The British Haiku and Haibun Awards 2011

Grave of YosaBuson (与謝蕪村墓)

Image via Wikipedia

Most of us a probably familiar with the Haiku poetic form (even if, like me, you can never remember exactly how many syllables there should be) but have you heard of the Haibun?

According to the leaflet for the British Haiku Awards 2011, a Haibun must contain at least 100 words of prose plus at least one haiku, and must not exceed 2,500 words in length. The haibun should be given a title. Examples of Haibun can be found here.

It looks a pretty challenging form of poetry (and prose).

There is £125 first prize in both the Haiku and Haibun sections of the awards. The Haiku section also has two runners-up prizes of £50 and the leaflet states ‘as the number of entries for the haibun category increases it is hoped eventually to bring this into line with the haiku category and award runner-up prizes as well’.  I take it that this means there are fewer entries for the haibun – so it may well be worth having a go! Closing date is 31 January 2012 and full details are on the website.

In case you’re wondering, the picture is the grave stone of Yosa Buson, a Japanese Haiku poet.


  1. #1 by Sarah Pearson on September 29, 2011 - 2:25 pm

    Wow, this could be an interesting challenge 🙂

  2. #2 by susanjanejones on September 29, 2011 - 4:40 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I like the picture, and interesting information, but It sounds just a wee bit too complicated for me. A currant bun is more my cup of tea.

    • #3 by Sally Jenkins on September 29, 2011 - 6:11 pm

      Sarah & Susan – it’s too much of a challenge for me – the currant bun (& a cup of tea) sounds a much better idea!

  3. #4 by judithlesleymarshall on October 11, 2011 - 6:57 am

    Hi Sally

    Am thinking of giving this a go. I often write haiku, especially to reflect on holiday experiences. Have discovered a wealth of information on how to write haibun and plenty of examples to read on the internet. Love playing with what Stephen Fry calls ‘exotic forms’. Cam recommend his book ‘The Ode Less Travelled’ for budding poets.

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on October 11, 2011 - 11:18 am

      Judith – thanks for recommending the book and best wishes with the competition. Let us know how you get on.

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