Maya LyubenovaMaya Lyubenova

(12 September 1956 – 30 December 2016)

Maya Lyubenova was born on 12 September 1956 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She graduated from the English Language School in Plovdiv and later studied English Philology at Veliko Tarnovo University.

Maya wrote poetry in both Bulgarian and English, and published free verse, visual poems, haiku and haiga in various journals, e-zines and anthologies:  Frogpond, The World Haiku Review, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Moonset, Haigaonline, Sketchbook - a Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms,

cattails, A Hundred Gourds, Under the Basho, Simply Haiku, Lynx, La Ville/Градът, Aha The Anthology, 3Lights Gallery, Gean Tree Press, Naad Anunaad etc.

In 2009 Maya won the WHA Haiga Contest and was declared a Master Haiga Artist of the World Haiku Association. In 2010 she published a bilingual haiku collection called ‘Flecks of Blue /Парченца синьо’, Ars Publishing House, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 2010. Although Maya left us with a rich collection of publications, photographs and haiga, her biggest legacy would have to be her mentoring and her participation in the translation of Jane Reichhold’s ‘Bare Bones School of Haiku’ into Bulgarian in 2012. This impressive amount of work proved to be an invaluable source of information for many Bulgarian poets - both beginners and more advanced on their haiku journey.

On 30 December 2016 our dear friend Maya left this world after a long and hard battle with the big C. A beloved mother and sister, a talented poet, translator and photographer, she will be sorely missed not only among her friends in the Bulgarian haiku community but worldwide!

Publications and other honours:

  • Contest winner of WHA Haiga Contest: Master Haiga Artist of the World Haiku Association (2009);
  • Second National Haiku Contest in Bulgaria - First Prize (2009);
  • Flecks of Blue /Парченца синьо’, Ars Publishing House, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 2010;
  • 17th Kusamakura International Haiku Contest - Third Prize (2012).

Photo exhibitions:

  • Minimalism - 2011
  • Image & Sound  - 2012


Selected haiku:

a tern’s shadow
darts across the beach
herring clouds

(Frogpond 31:2, Spring/Summer 2008)

humpty dumpty
in a puddle
I stomp the moon

(Sketchbook 3-2, February, 2008)

wishing well –
the words I whisper
back in my face

(Flecks of Blue /Парченца синьо, 2010)

table for two
a scorched leaf falls
in the salad

(Flecks of Blue /Парченца синьо, 2010)

on an icicle
the hanging moon

(Flecks of Blue /Парченца синьо, 2010)

the sparkles
in a stallion’s mane . . .
chestnut moon

(Simply Haiku – Spring 2011)

spring thunder –
the newspaper shakes
in my hands

(First Prize - The Second Bulgarian Haiku Contest – 2009; „Más-más csönd / Различна тишина“, Budapest, 2012)

a stallion
galloping through my dream
winter wind

(Lynx 28:1, February 2013)

children's feet...
I hope they never put on
army boots

(cattails, September 2016)

broken wall...
the barn and a cherry-tree
lean on each other

(Notes from the Gean, Issue 1, 2009; Naad Anunaad, 2016)