Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for 1983

Haiku Society of America

Merit Book Awards for 1983

for books published in 1981-1982

Virginia Brady Young


First Place

Bob Boldman. Walking With the River. High/Coo Chapbook No. 8, Battle Ground, Indiana, 1980.

            spider               sits
mending                       its shadow

     a firefly
on the web


Second Place

Cor van den Heuvel. Dark. Chant Press, New York, New York, 1982.

silence     the wind in a mirror

the shadow in the folded napkin

Third Place

Elizabeth Searle Lamb. 39 Blossoms. High/Coo Mini-chapbook No. 17, Battle Ground, Indiana, 1982.

          the emptiness
where the eyes were in the shed

still this morning
hanging from a cobweb strand,
the leaf that broke it


Eminent Mention

L. A. Davidson. The Shape of the Tree. Wind Chimes, Glen Burnie, Maryland, 1982.

     winter morning
without leaf or flower
   the shape of the tree

behind the shoveler
     white again

Eminent Mention

Alan Gettis. Sun-Faced Haiku, Moon-Faced Haiku, Volume I. High/Coo Chapbook No. 11, Battle Ground, Indiana, 1982.

waking from
dreams of death:
egg scrambling sounds

breastfeeding mother
asks for a handout




The purpose of the Haiku Society of America's Merit Book Awards is to recognize the best haiku and related books published in a given year in the English language. Every year sees a fresh crop of fine individual collections, anthologies, translations, critical studies and innovative forms.

In the past, the HSA Merit Book awards were partially supported by a memorial gift. Leroy Kanterman, cofounder of the Haiku Society of America, made a gift to support the first place award in memory of his wife Mildred Kanterman. See the archives of Merit Book Awards.

The Merit Book Awards competition is open to the public. Books must have been published in the previous year and must clearly contain a printed previous year copyright. A member, author, or publisher may submit or nominate more than one title. At least 50 percent of the book must be haiku, senryu, or haibun, or prose about these subjects (books mostly of tanka, for example, are not eligible). HSA will also consider collections that have only appeared in an e-book/digital book format. Two print copies of the digital book may be sent by the publisher. Books published by HSA officers are eligible for this award. Books published by the national HSA organization, however, are not eligible.

Winners by Year (with judges' comments):

2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1985 | 1983 | 1981 | 1978 | 1975 |

See the contest rules for entering the next Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards competition.