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The Heron’s Nest

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Volume VI, Valentine Awards: February, 2004.
Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved by the respective authors.

Overview •  Reader’s Choice - Poet of the Year •  Favorite Poets •  Reader’s Choice - Poem of the Year •  Favorite Poems •  Editor’s Choice - Poem of the Year •  Favorite Poems •  Special Mentions •  Notes from Voters


2004 VALENTINE AWARDS
Overview
Readers’ Choice —
Poet of the Year

John Stevenson
Readers’ Choice —
Favorite Poets

Connie Donleycott
vincent tripi
Allen McGill
Readers’ Choice —
Poem of the Year

Connie Donleycott
Readers’ Choice —
Favorite Poems

vincent tripi
Allen McGill
John Stevenson
Editors’ Choice —
Poem of the Year

Carolyn Hall
Editors’ Choice —
Favorite Poems

Timothy Hawkes
Connie Donleycott
Special Mentions
Notes from Voters
 

Overview



I’ll begin by restating what I’ve said in previous years, that there are three prime purposes for our annual Valentine Awards. The first is to honor poets who have gifted Heron’s Nest readers with exceptionally powerful work. The images, moods, and emotions in their haiku continue to resonate long after reading them. The second purpose is to provide an opportunity to help shape the evolution of haiku beyond individual publishing efforts. Poems voted to be favorites serve as guiding lights for poets and editors alike. Haiku included in the Valentine Awards issue exemplify qualities that are generally held by our readers to be the most desirable. The third purpose goes along with the second. A careful review of a given volume of The Heron’s Nest (with the intention of selecting favorite haiku) produces valuable insights to the craft.

All year long we receive poems from around the world. We probably read close to 13,000 poems during 2003, but seriously considered only about one in twenty. Of those 3,000 or so true contenders, we accepted about one in five. Of the 636 poems in Volume V, 54% received at least one vote. These figures are presented in order to illustrate a point. We feel that all poems that have been accepted into The Heron’s Nest are praiseworthy.

The editors chose 36 poems (three per month) to be Editors’ Choices. That’s only one quarter of one percent of the approximately 13,000 poems submitted to us. Of those 36, the twelve Heron’s Nest Award poems constitute one tenth of one percent of all poems submitted. Amazing odds! Again this year, the results of Valentine Award voting clearly affirm that readers and editors agree in feeling that certain poems stand out from the rest! We are happy to tell you that, of the twelve Heron’s Nest Award winners, eleven were voted into the top twelve places.

The Heron’s Nest continues to consist of a healthy balance between poets from North America and those from other parts of the world. Volume V includes work from poets who live in 28 countries and in 33 of the states within the United States. We are also pleased with the balance of new voices to those of long-time contributors. Of the 166 poets represented in 2003, 30% of them were new to The Heron’s Nest. It is also a great pleasure to share for the first time the voices of ten poets who have been writing for many years and whose names are familiar to many of us.

Far more voters turned out for the fifth annual Valentine Awards than ever before. We thank all of you who took the time to select your favorite poems. Choosing only ten from 636 is a difficult challenge. Fortunately it appears to have been a richly rewarding process as well. Along with poems selected, many of you sent comments about your voting experiences. We very much appreciate such responses and have decided, with permission, to share some of them. You’ll find “Notes from Voters” at http://www.theheronsnest.com/archived_issues/haiku/0602v1758/thn_va.c8.html.

We value the contributions of everyone who has appeared in The Heron’s Nest and thoroughly enjoy corresponding with you, encouraging you, and learning from you. You have shared with us a wealth of deeply resonant moments, expressed with great skill. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share your haiku with the world. Those of you who appear in the Valentine Awards issue have achieved something extra special. It is a great pleasure to honor you.

— Christopher Herold

 

   

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