• Nina Kovačić

    Nina Kovačić (born Nina Ružička, June 7, 1962, Pula, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), Croatian haiku poet. She graduated from the Physics Faculty in Zagreb and works as a geophysics data processing expert at the oil and natural gas company INA Naftaplin; she is a member of Croatian Geological Society. Kovačić writes poetry and has published two haiku collections. She is active in national and international haiku contests, and her work appears in anthologies. She serves on the editorial staff of Iris magazine. She is also a Croatian and Balkans badminton champion and umpire. She lives in Zagreb.

  • Željko Funda

    Željko Funda (born September 23, 1950, Varaždin, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), Croatian secondary-school teacher and haiku poet. He holds a degree in comparative literature and English from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He worked as a teacher at the First Gymnasium, Varaždin, and is now retired. With Zvonko Petrović and Vladimir Devidé, he founded Haiku, A Magazine for Haiku, and served on its editorial board from 1977 to 1981. In 2003 he founded and still sponsors the annual Graševina Award and Ludbreg Column of Haiku Poets. He coedited the Ludbreg Haiku Miscellany series from 2009 to 2016. Besides haiku, his award-winning publications include poetry, short stories, and novels in standard Croatian and the Kajkavian dialect. Funda lives in Varaždin.

  • Tomislav Maretić

    Tomislav Maretić (born March 3, 1951, Zagreb, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), Croatian haiku poet. A retired physician, he worked at the Zagreb University Hospital for Infectious Diseases and the County Hospital in Čakovec. He was coeditor of the Darko Plažanin Samobor Haiku Miscellany series and served on the editorial staff of Iris. He has received 94 awards for his haiku, and his work is often anthologized and included in international anthologies. Maretić was named one of the European Top 100 most creative haiku authors each year from 2011 to 2019, and he was awarded the Ludbreg Column of Haiku Poets in 2016. He has published four independent haiku collections and a book of renga with Zvonko Petrović and Vladimir Devidé. He lives in Zagreb.

  • 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.

  • Drago Štambuk

    Drago Štambuk (born September 20, 1950, Selca, Island of Brač, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), physician (specializing in internal medicine, gastroenterology, hepatology, and AIDS), diplomat, and poet. Served since 1991 as Croatian ambassador to the United Kingdom, India, Egypt, Japan, Brazil, and Iran. Štambuk has published haiku collections and more than 70 books of poetry, essays, translations, and anthologies. In 2010, during his posting in Japan, he founded the English-language Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award and served as the sole judge. In 1991 in his home town of Selca, he established—and still chairs—Croatia rediviva: Ča, Kaj, Što—Heritage Days, a festival celebrating the three main literary dialects of the Croatian language. In 2020 Štambuk was serving as Croatian ambassador to Iran and was based in Tehran.

  • Božena Zernec

    Božena Zernec (born May 26, 1943, Žutnica, near Krapina, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), Croatian haiku poet. Educated in the arts, she illustrates books and designs and produces souvenirs of the historical Croatian Zagorje region. Her haiku in standard Croatian and the Kajkavian dialect appear in several anthologies, and she has published two collections of haiku, a book of haibun, and Gle, čovjek! / Look, the Man!, a haiku guide through the Krapina Neanderthal Museum. One of her haiku won the Kumamoto City of Artesian Waters Haiku Award in the 13th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, 2008. Zernec resides in Krapina.

  • Đurđa Vukelić Rožić

    Ðurđa Vukelić Rožić (born Ðurđa Vukelić, April 6, 1956, Vidrenjak, Croatia [Yugoslavia]), Croatian haiku poet. With a degree in economics from the University of Zagreb, she is now retired from a position at Zagrebačka banka, Zagreb. She was founder of the Klostar Ivanić International Haiku Meeting and the Three Rivers Haiku Association in Ivanić-Grad, Croatia, and serves as editor-in-chief of the haiku magazine Iris and the online version, Iris International. Rožić publishes poetry, humorous sketches, short stories, and haiku and has compiled two comprehensive anthologies of Croatian haiku, Nepokošeno nebo / An Unmown Sky (2011) and Nepokošeno nebo / An Unmown Sky 2 (2018). She is the author of the Haikupedia article “Haiku in Croatia” and resides in Ivanić-Grad, Croatia.

  • Helga Härle

    Helga Härle (born May 9, 1960, Stockholm, Sweden), creative writing teacher, translator, and poet. She serves on the board of the Swedish Haiku Society. Her trilingual collection, the ball keeps rolling / bollen rullar vidare /de bal rolt verder, was published by ’t schrijverke (editor Max Verhart) in 2011. Resides in Stockholm.


    Sweden shares a common poetic tradition with the other Nordic languages in the Eddic poems, composed in alliterative verse. Despite early contacts with the East Asian world (mainly China, but also Japan) in the second half of the 19th century, interest in haiku in Sweden was mainly stimulated by the work of Reginald Horace Blyth and English and German translations of classical Japanese haiku. The first translation into Swedish of great importance was Jan Vintilescu’s Japansk miniatyrlyrik (Japanese miniature lyrics) published in 1959. The Swedish Haiku Society (Svenska Haikusällskapet) was formed in 1999 in Stockholm. Haiku has become popular since, with Swedish poets being featured in international anthologies and winning international awards.

  • Daniel Onaca

    Daniel Onaca (born August 12, 1954, Resita, Romania, moved to Sweden in 1986), librarian, writer, publisher, translator, and poet. His literary essays and reviews have been published in a number of Romanian and Swedish literary magazines. Onaca has published one senryu, one gogyohka (5-line poem similar to tanka) collection, and eight collections of haiku with 100 haiku in each one. The latest volume, Parfumuri vechi, arome noi: poeme haiku / Gamla dofter, nya aromer: haikudikter (Old Perfumes, New Flavors: Haiku Poems) is bilingual (Romanian-Swedish) and was published in 2020. Onaca resides in Malmö, Sweden.