evening falls
with every breath
another color

I’m fascinated with the process my poem went through before it became the first place winner at the Haiku North America Conference in Santa Fe, NM 2017. I originally wrote this out to a friend but I thought it would be interesting to share as a blog post.

I am always thinking that whatever poem I turn in to a contest is sort of the pinnacle of a process, and so many times it just isn’t. So why was this different? I think mainly because it was influenced by the content of the conference itself. I was able to take it through a system of checks and balances informed by all the haiku advice at once. It started as:

NM sunset

all the paintings

I can’t paint


all the paintings

I will never paint

Then I tried to follow the NM sunset to other places; 

NM sunset

extra strawberries

into the sangria

Then I thought the painting had mountains in it so I better name them; 

Sangre de Cristo

a sunset ?

masks the cosmos

vacation sunset

mountain sunset

Then I went back to the painting and realized there were not mountains explicitly in it!

So I just started writing lines that I liked or directions I could take:

as if love is written

at the end of the day

day’s end

evening falls

as if God’s paintbrush

dragons in my dream

God’s paintbrush

palette of the gods

every sunset

as if love illustrated it

Then the Zen and Haiku lecture happened and some of the notes included “this here now. reach for less” and then the Jeannie Martin workshop; Haiku: The Basics got me to this version:

evening falls

soon the night’s mask

will fade away

(which, actually, that’s a good one I should recycle some time)

a bunch of notes later, during the Martin lecture it morphed into

the colors

of a mountain sunset   (scratched out bc I remembered, hey, no mountains!)

evening falls

a new color 

with every breath

followed by the reversal

evening falls

with every breath

a new color

Then finally “a new” scratched out and “another” written in and stars by each of the three winning lines in their correct order with the “with every breath” acting as a pivot where evening falls with every breath, and also with every breath another color [appears]. 

evening falls

with every breath

another color

Gaaah! I’m so glad I didn’t just call it a day with that first version. We could only turn in one and I did it Friday night ahead of the Saturday 9am deadline because I’d been getting in there at like 8:59 every day and didn’t want to miss it.

Thought it would be helpful to share this process bc it’s the hardest I ever worked on one poem and it’s the “winningest”.

I am crossing my fingers that my process for this year’s entry into the HNA Winston-Salem, NC 2019 conference will yield favorable results. It pays to spend several days working on a poem when you want it to be good.


First Place Winner

September 23, 2017

At Haiku North America 2017, my first ever poetry conference, I was so excited to win first place in the conference-wide contest. The news was recently shared publicly on the HNA Blog. My winning poem was inspired by the beautiful painting donated to the HNA raffle, New Mexico Colors, by William Berra*:

evening falls
with every breath
another color


*Berra is an American painter of landscapes, figures, and still lifes. His work has appeared in over 40 solo and group shows. Berra’s works can be viewed on the websites of the Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe, the Saks Galleries in Denver,  the Sylvan Gallery, Charleston, SC, and the Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum ID, among others.

I look forward to attending the next HNA in Winston-Salem, NC in 2019.

Mini Chapbooks

September 21, 2017

I recently made a batch of these cute haiku chapbooks and they were very popular at Haiku North America 2017 in Santa Fe, NM. Handmade with recycled paper cover and ribbon ties, contains 12 select haiku and senryu. Covers will vary. Buy Now via PayPal.


Source: A Virtual Interview with Jan Benson and Agnes Eva Savich

Sometimes people wonder how I do it all and my answer is usually just that I’m a highly functional individual. I am comfortable and thrive in engaging in a wide variety of interests, and my brain and being feel most alive when I’m involved in lots of creative, work, and life projects. To illustrate how packed every minute of my life is, here’s a fairly typical day. I chose this Thursday because it’s a really good cross-section of activity. There are some other things I do on other days that aren’t covered here, which replace some of the things I do today. One day I’ll have to follow-up with what an “easy” day looks like, but even the easy days tend to get filled with things that don’t appear in this day, like laundry, reading books, practicing instruments, gardening, cooking, or time in nature.

