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Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards

Every year since 2010 the Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards have been bestowed by The Haiku Foundation on published collections of poems or works of scholarship that represent noteworthy contributions to English-language haiku.


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.

Any English-language book or other book-length production that is of or about haiku (and related forms) is eligible for an award. The Distinguished Book Awards are open to print books published during the current calendar year. Awards panelists and Awards Committee members are not eligible.

Selections are made by a panel of eminent poets, editors, and scholars. To qualify for a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award, authors or publishers are invited to submit six copies of the book. The postmark deadline is December 31 of the current calendar year. One copy is sent to each member the panel, the other becomes a permanent inclusion in The Haiku Foundation’s library. There is no reading fee.

The Selection Panel chooses and posts a slate of shortlisted books, then publishes the winners and honorable mentions on The Haiku Foundation’s website on International Haiku Poetry Day, April 17.

Below are listed, most recent first, the results of the Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards from 2010 to the present as well as links to The Haiku Foundation’s web pages where the winners were first reported.


Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2019

Selection Panel:

Patricia J. Machmiller
Scott Mason

Beverly Acuff Momoi
Michael Rehling
Don Wentworth

Nominations: 62 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2019

Award Winners (5):

Ludmila Balabanova. Sunflower Field: Haibun. Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Zhanet, 2019.
Margaret Chula. One Leaf Detaches. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2019.
Richard Gilbert, Ito Yuki, David Ostman, Masahiro Hori, Koun Franz, Tracy Franz, Kanemitsu Takeyoshi. Haiku as Life, A Kaneko Tohta Omnibus. Winchester, Va: Red Moon Press, 2019.
Alexis Rotella, curator/editor. Scratches on the Moon: A Haibun Collection. Arnold, Md.: Jade Mountain Press, 2019. 
Charles Trumbull. A History of Modern Haiku. Lincoln, Ill.: Modern Haiku Press, 2019.

Honorable Mention (2):

Gary Hotham. Rightsizing the Universe: Haiku Theory. Scaggsville, Md.: Yiqralo Press, 2019. 
Ron C Moss. Broken Starfish. Leslie Vale, Australia: Walleah Press, 2019.

Other books that were shortlisted (12):

Stuart Bartow. One Branch. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Brad Bennett. A Turn in the River. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Bill Cooper. Moon Music. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Elizabeth Crockett. Happy Haiku. Pilot Knob, Mo.: Crimson Cloak Publishing, 2019. 
Kirsten Cliff Elliot. Patient Property: A Journey through Leukaemia: Haiku and Tanka. North Highlands, Calif.: Velvet Dusk Publishing, 2019. 
Lucia Fontana. Sunflower Moon. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Alice Frampton. From Here. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Tia Haynes. Leftover Ribbon. Purple Cotton Candy Arts/Velvet Dusk Publishing, 2019. 
Patricia J. Machmiller, editor. Ferry Crossing. San Francisco: Two Autumns Press, 2019. 
Jeannie Martin. Touch of Light. With 31 haiku by vincent tripi. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Joe McKeon. Oars Up: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2019. 
Geoffrey Wilkinson. Going to the Pine: Four Essays on Basho. Powys, Wales: self-published, 2019.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2018

Selection Panel: 

Randy M. Brooks
Patricia J. Machmiller

Michael McClintock
Julie Warther
Don Wentworth

Nominations: More than 80 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2018

Award Winners (3):

Ben Moeller-Gaa. Wishbones: Haiku & Senryu. Calligraphy by JS Graustein. Meredith, N.H.: Folded Word Press, 2018.
Alexis Rotella, curator/editor. Unsealing Our Secrets: A Short Poem Anthology About Sexual Abuse. Arnold, Md.: Jade Mountain Press, 2018.
Harriot West. Shades of Absence: Haibun. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.

Honorable Mention (3):

Marco Fraticelli. A Thousand Years. Carleton Place, Ont.: Catkin Press, 2018.
Hasegawa Kai. Okinawa: Haiku. Translations by David Burleigh and Tanaka Kimiyo. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.
Eve Luckring. The Tender Between. Princeton, N.J.: Ornithopter Press, 2018.

