Golden Haiku Poetry Competition

2024 Theme – Transforming Paths

The eleventh annual Golden Haiku competition’s submission period closed February 4, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Poets were invited to submit up to two original, self-authored haiku. Winning poets will win monetary prizes and recognition, while selected haiku (which includes winners) will be displayed throughout the neighborhood starting in March. For updates and engaging haiku content follow us on Facebook and Instagram @goldentriangledc, for a chance to be featured, tag us and share your haiku posts.


Originating in Japan, haiku is the shortest form of poetry in the world. In a short descriptive verse, it captures a moment in the poet’s life or simply expresses the beauty of nature.

For more than a decade, the Golden Triangle BID has hosted the Golden Haiku poetry competition to bring pops of warmth, color, and inspiration to the streets of downtown DC during the late winter months. We invited the public to write and submit original, contemporary haiku for this temporary community art project. In 2021, we introduced a youth category, inviting students to explore haiku and perhaps become published poets, and in 2024 a sub-group for Regional/DC youth has been added. The competition is open to all ages, worldwide.

Submissions are reviewed by an expert panel of judges; winning poets receive prizes, and winning haiku are displayed on colorful street signs in the tree boxes lining the streets of the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

The competition’s popularity has grown each year; it is internationally recognized and beloved by locals and visitors alike. In 2024, we received around 4,000 haiku worldwide, including entries from 88 countries, our highest number yet.



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. Learn more about how to write a contemporary haiku here.

All entries are reviewed and judged by a distinguished panel of published haiku experts (see below) who select first, second, and third place adult winners, a regional favorite, and youth winners.


First Place – $500
Second Place – $200
Third Place – $100
Regional/DC – $200
High School – $150
Elementary/Middle School – $75
Regional/DC High School – $150
Regional/DC Elementary/Middle School – $75

Winning haiku are displayed in hundreds of tree boxes along some of Washington DC’s most iconic streets from March through early May. The colorful haiku signs brighten the winter landscape for all passersby to enjoy, reminding them during those late winter months that spring is just around the corner.


Competition Dates

The submission period was open between January 9 and February 4, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Each participant may enter only once, submitting a maximum of two original, self-authored haiku via the submission form. Submitted poems must not have been previously published or be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere during the competition. Winners were notified by email in early March, and publicly announced in mid-March.


About the Judges

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.

Lenard Moore has been authoring haiku for more than 40 years. He was the first African American president elected 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 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.



The 2024 Golden Haiku workshop was held on January 31 at The St. Gregory Hotel. Attendees explored the art of crafting haiku. The in-person workshop was the perfect opportunity to get creative and learn more about haiku. Our knowledgeable Golden Haiku judge, Abigail Friedman, guided participants through various writing exercises, providing valuable feedback and tips.


If you have any additional questions, please contact

How to Write a Contemporary Haiku

Check out this haiku video series featuring Golden Haiku competition judge, Abigail Friedman:

Read this list of five ideas to help you get started writing contemporary haiku.

Other helpful resource sites:

Submissions from Around the Globe (2024)