International Photo-Haiku Contest

The 12th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest of Your photo-haiku in English

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  2. The 12th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest of Your photo-haiku in English

Contest Comments by David McMurray

This contest drew 4,312 entries, of which 2,483 were photo-haiku composed in English. Increasing by 5 percent from last year, the number of entries in English reached an all-time high. From 663 your photo-haiku submissions, the preliminary judge short-listed extraordinary photos and/or well-composed haiku text. The final judge narrowed the field to only those related to the sea, and checked for previously published poems, plagiarism as well as consent for human images to be displayed. The remaining qualifiers were ranked for a grand-prix, 2 awards for excellence, and 7 honorable mentions. Photo-haiku from the United States, India, Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, and Croatia rose to the top of the competition which attracted photo-haikuists from around the world.

Grand Prix

USAWendy Toth-Notarnicola

ebb tide
watching my daughter
fall in love

Comment from the Judge: David McMurray

A caring and compassionate mother shared her daughter’s excitement with us in a way that acknowledges the magical cycle of life. The photo-haiku will become a family record for generations to come. The photo of a calm sea on the far horizon with a couple wading into an effervescent ebb tide in the foreground juxtaposed a pleasing sense of sustainable development. The text mirrored that captured moment. The photo-haikuist romantically combined a photo with a pithy 2-5-3 syllable haiku to reflect a love story that deserves the grand prix.

Award for Excellence

IndiaSankara Jayanth Sudanagunta

green seashell
washed ashore a while ago
moving by itself now

Comment from the Judge: David McMurray

The photo-haikuist reminded us that time is fleeting; especially when we are relaxing comfortably on a beach. This 17-syllable photo-haiku embellished the ocean and its endless movement. The foam on the beach emphasized wildness. The touch of green hinted at life. The well-placed break at the end of the second line gave us time to pause. The alluring third line caught the moment. This photo-haiku deserves an award for excellence.

Award for Excellence

JapanYukiko Yamada

winter waves
wind turbines moan
no one can return

Comment from the Judge: David McMurray

This excellent photo-haiku described the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. The photo-haikuist lives in Fukushima and experienced the sights and heard stories from displaced inhabitants who continue to despair in their dreams of returning to their former homes. Her poem begins in a desolate winter landscape with crashing waves. A mournful sound of machinery was heard through the well-placed verb on the second line that eerily calls for attention. The third line narrative hints forebodingly that the environment shown in the photo remains uninhabitable for human beings. An alliterative “wi-wi-won” hauntingly pervades the text.

Honorable Mentions

  • ItalyDaniela Misso

    first of the year
    footprints of men and birds

  • IndiaAparna Pathak

    boat festival
    every oar caressing
    its own moon

  • USAJill Spealman

    thoughts scatter
    walking the high tide
    of the mind

  • UKC.X.Turner

    the illusion
    of us

  • IndiaRicha Sharma

    autumn sea
    again reminded about
    being a woman

  • CroatiaSilva Trstenjak

    return of the fishing boat ...
    smoke from the fisherman's pipe

  • CroatiaTomislav Maretic

    harbor lights -
    sounds of washing dishes
    from a yacht