A day in the life – Thursday edition

6am Alarm wake up, hit snooze, have a 9 minute argument in my head about how I need to tell my boss I’m scheduled for surgery today because I totally forgot. When alarm rings at 6:09, realize with a struggle that that’s all a dream and I really have to get up.

6:10am While in bathroom, hear bedroom door open followed by the beginnings of a werewolf-transformation-like tantrum starting: my son thought he could crawl into bed for his usual morning snuggle but I’m already awake.

6:15am Back in the bedroom, there’s a little boy curled up on the floor, writhing. I pick him up for 2 minutes of snuggling in bed.

6:20am Shower (yes, 5 minutes later, you think 2 minutes would cut it with the tiny werewolf?), get dressed, put frozen waffle in toaster, put leftovers and a banana into my lunch sack, make a double espresso, put toasted waffle in my son’s mouth as he wakes up in front of a tv show.

6:40 Down espresso while heading upstairs to wake my middle school daughter. I start with “you didn’t finish unloading the dishwasher” but she wants to tell me about her dream so I shut my mom-mouth and listen to her sweet dream about visiting her former grade school teacher and his little daughters in Michigan.

6:45 Tidy the dirty dishes I can’t put away, scoop food for 4 cats, finish espresso, and fill out a registration form for free bowling lessons for the kids, which I tape to the front door on my way out (the husband needs to take them after school before I’m home).

6:50 Driving to work, reading Facebook/email/texts at stop lights. I turn off the screen when driving. I’m really fastidious about not doing anything while driving, but there’s lots of traffic and the lights are long, so. Happy news in my poetry email: NOON: journal of the short poem has accepted my work for its next issue.

7:20 Park for free at the park n ride a few miles from work. Walk to bus stop. Stare at the sunrise, tree branches, sidewalk leaves, and try to compose a poem. Several I’ve composed here in this mode have already been published.

sunrise burrowing further into my scarf (Modern Haiku 47:2)

7:35 After the bus has delivered me, I walk to my office. Put my lunch away, turn on the lights and computer, then go make a pot of coffee in the kitchen since I’m usually the first-ish one here.

7:45 Morning work email time. One of my upcoming work events that I’m in charge of is a liberal arts student research exhibition and their poster designs are due, as are their project descriptions for the program. I sent out a mail merge with their descriptions for proofreading late yesterday, now the responses are coming in.

8:30 Staff meeting! I have 2 things to talk about. I’m the Green Offices steward (hi, Environmental Club grade school self!) in charge of certifying our office to be green, and a nearby building is finally bringing composting to our area of campus, so I’ll be implementing that here. Also, I’ve joined the April fitness challenge sponsored by the university and want people to log their steps with me on a team, because we can win prizes! I’m Joiny Joinerson!

9am Work more on editing student research project descriptions. Eat some peanut butter crackers and a banana for breakfast.

11am I’m auditing a class at the university where I work: Astronomy 309: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life. So far I’m learning a lot of Astrobiology basics. What will life look like when we find it? What stage of development will it be in? Alien bacteria or alien advanced life? It’s fun to take a class without the grades.

12:30pm Lunch time, forfeited today because I like to participate in research studies occasionally (because I strongly want to inject some 40-yr old female data into the mostly 18-year-old college Psych freshman subject base, I love being a part of research, AND they pay.) Unfortunately the professor’s previous subject went overtime so I have to reschedule.

12:45 On my way back from lunch I stop by the post office to mail an order for my Etsy business (Hugewonder.com), a onesie featuring a parody of a Pulp Fiction quote on a faux stitched brown wallet design: Bad Mother Sucker. Funny, and pro-breastfeeding!

1pm I wolf down my leftovers at my desk. More work on editing project descriptions. There are almost 40 and it’s all stuff I’m unfamiliar with, from the Ugandan bridal industry to sociological research on intravenous drug users to feminist geography. So I read and re-read the descriptions until the words make sense.

