Photo by Suzy Miller
The deadline for haiku submissions for the 13th Annual ukiaHaiku Festival is March 21, 2015. Nine categories are reserved for poets from Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Humboldt counties with divisions by age and topic, and with two categories in Spanish. There is no fee to enter the contest, including for the Jane Reichhold International Prize, which is open to poets from around the world and offers cash prizes. For more information please visit www.ukiahaiku.org. Entry forms are available on the website as well as at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah or at branches of the Mendocino County Library. The winning haiku will be shared with the community, and their creators honored, at the ukiaHaiku Festival on Sunday afternoon, April 26, at the SPACE theater in Ukiah.
Haiku are brief three line poems originating in Japan. They can be written in the traditional 5-7-5 pattern of syllables or in contemporary form with varying syllable count, as these previous winners illustrate:
a strange clicking sound
from high in the mossy oak
dark raven eyes watch
--Stephen Elsemore, Ukiah
an empty room
--Armand Brint, Ukiah
Haiku by other festival winners can be accessed on the festival website along with information on crafting haiku, including a presentation by Jane Reichhold, an internationally recognized haiku expert living in Mendocino County.
Ukiah Valley residents were inspired to hold a festival celebrating haiku because Ukiah and haiku are palindromes. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the area’s natural beauty, a common theme in haiku. Anyone who has stopped to notice some wonder of the natural world or wants to share a reflective moment can write a haiku.