Other books that were shortlisted (9):

Steven Carter. Broken. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2018.
Jim Kacian and the Red Moon editorial staff, eds. Old Song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.
Bill Kenney. Senior Admission: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.
Marcus Larsson. A Piece of the Berlin Wall. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.
John Martone. My Afterlife. Charleston, Ill.: Tufo, 2018.
Natalia Rudychev. Simple Gifts: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.
Kim Richardson. Night Ferry. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2018.
Đurđa Vukelić Rožić, ed. and trans. Nepokošeno nebo 2: Antologija hrvatskoga haiku-pjesništva 2008–2018  / An Unmown Sky 2: An Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry 2008–2018. Ivanić Grad, Croatia: Udruga “Tri rijeke,” 2018.
Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff and Connie Meester. Tsugigami: Gathering the Pieces. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2018.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2017

Selection Panel: 

Randy M. Brooks
Tom Clausen
Rebecca Lilly
Michael McClintock
Julie Warther
Don Wentworth

Nominations: More than 80 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2017

Award Winners (4):

John Brandi and Noriko Kawasaki Martinez. A House by Itself: Selected Haiku: Masaoka Shiki. Buffalo, N.Y.: White Pine Press, 2017.
Chuck Brickley. Earthshine. Snapshot Press, 2017.
Terry Ann Carter. Tokaido: Haibun. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2017.
Scott Mason. The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes. Chappaqua, N.Y.: Girasole Press, 2017.

Honorable Mention (3):

Kristen Deming. Plum Afternoon: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2017.
Helen Buckingham. Sanguinella. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2017.
Paresh Tiwari. An Inch of Sky. 20 Notebooks Press, 2014.

Other books that were shortlisted (8):

Simone K. Busch. Von Schatten trinken / Sipping from Shadows. Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand, 2017.
Sonia Coman. Passages. Tokyo: Hoshin Media Group, 2017.
Cherie Hunter Day. For Want. Princeton, N.J.: Ornithopter Press, 2017.
Robert Epstein, ed. They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku. West Union, W.V.: Middle Island Press, 2017.
Jessica Malone Latham. Cricket Song: Haiku and Short Poems from a Mother’s Heart. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2017.
Vicki McCullough, ed. Sisyphus: Haiku Work of Anna Vakar. Carleton Place, Ont.: Catkin Press, 2017.
Keith Polette. The New World: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2017.
Michel Montreuil, ed. At the Edge: Raw NerVZ Haibun. Ottawa: Éditions des petits nuages, 2017.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2016

Selection Panel: 

Randy M. Brooks
Tom Clausen

Rebecca Lilly
Michael McClintock
Julie Warther

Nominations: Some 83 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2016

Award Winners (4):

Brad Bennett. A Drop of Pond. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2016.
Deborah P Kolodji. Highway of Sleeping Towns: Haiku and Senryu. Pasadena, Calif.: Shabda Press, 2016.
Wally Swist. The Windbreak Pine: New and Uncollected Haiku, 1985–2015. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2016.
Ruth Yarrow. Lit from Within: Haiku and Paintings. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2016.

Honorable Mention (3):

Ludmila Balabanova. Dewdrops on the Weeds. Small Stations Press, 2016.
Sylvia Forges-Ryan. What Light There Is: Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka. Haiga by Ion Codrescu. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2016.
Bill Kenney. The Earth Pushes Back: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2016.

Other books that were shortlisted (8):

Amanda Bell. Undercurrents. Uxbridge, UK: Alba Publishing, 2016.
Ernest Berry. Haiku Green Tea & Sushi. Blenheim, N.Z.: Prisma Print, 2016.
Robert Epstein and Miriam Wald, eds. Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku. West Union, W.Va.: Middle Island Press, 2016.
Jay Friedenberg. Elemental. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2016.
Jeannie Martin and Peter Newton, eds. Evening Stillness: Haiku Circle 10th Year Anthology. Amherst, Mass.: Swamp Press for Haiku Circle Press, 2016.
John Martone. Retreat. Samuddo/Ocean, 2016.
Sean O’Connor. Let Silence Speak: A Haiku and Haibun Collection. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2016.
Sheila Windsor. Totem. Yet To be Named Free Press, 2016.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2015

Selection Panel: 

Cherie Hunter Day
Rebecca Lilly
Stuart Quine
Chad Lee Robinson
Peter Yovu

Nominations: Some 65 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2015

Award Winners (2):

Dan Schwerin. ⊕rs. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2015.
John Stevenson, ed. Nest Feathers: Selected Haiku from the First 15 Years of The Heron’s Nest. No place [Nassau, N.Y.]: The Heron’s Nest Press, 2015.

Honorable Mention (4)

Roberta Beary. Deflection: Poems. Lexington, Ky.: Accents Publishing, 2015.
Paul Chambers. This Single Thread. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2015.
John Martone. So Long. Ortnithopter Press, 2015.
Matthew Paul. The Lammas Lands. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2015.