4pm I’m off work and walking to the bus to catch back to my car. I call my bff on the east coast because she’s already off work and we have a nice bluetooth car convo.

5pm At the aforementioned bowling alley to pick up the kids. The bowling lesson started boring with a safety video but at this point they’re bowling and getting some tips. They take turns telling me about their day.

5:30pm Dinner and family time! My husband makes dinner on weeknights (THANK GOD). I make my daughter finish unloading the dishwasher.

6:15pm Drive back to campus for orchestra rehearsal! I play oboe in the UTUO. For this last concert of the year I’m playing 1st oboe on the Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, and 2nd oboe on the Tchaikovsky Italian Capriccio. While they rehearse the other pieces I don’t play in (there are 4 oboes and we rotate), I go upstairs to a practice room and work on my parts.

8:30pm Drive back home, listening to the local classical radio station, KMFA. They feature Totentantz; an awesome Liszt piano piece featuring the dies irae theme.

9pm Catch up finally with the post-dinner dishes and cleaning the cat litter. Email the Girl Scout leader about chaperoning the upcoming Mother Neff State Park camping trip. I confirm that I can take two extra girls in my car.

9:30pm It’s my daughter’s bedtime. I lay down in her room and we chat while she falls asleep. I leave once I hear calm breathing.

10pm TV time! By this time my husband is out of our son’s room, where he played the same Norse mythology podcast for the 328th time for our son to fall asleep, and we settle to watch The Expanse, an awesome futuristic show about humanity that has settled Mars and numerous space stations and moons around the inner belt.

11pm I can’t sleep. My dear friend is having brain surgery tomorrow morning and I’m worried. I grab a book off the shelf to read and it happens to be Saturday by Ian McEwan, which starts with a brain surgeon describing numerous surgical details.

Midnight Still awake. I clean the kitchen within an inch of its life. I order cat food on Amazon and post some old items on Craigslist. I answer an email from a poetry colleague who organized the event at which I’m co-presenting about haiku at BookWoman book store on April 13th. She has sent me interview questions and they’re due Tuesday. I can’t find my klonipin prescription to calm my brain since I switched purses. I drink some water and make myself lay down regardless.

2am After devouring Facebook and playing all my turns on Words with Friends I finally drift off to sleep.

5:45am My son is wiser now, and he wakes me before the alarm to get the snuggles because of course why should I get a full 4 hours of sleep. *Insert crying laughing face emoji here*

P.S. Why a Thursday post on a Sunday? Because the cascade of weekend busyness carried the final touches of this forward until now. If I don’t post now, who knows when I’ll next find the time?

Source: International Women’s Haiku Festival: Poems by Agnes Eva Savich

I’ve been busy since the year began with submitting my work to as many deadlines as I could. Many deadlines are early in the year for spring journal issues and annual contests. Below is a summary of what I’ve been working on, updated with submission status.

Frogpond – http://www.hsa-haiku.org/frogpond/submissions.html (1 acceptance)

Noon Poetry – https://noonpoetry.com/guidelines/

Acorn – https://acornhaiku.com/submissions/ (1 acceptance)

Haiku Canada’s Betty Drevniok Award contest – http://www.haikucanada.org/awards/BDAwardGL.php?style=1&page=3001&root=1

Hedgerow – https://hedgerowpoems.wordpress.com/submissions/ (2 acceptances!)

Failed Haiku, ongoing, due by 25th of each month (3 acceptances!)

Otata – https://otatablog.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/february-2017/ (15 published in March issue!)

Golden Triangle contest – I had an honorable mention last year and my poem was displayed in Washington D.C. *update: I’m Runner Up in 2017 as well! https://goldentriangledc.com/golden-haiku-winners/

Bones – http://bonesjournal.com/submission.html (rejected this time)

Cattails – http://www.unitedhaikuandtankasociety.com/submituhts.html (1 acceptance!)

