron’s Nest 17:3
Markeith Chavous, NOON 9
Simon Hanson, Wild Plum 1:2
Devin Harrison, Shamrock 32
Elmedin Kadric, A Hundred Gourds 4:4
Elmedin Kadric, The Heron’s Nest 17:3
Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award, 2015
Michael Henry Lee, Tinywords 15:1
Chen-ou Liu, Shamrock 31
Jeannie Martin, Tinywords 15:1 
Ben Moeller-Gaa, Shamrock 32
H. Gene Murtha, The Heron’s Nest 17:3
Sandi Pray, A Hundred Gourds 4:3
Dorota Pyra, 20th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, 2015
Chad Lee Robinson, The Heron’s Nest 17:4
Dan Schwerin, Modern Haiku 46:2
Angela Terry, The Heron’s Nest 17:1
Tom Tico, Bottle Rockets 16:2
Paresh Tiwari, The Heron’s Nest 17:1
Maria Tomczak, Cattails, September 2015
Kent Travis, Shamrock 31

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2014

Selection Panel:

Carolyn Hall
Eve Luckring
Lenard D. Moore
George Swede
Barbara Ungar
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: Nearly 500

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (5):

Susan Antolin, Mariposa 30
Chuck Brickley, Mariposa 31
Karen Cesar, Modern Haiku 45:3
Joyce Clement, The Heron’s Nest 16:2
David McCann, Acorn 32

Other poems that were shortlisted (24):

Melissa Allen, Frogpond 37:1 
Francine Banwarth, Modern Haiku 45:2 
Alan S. Bridges, The Heron’s Nest 17:4 
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă, 2nd “aha” (Annual Hortensia Anderson) Memorial Awards
Jan Dobb, Kokako 21 
George G. Dorsty, Bottle Rockets 30 
Robert Epstein, Acorn 33
Seren Fargo, Modern Haiku 45:1
Michael Fessler, Bottle Rockets 30
Jeff Hoagland, Tinywords 14:2
Yvette Kolodji, The Heron’s Nest 17:2
Burnell Lippy, The Heron’s Nest 17:3
paul m., Mariposa 31
Carole MacRury, Shiki Internet Kukai, October 2014
Anna Mazurkiewicz, Prune Juice 12
John McManus, Mayfly 57
Ron C Moss, The Heron’s Nest 17:4
Peter Newton, Frogpond 37:3
John Stevenson, Frogpond 37:1 
Michelle Tennison, Acorn 32
Lew Watts, The Heron’s Nest 17:2
Peter Yovu, Frogpond 37:3
Peter Yovu, is/let, December 1, 2014
Peter Yovu, NOON, 2014

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2013

Selection Panel:

Dee Evetts
Paul Miller
Lenard D. Moore
George Swede
Barbara Ungar

Nominations: More than 500

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (8):

Don Baird, HaikuNow! Contest (The Haiku Foundation), 2013
John Barlow, Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award (Modern Haiku)
Sonam Chhoki, Shamrock 26
Mike Dillon, Modern Haiku 44:3
Harry Frentz, Jeanette Stace Memorial Awards (New Zealand Poetry Society)
Ferris Gilli, Acorn 31
Ron C Moss, Acorn 30
John Parsons, Frogpond 36:2

Other poems that were shortlisted (21):

Ernest J Berry, Polish International Haiku Competition
Alan S. Bridges, Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition
Dawn Bruce, Shamrock 26
Metod Češek, Modern Haiku 44:3
Marion Clarke, Shamrock 25
Anne Curran, Shamrock 26
Michael L. Evans, Francine Porad Memorial Haiku Contest
Marco Fraticelli, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest
Scott Glander, Mayfly 54
Kate Godsey, Chrysanthemum 14
Carolyn Hall, A Hundred Gourds 3:1
Annette Makino, Tinywords 13:2
Scott Mason, Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest (Haiku Society of America)
Tyrone McDonald, The Heron’s Nest 15:1
Ron C Moss, The Heron’s Nest 15:1
Chad Lee Robinson, Mariposa 29
Sandra Simpson, Kokako 19
Dietmar Tauchner, 18th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition
Julie Warther, Polish International Haiku Competition
Sarah Winteridge, Modern Haiku 44:2
Peter Yovu, Roadrunner 13:1

