John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku

Entries for the John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku have now closed. The prize-winning haiku plus those awarded Honourable Mentions will be announced on the Australian Haiku Society website on 1st May 2021.

Background: The Australian Haiku Society is excited to announce the inaugural John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku by holding an international haiku competition.

The award is named in honour of the “right-handed poet from the east coast of Australia” who instigated and developed the Australian Haiku Society, bringing together haiku poets from around the country with the mission to encourage and promote the enjoyment of haiku. John is a passionate advocate for haiku that is written from an authentic sense of place, which he encouraged through his “Dreaming Collection”.  He has been a gentle mentor to countless Australian haiku poets, and his influence on the growth of haiku in Australia is inestimable.

Entry Procedure: Write your submission of up to three haiku in the ‘Comment’ section of the contact form . In your submission, please include the title: ‘Submission for the John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku’, followed by your haiku and your name and country of residence.

Submissions: All submissions must be in English, unpublished and not concurrently entered for any other competition, and remain unpublished until the results are declared. Submissions that have appeared in any print or online publication, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will NOT be considered.
Contest organisers and AHS committee members are not eligible to enter. AHS Regional Representatives are eligible.

Deadline: 1st March 2021

Entry Fee: None

Prizes: The first three place getters will receive an original ink painting featuring their winning haiku by renowned Australian artist and poet, Ron Moss. The prize-winning haiku plus those awarded Honourable Mentions will be announced on the Australian Haiku Society website on 1st May 2021.

Judges: Vanessa Proctor has served as President of the Australian Haiku Society (2016 -2020). She is a founding member of the AHS, a founding member of the online international haiku group Zazen, and convenes the Sydney Haiku Group, the Red Dragonflies which she founded in 2008. Vanessa has judged numerous poetry competitions and her haiku have won awards and been published and anthologised worldwide. Her books include Temples of Angkor (Sunline Press, 2003); Jacaranda Baby (Snapshot Press, 2012) and Blowing Up Balloons: baby poems for parents Vanessa Proctor and Gregory Piko (Red Moon Press, 2017).

Michael Dylan Welch has been investigating haiku and related poetry since 1976. He founded his press, Press Here, in 1989, and cofounded Haiku North America (HNA) in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996. He founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000 (and continues to serve as president), the Seabeck Haiku Getaway in 2008, and National Haiku Writing Month ( in 2010. Michael has published his poetry, essays, and reviews in hundreds of journals and anthologies in more than twenty languages, and has also published numerous books, the most recent of which include Sitting in the Sun (the 2019 HNA conference anthology), Jumble Box (NaHaiWriMo anthology), Seven Suns / Seven Moons (with Tanya McDonald), Off the Beaten Track: A Year in Haiku (with eleven other poets), and Becoming a Haiku Poet, among other collections. Michael lives in Sammamish, Washington, and his website is

The judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence can be entered into regarding those decisions.

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