December 31, 2010Sustainability Haiku Contest


Over the next two years – leading up to April 21, 2012 – we will host an engagement
activity on the 21st of each month to build momentum for the Seattle World’s Fair 50th Anniversary. We invite you to participate in this collection of activities – contests, drawings,trivia, parties – designed to involve citizens in the planning and celebration of The Next Fifty, win prizes and have a little fun while we’re at it.

The Next Fifty Buzz #6 – HAIKU CONTEST

Launches: September 21, 2010
Ends: December 31, 2010
Theme: Sustainability

Prizes: 1st Place - $100, 2nd Place – a set of World’s Fair Anniversary Zombie glasses
(valued at $50), 3rd Place – A Next Fifty commemorative T-Shirt (valued at $20), plus
Honorable Mentions will be noted.
Limit: Two haikus per person

Judge and Sponsor: Haiku Society of America

Buzz #6

We’re excited to announce an invitation for citizens to write a haiku to celebrate the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair 50th Anniversary (April 21st – October 21st, 2012). Whether you’re an accomplished poet or would like to learn about haiku you’re encouraged to participate. The contest is sponsored and will be judged by the Haiku Society of America* and the prize for the winning haiku is $100.

The theme for the Haiku contest will be: Sustainability. The Pacific Northwest has a wealthof knowledge and passion to pave the way for a sustainable future – from Native American wisdom to climate change initiatives, from cyclists to kayakers, from green builders to master gardeners, from biofuels to organic foods. In May of 2012 the 50th Anniversary Celebration will focus on sustainability and big bold ideas to meet the environmental challenges ahead.

To submit your haiku, go to

What is a Haiku?

A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of anexperience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition, thus lendingitself well to the theme of sustainability and our place in the environment. Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables, with the middle line longest, though today's poets use a variety of line lengths and arrangements. Traditional Japanese haiku include a "season word" (kigo, a word or phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the poem, and a two-part structure equivalent to a "cutting word" (kireji), which in Japanese is a sort of spoken punctuation that marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the poem. In English, season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on experience captured in clear sensory images continues. The most common technique is juxtaposing two images or ideas (Japanese rensô). Punctuation, space, a line-break, or a grammatical break may substitute for a cutting word. Most haiku have no titles, and metaphors and similes are commonly avoided.


snapped line—
the salmon's full length
in the air

Francine Porad


the last kid picked
running his fastest
to right field

Mike Dillon


summer garden
the full stretch
of the hose

Connie Donleycott


we lower a kayak
into the sound

Christopher Herold


winter night—
the accordion player
pulls up her sleeves

Dejah Léger


by the silence
first snowfall

Marilyn Sandall


after the garden party the garden

Ruth Yarrow


meteor shower . . .
a gentle wave
wets our sandals

Michael Dylan Welch


The Haiku Society of America

The Haiku Society of America is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1968 by Harold G. Henderson and Leroy Kanterman to promote the writing and appreciation of haiku in English. Membership is open to all readers, writers, and students of haiku. The HSA has been meeting regularly since its inception and sponsors open lectures, workshops, readings, and contests. The HSA has a total of about 800 members around the country and overseas. The Society’s journal, Frogpond, which features work by the HSA members and others, as well as articles and book reviews, is in its 32nd year of publication. The HSA also publishes Ripples, a newsletter containing reports of the society’s national meetings and news of regional, national, and international events.









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