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The Haiku Invitational presented by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. is an international online contest with six main categories receiving submissions from all over the world. The top poems in six main categories (Vancouver, BC, Canada, United States, International, and Youth (age 17 and under) will be featured in the Haiku Canada newsletter, an online publication in the newsletter of the Haiku Society of America, and publication on the VCBF website. These haiku will receive celebrity readings and be celebrated in creative ways during the 2022 Festival at THE BIG PICNIC David Lam Park, Sakura Days Japan Fair Leith Wheeler Haiku House, and through Haiku Connections on our social media platforms. To encourage the writing, reading, and appreciation of this poetic form judges choose poems in additional categories of Sakura Awards and Honourable Mention. We invite you to enjoy them all!

Our Haiku entries have been harvested and we’re excited to share the results:

Vancouver

for lease
reflected in the storefront
cherry blossoms

Ann Harreby
Coquitlam, British Columbia

United States

letting the mask fall
below my nose…
cherry blossoms

Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, South Dakota

British Columbia

keeping her secret…
a whisper of wind
among the blossoms

Susan Constable
Parksville, British Columbia

International

first blossoms—
the child’s eyes
says it all

Rita Odeh
Haifa, Israel

Canada

the foster child’s
backward glance
falling cherry blossoms

Charlotte Hrenchuk
Whitehorse, Yukon

Youth

empty playground
fallen cherry petals
on the carousel

Sebastian Ciobica, age 9
Botosani, Romania

Click here to meet our winners! For the judges’ commentary for inspiration for your own haiku.

Click here to view the additional categories of Sakura Awards and Honourable Mention!

2021 Haiku Invitational Judge Bios:

Chuck Brickley’s collection of haiku, Earthshine (in its fourth printing), won a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award (2017), and honorable mentions in the Haiku Society of America’s Kanterman Book Awards (2018) and the inaugural Marianne Bluger Book Award (2020). One of his haibun was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2018), another for a Sonders Best Small Fiction Award (2019). Chuck is second vice president for the Haiku Society of America, and a panelist for the Touchstone Award for individual poems. Visit www.chuckbrickley.com.

Terri L. French is a writer and editor who currently serves on the Haiku Foundation board of directors. She is also on the editorial team of the online journal, Contemporary Haibun Online. Terri is past southeast regional coordinator of the Haiku Society of America and former editor of Prune Juice journal of senryu and kyoka. Her publishing credits and books may be found at www.terrilfrenchhaiku.com. Now retired, Terri and her husband, Ray, and dog, Chaka, enjoy the nomadic lifestyle of full-time RVers.
Claudia Coutu Radmore is the author of the haiku collection The Business of Isness, and the tanka collection Fish Spine Picked Clean, as well as several collections of longer poetry. Claudia was the preliminary judge of the League of Canadian Poets’ 2018 haiku contest, and for Collected Haiku, the resulting chapbook. She edited the annual Haiku Canada members’ anthology for several years and coedited, with Marco Fraticelli, its 35th and 40th-anniversary anthologies, Touch of the Moth and Wordless. She is the president of Haiku Canada.

Programs subject to change.

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