Golden Haiku Poetry Competition Marks 11th Year of Bringing Poems & Creativity Downtown

Annual competition invites adults and children from around the world to write their own haiku to enliven DC’s Golden Triangle neighborhood

 Washington, DC (January 9, 2024) — The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) today announced the opening of its highly anticipated Golden Haiku poetry competition. Poets of all ages from DC and around the world may submit original haiku until Feb. 4 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Last year the competition generated more than 3,100 haiku from around the world. This year the theme is ‘Transforming Paths’ and there will be a free haiku writing workshop downtown on Jan. 23 from 6 to 7:30 pm.

“Golden Haiku is one of the ways we welcome spring to DC,” said Leona Agouridis, President of the Golden Triangle BID. “The haiku we display around the city’s central corridor are a familiar reminder that spring is right around the corner and that creativity is everywhere around us.”

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.

As always, all entries will be judged by a panel of poetry experts. Selected entries will be printed on signs and displayed for all to see in tree box gardens around the Golden Triangle beginning in mid-March. Winning entries will also be recognized on the Golden Triangle website and shared via social media.

In partnership with the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, the Golden Triangle BID’s free haiku writing workshop on Jan. 23 is a rare opportunity to learn tips directly from an expert in the field. Golden Haiku judge Abigail Friedman will provide participants of all experience levels with hands-on writing exercises, useful feedback and ideas for creating memorable haiku. Full workshop details and registration are available at

In recent years, Golden Haiku has attracted entries from around the country and around the world. For the first time this year, two new categories are being added to encourage even more local youth participation. There will be a ‘DC-area Youth’ winner in both the high school and the middle school/elementary school categories.

All entries will be reviewed and judged by a distinguished panel of published haiku experts. The panel will select first, second, and third place winners, a regional favorite, and youth category winners, in addition to the previously mentioned new local DC-area student categories. Prizes for winners range from $75 to $500.

The expert panel of judges includes:

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, DC.

Lenard Moore has been authoring haiku for more than 40 years. He was the first African American President of the Haiku Society of America. His published poetry has been translated into multiple languages and includes Poems of Love & Understanding (Carlton Press), The Open Eye (NC Haiku Society Press), and Desert Storm: A Brief History (Los Hombres Press).

Kit Pancoast Nagamura has been a columnist for The Japan Times for more than 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.

The haiku competition is one of countless ways the BID works to make the Golden Triangle inviting to work in, live in and visit. The BID is actively working with District leaders on ways to transform the neighborhood as office and in-place work habits evolve.

Submissions for the 2024 Golden Haiku poetry competition will be accepted through Feb. 4, 2024. Winners will be announced in March. Participants may submit a maximum of two self-authored haiku through the form on the BID’s website at


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. For more information, visit and follow the BID on X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Media Contacts
Karyn Le Blanc at 202-497-4572,;, or Vince Morris at 202-503-6802,