The following interviews were conducted by Michael Dylan Welch in the fall of 2021 with the winners in each of the six categories in VCBF’s 2021 Haiku Invitational contest presented by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, United States, International, and Youth. We invite you to get to know each winner a little better through his or her responses and to learn their influences and recommendations regarding haiku poetry.

To read their interviews please click on the poet’s name or picture


Ann Harreby
Coquitlam, British Columbia

“I have been writing haiku since the early 1990s. In 2013, I retired from 25 years of working in a public library. These days you will find me walking in our local parks, with a journal and pencil, ready to jot down notes for my next haiku.”

for lease
reflected in the storefront
cherry blossoms


British Columbia
Susan Constable
Parksville, British Columbia

Susan lives on Vancouver Island, where she began writing haiku in 2006. Her work has been published in many print and online journals and in numerous anthologies. She is an editor for two tanka journals and has been a judge for several haiku contests, including the VCBF Contest in 2019.   


keeping her secret . . .
a whisper of wind
among the blossoms


Charlotte Hrenchuk
Whitehorse, Yukon

Charlotte has lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for 33 years and has been writing haiku since 2016. Living in the North provides a distinct lens for perceiving the world and  closeness with nature. After 20 years advocating for women’s equality issues, she retired in 2018 and brings that perspective to her haiku.   


the foster child’s
backward glance
falling cherry blossoms


United States
Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, South Dakota

Chad Lee Robinson has been writing haiku for nearly twenty years. He has published three award-winning collections of haiku, including The Deep End of the Sky (Turtle Light Press, 2015). He is a lifelong resident of South Dakota. For more information about Chad’s haiku, please visit his blog at   


letting the mask fall
below my nose . . .
cherry blossoms


Rita Odeh
Haifa, Israel

Rita Odeh is from Nazareth and has a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Haifa University. She has published seven poetry books, one book of short stories, three novels, and one book of Haiku. Her poetry has been published in many international publications including Simply Haiku and Mayfly.   


first blossoms—
the child’s eyes
say it all


Sebastian Ciobica, age 9
Botoșani, Romania

“I am 9 years old, I am a Sagittarius and I study at a middle school in Botoșani, Romania, where the national poet Mihai Eminescu was born. I have an older brother who studies medicine. My dad gives me tips for creative writing. I like animals, doing sport, travel, read books and play with my friends.”   


empty playground
fallen cherry petals
on the carousel

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