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Wild Plum Haiku Contest (2015–2020)

The Wild Plum Haiku Contest was inaugurated in 2015 by Maria Tomczak and Gabriel Sawicki of Poland, editors of the online haiku journal Wild Plum. Although the journal ceased publication in 2017, the annual contest continued through 2020.


The Wild Plum Haiku Contest dated from 2015 and was the inspiration of Polish haiku poets Maria Tomczak and Gabriel Sawicki. The annual online contest for haikai in English was based on the website of the haiku e-journal Wild Plum. Although the journal ceased publication in 2017, the contest continued for three more years.

The contest was open to all poets. There were no themes or regulations as to syllable count or type of haiku that would be considered. Senryu were acceptable, and haiku were not required to have a kigo (seasonal word).

A contest entry form was made available on the Wild Plum Contest website. Only one poem per person was allowed. There was no entry fee. The deadline for submissions was usually in January and the winners were announced no later than April. Winners received a diploma, and the results were published on the Wild Plum Contest website.1

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2020

JudgesMaria Tomczak & Gabriel Sawicki
Number of entries234 from poets in 35 countries
1st PrizeRamesh Anand, Indiaautumn dusk—
just the chirps
of a skipping stone
2nd PrizeJay Friedenberg, U.S.A.razor wire
what separates the haves
from the have-nots
3rd PrizeAndrzej Dembończyk, Polanddawn
with the first snowflakes
grandma’s gone
Honorable Mentions (5) Vanessa Proctor, Australiamisty moorland …
taking shape the antlers
of a highland stag

Shkoka Shankar, Indiapicked wildflowers
who grants you
this freedom?
Małgorzata Formanowska, Polandwinter twilight
one by one
Tia Haynes, U.S.A.river path …
the stones we forget
to throw
Azi Kuder, Polandcracking ice
I’m taking with me
the moon

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2019

JudgesMaria Tomczak & Gabriel Sawicki
Number of entries257 from poets in 36 countries
1st PrizeRajandeep Garg, India
dried stream
each and every pebble
we had thrown
2nd Prizearvinder kaur, India
how random
the shape of things to come—
3rd PrizeErin Castaldi, U.S.A.
between us
a rock and moss
drifting clouds
Honorable Mentions (5) Chen-ou Liu, Canada
foggy morning …
the bits and pieces of me
in Father’s mind
Roman Lyakhovetsky, Israel
dripstone cave
the world is not the same
as two drops ago
Olivier Schopfer, Switzerland
summer wind taking shape clothesline
Carl Seguiban, Canada
sweltering heat—
the child’s shadow—
over felled trees
Neal Whitman, U.S.A.
a sad buffet
of wilted leftovers
my salad days

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2018

JudgesMaria Tomczak & Gabriel Sawicki
Number of entries312  from poets in 41 countries
1st PrizeJohn Barlow, England
scattering what’s dead
and what’s still alive
the autumn wind
2nd PrizeAalix Roake, New Zealand
too many bones to sing a young song
3rd PrizeKanchan Chatterjee, India
autumn rains …
in the field a half sunk
paper boat
Honorable Mentions (9) Adjei Agyei-Baa, Ghana
stopping for each other
a dung beetle and i
Jan Dobb, Australia
a zillion scents ascend
into summer
Goran Gatalica, Croatia
war approaching
rattle of sparrow’s bones
on autumn breeze
Krzysztof Kokot, Poland
the tea brewing ceremony
and mosquito
Azi Kuder, Poland
Milky Way
I’m stuck on
a glass of wine
Nika, Canada
sea breeze
dad’s ashes drift
back to the boat
Tsanka Shiskova, Bulgaria
snowfall …
just traces of birds
outside my door
Christine L. Villa, U.S.A.
my voice cracks
trying not to tell him
Marilyn Appl Walker, U.S.A.
sweet alyssum
a lullaby of rain
on a tin tub

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2017

JudgeMaria Tomczak, Poland
Number of entries263 from poets in 42 countries
1st PrizeSandi Pray, U.S.A.
with an answer
for everything
the tree of crows
2nd PrizeHeiki Gewi, Germany / Yemen
Old pond—
thought by thought
a crack deepens
3rd PrizeEduard Țară, Romania
end of summer—
stitching the clouds
with a skipping stone
Honorable Mentions (10) Lavana Kray, Romania
old hands
getting new wings—
snow angel
Azi Kuder, Poland
hills and valleys
how many strokes of brush
to the river?
Scott Mason, U.S.A.
empty shell
the wind intones
my sins of omission
Polona Oblak, Slovenia
sick child …
a fly’s thin buzz
vibrates the orb web
Anthony Q. Rabang, Philippines
silent rain
grandma weaves
war memories
Kala Ramesh, India
waiting room
a spider hangs
on silence
Carl Seguiban, Canada
her long black hair—
April showers
Christina Sng, Singapore
oyster pearls
finding myself again
after motherhood
Rachel Sutcliffe, England
snow melt
even your footsteps
have gone
Dietmar Tauchner, Austria
last light the scent of lilac          long after

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2016

Judgean’ya, U.S.A.
Number of entries307 from poets in 43 countries
1st PrizeTerri L. French, U.S.A.
January …
loneliness knitted
into a scarf
2nd PrizeJan Dobb, Australia
drifts of leaves
we listen to the colours
of grandma’s tales
3rd PrizeLavana Kray, Romania
black clouds rumble
our cotton candies stick
to one another
1st Honorable MentionJayashree Maniyil, Australia
crackle of twigs
everywhere the smoke
gathering the sky
2nd Honorable MentionDon Baird, U.S.A.
flaccid breeze
so many leaves
hang in the balance
3rd Honorable Mention Viviane Leite, Brazil
Summer barbecue
Everybody could make it
Even this shower

Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2015

JudgeGillena Cox
Number of entries105 from poets in 27 countries
1st PrizeSteliana Cristina Voicu, Romania
embracing the boundless—
an empty boat
closer to the moon
2nd PrizeEduard Țară, Romania
long after the song
of the first bird is over—
swaying cherry twig
3rd PrizeVanessa Proctor, Australia
an open door
evening shadows reach out
to frogsong
Honorable Mentions (6) Simon Hanson, Australia
shaping water
and my reverie
river stones
Kanchan Chatterjee, India
December …
just a grassblade
to stare at
Marietta McGregor, Australia
my kitchen garden
overrun with orange pumpkins
the weight of summer
Ernest J Berry, New Zealand
west wind
a mocking-bird fashions it
into lyrics
Carl Seguiban, Canada
endless night—
mother scrapes darkness
off the kettle
Angelee Deodhar, India
rain after rain—
just one magnolia offered
to the stone Jizo

Compiled by Maria Tomczak & Gabriel Sawicki

Adapted from the Wild Plum Haiku Contest Website

Sources / Further Reading

Wild Plum journal

Haiku in Poland


  1. The website was still accessible in May 2023 at https://wildplumhaiku.wordpress.com/current-issue/. []
Updated on September 4, 2023