Other books that were shortlisted (8):


Steven Carter. American Gothic. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2015.
Ellen Compton. Gathering Dusk. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2015.
Caroline Gourlay. Across the Silence. Hereford, UK: Five Seasons Press with Haiduk Press, 2015.
Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, eds. A New Resonance 9: Emerging Voices in English-language Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2015.
Jim Kacian and the Red Moon editorial staff, eds. Big Data: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2014. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2015.
Bruce Ross, Kōko Katō, Dietmar Tauchner, and Patricia Prime, eds. A Vast Sky: An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku. Bangor, Maine: Tancho Press, 2015.
Alexis Rotella. Between Waves: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2015.
Michael Dylan Welch, ed. Fire in the Treetops: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Haiku North America. Sammamish, Wash.: Press Here, 2015.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2014

Selection Panel: 

Cherie Hunter Day
Stuart Quine
Chad Lee Robinson
Alexis Rotella
Peter Yovu

Nominations: Some 65 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2014

Award Winners (3):

Lee Gurga and Scott Metz, eds. Haiku 2014. Lincoln, Ill.: Modern Haiku Press, 2014.
Ron C Moss. The Bone Carver. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2014.
John Stevenson. D(ark): Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2014.

Honorable Mention (3):

Bob Lucky. Ethiopian Time. Saint Paul, Minn.: Red Bird Chap Books, 2014.
Renée Owen. Alone on a Wild Coast. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 2014.
George Swede. Micro Haiku: Three to Nine Syllables. Toronto: Iņšpress, 2014.

Other books that were shortlisted (9):

Bill Cooper. Overtones. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2014.
Elizabeth Crocket. Not Like Fred and Ginger: Recovery Haibun. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2014.
Robert Epstein. What My Niece Said in My Head. West Union, W.V.: Middle Island Press, 2014.
Garry Gay, ed. One Song. Santa Rosa, Calif.: Two Autumns Press, 2014. 
David Grayson, ed. The Half-Finished Bridge. Alameda, Calif.: Two Autumns Press, 2014.
Gary Hotham, ed. Take-out Window. New York: Haiku Society of America, 2014.
Rebecca Lilly. Elements of a Life. Red Moon Press, 2014.
John Martone. Bagworm. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo/Ocean, 2014.
Martin Shea. Until We Were Night: Selected Poems IV. Los Angeles: Lambeth Hall, 2014.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2013

Selection Panel:

Francine Banwarth
Stuart Quine
Chad Lee Robinson
Alexis Rotella
Peter Yovu

Nominations: 83 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2013

Award Winners (5):

Allan Burns, ed. Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku. Ormskirk, U.K.: Snapshot Press, 1st edition, 2013.
Cherie Hunter Day. Apology Moon: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2013.
Richard Gilbert. The Disjunctive Dragonfly: A New Approach to English-Language Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2013.
Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns, eds. Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013.
Charles Trumbull. A Five-Balloon Morning. Santa Fe, N.M: Red Mountain Press, 2013.

Honorable Mention (2):

Christopher Patchel. Turn Turn. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2013.
Paul Pfleuger, Jr. A Zodiac. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2013.

Other books that were shortlisted (7):

Steven Carter. The Distances of Sleep. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Publishing, 2013.
Carlos Colón. Haiku Elvis: A Life in 17 Syllables (or Less). Abilene, Texas: Laughing Cactus Press, 2013.
Penny Harter. The  Resonance Around Us. Eugene, Ore.: Mountains & Rivers Press, 2013.
John Martone. Bheid. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo/ Ocean, 2013.
John Martone. Perleromeq. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo / Ocean, 2013. 
Marsh Muirhead. Her Cold Martini: Haiku. Bemidji, Minn.: The Island Journal Press, 2013.
Lucas Stensland. Fun Again. England: Yet to be Named Free Press, 2013.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2012

Selection Panel:

Cherie Hunter Day
Lorin Ford
Philip Rowland
Charles Trumbull
Barbara Louise Ungar

Nominations: 92 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2012

Award Winners (4):

Stephen Addiss. The Art of Haiku: Its History through Poems and Painting by Japanese Masters. Boston & London: Shambhala, 2012.
Robert Boldman. Everything I Touch. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2011.
Lee Gurga and Scott Metz, eds. Haiku 21: An Anthology of Contemporary English-language Haiku. Lincoln, Ill.: Modern Haiku Press, 2011.
Kaneko Tohta. Selected Haiku, with Essays and Commentary. Part I: 1937–1960; Part 2: 1961–2012. Translated by the Kon Nichi Translation Group. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2012. 2 volumes.

Honorable Mention (4):

Carolyn Hall. The Doors All Unlocked: Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2012.
John Martone. Skeleton Key (Odocoileus virginianus). No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo / Ocean, 2012.
Scott Metz. Lakes & Now Wolves. Lincoln, Ill.: Modern Haiku Press, 2012.
Raffael de Gruttola, ed. Nick Virgilio: A Life in Haiku. Afterword by Kathleen O’Toole. Arlington, Va.: Turtle Light Press, 2012.

