We are proud to announce that Edward J Rielly has won The Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award: First Place $500. The Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award is given annually by the Haiku Society of America.

Here’s what the judges said of Rielly’s work:

From growing up on his family’s dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, through marriage and beginning his own family, to reflections of and from his later years, Edward J. Rielly’s haiku intimately provide glimpses of his life and the answers awaiting discovery within a life fully experienced. Reilly’s imagistic haiku are stunning. On the surface they portray life in rural America from a perspective only one who has lived it can convey; however, as the depth within each haiku unfolds, the reader senses having lived it, too.

This retrospective collection is organized into three parts.

I. Small Boy at the Fence. Rielly’s reflective haiku take the reader beyond the story of a boyhood immersed in rural farm life to universal revelations regarding the hardships and joys of daily life and the importance of family.

Dad and I

planting a weeping willow—

how little I know


gray winter day—

after the farm sale

the cow not sold


II. Across the Full Moon. As Rielly’s life progresses into experiences with fatherhood and aging parents, his haiku reveal a poignant range of emotions.

with a pink Kleenex

rescuing a spider from

my daughter’s fear


across the full moon

a small, dark cloud—

my mother’s “don’t go”


III. Dandelion Puffs. The answers take shape through Rielly’s wellspring of intuitive insights and are offered up in this final section.

distant birdsong—

the old man lays down

his binoculars


listening to the sound

from the deep well…

stone on stone


The circle completes on the last page of Answers Instead: a life in haiku, with the final haiku of Rielly’s retrospective collection.

another birthday—

the road back to childhood

calling me

Answers Instead is available via the Encircle Publications webstore: https://encirclepub.com/product/answers-instead/