Summer haiku


However, there’s still time to get involved in two new sections of Kigo: Seasonal Words.

For the love of it!

Submissions are now open for short personal essay type pieces telling us what you love about haiku/tanka/haibun/senryu etc. What does Japanese poetry mean to you?

When/how did  you start writing it? Do you use the form in your teaching? Interesting experiences? Are you involved in a poetry group or other association that supports the form? Do you have a pamphlet of your own, or are you involved in any collaborative haiku projects/anthologies? Here’s your chance to shout about it!

Please keep pieces around the 500 word mark. Images may be included (jpeg, low res only please).

Email to by 20th JULY 2014.

Selected entries will appear in the August issue, available via this website.

Courtship tanka!

Calling for writers to take part in writing tanka on the theme of courtship/love/secret messages. Each writer will write a tanka for the summer issue and will then respond to a tanka (other than their own) in the autumn issue.

Tanka were traditionally used by men and women engaged in courtship. After a night of passion, lovers would busy themselves with the task of creating the perfect romantic gift, or ‘short song’ for their loved one. The ability to write verse was cherished and tanka became well respected vehicles for the exchange of romantic messages.  (For an interesting piece on the topic – and informational website – visit Tanka for the Memory by Jane Reichhold, here.)

The brief is for each writer to write a tanka to a lover – real or imaginary it’s up to you! It may be about any aspect of courtship/love.

Selected tanka will appear in the August issue of Kigo: Seasonal Words.

Writers of selected tanka will then be asked to write a tanka in response to a tanka other than their own. At this stage (in Sept or Oct), names will be drawn to ensure each of the selected tanka receives a response. The responding tanka will then appear in the Autumn/Winter (December) issue of Kigo: Seasonal Words.

Please do not submit courtship tanka if you cannot also take part in the follow up December issue!

As always, only submit original and previously unpublished work – see the general submission guidelines here.

You may submit no more than two courtship tanka.

For those who have already submitted haiku/tanka for the summer issue, this callout is separate and you may still sub up to two courtship tanka.

Email your entry to by 20th July 2014.

DEADLINE is 20th July 2014 for ‘COURTSHIP TANKA’ and ‘FOR THE LOVE OF IT’ entries.

Updated – 17/06/2014


Submissions open next week (17th March) for the second issue of new online publication. Kigo: Seasonal Words will showcase seasonal haiku. There will be three issues per year published in April, August and December. The first issue will focus on the late winter and spring seasons and will include New Year. The second will celebrate summer and the third, fall and winter. Each issue will be available for free on this website. It is anticipated that the collections will be anthologised at the end of the year. There’s been a terrific response thus far; long may it continue! Thank you to all who’ve sent work in. The process of reading, sifting, selecting and typesetting is now under way, and the ‘New Year/Spring’ issue is on track for publication next month. Stay tuned!

The focus of the second issue is ‘Summer’. Growth, ripening, maturity – moving from tender buds and gentle breezes of spring to the full heat of summer. Think verdant fields, lush gardens, vacations, chirping cicadas, balmy sunsets and dog days under a scorching sun. Submissions should reflect the nature of this season and make use of traditional kigo—seasonal words. Below is a selection of summer kigo to help get the juices flowing. More will be posted daily in April so please do check back. (In addition to haiku, a small selection of tanka and haiga will be considered for this issue.)

Happy haiku-ing!

Deadline for summer issue: 13 June 2014

Submission Guidelines for haiku and tanka

Submission Guidelines for haiga

For some useful links, info on seasonal words and online saijiki,  check out this recent post.

For a list of summer words click here.

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