Submission Guides


The topic of death has always been a common theme in poetry. In Japanese tradition the haiku that a poet writes before he dies is called a “Jisei.” Anyone familiar with the great Japanese haiku masters and even modern English language haiku has read them. A great example comes from the book, “Japanese Death Poems” compiled by Yoel Hoffman:

upon the lotus flower

the morning dew is

thinning out

                                                          Fuso, died in 1886

But what about senryu, kyoka, and haiga? Surely people write death poems in these forms, too. Like this one from Prune Juice #23:


to keep them from dancing

on my grave

Lighthearted? Sarcastic? Humorous? Sure why not! That is the topic for the next issue of Failed Haiku. Our Jisei death poem with a senryu, kyoka, or haiga twist. There is one catch! Since we have this one life to live at this moment then we can have only one Jisei. So, you are limited to sending in ONE poem in your submission. Just one. Good luck with your submission and I look forward to reading them this month.

Peace and love!

Bryan Rickert (Guest Failed Editor)

We aim to keep it simple at Failed Haiku. We keep communications clean and direct for the poets who submit to this journal.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read the guidelines! The most frequent miss-step is to NOT use the correct email address!!! I have known many of you for decades, but if you send submissions to my personal email address they DO NOT go into the folder that I read submissions from, and then we will BOTH be disappointed. I sincerely don’t want to miss seeing your work, so please use  EDITOR@FAILEDHAIKU.COM for all communications. 

What the Poet needs to do:

  1. I know this seems crazy, but include your name in the body of the email as you wish it to appear.
  2. If you wish to have your Twitter handle or Personal Blog URL included by your name please include it under your name in the body of the email.
  3. You can submit your work in the body of an email with NO attachments! Only attached GIF, JPEG, or PNG format for any images are allowed. Please submit no more than ten poems in any month. If there are any issues we will get back to you and work them out. No worries.
  4. You may submit senryu, haibun, haiga, rengay, sequences, and any other related form that is senryu based. If you have questions best to email us and ask.
  5. Your work can be previously published, unpublished, on any social media platform previously, or on a blog (either your own or the blogs of others) prior to submission. We want your BEST work! We cannot acknowledge any prior publications in Failed Haiku, it is just too much of a hassle. and you don’t have to acknowledge publication in Failed Haiku, although we will love it if you do!
  6. Give us work YOU have judged to be a senryu. We make NO attempt to tell you what that is, since we are not that sure either. If it appears to work better as a haiku we will point you to editors, there are many fine ones, who are likely sources of publication. If you are not sure about the senryu form then click the Links section of the top menu and do some reading before you submit.
  7. Accept that if your poem is not selected it is no big deal and does NOT mean that your work is not good. No single editor is the final arbiter of what is good or bad. If you want to know ‘why’ something is not selected than feel free to ask. No editor should be too busy to communicate with a poet. Be sweet, don’t be ugly, but hell ask if you want clarification. It usually does not change minds, but it should give you a sense of where you are out sync with the editor, and we are happy to do it for anyone.
  8. Proof your own work. We will NOT correct grammar and will assume that the style your submission is written in is the style you have chosen as your own.

What Failed Haiku will do:

  1. Read and respond to your work and if we don’t get back to you feel free to contact us. An email can go astray, and mistakes get made. Hold us to our promise to you!
  2. If your work is selected we will tell you the issue it will appear in. Best to get it to us by the 25th of each month to be sure it is in the next month’s issue.
  3. We will faithfully reproduce your work as written, BUT we cannot guarantee a particular typeface or perfect formatting due to the limitations of the editing tools and software used. We will do your best though to treat your work with respect due it. If you ever have a concern please contact us immediately.
  4. Publish ON TIME every issue! The first of each month, with the exception of the November issue which will publish on the 5th of that month in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day!
  5. Promote your work on Twitter and Facebook, as well as other social media platforms to maximize the reads. We don’t fear social media, we want to embrace it to get our poets read!
  6. Your submission to Failed Haiku is considered to be your permission for us to promote it on Social Media, and in any electronic publications of selected work, we may publish at some future date.

Okay, that should do it. PLEASE don’t forget to make your submission by email ONLY to:

Mike Rehling – ‘Failed’ Editor