Organised by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) as part of The Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship (LibrAsia), the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award is an open competition for haiku written in the English language. Named in the memory of Croatian haiku poet, Vladimir Devidé, the award transcends traditional haiku divisions and entries, whether in the traditional or modern style, are judged entirely on their literary merit. The Founding Judge is His Excellency Dr Drago Štambuk, Croatian Ambassador to Brazil and renowned poet.
The IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award was conceived of when Dr Drago Štambuk suggested that The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) consider launching a haiku award in memory of Vladimir Devidé.
It didn’t take much convincing. IAFOR is dedicated to the promotion of international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research, dialogue, and understanding, and Vladimir Devidé would have identified strongly with this mission, for in many ways it was also his own. He was a mathematician, a Japanologist, a translator, and a poet, who through haiku accessed another culture and built bridges between Croatia and Japan, and within Japan. After his death, those bridges continue to develop between exponents of classical and modern haiku as the award recognises excellence regardless of whether submitted haiku are in the traditional or more modern style, and indeed has been generously backed by the two principal haiku associations representing these schools: the Haiku International Association and the World Haiku Association.
The award also reaches out to practitioners around the world as it both promotes understanding of the commonality of shared experience, excellence within the art form, as well as the wider work of the organisation, for while haiku is a quintessentially Japanese form of poetry, it has become a global art form due to its universal appeal. No other form can so convincingly celebrate banality and frivolity; convey a moment of giddy happiness, or a lifetime of pain. It can offer humorous asides, throwaway puns, and yet also touch the depths of profundity. In their small, unassuming way, haiku can, at their best, reflect and inspire the shared experiences of people throughout the world.