Golden Triangle Business Improvement District’s Eighth Annual Golden Haiku Poetry Contest Now Accepting Entries

Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2020) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announces the start of its eighth annual Golden Haiku poetry contest. Poets and aspiring poets from around the region and the world are invited to submit their original, self-authored verse. This year’s theme is “Daydreams & Musings,” inviting poems that offer a sense of escape and reflection from many perspectives and acknowledging the challenges of the current time.

New this year is an addition of a youth category, inviting students to explore haiku and perhaps become published poets. Prizes will be awarded to the winning high school and elementary/middle school poets.

Winning haiku — along with a selection of honorable mentions — will be displayed in hundreds of tree boxes along some of Washington, DC’s most iconic streets from mid-March through early May 2021. They will also be promoted digitally so that a global audience can still enjoy these colorful words of inspiration and hope from their homes. Through a collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, haiku submitted from the most distant lands will be specially promoted as well.

“Golden Haiku has become a highly regarded, internationally recognized literary art contest,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “Last year, we received over 1,700 submissions from 40 countries and 32 states and the District of Columbia. We are especially excited to welcome submissions from young poets as a part of a new youth category this year. Every year, Washingtonians look forward to seeing the colorful haiku signs pop up across the neighborhood. We look forward to continuing this tradition and expanding it digitally.”

Golden Haiku follows the Haiku Society of America’s guidelines for modern haiku, which does not require the traditional 5-7-5 structure. Removing the strict structural requirements for syllables frees the author to use evocative language to capture a moment or expression of beauty in a short, descriptive verse.

All entries will be reviewed and judged by a distinguished panel of published haiku experts, who will select first, second, and third place winners, a regional favorite, and youth category winners.

The authors of the winning haiku will receive:

  • First place – $500
  • Second place – $200
  • Third place – $100
  • Regional winner – $200
  • Youth Category winners:
    • High School: $150
    • Elementary/Middle School: $75

The expert panel members are:

Abigail Friedman is an award-winning author of numerous works on haiku, including The Haiku Apprentice: Memoirs of Writing Poetry in Japan (Stone Bridge Press), I Wait for the Moon: 100 Haiku of Momoko Kuroda (Stone Bridge Press), and Street Chatter Fading (Larkspur Press). She is a former diplomat and is on the Board of Trustees of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C.

Kit Pancoast Nagamura has been a columnist for The Japan Times for over a decade and appeared as a regular on NHK World‘s Haiku Masters and Journeys in Japan programs. She has won one of Japan’s prestigious Ito-en Oi Cha Haiku Contest prizes and is a member of the Haiku International Association. Her book, Grit, Grace, and Gold, was published in 2020. She will be judging from Japan.

John Stevenson is managing editor of The Heron’s Nest. A former President of the Haiku Society of America, he has served as editor of Frogpond. He is the author of books such as Quiet Enough, Some of the Silence, Live Again, (d)ark, and Emoji Moon.

Submissions for the eighth annual Golden Haiku poetry contest will be accepted through February 7, 2021. Winners will be announced in mid-March. Participants can submit a maximum of three self-authored haikus via the online submission form on the Golden Haiku webpage.

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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 44-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: on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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