A New Community Literary Project Brings Warmth to the Golden Triangle Neighborhood

Haiku Contest Winners’ Work will be Displayed in Downtown Washington

WASHINGTON, DC –– January 28, 2015––The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District is bringing a bit of spring’s warmth to the winter landscape by adorning 100 flower beds in downtown Washington with the winning poetry from the Golden Haiku contest – the first temporary community literary art project of its kind.

The grand prize was awarded to Susan Burch for her winter themed haiku:

snow storm—

my garden Buddha

becomes Santa

In addition to being featured in the art project, Burch won a guided tour and tea at the Embassy of Japan’s traditional Japanese tea house.  The second and third place was awarded, respectively, to Simon Hanson and Saša Važić.  All 60 selected haiku and a map of the 100 display locations are available atgoldentriangledc.com/haiku.

This past December, 400 poems were submitted to the contest, which invited amateur and professional poets to submit a haiku for the opportunity to participate in the community literary art project.

An expert panel of judges selected the haiku to be featured in the BID’s Golden Haiku project.  The panel of judges from the Japan Information and Culture Center included Abigail Friedman, author of I Wait for the Moon and The Haiku Apprentice, and Roberta Beary, author of The Unworn Necklace and Deflection.

“During the warmer months, the tree boxes are filled with brightly colored flowers, but during January and February, some of that color is gone from the landscape,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID.  “We hope that the haikus will bring some of spring’s warmth, color, and artistry to our streets in the coldest of months.”

The Golden Haiku project is one of the many initiatives of the Golden Triangle BID to improve the public space.  For the next initiative, the BID has partnered with Sustainable DC, the DC Department of Transportation and ZGF Architects to construct the Connecticut Avenue Overlook. The Connecticut Avenue Overlook will be a small park with landscaping, granite seating, bicycle racks and technology that captures energy from the footsteps of passersby to power lighting for the park.  The Overlook is one of the final pieces of the four year Connecticut Avenue project, which included a four-block raised median, new sidewalks (between Farragut Square and Dupont Circle), modern street furniture and 20-foot tree gardens.


About Golden Triangle BID

The Golden Triangle BID is a non-profit organization that works to enhance DC’s Central Business District from the White House to Dupont Circle and 16th Street NW to New Hampshire Avenue NW. The BID’s primary focus is to provide a clean, safe, and friendly environment within its 43 blocks of public space for area workers, local residents, and visitors.

About Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) 

JICC is the cultural and public affairs section of the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. Its primary role is to promote better understanding of Japan and Japanese culture by providing a wide range of information, exhibits, events, educational services, and programs to the American public.


About Roberta Beary

Roberta Beary (www.robertabeary.com) is the haibun editor of Modern Haiku; she tweets her photoku @shortpoemz. Her book The Unworn Necklace was awarded a William Carlos Williams finalist award by the Poetry Society of America in 2007, the first such honor for a book of haiku. Her most recent book is Deflection, her collection of haibun and haiku sequences.  She is a frequent haiku contest judge and presents workshops worldwide on the art of haiku.

About Abigail Friedman

Abigail Friedman began composing haiku in 2001 when, as an American diplomat in Japan, a chance encounter led her to join a Japanese haiku group that met at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Her book, The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan (Stone Bridge Press, 2006), captures that experience and her insights into haiku. In her newest book, I Wait for the Moon: 100 Haiku of Momoko Kuroda (Stone Bridge Press, 2014), Abigail translates and provides commentary to the haiku of one of Japan’s most influential contemporary haiku poets whose work touches on issues central to modern Japan. Abigail’s award-winning haiku, haibun, and writings on haiku have been featured in poetry publications in the U.S., India, Japan, Canada, and France. In 2012, she was commissioned to compose a haiku to mark the U.S. gift of dogwoods to Japan on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the U.S.  In 2014, she received first prize in the 18th annual Mainichi Shimbun haiku contest (2014). Abigail is founder and CEO of The Wisteria Group, an international advisory firm that assists clients in creating new international partnerships and networks, including in the cultural realm.



Adam Shapiro