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2012

Selection Panel:

Fay Aoyagi
Dee Evetts
John Martone
Paul Miller
George Swede
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: More than 560

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (8):

Melissa Allen, Frogpond 35:3
Aubrie Cox, Frogpond 35:1
Mark Holloway, Bones 1
Bill Kenney, Modern Haiku 43:2
Eve Luckring, The Heron’s Nest 14:3
Patricia J. Machmiller, The Heron’s Nest 14:4
John McManus, The Heron’s Nest 14:2
Kieran O’Connor, The Heron’s Nest 14:4

Other poems that were shortlisted (18):

Helen Buckingham, Modern Haiku 43:2
Aubrie Cox, Mayfly 52
Cherie Hunter Day, Modern Haiku 43:1
Bill Deegan, Frogpond 35.3
Garry Eaton, The Heron’s Nest 14:4
Lorin Ford, The Heron’s Nest 14:4
Carolyn Hall, The Heron’s Nest 14:3
Michele L. Harvey, The Heron’s Nest 14:4
Gregory Hopkins, Mayfly 52
Gregory Hopkins, A Hundred Gourds 1:3
Michael Ketchek, Frogpond 35.2
Anatoly Kudryavitsky, A Hundred Gourds 1:2
Rebecca Lilly, Roadrunner 12:2
Eve Luckring, Modern Haiku 43.3
Peter Newton, A Hundred Gourds 1:4
Dan Schwerin, Modern Haiku 43:1
John Stevenson, Acorn 29
Julie Warther, Frogpond 35:1

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2011

Selection Panel:

Fay Aoyagi
David Cobb
Dee Evetts
John Martone
Paul Miller
Diane Wakoski

Nominations: Approximately 585

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (6):

Ernest J Berry, British Haiku Awards, 2010
Cherie Hunter Day, Harold G. Henderson Award, 2011
Terri L. French, Frogpond 34:3
Gregory Hopkins, The Heron’s Nest 13:2
Bill Pauly, Modern Haiku 42:1
Chad Lee Robinson, The Heron’s Nest 13:1

Other poems that were shortlisted (23):

Melissa Allen, Acorn 26
Sanjukta Asopa, The Heron’s Nest 13:3
Dave Baldwin, The Heron’s Nest 13:4
Roberta Beary, Itoen Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest, 2011
Sonam Chhoki, A Hundred Gourds 1:1
Kathy Lippard Cobb, Haiku Presence Award, 2010
Susan Constable, Bottle Rockets 24 
Amelia Cotter, The Heron’s Nest 13:2
Bruce H. Feingold, Tinywords 11:2
Chris Gordon, Roadrunner 11:1
Stephen Gould, Haiku Presence Award, 2010
Michele L. Harvey, Harold G. Henderson Awards, 2011
John Hawk, The Heron’s Nest 13:3
Mary Kipp, Magnapoets
Susan Marie La Vallée, Gerald Brady Senryu Awards, 2011
Jo McInerney, The Heron’s Nest 13:1
Scott Metz, Roadrunner 11:1
Roland Packer, Modern Haiku 42:1
Tom Painting, 2nd HaikuNow! International Haiku Contest
Sandra Simpson, DailyHaiku 6:11
Barbara Strang, Kokako 15
Paul Watsky, The Heron’s Nest 13:3
Quendryth Young, Presence 43

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems, 2010

Selection Panel:

Fay Aoyagi
Janice Bostok
David Cobb
John Martone
Hiro Sato
John Stevenson

Nominations: Approximately 600

Announcement of results: The Haiku Foundation website

Award winners (7):

Robert Epstein, The Heron’s Nest 12:4
Duro Jaiye, The Heron’s Nest 12:1
Mark Lonergan, Paper Wasp 16
Peggy Willis Lyles, Modern Haiku 41.1
Greg Piko, The Heron’s Nest 12:1
Sandra Simpson, The Heron’s Nest 12:3
Quendryth Young, Chrysanthemum 8

No shortlist for 2010 awards


COMPILED BY: Haikupedia Editors

ADAPTED FROM: The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Awards

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Updated on September 27, 2020