Golden Haiku Poetry Contest

Golden Haiku 2020

Calling All Poets and Aspiring Poets, from Around the World and Around the Corner

The seventh annual Golden Haiku poetry contest is now accepting entries. Poets and aspiring poets from around the world are invited to submit up to three original, self-authored haiku through January 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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 late February through late April 2020. The colorful haiku signs will brighten the winter landscape for thousands of passersby to enjoy, reminding them during those late winter months that spring is just around the corner.


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


Golden Haiku follows the Haiku Society of America’s guidelines for modern haiku. We do not require the traditional 5-7-5 structure because English and Japanese are vastly different languages. Learn more about how to write a contemporary Haiku.

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

The authors of the winning haiku will receive:

First Place – $500
Second Place – $200
Third Place – $100
Regional/DC Winner – $200

Contest Dates

Each participant may enter only once, submitting a maximum of three original, self-authored haiku via the submission form starting December 4, 2019 at 9 a.m. EST through January 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Winners will be notified by email in mid-February, and publicly announced in late February.

Panel of Judges

Abigail Friedman is the author of 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 on the Board of Trustees of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., and CEO of The Wisteria Group.

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, is a member of the Haiku International Association, and her book Grit, Grace, and Gold will be published in spring 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. John Stevenson is the author of books such as Quiet Enough, Some of the Silence, Live Again, (d)ark and Emoji Moon.

About Golden Haiku

Hosted by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) since 2014, the Golden Haiku poetry contest brings warmth, color, and artistry to Washington’s streets during the late winter months through literary art. It is one of the many initiatives by the BID to enhance the vibrancy of the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Each year, poets and aspiring poets are invited to write and enter original, contemporary haiku for this temporary community art project. Submissions are judged by an expert panel of judges, and winning haiku are displayed on colorful street signs in the flower beds lining the streets of the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

The contest draws entries from across the country and around the globe. In 2019, Golden Haiku received nearly 2,000 submissions from 50 countries and 41 states and the District of Columbia. Click here to read winning Haiku from last year’s contest.

Contest Now Closed


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