Golden Haiku: 2020 Winners

The seventh annual Golden Haiku poetry contest has come to an end, and we are excited to announce this year’s winners.

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 in the heart of Washington, DC. 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. The signs are on display from the end of February through the end of April, brightening the winter landscape for thousands of passersby to enjoy, reminding us all that spring is just around the corner.

The winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of published haiku experts — including Abigail Friedman, Kit Pancoast Nagamura, and John Stevenson – from over 1,700 entries from 40 countries and 32 states, and the District of Columbia. As in years past, the contest followed the Haiku Society of America’s guidelines for modern haiku and did not require the traditional 5-7-5 structure because English and Japanese are vastly different languages.

The BID is delighted to bring the art of poetry to the Golden Triangle community and hope everyone will enjoy this street signs.

Read more about the competition and winners in the press release.

Find all of the printed signs here.

2020 Golden Haiku Winners

First Place:

day moon
we drift into 
cherry blossoms

— Rich Schilling

Second Place:

blossom wind–
her hijab billows 
behind her

— Grix

Third Place:

downtown . . .
going from shop to shop
dandelion fluff

— Andrew Riutta

DC Area Winner:

meeting delays
window raindrops sliding
into each other

—  Gary Hotham

Guest Poet:

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

—  Stephanie Stebich
The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Honorable Mention:

wind chimes the scent of apple blossom

—  John O’Connor

Honorable Mention:

graduation day
the dandelion seeds
on my sleeve

—  Nikolay Grankin


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