Haiku in Croatia
Croatia boasts one of the largest and most active haiku communities of any nation in the world. Poets from republics of the former Yugoslav federation (Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro) first encountered haiku in the period between the world wars. Books of translations of Japanese verse appeared in the 1950s, and at the end of that decade the first experiments of haiku written in Croatian began to be published. It was in the 1980s, however, especially after Croatia’s declaration of independence in 1991 and the breakup of Yugoslavia, that interest in haiku truly burgeoned. In rapid succession, the nation saw the creation of haiku groups in Samobor, Zagreb, and several other cities and a flood of journals, chapbooks, longer individual collections, and haiku anthologies. The phenomena of the Internet and the World Wide Web helped catalyze the presence and success of Croatian haiku on the world stage, particularly in international haiku contests.