Poem Wins Sakura Award in 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival International Haiku Invitational

Cherry Blossoms - Susanne Nilsson
Photo: Susanne Nilsson (Creative Commons/Flickr)

I was surprised and delighted to learn from a fellow haikuist that one of my poems recently received a Sakura Award in the 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival International Haiku Invitational.

My haiku was one of 15 by U.S. authors recognized with Sakura Awards in this year’s competition. In addition, a single poem was named Top Winner in the U.S. category, and another 25 U.S. poems were given Honourable Mentions.

Of the 41 U.S. poems granted awards, fully six – close to 15 percent – are by poets living and working in my home state of Ohio.

The theme of this year’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational was “freedom.” My poem speaks to the world of possibilities that await people of all ages and from all corners of the globe who seek to build their lives in freedom and peace:

an old man
learns two new words
cherry blossom

My heartfelt congratulations to the winning poets in all divisions of this year’s competition, and my sincere gratitude to the competition judges, Angelee Deodhar, Billie Wilson, and DeVar Dahl.