Prune Juice – https://prunejuice.wordpress.com/submissions/

Tinywords – http://tinywords.com/about/ (rejected this time)

Brass Bell – http://brassbellhaiku.blogspot.co.uk (1 acceptance!)

Chrysanthemum – http://chrysanthemum-haiku.net/en/submission-guidelines.html

ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest – http://www.itoen.co.jp/new-haiku/en/rules_regulations/

Moon Garlic – http://www.moongarlic.org/p/subs.html (2 acceptances)

Sharpening the Green Pencil – http://sharpeningthegreenpencil.blogspot.ro/p/entry-form.html?m=1

IAFOR Vladimir Devide contest – http://iaforhaikuaward.org/submit/

Wild Plum contest – https://wildplumhaiku.wordpress.com/haiku-contest/ (Results May)

Sonic Boom – http://sonicboomjournal.wixsite.com/sonicboom/emotional (rejected this time)

International Women’s Haiku Festival – https://jenniferhambrick.com/2017/03/01/international-womens-haiku-festival-poems-by-agnes-eva-savich/ (2 acceptances)

That’s just what I’ve entered or am entering through March 1st. A busy start to the poetry calendar!

Agnes Eva Savich CV

September 3, 2016

Agnes Eva Savich

Pflugerville, TX

Writing Awards and Honors

Distinguished Poet, Italian Haiku Association International Matsuo Bashō Award, 2016

Merit Award (and translated into Japanese), ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest, Japan, 2016

Translated into German, Chrysanthemum dual language journal, #19, 2016

Golden Triangle Haiku Contest Runner Up, 2016 (on display on public flowerbed placard in Washington, D.C.)

Editor’s Choice, Cattails, May 2016

Translated into Chinese, NeverEnding Story blog, 2016

The Haiku Foundation App, selected for inclusion, 2012

Featured Southwestern Haijin (Haiku Master), Roadrunner Journal, 2006 Issue VI:1

Winner, Real Baby funny pregnancy story contest, November 2006

Member Spotlight, Pathetic.org, 2005

Translated into French, tempslibres – free times, 2005

Translated into Romanian, SARM astro-poetry mini anthology, 2004


Writing Activities and Memberships

Member, Haiku Society of America, 2004-2007, 2016

Member, The Haiku Foundation, 2013

Workshop Presenter, “The Art of Writing Haiku”, Writer Grrls Retreat, May 2007

Member, Austin Writer Grrls, 2004-present

Haiku Poet Circle Moderator, The Tadpole Society, pathetic.org, 2004-present

Member, World Haiku Club, 2004-present

Member, HaikaiTalk Group, 2004-present





Savich, Agnes Eva. The Watcher: Poems. San Antonio, TX: Cedar Leaf Press, 2009. Print.



Savich, Agnes Eva. “kayaking alone”. Jiyu-Katari, 27th ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest winners anthology. Tokyo: ITO EN, 2016. Print.

multiple previously published works, Living Haiku Anthology, 2016. E-book.

“stalactite” and “another birthday”, Wild Women Anthology, 2016. Forthcoming E-book.

Savich, Agnes Eva. “Tasting”. Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English language haiku. Lincoln, IL: Modern Haiku Press, 2011. Print.



“a line of boxcars” and “spring lightning”, bottlerockets, #34, 2016

“first day of school”, “lecture hall”, “Normandy”, and “morning commute”, Cattails, January 2016

“baby name book” and “school morning moon”, Frogpond, #39:1, 2016

“old tomato plants”, Acorn, #36, 2016

“summer’s end”, Frozen Butterfly, #4, 2016

“open casket”, “rainy afternoon”, “pharmacy lecture”, and “daylight savings”, Failed Haiku, April 2016

“sunrise” and “summer storm”, Modern Haiku, #47:02, 2016

“first stars”, tinywords, #16.1, 2016

“sickbed”, A Hundred Gourds, #5.3, 2016

“lilies lean” and “the quiet farm”, Chrysanthemum, #19, 2016

“spring honeymoon”, The Heron’s Nest, June 2016

“October morning”, “cold drink”, “the curve”, and “first cry”, Cattails, May 2016