Other books that were shortlisted (7):

Gary Hotham. Nothing More Happens in the 20th Century: Haiku Dangers. San Antonio, Texas: Pecan Grove Press, 2011.
Ken Jones. Bog Cotton: Haiku Stories & Haiku. Uxbridge, U.K.: Alba Press, 2012.
Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Bamboo Dreams: An Anthology of Haiku Poetry from Ireland. Tralee, Ireland: Doghouse Books, 2012.
David G. Lanoue. Frog Poet: A Novel. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2012.
Patricia J. Machmiller, ed. Bending Reeds. Sunnyvale, Calif.: Patsons Press for the Society, 2012.
John Martone. A Life in Fall. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Ocean / Samuddo, 2011.
John Martone. Microscope Field. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo / Ocean, 2011.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2011

Selection Panel:

Lorin Ford
David G. Lanoue
Philip Rowland
Charles Trumbull
Barbara Louise Ungar

Nominations: 83 books

Announcement of results: The Touchstone Awards 2011

Award Winners (4):

Fay Aoyagi. Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks: New and Selected Haiku. San Francisco: Blue Willow Press, 2011.
Robert Epstein, ed. Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness. Baltimore: Modern English Tanka Press, 2011.
paul m. Few Days North Days Few. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2011.
Đurđa Vukelić Rožić, ed. and trans. Nepokošeno nebo: Antologija hrvatskoga haiku-pjesništva 1996.–2007. / An Unmown Sky: An Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry 1996–2007. Ivanić Grad, Croatia: Udruga “Tri rijeke,” 2011.

Honorable Mention (3):

Allan Burns. Distant Virga. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2011.
Ljubomir Dragović. Ustka staza  / A Narrow Road. English translations by Saša Važić. Belgrade: Liber, 2011.
John S. O’Connor. Things Being What They Are. Santa Fe, N.M.: Deep North Press, 2011.

Other books that were shortlisted (10):

Johannes S. H. Bjerg. Penguins / Pingviner. Allahabad, India: Cyberwit.net, 2011. 
Cynthia Cechota, Francine Banwarth, Jayne Miller, David McKee, and Bill Pauly. The River Knows the Way: Haiku and Senryu. Dubuque, Iowa: Haiku Dubuque, 2010.
Axle Contemporary. Haiku Roadsign. Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman, editors and designers. Santa Fe, N.M.: Axle Contemporary, 2011.
Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, eds. A New Resonance 7: Emerging Voices in English-language Haiku. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2011.
Michael Ketchek, Bob Lucky, and Lucas Stensland. My Favorite Thing. Windsor, Conn.: Bottle Rockets Press, 2011.
Kaneko Tohta. The Future of Haiku: An Interview with Kaneko Tohta. Translated by the Kon Nichi Translation Group. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2011.
Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Capering Moons: Haiku and Senryu Poetry. Tralee, Ireland: Doghouse, 2011.
Martone, John. St. John’s Wort. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: Samuddo/Ocean, 2011.
Mike Montreuil. The Neighbours Are Talking: Haibun. Carleton Place, Ont.: Bondi Studios/Baby Buddha Press, 2011.
Don Wentworth. Past All Traps. Pittsburgh: Six Gallery Press, 2011.
Klaus-Dieter Wirth. Zugvögel / Migratory birds / Oiseau migrateurs / Aves migratorias—150 Haiku. Hamburg: Hamburger Haiku Verlag, 2010. In German, English, French, and Spanish.

Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards, 2010

Selection Panel:

Lorin Ford
Philip Rowland
Charles Trumbull
Barbara Louise Ungar
Ruth Yarrow

Nominations: 83 books

Announcement of results: Touchstone Awards for 2010

Award Winners (4):

Carolyn Hall. How to Paint the Finch’s Song. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2010.
John Stevenson. Live Again. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2009.
Allan Burns, ed. Montage: The Book. Winchester, Va.: The Haiku Foundation, 2010.
John Martone. Scrittura Povera. No place [Charleston, Ill.]: published privately, 2010.

Honorable Mention (3):

Christopher Herold. Inside Out. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2010.
George Swede. Joy in Me Still: Haiku. Edmonton, Alta.: Inkling Press, 2010.
John Martone. Ksaņa: Collected Poems 2005–2009. Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2009.

2010 shortlist is lost


COMPILED BY: Haikupedia Editors

ADAPTED FROM: The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Awards

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Updated on September 27, 2020