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Volume IV, Valentine Awards: February 2002.
Copyright © 2002. All rights reserved by the respective authors.

Overview • Readers' Choice • Most Popular Poet • Editors' Choice
Favorite Haiku • Popular Poets • Editors' Runners-up • Special Mention

Readers' Choice
Connie Donleycott
Most Popular Poet
Peggy Lyles
Editors' Choice
John W. Wisdom
Favorite Haiku
John Crook
John W. Wisdom
Yu Chang
Paul David Mena
Popular Poets
Connie Donleycott
John W. Wisdom
Yu Chang
paul m.
Editors' Runners-up
Lenard D. Moore
John Crook
Special Mention


We have three purposes for our annual awards event. One is to afford poets an opportunity to influence the evolution of haiku (beyond that which is accomplished by writing and submitting work). Those poems that are voted favorites serve as guiding lights to editors as well as to other poets. Such haiku exemplify traits that are generally held by our readers to be valuable and effective. The second purpose for these awards goes with the first. A thorough review of a given volume of The Heron’s Nest (with the intention of voting for favorite poems) produces valuable insights about what works and what does not work in a haiku. The voting process, therefore, is a means of triangulating what is important to us as individual poets. The third purpose for the Valentine Awards is celebratory. We wish to honor those poets who have gifted our readers, and the haiku community at large, with exceptionally powerful work. The images, moods, and emotions in these chosen haiku resonate long after a great majority of poems have faded from our memories.

We received about 10,000 poems for consideration last year. Only five percent of these were accepted. In light of this, an appearance in The Heron’s Nest, in itself, is a fine accomplishment. To have a poem selected as a Heron’s Nest Award winner or runner-up is worthy of praise.

173 poets from 24 countries appeared in The Heron’s Nests of 2001. 3 was the average number of poems accepted from contributors. 2 poets had 12 poems in The Nest last year. In all, there were 529 poems in the ten issues of Volume III. 260 received votes (nearly half the poems). The average number of points awarded to a single poem was 14. The grand prize-winning poem garnered 119 points. 1 poet was awarded 146 points for 9 of her 12 poems. The average number of points for a poet’s combined works was 26.

We wish to thank all of you who submitted work to us this past year. We greatly enjoy corresponding with you, encouraging you, and learning from you. We also wish to thank all who applied themselves to the difficult task of casting votes for the Valentine Awards. Your efforts have resulted in a grand prize winner and 4 runners-up in each category: Favorite Poems, and Popular Poets. By vote, the editors selected a grand prize poem and 2 runners-up also. The poets who appear in this Valentine Awards issue have achieved something especially significant. They deserve a loud and lengthy round of applause.

Christopher Herold

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