The fern unfurls…

1 May, 2021

Firstly, I would like to say Thank You to the 55 haiku writers who sent in a total of 221 haiku between them for me to read on the theme of Unfurling.

Secondly, I would like to say congratulations to the 35 haiku writers who had their haiku selected for publication on Pure Haiku for this theme.

Thirdly, I would like to say sorry to the 20 people who submitted their haiku but who weren’t selected this time. The standard of entries was incredibly high and it was extremely difficult to choose the selected haiku.

And fourthly, I’d like to thank Elisa Ang for painting such an inspirational picture for this theme!

We welcome a whole raft of new faces to Pure Haiku this time: Craig McGeady, Mark Fisher, Laurinda Lind, L. (Elle) Gomez), Jake Aller Cosmos, Daniel Senser, Robert Whelan, Roxanne Werner, Mirela Brailean, Bree Leto, Heather Lange, Daniela Misso, Laurie Rosen, Denise Beck-Clark, Akhila Siva, Eve Castle, Michael Murdoch, Mo Schoenfeld, K.Hartless, Thom Kerr, Jess Tong and Ruth Partridge.

And we welcome some familiar faces also: Dan Brook, Roberta Beach Jacobson, JulesPaige, Linda Imbler, Kerfe Roig, Kim Russell, Radhika Puttige, Dr Lim Keng Huat, Georges De Laberbis, Merril D. Smith, Nancy Brady and Ken Gierke.

And of course we welcome back Tina Stewart Brakebill as our Featured Haiku Writer for Unfurling! Our artist, Elisa Ang, selected Tina’s haiku from an anonymous shortlist of 8. You can read Tina’s haiku in late July and discover why Elisa chose her to be the Featured Haiku Writer.

Haiku posts will start in 2 days time and a haiku will appear every 2 days from 3rd May until 30th July.

Just a quick word regarding the emails I sent out. If you received a Rejection email, that means your haiku didn’t meet the basic requirements to appear on this site. You can check out the most frequent reasons for rejection HERE. If you received a Results email, that meant at least one of your haiku met all the basic requirements, but wasn’t selected simply due to sheer numbers! There were a lot of haiku saying the same or similar thing and I had to make some hard decisions in order to choose the best one. If you received an Acceptance email, that meant I’d selected one of your haiku for publication! And, if I mentioned to you that your haiku had been shortlisted for the Featured Haiku Writer’s slot, that means all 5 of your haiku were outstanding.

I could only choose one haiku per person in the end, as I restrict the amount of haiku I post here in a 3 month period. This is to provide a wide variety of voice, imagery and language. Please DON’T be discouraged if your haiku weren’t selected this time – the competition was extremely tough. And remember, even if you’ve had haiku published here on this site in the past, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get published again straightaway. Find out how I select haiku HERE.

Congratulations to everyone who had their haiku selected! I’m looking forward to our journey through Unfurling. Here’s Elisa Ang’s painting for you all to enjoy once again!


Deadline for submissions is TONIGHT!

28 February, 2021

Deadline for submissions of traditional haiku on the theme of UNFURLING is TONIGHT at midnight UK time.

Please make sure you read ALL the guidelines before submitting your work!

This is a scheduled post. Comments will be read and approved when I next have access to the internet.


Pure Haiku – FAQS

22 February, 2021

Pure Haiku is open for submissions of haiku on the theme of UNFURLING until 28th February 2021 at midnight, UK time.

Here’s a heads up on why some haiku are rejected whilst others are selected. Hopefully this’ll help as you compose and submit your haiku here!

Why were my haiku rejected?

I receive so many haiku whenever Pure Haiku is open to submissions that I am unfortunately no longer able to comment individually on each poem. Here is a list of the most common reasons why a haiku is rejected: –

1 – the haiku was not constructed with the correct number of syllables.

2 – the use of the English language is awkward, forcing the words to fit into the 17 syllable structure.

3 – each line is not an entire line in its own right.

4 – the haiku does not conjure up a vivid or original image.

5 – the haiku does not fit in with the advertised theme.

6 – the haiku was not in plain text in the body of the email, thus I was unable to cut and paste it with ease.

7 – you sent links to your haiku instead of pasting the haiku into the body of your email.

8 – you did not send all the requested information (eg first name, last name, email address, blog address, one sentence bio etc)

9 – your haiku relies on an image for the “aha” moment.

