Haiku Contests

The Monthly Kukai

A staple for many haiku poets is the Haiku World’s Shiki Monthly Kukai (updated 4/7/2013), a free online contest that opens at the beginning of every month and announces winners before the next.

The format is simple: topics are announced via email and on the website for the two categories, kigo and free format; participants can submit one poem for each category; the poems are compiled and distributed to all participants for voting; each voter has six points to award their favorite poems, with no more than three points going to any one poem; results are compiled and winners announced. Winning poems throughout the year are collected and voted on for a Poets’ Choice award in the fall, recipients of which receive haiku related prizes.

This contest is implemented by volunteers and administration is time consuming. Periodically, the contest will take a hiatus as is the case Spring 2011. For participants, it is an incredible learning tool and a way for poets to gauge progress against peers.

Annual Contests

Seemingly, the best resource on haiku contests is found at the Haiku Foundation of America’s website. They keep a decently updated calendar list of contests and their deadlines. Find a link to a pdf or html version of it here.