Early Washington Poets Association Haiku Contests

The Porad Award for haiku was sponsored by the Washington Poets Association from 2004 to 2014, cosponsored by Haiku Northwest from 2008 to 2014, and taken over independently by Haiku Northwest in 2014 after the WPA dissolved in 2013. Prior to 2004, however, the WPA had at least three earlier haiku contests, in 1973, 1980, and 1994. For 1973, no record seems to remain as to who the judge was, or what the winning poems were, but the winners were as follows:

1st Sr. Phoebe Passler, OSB, Olympia, Washington

2nd Albert R. Marino, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania

3rd Constance Show, Lakewood, Colorado

In 1980, the judges were Patricia Loken, Frances Fagerlund, and Charlotte G. Warren, who selected the following “finalists” (winning poems not known, and may not have been awarded beyond the selection of these finalists):

Jerald T. Ball

Gloria Buckner

June E. Lamson

Bobbie Leiser

Molly See

Louise E. Widner

The Washington Poets Association also published at least eight haiku collections in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. These books were most likely associated with annual contests, but this is uncertain. Why their publication ceased is also unclear. In 1994, Francine Porad served as the judge and chose the following winners for a new one-off contest:

1st At night

firefly stars kindle

my dream ashes

Robert Randall, Federal Way, Washington

2nd each

with its own shadow

ants in line

Kohjin Sakamoto, Kyoto, Japan

3rd cloud

tree sea sail

one wind one mind

Robert Gibson, Centralia, Washington

As mentioned, the Washington Poets Association published at least eight staple-bound haiku anthologies, starting in the 1970s. More information about these publications will be added as it is unearthed.

—Michael Dylan Welch, July 2020