International Photo-Haiku Contest

The 9th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest of Your photo-haiku in English

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  2. The 9th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest of Your photo-haiku in English

Contest Comments by David McMurray

The number of contest entries keeps increasing, reaching a record 4,181 by this 9th round. 1,748 contestants wrote in English, including 1,206 haiku for organizer-supplied photos and 542 haiku with original photos about the sea. The “sea” theme was revealed through words and images of fish, waves, ports, boats, coastal bus tours, and even torpedo-shaped sweets. Proving its international acceptance as a new literary genre, photo-haiku submitted in English has soared in number and quality since its introduction at the 6th contest. Entries from young Chinese writers surged, and Vietnamese, Singaporean, Nepalese, and South Africans debuted in the competition that now attracts haiku from 47 countries.

Grand Prix

Message from the contest judge David McMurray
From among the entries it was decided that a Grand Prix would _not_ be awarded.

Award for Excellence

FinlandHarri Mannonen

hometown by the sea
gray as fall I’m still standing
drifting back to thee

Comment from the Judge: David McMurray

Flowing words emulate the flowing late autumn fog in the photo. Perhaps having worked abroad for many years, the gray-haired haikuist slowly gets used to the idea that it’s time to sail back to where he was born while he’s still alive. The 5-7-5 syllable form with a rhyme mirrored a rhythmic rolling sea and embellished the idea of returning. The archaic form of you, as a final word, anchored the poet’s love for home.

Award for Excellence

CanadaDiane Descoteaux

with every breath
it’s moving in the oven -
wildberry pudding

Comment from the Judge: David McMurray

A kitchen-window view of the gentle spring sea framed by a branch of wild berries was rendered even more appetizing with words. The perfectly-placed 5-7-5 syllables created an imagined view through an oven-window at a gently rising and falling homemade sweet. The photo-haikuist combined all the best ingredients to make a smooth flowing delicious treat worthy of an award for excellence.

Honorable Mentions

  • U.S.AJay Friedenberg

    drying nets
    the sound of laughter
    from the fisherman’s pub

  • IrelandRoberta Beary

    summer fling over
    the wild wave swept
    out to sea

  • U.S.AMarilyn Ashbaugh

    I return home
    to the sea

  • JapanYukiko Yamada

    to the world
    that you couldn’t see
    new year starts

  • U.KMarion Clarke

    Grandma’s house
    so many memories
    to choose from

  • U.S.AAgnes Eva Savich

    early summer
    what if I boarded
    a different bus?

  • IndiaArvinder Kaur

    for now the lullaby
    of gentle waves