Haiku Society of America Haiku Award for 2010 - Judges' Commentary

Haiku Society of America Haiku Award
in Memorial of Harold G. Henderson

Judges' Commentary for 2010

Judges: Fay Aoyagi & Lenard D. Moore.

We have enjoyed judging the 2010 Henderson Contest. This year's contest received 834 haiku from seven countries.


First Place

All Souls Day...
my name called
from the front gate

Michele L. Harvey, New York

This haiku pulls the reader inside the body of it with its first line, offering a time for prayer for those who are deceased. One of the persons, who arrives to pray, hears his or her name. Who calls the person's name? Is it someone from the other world or afterlife calling? There is mystery embedded in this haiku. Yet, this haiku ends with a concrete detail that gives a locale to it. Moreover, this haiku resonates with assonance in each line. Haiku can be written in simple words and open a door for the deeper world.


Second Place

an empty booster seat
in the barber's window

Tish Davis, Ohio

This haiku opens with the season and enables the reader to bring his or her own experience of the autumnal world. Then there is the juxtaposition of the things of the hu- man world. Of course, autumn symbolizes the changing of the natural world, especially the colors of leaves, plants and grasses. It also signals migration, especially of birds.

So, the aging process deepens. This haiku evokes the feeling of loneliness and its specificity strengthens its emotional ap- peal for the reader.


Third Place

hunter's cabin:
of the woods
not of it

Michele L. Harvey, New York

This haiku enables the reader to see the cabin and woods im- mediately. The reader knows that winter is the setting of the haiku. Although the woods are cold and silent, there is the hunting that happens during this season. Moreover, winter symbolizes death and desolation. Furthermore, this haiku em- bodies a depth of meaning and moves from smallness to vast- ness. Yet, this haiku is mysterious and original. Thus, the reader wonders about the harmony in which humans should live with the natural world.


First Honorable Mention

end of the walk
returning the crow's feather
where I found it

Margaret Chula, Oregon

This haiku goes full circle as the person returns to his or her starting point after walking. Perhaps the person has an aware- ness that the crow connotes that which is ominous. Why does the person pick up the feather? After contemplation during the walk, the person puts the feather back in its place because he or she knows the natural world has a way of recycling itself. Consequently, the last line of this haiku carries the impact.


Second Honorable Mention

cafe for sale—
outdoor tables rusting
into autumn

Adelaide B. Shaw, New York

Maybe the slowing economy causes the customers to linger at the cafe. To that end, the owner puts it on the market. Al- though the weather helps with the rusting process, it is time that extends or deepens what the reader experiences in the haiku. The last line, however, is such a surprise that it enhanc- es the effectiveness of the haiku. In short, there is an ongoing movement in the line. Yet, there is the beauty of autumnal colors and a sense of loneliness.


Third Honorable Mention

day lilies
another death date added
to the family tree

Carolyn Hall, California

This haiku exhibits a number of day lilies that are blooming. In contrast, there is the death of someone and the date of his or her passing is significant in the family as it is in any family. However, the person's family becomes smaller while the day lilies seemingly multiply. Moreover, the blossoms do not live long, though there is temporary beauty. In short, this haiku embodies the cycle of life.





These awards for unpublished haiku were originally made possible by Mrs. Harold G. Henderson in memory of Harold G. Henderson, who helped found The Haiku Society of America.

Download a PDF file sampler of Henderson Awards.

Winners by Year:

| 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 20102009 2008 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980 | 1979 | 1978 | 1977 | 1976

See the complete collection of award-winning haiku from all previous Henderson Haiku Award competitions

See the contest rules for entering the next Haiku Society of America Haiku Award.