“reunion bonfire” and “midday heat”, Presence, #55, 2016

“far from home” and “between words”, Wild Plum, #2.2, 2016

“half moon”, Bones, #10, 2016

“Ode to Joy” and “wind sings”, Cattails, Sept 2016

“a day to myself”, Acorn, #37, 2016

“spring honeymoon”, “Indian summer”, and “two wildflowers kiss”, WHR: World Haiku Review, June 2016

“thaw” and “lousy”, moongarlic, #7, 2016

“the airspace”, The Heron’s Nest, Sept 2015

“dog by dog” and “the missed note”, Presence, #53, 2015

“driftwood”, “moon app”, “same flowers”, and “silent lighting”, Cattails, Sept 2015

“jazz club awning”, A Hundred Gourds, #5.1, 2015

“snow”, “in the dark”, “the shadow”, and “a cough”, Under the Basho, 2015

“WATERF” and “given”, Bones, #8, 2015

“cliff dust”, The Heron’s Nest, #10, 2010

“overcast”, Acorn, #18, 2007

“dappled sunlight”, The Heron’s Nest, Vol IX, #4, 2007

“The Summer Grass”, co-written Triparshva Renku collaborative poem (with Norman Darlington, John Carley, Hortensia Anderson), WOW! Magazine, #5, 2007

“a sea of blossoms”, The Heron’s Nest, Vol. 8, #3, 2006

“early spring”, “a skipping stone”, “cloudless sky”, “crescent moon”, “frozen morning”, “quitting time”, “a dead dragonfly”, and “the same moon”, Roadrunner Haiku Journal, Issue VI:1, 2006 (Southwester Haijin Feature)

“anthurium behind glass”, Acorn, #16, 2005

“night nursing”, Acorn, #15, 2005

“Pussy Willow”, co-written Junicho Renku collaborative poem (with Linda Papanicoloau), Simply Haiku, Vol. 3, #4, 2005

“rain-heavy sky”, Frogpond, #1, 2005

“the way she braids”, Acorn, #14, 2005

“mother and daughter” and “cicada song”, The Heron’s Nest, #3, 2005

“quitting time”, The Heron’s Nest, #8, 2004

“swift clouds”, The Heron’s Nest, #6, 2004

“spring shower”, paper wasp, 2004

“stars” and “after sunset”, The Daily Yomiuri, 2004

“lights out”, Acorn, Spring 2004

“partly cloudy”, Frogpond, #3, 2004

“the smoothness”, Frogpond, #2, 2004

“first kick”, Modern Haiku, #35.3, 2004

“Orion Triptych”, Meteor Contemporary Project, June 2004

“Tasting”, Frogpond, #1, 2004



BA Comparative Literature, Northwestern University



Current Employment

Senior Administrative Associate, College of Liberal Arts Student Division, The

University of Texas at Austin



Other creative involvements

Oboist, The University of Texas University Orchestra (UTUO), 2016

Flutist, The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience, 2006-2010

Flutist, Austin Civic Orchestra and St. Edwards Summer Pops Orchestra, 2009


Reviews & References also available

The fall haiku journal publication season comes with a lot of summer deadlines: I currently have 112 poems out for submission! I am thrilled that I HAVE a body of work that is able to support such a robust variety of options (5-15 poems at a time). And of course I do hope this will yield some successful acceptances. Fingers crossed!

If you’re interested in submitting to some of the haiku magazines that still have open deadlines through the end of August, here is a selection of links:








Sample poems

July 24, 2015

Gearing up for mid-year submission season. I have a decade’s worth of haiku to sift through. I fell off the face of the planet? Oh yeah: kids, moved cross country twice, new jobs. Back in the saddle now! Reading the Acorn Sample poems to get started, along with The Heron’s Nest. And Modern Haiku‘s current samples, and of course the mothership, Frogpond. Wish me luck!