III PIHC 2013 – results

3rd Polish International Haiku Competition 2013


George Swede: I am honoured to be the judge for this competition, especially since it is based in Poland, a nation rich with achievements in the arts and sciences. Particularly meaningful is that Poland has had two recipients for the Nobel Prize in Literature for Poetry—Czesław Miłosz (1980) and Wisława Szymborska (1996). Only three other countries have had more winners in poetry (Sweden 5, Italy and Spain, 3). A significant moment for me was when Czesław Miłosz requested four of my pieces for Haiku, an anthology he edited of classical Japanese and contemporary English haiku published by Znak in 1992. Also, a book I edited—the Canadian Haiku Anthology (Three Trees Press, 1979) was translated into Polish by Ewa Tomaszewska—Antologia kanadyjskiego haiku (Wydawnictwo Miniatura, 1992). Naturally, I feel a strong bond with the Polish literary community. The submitted haiku were a pleasure to read. I have judged a number of contests and this group of entries was among the best.


(book prizes and diplomas):


breaching whale
the time between
too soon and too late

Julie Warther
Dover, United States


George Swede: The second and third lines caught me off-guard. They resulted in the kind of surprise we treasure in poetry—the unexpected followed by enlightenment. But, what precisely is “between too soon and too late?” It is something we can only endlessly wonder about, never knowing for sure.


august mist
the magnificence
of thought

Ernest J Berry
Blenheim, New Zealand


George Swede: The juxtaposition of mist with thought is not new. And, the use of a descriptor such as, “magnificence,” usually detracts from a poem because it tells the reader what to think. Not in this case, however. It made me wonder why thought is magnificent and then the answer materialized. The mist, that obscured the outside world, made the author turn inwards and recognize the tremendous gift we have.


street musician
the winter cold passes through
his accordion

Bouwe Brouwer
Emmeloord, Netherlands


George Swede: For me, an accordion evokes lively music that creates a warm feeling. Yet, no matter how pleasant a sound the air makes travelling through the instrument, nothing really changes the reality of the cold and the player’s poverty—a haunting blend of images.


(in alphabetical order by haiku)

daylight kiss
in all the crowd
just you and me

Mihail Buraga
Bucuresti, Romania


first thaw—
a hawk leans further
toward its target

Seren Fargo
Bellingham, United States


grey rainy day
she polishes silverware
third time round

Niiko Jesensky
London, United Kingdom


late strawberries—
the story of how he saved me
gets a bit longer

Sandra Simpson
Tauranga, New Zealand


lost for words
exploring blank paper
a fly

Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
Poole, United Kingdom


migrating birds—
I leave a note for her
on the fridge

Daniel Richard
Millom, United Kingdom


mountain long before i was an idea

Dietmar Tauchner
Puchberg, Austria


our first date
the redness
of maple leaves

Andrea Cecon
Cividale del Friuli, Italy


season’s end
the colours of rust
in a scrap yard

Jan Dobb
Canberra, Australia


helping mother take
baby steps

Yesha Shah
Surat, India



Congratulations to the winners and commended haiku poets on your superb poems!

The third edition of the Polish International Haiku Competition has gathered 369 authors from 47 countries: Australia (13), Austria (1), Belgium (2), Bosnia and Herzegovina (6), Bulgaria (5), Burma (1), Canada (6), China (3), Colombia (1), Croatia (27), Czech Republic (2), Finland (1), France (2), Germany (11), Ghana (1), Greece (1), Hungary (2), India (22), Indonesia (1), Iran (1), Ireland (1), Israel (1), Italy (5), Japan (4), Kuwait (1), Lithuania (4), Macedonia (1), Malaysia (3), Mongolia (2), Nepal (1), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (11), Nigeria (1), Oman (1), Philippines (6), Poland (101), Romania (18), Russia (3), Serbia (16), Slovenia (3), Sweden (2), Switzerland (2), Trinidad and Tobago (1), Tunisia (1), Ukraine (2), United Kingdom (19), United States (48).

We thank you all for the constantly growing interest and invite everyone to participate in the fourth edition, which will start in August 2014.
The organizers would like to express their gratitude to George Swede for all the help, support and time devoted to the competition. He also generously funded all the book prizes with his personal signature: Joy in Me Still (1st Prize), embryo: eye poems (2nd Prize), First Light, First Shadows (3rd Prize).
The haiku which were not mentioned in the above results can be reused by their authors in any way.
The Polish translation of all the poems and comments — Rafał Zabratyński.

With kind regards — The Team:

George Swede, Final Judge
Rafał Zabratyński, Pre-Selector
Krzysztof Kokot, Coordinator