10 – you published your haiku before the final selection had taken place.

Please read how to and what I am looking for to ensure your haiku are considered for publication here at Pure Haiku.

I didn’t hear back from Pure Haiku at all – why?

1 – if you sent me an email then you should have received an auto reply. if you have not received an auto reply within 24 hours, please feel free to chase by email again.

2 – if you submitted your haiku as an attachment, your email will automatically be sent to the Spam folder and I will not see it at all.

3 – if you send more than 5 haiku your submission is automatically rejected

4 – if you submitted haiku through the comments form, they will automatically be rejected.

5 – if you submitted haiku via a Facebook message or twitter or other social media message, they will automatically be rejected.

6 – if you attached an image/s or embedded an image/s in your email, your submission will automatically be rejected.

Please read submit to ensure your haiku are considered for publication here at Pure Haiku. The current task is to write 5 haiku inspired by this painting by Elisa Ang.

This is a scheduled post. Comments will be read and approved when I next have access to the internet.


About Pure Haiku

15 February, 2021

Pure Haiku is currently open to submissions of traditional haiku on the theme of UNFURLING until 28th February 2021 at midnight, UK time.

In case you’re new to Pure Haiku or don’t know much about this site, here’s a heads up on what it’s all about!

I originally set up this blog so I had somewhere to publish my traditional haiku. In 2010 I was having my haiku rejected from so many places simply because they were traditional and apparently too difficult to write. Really?

Well, 5000+ followers later, I think I’ve made my point!

This blog is now a way of sharing my own and other peoples’ traditional haiku. This is me giving something back to the writing community. I know how difficult it is when you start to write. So I have made Pure Haiku a haven for those who enjoy writing and reading traditional haiku in the English language.

All the haiku published on this site are structured classically with 5-7-5 syllables per line. Please take this into account if you wish to Submit your own haiku and feature as a guest writer. I am aware that my haiku cannot be truly classical because I do not write in the old style of Japanese. Yet, this is how I was taught to write them many years ago and I find haiku such as these very pleasing to read.

Featured Haiku Writers

For each theme, I feature haiku by one guest writer. This is by invitation only. The best way to receive an invitation is to submit 4-5 haiku on the current theme whenever Pure Haiku is OPEN to submissions.

General Information

To be informed when the next submission window opens, simply sign up to follow this blog and receive notifications. (Enter your email address in the box at the top right hand corner of the page!)

Please note – the plural of haiku is haiku

If you wish to leave comments for other haiku writers, please do so in prose. Please note that any comments left in haiku form from January 2020 won’t be approved. If you wish your haiku to appear on this site, please follow the guidelines and submit haiku during submission periods.

SUBMIT your haiku inspired by this picture painted by Elisa Ang.


Pure Haiku – how it works

8 February, 2021

Pure Haiku is OPEN to traditional haiku on the theme of UNFURLING (see below) until 28th February 2021 at midnight, UK time!

So, you’ve found Pure Haiku, a site that publishes classical haiku.

But, how does it work?

As of 2021 and into the future, I will be running either one or two themes each year.

The submission periods from now on will last a maximum of 28 days, usually from the 1st – 28th of the selected month.

A post will appear on the 1st of the submission month announcing the new theme, and the same details will also be made available on the SUBMIT page.

During the submission month people can submit up to a maximum of 5 haiku on the current theme by email.

At the end of the submission period a post will appear on this site announcing that submissions are now closed and the same message will appear on the SUBMIT page.

I then have 2 months to read through all the haiku submitted and to choose which ones I want to appear on Pure Haiku.

If two or more writers are short-listed for the Featured Haiku Writer slot, I will usually ask the artist who produced the image for the theme to choose the Featured Haiku Writer.

Once that’s all confirmed, I then start scheduling haiku to appear every other day over a period of 3 months. Once everything’s scheduled, I contact everyone who has submitted their haiku for the theme and let them know that either their haiku has been accepted and when their haiku will appear, or let them know their haiku have been rejected and encourage them to submit again when the next theme is announced.

For instance, the current theme is UNFURLING and the deadline is 28th February. I will choose selected haiku in March and schedule the posts in April to appear between 1st May and 31st July. All contributors will be notified by 30th April whether or not they’ve been successful.

This is a free site and I don’t earn any money from it, so I can’t pay haiku writers anything. However, I do know from personal experience how valuable free exposure is to writers, and this is my way of offering something back to the writing community.


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