2022 Porad Award Winners

Lenard D. Moore, Judge

Michelle Schaefer, Contest Coordinator

Sponsored by Haiku Northwest

First Place ($100)

wind-blown snow

the drift of static

across a TV screen

Jay Friedenberg

Tuckahoe, New York

This poem opens with vivid imagery. The reader sees the snow and hears the wind, and hears the static drifting across the TV screen. The word “drift” alludes to snow, which must be drifting too. The comparison of snow to static works well, emphasized by effective “s” sounds. Snow places the poem in winter, which may also symbolize death. However, the reader knows someone is watching the TV or had been watching it before falling asleep. The euphony calms the reader with its pleasing soft sounds despite the movement in all three lines. Does the reader savor this poem because it is memorable? Or does he or she savor it for its emotional appeal? This is a poem to carry in your pocket and in your heart; it will become a classic.

Second Place ($50)

her soft voice

in a sacred space . . .

autumn mist

Janice Doppler

Easthampton, Massachusetts

The poem contains mystery and grace. Is the person in this poem whispering? Is she singing softly? Is she praying? We hear the alliteration of the “s” sounds, and it feels as if the “voice” is the softness of mist. Perhaps the leaves are changing colors? Maybe they are already falling off the trees. The “sacred space” is the setting, with autumn as the seasonal reference, and even with an ellipsis the second line still works as a pivot line. The poem tugs at the reader’s heartstrings as it progresses from the intimacy of a soft voice to the vastness of an autumn mist.

Third Place ($25)

banjo moon

his father’s song

just out of range

Edward Cody Huddleston

Baxley, Georgia

This poem’s opening line brings to mind mountain or Appalachian music. The base of the banjo is round like a full moon, and the moon establishes the mood. Yet, it is a special moon. The banjo conjures place and people. Is the father singing around a campfire, and is the father’s singing “out of range” or are the notes of the song “out of range” for the listener? The reader does not know, but the father is having a good time. This intergenerational poem is both original and universal.

Honorable Mentions


slicing a salmon

the man shifts his tobacco

to the other cheek

Kanchan Chatterjee

Jamshedpur, India

This poem unwinds with irony. The reader may know that salmon is considered healthy food, but that tobacco is not healthy. The man is cutting salmon and chewing tobacco at the same time. What a contrast between healthy and unhealthy acts! The salmon is probably orange. The tobacco probably stains the man’s teeth brown. The color comparison contrasts with a difference in taste, with the tobacco taste lingering longer than the salmon.

low yellow moon—

the C-shift men all quiet

at the mill’s gate

Kanchan Chatterjee

Jamshedpur, India

The moon is haunting. The men work the late shift. Why are they quiet? Are they contemplating the work ahead? Or are they all about to leave, tired from their work shift? The alliteration of the “l” sounds is very effective. This poem relies upon the nouns in each line. The two “the” articles address the particular in the poem, calling attention to the nouns.

the plaits

in sync with the ropes

double dutch

Ravi Kiran

Hyderabad, India

The reader knows the scene and that this activity could be for fun, exercise, or competition. The poem reminds me of black girls doing “double dutch” in my own neighborhood. Perhaps, their plaits are as thick as the jump ropes. The performers keep time with their jumping, and the ropes slap a sidewalk or a street or spread dust from a dirt road. Are the girls counting or giggling as they jump with rhythm? Their plaits jump up and down, too. The nouns in each line layer this poem effectively. The term “double dutch” could be a season word for summer.

Judge’s Thanks

I am honored and humbled to have been invited to judge the 2022 Porad Award, and especially delighted because I knew Francine Porad. We wrote renku together and she published my poetry in Brussels Sprout. It was difficult to select the winning poems because there were so many outstanding haiku, but I hope my commentary offers new ways to examine and appreciate these poems. More importantly, I hope the winning haiku bring enlightenment.

Lenard D. Moore

Raleigh, North Carolina

Coordinator’s Thanks

Thank you to Lenard D. Moore for judging this year’s contest and for writing thoughtful comments about the winning haiku. And thank you to every poet who participated. We received 534 poems from 109 talented poets representing ten countries. We look forward to your participation in next year’s contest and invite you to join Haiku Northwest at its monthly meetings as well as the Seabeck Haiku Getaway held annually in October.

Michelle Schaefer

Porad Award Coordinator