Library Literary Contests

Haiku Contest

Stay tuned for our 2022 contest!

The University of North Florida's Thomas G. Carpenter Library hosts an annual Haiku Contest in celebration of National Poetry Month (April) and National Haiku Poetry Day (April 17). All UNF students, faculty, and staff are welcome to participate, and submissions must be submitted online. Haiku submissions may be about any topic or subject, but must be original and adhere to the 5+7+5 rule.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a haiku (/ˈhīˌko͞o/) is defined as:

noun: haiku; plural noun: haikus; plural noun: haiku

  1. a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

    • a poem in English written in the form of a haiku.

Click here to visit for a more detailed explanation of haiku and some famous examples.


Contest Rules:

  1. Participants must be a current UNF affiliate (student, faculty, or staff)

  2. Entries must be submitted by the deadline

  3. Submissions will be judged by a blind review panel composed of UNF Library faculty and staff 

  4. Participants may submit multiple entries, but can only win one prize

  5. Haikus that are not original or do not follow the 5+7+5 rule will be disqualified

2020 Contest

The library's inaugural Haiku Contest took place in April 2020. We received 152 entries from students, faculty and staff, of which all were judged by a panel of library volunteers. Our chosen winners were as follows:

First place:

Small, winged musicians/  perched on branches pierce silence/  with beacons of hope.

Anjeanette Alexander-Smith – Faculty Member, English

Second place:

My nights are consumed  By thoughts of distant places  Under the same moon.

Jenna Swiney – Undergraduate Student, Health Science

Third place:

Bad idea this was  |coming home to quarantine  |send help, moms a pest.

Qhamora Kimbrough – Staff Member, Admissions

2021 Contest

Our second annual Haiku Contest received 75 entries from students, faculty and staff. The winners were as follows:

First place:

Black has been defined By some random guy with pride Why can’t black decide

Cadrian Kennedy – Undergraduate Student, Behavioral Neuroscience

Second place:

Open bag of chips— Librarian glares at me, Mask stays on, hungry.

Bryce Abell – Undergraduate Student, English

Third place:

I try to walk fast Pero el mundo corre Estoy cansada

Gabriella Senior – Graduate Student, Exercise Science and Chronic Disease

Runner-Up Haikus

Ospreys, listen here: When you feel you’ve gotten lost, Return to your nest – Carter Montgomery, Graduate Student, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Bottles cant contain All the sugar I would need To get through this day  – David Enicks, Undergraduate Student, CCEC

You're a warm blanket / when I'm shivering from cold / you are my comfort – Hope Rendell, Graduate Student, Social Work

I tried to get up But my leg was still asleep Welp no class for me – Aaliyah Murray, Undergraduate Student, Elementary Education

Running from geese, fear What did I do? Scary honk Please save me from them – Kathryn Fox, Undergraduate Student, Communication


Thomas G. Carpenter Library

1 UNF Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32224

Phone: 904-620-2615

Text: 904-507-4122

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Library Vision

The Carpenter Library aspires to be the intellectual center of its community, to foster innovations that lead to the discovery of knowledge, and to further the research and scholarly endeavors of its users.

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