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Christopher Gaze will be reading the winning poems from 2021 Haiku Invitational at the VSO Tea & Trumpets at the Orpheum on March 24, 2022!

The Haiku Invitational presented by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel is an international online contest that attracts submissions from all over the world. The top poems in six main categories (Vancouver, BC, Canada, the United States, International, and Youth (age 17 and under)) will be featured in the Haiku Canada newsletter, an online publication in the newsletter of the Haiku Society of America, and published on the VCBF website. These haiku will also receive celebrity readings and be celebrated in creative ways during the 2023 Festival at THE BIG PICNIC at David Lam Park, at Sakura Days Japan Fair in Vancouver Haiku Group-led Ginko Walks to forage the garden for your spring haiku inspiration (Registration is at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival booth in the Visitor Centre), and through Haiku Connections on our social media platforms. To encourage the writing, reading, and appreciation of this poetic form judges choose poems in additional categories of “Sakura Awards” and “Honourable Mention.” We invite you to enjoy them all!

Submissions for the 2022 Haiku Invitational are now open! Please see the form here.

2021 Winning Haiku Entries:


for lease
reflected in the storefront
cherry blossoms

Ann Harreby
Coquitlam, British Columbia

United States

letting the mask fall
below my nose…
cherry blossoms

Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, South Dakota

British Columbia

keeping her secret…
a whisper of wind
among the blossoms

Susan Constable
Parksville, British Columbia


first blossoms—
the child’s eyes
says it all

Rita Odeh
Haifa, Israel


the foster child’s
backward glance
falling cherry blossoms

Charlotte Hrenchuk
Whitehorse, Yukon


empty playground
fallen cherry petals
on the carousel

Sebastian Ciobica, age 9
Botosani, Romania

Meet our 2021 winners! For the judges’ 2021 commentary for inspiration for your own haiku.

View the additional categories of 2021 Sakura Awards and Honourable Mention! Read past haiku on our Winning Haiku page!

2022 Haiku Invitational Judge Bios:

Maxianne Berger, a Montreal poet, is active in both French and English writing communities. With Mike Montreuil she coedited Cirrus: tankas de nos jours through twelve issues. She coordinates book reviews in both languages for Haiku Canada. A literary translator, she has provided English versions of poems, presentations, essays, and books for several Haïjins Québécois/es. Her own tanka collection is bilingual: Un Renard Roux / A Red Fox (Petits Nuages, 2014). A constraint lover, through erasure of Melville’s Moby Dick she produced Winnows (Nietzsche’s Brolly, 2016), which won third place in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards. Her new challenge is photo haiga.
Dr. Randy Brooks is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where he teaches courses on haikai arts and book publishing. He and his wife, Shirley Brooks, are publishers of Brooks Books, focusing on haiku, and coeditors of Mayfly haiku magazine. His most recent books include Walking the Fence: Selected Tanka and The Art of Reading and Writing Haiku: A Reader Response Approach.
Jennifer Hambrick is the author of In the High Weeds, winner of the Stevens Manuscript Award of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Unscathed (NightBallet Press), and the haibun book Joyride (Red Moon Press). She has been featured in American Life in Poetry, and has received numerous awards, including first prize in the Haiku Society of America’s 2018 haibun contest, the 2020 Sheila-Na-Gig Press Poetry Prize, and the Bronze Prize in the 2021 Ito En Art of Haiku competition. She has also received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Jennifer lives in Columbus, Ohio, and her website is

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