Winner and Runners-up of The Society of Classical Poets 2020 Haiku Competition

Judged by Mike Bryant and Susan Jarvis Bryant

See all entrants here.


Thunder-bellied clouds
Move slow over heathered hills,
Pregnant with June’s rain

—Savannah Leahy, Competition Winner


Sixteen Runners Up


With soft clicks and clucks,
the hens watch the full moon rise—
the night’s great white egg.

—Rob Crisell



snapping the cherries
and crocuses all day long . . .
the moon walks us home

—Oluwasegun Oluseyi Adesina



The insect monarchs
Skimming with orange and black wings
Holding court in spring.

—Emory Jones



in the birth of spring
snow gilds the tips of tulips
lingering for a time

—Cindy Lou Bechtold



tiny white phlox blooms
exhale a whole hay field’s scent
cupped in your two hands

—Sharmon Gazaway



Footsteps approaching;
calling birds fall silent: sh-h!
The willows whisper.

—Patricia A. Marsh



two moons this clear spring
night—one drifts among the stars.
one floats in the lake

—Sondra Rosenberg



The vibrant canvas
Flutters on a sea of light—
Sailing Butterfly

—Shourya Vardhan Agarwal



A winter zephyr,
Fluttering the falling flakes,
Whispers wistfully

—Lucia Fisher



backyard birds gather
at the old baptismal font
splashes of summer

—Ernesto P. Santiago



Footsteps on hard snow,
Intense as soft-voiced secrets,
Whispers of winter.

—Dave Whippman



Falling like snowflakes
The smell of cherry blossoms
The vision of blood

—Vanessa Valencia



Sheep flock in the sun
Water doesn’t quench their thirst
The dam is empty

—Toni Newell



White cherry blossoms
Tinged pink by the setting sun
Gently drift to sleep.

—Douglas J. Lanzo



Jungle feverish
A sleek, yellow jaguar
stuck in traffic jam




Green buds soon bursting
Birds are anticipating
Raspberries for tea

—Yvonne Longden



Note from the Judges: Some people did not follow the rules of the competition and were thus disqualified. If your poems were not traditional haiku, then this worked against you. Haiku are depictions of nature and many submitted poems fell under the category of senryu, which are  focused on human nature and are often cynical or humorous.

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The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

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8 Responses

  1. rohini sunderam

    Well done, everyone! This was an impressive turnout. Thank you to the Society for hosting this challenging and wonderful competition.

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Congratulations to Ms. Leahy and to the runners-up, and thanks to the Bryant’s for judging such a formidable submission.

  3. James A. Tweedie

    Yes, indeed. These winning haiku are worthy of recognition. Well done, all.

  4. Margaret Coats

    Congratulations to the winner and runners-up! Thanks to the Bryants for judging, and to the Society for sponsoring the competition. There were so many good entries that I was able to find 22 winners of my own, and only one of them matched what Mike and Susan chose–although their selections are indeed excellent. I suggest that with a few more haiku competitions in upcoming years, the Society might be able to publish a slim volume of absolutely marvelous contemporary haiku in English, worthy to stand on a bookshelf beside the famed Peter Pauper series of classic Japanese works, all or most translated (I believe) by Peter Beilenson. But maybe next year there should be a senryu competition, as there were good examples of that genre, too.

  5. Sharmon Gazaway

    Congratulations Savannah Leahy and all runners-up–so many lovely images in all of the entries. Thanks to the Bryants for judging–you had your work cut out for you. And many thanks to The Society for hosting the 2020 Competition! Look forward to more in the future.

  6. Mia

    Well done everyone who entered. How marvellous to feel a part of such a great group.Congratulations to Savannah Leahy and to the runners up.
    Thank you to the judges who I think had such a difficult job and to The Society for providing access to such a quality site that inspires so much creativity.
    Wishing everyone all the very best,


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