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Better Than Starbucks 2018 Haiku Contest Winners

Congratulations to all the finalists, including the three winners!

Thank you again to John DeCesare of CraftekDesign for sponsoring this contest!


We had so many wonderful submissions (thank you all). Many were on the border of haiku and senryu, leaning more toward human affairs than nature. Here are the winners and finalists. We hope that you enjoy them. - BTS Editors

      First Place


corroded barbed wire

on Sinai border

rain exposes land mines


               Hanoch Guy



     Second Place


Fly on the window:
do you stare with wonder and
sense eternity?


          Evan Guilford-Blake



     Third Place


at the beach
I leave footprints
for my son to follow


               Michael Kang'a



spilt milk
he demands to know
why she’s crying


               John Hawkhead



a breeze through open

window not finding her song

stills the lace curtain


               Dan A. Cardoza



yard sale
the toddler in the doorway
hugs her doll


               Greg Schwartz



newly hatched tadpoles

circle water poppy

exploring life begins


               Ray Spitzenberger



my cowboy saddles

up his tractor, rides the range

corralling hay


published in 2013 in Manifest West: Even Cowboys Carry Cell Phones, published by Western Press Books


               Sally Clark



in the library—
silent books
speak volumes


              Pamelyn Casto



rub hands together
ready for my lunchtime meal
a fly on my plate


               David Bankson

Author Bios

Hanoch Guy is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English. His poetry has won awards in Poetica Mad poets, Phila poets and Poetry super highway. He is the author of six poetry collections, among them  haiku collection, A Hawk in Midflight,  published in 2017. His new book Spring Time in Moldova will be published by Kelsay Press.

Evan Guilford-Blake’s work includes two novels, two short story collections, and 39 plays. It has appeared frequently in journals and anthologies. He and his wife (and inspiration) Roxanna live in the Southeast. He reads and writes haiku constantly.

Michael Kang’a is a psychologist who keeps two pet pigeons (Mandy and Mindy) and a dog (Mikhail) — also a pet. If kitchen gardens count, he’s a prolific *sic* small-scale farmer.

John Hawkhead is a writer from southwest England. His haiku book Small Shadows is available from Alba publishing.

Dan A. Cardoza has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Science Degree in Counseling. His publishing credits include: Pierian Spring, Brandon University, Canada, Aleola, The Avocet, Ardent Poetry Journal, Pacific Poetry and the California Quarterly.

Greg Schwartz works in a cubicle. His poems have appeared in Frogpond, New York Quarterly, Blue Collar Review, and Modern Haiku.  He was fortunate enough to have two of his haiku reprinted in annual Red Moon anthologies.

Raymond Spitzenberger is a freelance writer who has published poetry, haiku, fiction, non-fiction, and history in numerous publications. He holds a Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Houston.

Sally Clark is the author of Where's My Hug?, Ideals Children’s Books, a WorthyKids imprint, 2015, the Winner of a 2015 Silver Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.


Pamelyn Casto has articles on flash fiction in Writers Digest, Fiction Southeast, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letter, Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading, and Critical Insights: Flash Fiction.

David Bankson lives in Texas. He was finalist in the 2017 Concīs Pith of Prose and Poem contest, and his poetry and microfiction can be found in concis, (b)oink, Thank You for Swallowing, Artifact Nouveau, Riggwelter Press, Five2One Magazine, and more.

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