The Heron's Nest

where tradition and innovation meet

How to Submit

Submission Deadlines

  • March 15 (for the June issue)
  • June 15 (for the September issue)
  • September 15 (for the December issue)
  • December 15 (for the March issue)

Haiku may be sent at any time for consideration for the next available issue.


  • Please submit 5 - 15 poems at a time.
  • Please include your city, state, and country for our author index.

We welcome both modern, freestyle haiku, and haiku that adhere to a syllabic structure of 5-7-5 with the inclusion of a seasonal reference. To The Heron's Nest, it is far more important for a poem to embody the spirit of haiku than for it to cleave to a particular, pat form. Certainly form is important; each expression of an experience demands one. It's up to the poet to find the form that fits.

Although we enjoy senryu immensely, we wish to focus on haiku. There are, of course, poems that fall into a gray area between the two genres. We'll certainly select some of these if the spirit in them seems in keeping with our ideals.

We are not accepting renku, haibun or tanka at this time.


The Heron's Nest requires first publication rights, including first electronic rights, for work accepted.

Poems that have been previously published in print or on the Internet, including publication on personal web sites or blogs, public video and/or photo sites, and public forums, are not eligible for submission to our journal. Any work that can be found in a Web search is considered previously published. Poems submitted to us must be the original work of the submitting poet and must not be under consideration by any ther publication or contest. Following on-line publication with us, all rights revert to the author (The Heron's Nest retains the right to reproduce the work in the annual print edition that recaps each year's on-line ssues).

Essential Qualities

Here are some qualities we find essential to haiku:

  • Present moment magnified (immediacy of emotion)
  • Interpenetrating the source of inspiration (no space between observer and observed)
  • Simple, uncomplicated images
  • Common language
  • Finding the extraordinary in "ordinary" things
  • Implication through objective presentation, not explanation: appeal to intuition, not intellect
  • Human presence is fine if presented as an archetypical, harmonious part of nature (human nature should blend in with the rest of nature rather than dominate the forefront)
  • Humor is fine, if in keeping with "karumi" (lightness) - nothing overly clever, cynical, comic, or raucous
  • Musical sensitivity to language (effective use of rhythm and lyricism)
  • Feeling of a particular place within the cycle of seasons


Please send submissions to one of the five following associate editors: