Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hot News: Award-Winning Tanka and Haiku by Chen-ou Liu

Dear NeverEnding Story Readers:

I've recently received five pieces of good news, and I'm excited to share them with all of you:

closed in
on herself once again...
dinnertime filled
with the sound of chopsticks
and April snowflakes

Joint First Prize (Certificate of Merit Conferred by Contest Judge, Maxianne Berger),
8th International Tanka Festival, 2016
(Judge`s Comment:  A simple rendering of solitude, silence, and tranquility. We are not told why this persona seeks to separate herself from others, we only know that she has done this before. We are free to attribute reasons based on our own experiences. Quiet is apparent in two details. The sound of chopsticks would usually goes unnoticed, something our brains ignore because unimportant. Line 4 brings the sound to our mind's ear, and our imagination perforce sets it in an otherwise silent background. As to falling snow, its acoustic presence is one of muffling other sounds. Beyond sound, however, when snowflakes appear in the poem they place the persona at a window, on the inside, looking out-­with all the emotional interpretations that might imply. "April" says springtime, but "snowflakes," winter. We are invited to fill in our own take on the dual nature of this symbolism. Meanwhile, there are no sounds of sadness--no tears, no sighs. As such, there is a certain calm conveyed by the whole)

home from hospital ...
a robin's song
and nothing else

Honorable Mention, 2016 Betty Drevniok Award
(Judge's Comment: ... with its stunning pathos and freshness of feeling there was no doubt [this was] the haiku that I felt deserved prize recognition...)

distant sirens
over the border bridge
a blood moon

Shortlist, 2015 Touchstone Award for Individual Poems

French Translation by Tempslibres Editor Serge Tome

sirènes distantes
sur le pont frontière
une lune de sang

emerald flicker                      
of a dragonfly's wings           
first day of school                  

Highly Commended, 2015 Iris Haiku Contest

Croatian Translation

smaragdno treperenje
krila vilina konjica
prvi dan škole 

Without the Middle

on a blade of grass
at twilight
this lingering fear,
I want a divorce

surge of the wind ...
her voice hardens
into its rigid strength,
I love you, Eric,
but I can't stand you anymore

all those nights
her moist smile nuzzled
the nape of my neck ...
now in the dim light
one wedding pillow left

a white trail
left in the winter sky
by her plane --
I still wait for the turn
and wave of her hand

Third Prize, Haiku Canada Tanka Story Contest, 2016
(Judge's Comment by Angela Leuck (Haiku Canada Review, 10:1, February 2016, p. 47): The story is enhanced by effective and contrasting imagery: the poet refers to delicate, transitory phenomenon like "dewdrops" and a plane's "white trail," while the wife's steely determination to leave is indicated by the use of strong words like "blade," "hardens" and 'rigid strength." The poet also evokes endings through reference to the day's end: "twilight" and "dim light.")

Many thanks for your continued support of my writing.

Happy Reading


Note: Another piece of good news is that the following tanka are included in Wild Moons: The Canadian Tanka Anthology edited by George Swede and Angela Leuck:

first ESL class
on a snowy night
I struggled
under the weight
of unspoken words
(Note: ESL stands for English as a Second Language)

Ribbons, 11:1, Winter 2015

a black rope
hangs from our childhood tree
the sound in her chest
than a winter gust

Honorable Mention, 2012 San Francisco International Competition:

nine autumns past
first trip to my homeland…
now in Taipei
drinking alone in moonlight
I still long for Taipei

Joint First Prize, 7th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2012             

sultry dusk...
the nape of her neck
draws me in
as a streetlamp
beckons to the moth

Third Place, 2012 Love Tanka Contest

mid-autumn night…
the wind whispers to me
Chinese words
that offer me a home
in the shape of a moon

Tanka First Place, 2011 San Francisco International Competition Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Rengay

her toothbrush
in my medicine chest
declares residency…
gazing at the mirror
a face hard to recognize

Tanka Third Place, 2011 San Francisco International Competition Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Rengay

putting the corpse
of loneliness around my neck
I jump
into the darkness
of a spring day

Back Cover Tanka, Ribbons, 6:3,  Fall 2010


  1. Congratulations! What an inspiration you are!! Thank you for sharing these.

    1. Dear Barbara:

      Many thanks for your warm congratulations!


  2. Congratulations, you have wonderful work!

  3. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your good news and great poems.

  4. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your good news and great poems.

    Bình Dương Land cung cấp các dịch vụ
    mua dat binh duong

    ky goi nha dat my phuoc

    ky goi nha dat binh duong

    ky goi dat my phuoc 1,2,3,4