First Annual Trailblazer Contest
The Trailblazer Contest is an annual search for haikai and tanka poetry that betters their genres by pushing boundaries through the use of innovation, honing, and truth-seeking.
Our Annual Trailblazer Contest offers a new manner of recognition focusing on poems and poets trailblazing — advancing genres in their various forms (including ones perhaps never seen!) for the benefit of all.
We hope that over the years, our Annual Trailblazer Contest will serve as a way to measure not each of us above another poet, but illustrate the ways in which we have grown, morphed, and even re-visited earlier versions of historical landmarks in haikai and tanka history.
We hope you will all join us on this journey. Your participation is key to its success!
Perhaps you are tired of flowers and favor more grit. Perhaps you'd like to see more surreal or contrapuntal elements. Maybe you write the most sublime 5-7-5 haiku. Or perhaps we’ve never even seen what you have up your sleeve because nothing like it has been published. Use your imagination. Send us your beautiful monsters.
Send us the poems that reflect the direction of movement you would like to see in the haiku and tanka worlds. Don’t just send us a haiku or tanka from your pile. Accept this as a challenge to the way you approach your work and take it another step beyond! And challenge us as well!
The key is to be the most exemplary form of yourself, not the handful of people you think have the key to haiku or tanka. No one else can be you!