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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


Peggy Lyles
Grand Prize (146 total points)

Last year, Peggy Willis Lyles’ haiku “dragonfly . . .” won the Grand Prize Readers’ Choice Award. Peggy was also a runner-up for the Popular Poets Award. It is no surprise to find her in the winner’s position again this year. The fine craftsmanship, unique style, and consistent high quality of her poems appeal to readers all over the globe. Peggy continually inspires readers with her gift of haiku, through which we share her jubilance in small, everyday dramas, the thrill of new perceptions, and the quiet convictions of deep insight.

Peggy is expert at juxtaposing humanity and nature in ways that make her readers more deeply aware of both at the grass roots level. Peggy’s genius with language is evident in the artistic grace of each of her haiku. Using a variation of intensity in a poem that involves conflicting forces, she moves easily from one rhythm to another, drawing readers into her mood, as illustrated in “dragonfly . . .”* and “yellow leaves,” both of which feature a solitary human in the midst of nature:

      dragonfly . . .
      the tai chi master
      shifts his stance

      yellow leaves
      a girl plays hopscotch
      by herself

Other poems that illustrate her skill with rhythmic transition:

      Indian summer
      a turtle on a turtle
      on a rock

      sweet peas
      tremble on the trellis
      the bride’s “I will”

Peggy’s extraordinarily fine focus has become a familiar trademark in her haiku, as illustrated in “heat lightning,” “downpour,” and “a bull’s eye”:

      heat lightning **
      the heron’s toes
      grip dead wood

      a whelk’s foot stretches
      toward the waves

      a bull’s eye
      on a cardboard box
      autumn haze

Peggy’s haiku about serious subjects evoke emotion without gimmickry or conceits:

      cold wind lifts one corner
      of the pall

Along with all her talent, Peggy has an abiding appreciation for natural drollness, and her subtle humor is a real treat:

      high noon
      a cat stares down
      the chipmunk’s hole

Peggy Lyles writes with love for the form and dedication to the spirit of haiku, and it is clear that in mastering her craft, she has become one of the finest haiku poets writing in the English language. Peggy, we at The Heron’s Nest are grateful for your presence here, and for the joy of discovery and the understanding of deep truths evoked by your poems.

Ferris Gilli

* “dragonfly . . .” Heron’s Nest Award from THN, Vol. II:11, 2000
** “heat lightning” from THN: Vol. II:1, 2000 and (Modern Haiku: XIX:3,1988)


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