Zdravko Kurnik

(2 February 1937 - 25 July 2010)


Zdravko Kurnik was born on 2 February 1937 in Travnik, Bosnia. In 1956 he graduated High School in Zagreb, Croatia and studied Theoretical Mathematics at University. Three years after graduation he worked as a high school teacher and at the end of 1963 he started working as an Assistant to the Geometric Institute of Science in Zagreb. Zdravko Kurnik completed his studies in 1968 defending his Master paper entitled "Measurement  Theory contents in non-Euclidean geometry ". He became a university professor and a prominent educator deeply involved in the popularization of mathematics. For over 50 years he was involved in enigmatics and created thousands of riddles. He dealt with crosswords and chess, collaborated in numerous magazines and eventually published five books of aphorisms.

Zdravko Kurnik also wrote haiku poems, which won eight awards in Japan. He was the selector at domestic haiku contests and took part in Croatian haiku festivals and published in journals, miscellanies, and magazines for haiku. He died in Zagreb on 25 July 2010.


Awards and Other Honours:

Honorary Mention - Ito-En (1997);

Mayor of Ashiya Prize - Ashiya International Haiku Festa (1998);

Third Prize - International Kusamakura Haiku Competition (1998);

Encouraging mention- Vrabac/Sparrow No. 23-26 (1998-1999);

Courage Award - Ito-En (1999);

Third Prize - International Kusamakura Haiku Competition (1999);

Included in the anthology Otvoreni put/Free Road, M. Čekolj and M. Španović (1999);

Third Prize - International Kusamakura Haiku Competition (2000);

100 hrvatskih haiku, antologija za igru Haiku karte/100 Croatian Haiku, An anthology for the Haiku Cards Game (DHHP, Zagreb, 2000 by Višnja McMaster);

Honorary Mention - Suruga Baika Literary Festival (Japan 2001);

Award - Suruga Baika Literary Festival (Japan 2002);

Third Prize Kloštar Ivanić - Croatian language (2003);

Commendation - magazine Haiku No. 19/20 (Zagreb, 2003);

Second Prize - Kloštar Ivanić - Croatian language (2005);

Work included on the Haiku Society of America's "Haiku Wall" at the Liberty Theatre Gallery in Bend, Oregon (June 3-5, 2011).

For his aphorismsZdravko Kurnikreceived the Golden Puntine - 2006 at the Festival of Humour in Blato on the island of Korčulain Croatia.



Zdravko Kurnik published five books of aphorisms: On the edge of words (Na oštrici riječi), Zagreb, 2005; Light in the darkness (Svjetlo u tami,) Bjelovar, 2007; At a right angle (Pod pravim kutom), Zagreb, 2007; Heartbeat (Otkucaji srca), Zagreb, 2008; and Watchful eye (Budno oko), Zagreb, 2009. He also wrote a collection of Maths exercises in Teaching: Zabavna matematika: u nastavi matematike (Zagreb, 2009). He was the co-author of several books:  Zdravko Kurnik, Boris Nazansky and Antun Košir: Vocabulary of Anagrams(Rječnik anagrama) , Zagreb, 2008; Pencil and Paintbrush (Olovka i kist /, haigas painted by Rudi Stopar (Slovenia); haiku by Zdravko Kurnik, Zvonko Petrovic, Julija Ivic, Dusko Matas, Boris Nazansky, Zdenko Orec, and Rudi Stopar; in Croatian, Slovenian, English and Japanese, Zagreb, 2010.

Selected haiku:

The little boy listens

ballad from sea shells

the hot aluminium


Campfire at sunset -

words keep jumping over

the flaming tongue


In the clear night

a fisherman pulls in a net

filled with stars


From the old bridge

The shadow of a passer-by

fell in the water


shower has stopped –
the whole village
under the rainbow

(Shamrock Haiku, Issue 6)


In the clear night

a fisherman pulls in a net

filled with stars.

(Mayor of Ashiya Prize - Ashiya International Haiku Festa, 1998)


Mild sound of bells

sails along a river

to my silence.

(Third Prize - International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, 1998)


A lighthouse at night

spreads a silver path

before the ships.

(Third Prize - International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, 2000)


By ruined fence

the fragrance of lilac

stopping the passers-by.

(Second Prize - Kloštar Ivanić - Croatian language, 2005)


Into a cracked vase
an old woman arranges
the rose buds.

(Zbornik - Kloštar Ivanić , 2008, p. 38)











More haiku at: http://en.calameo.com/read/0000022466a54532410c7