Golden Triangle BID Announces Winners of the 2020 Golden Haiku Poetry Contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 18, 2020) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) today announced the winners of the seventh annual Golden Haiku poetry contest. The winning poems, along with a selection of honorable mentions and judges’ favorites, can be seen on more than 350 colorful street signs displayed in the bustling sidewalks of the Golden Triangle neighborhood. The signs are on display now through the end of April, brightening the winter landscape for thousands of passersby to enjoy, reminding them that spring is just around the corner.

“The Golden Haiku poetry contest has become one of the BID’s most well-known events. This year, we received more than 1,700 submissions from 40 countries and 32 states and the District of Columbia,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to participate and are excited to launch this year’s Golden Haiku outdoor exhibition. Every year, Washingtonians look forward to seeing our haiku signs pop up across the neighborhood.”

Inspired by the Golden Triangle community’s passion for urban sustainability and environmental consciousness — and the Golden Triangle’s recent LEED Platinum certification — this year’s theme was the beauty of nature in the city.

As in years past, the contest followed the Haiku Society of America’s guidelines for modern haiku. Golden Haiku does not require the traditional 5-7-5 structure because English and Japanese are vastly different languages.

All entries were reviewed and judged by a distinguished panel of published haiku experts, including Abigail Friedman, Kit Pancoast Nagamura, and John Stevenson.

The seventh annual Golden Haiku contest winners are:

First Place: Rich Schilling (Webster Groves, Missouri)

day moon
we drift into
cherry blossoms

Second Place: Grix (Wilmington, Delaware)

blossom wind —
her hijab billows
behind her

Third Place: Andrew Riutta (Gaylord, Michigan)

downtown . . .
going from shop to shop
dandelion fluff

DC Area Winner: Gary Hotham (Scaggsville, Maryland)

meeting delays
window raindrops sliding
into each other

This year’s Golden Haiku outdoor exhibition also includes an original verse from guest poet Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

An artful life
To be a tree or rather a bee
The busy, buzzing street is my home.

“Golden Haiku is a highly regarded, internationally recognized literary art contest,” said Stephanie Stebich. “It is an honor to participate as a guest poet and to help bring the art of poetry to such a broad audience. I look forward to seeing all the other haiku on display throughout the streets of the Golden Triangle neighborhood.”


About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to roughly 6,000 businesses, the BID provides a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents, and visitors, and encourages economic development through capital projects, public art, sustainability and events. The Golden Triangle has been awarded LEED Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification, by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first BID in the world to be certified through the LEED for Communities program. For more information, visit: and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Mareike Finck