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
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 poets.org for a more detailed explanation of haiku and some famous examples.
Participants must be a current UNF affiliate (student, faculty, or staff)
Entries must be submitted by the deadline
Submissions will be judged by a blind review panel composed of UNF Library faculty and staff
Participants may submit multiple entries, but can only win one prize
Haikus that are not original or do not follow the 5+7+5 rule will be disqualified
Submissions that violate privacy, promote illegal activity, or incite violence will be disqualified
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:
Small, winged musicians/ perched on branches pierce silence/ with beacons of hope.
Anjeanette Alexander-Smith – Faculty Member, English
My nights are consumed By thoughts of distant places Under the same moon.
Jenna Swiney – Undergraduate Student, Health Science
Bad idea this was |coming home to quarantine |send help, moms a pest.
Qhamora Kimbrough – Staff Member, Admissions
Our second annual Haiku Contest received 75 entries from students, faculty and staff. The winners were as follows:
Black has been defined By some random guy with pride Why can’t black decide
Cadrian Kennedy – Undergraduate Student, Behavioral Neuroscience
Open bag of chips— Librarian glares at me, Mask stays on, hungry.
Bryce Abell – Undergraduate Student, English
I try to walk fast Pero el mundo corre Estoy cansada
Gabriella Senior – Graduate Student, Exercise Science and Chronic Disease
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
Our third annual Haiku Contest received 85 entries from students, faculty and staff. The winners were as follows:
It was wild and free The place where ospreys rested Fifty years ago
Ashley Helmick – Staff Member, Alumni Services
I'm blind but I see, Others often show pity, Never once asked for
Christopher Hughart – Undergraduate Student, Information Technology
Go! Leave. Me. Alone. / My leg is not your dinner. / One slap. Red splat. Ew.
Euboea Brown – Staff Member, Enrollment Services Processing
Watch, wait, wriggle... fire! /Brazen teeth. Eyes in the dark. /Fluffy hunts her prey. – Nicolas Michaud, Graduate Student, Interdisciplinary
oh to be a cat basking in the warm sun's rays on a windowsill – Marshall Smith, Undergraduate Student, Electrical Engineering
Days seem shorter, no? Much to do, so little time. So I will just nap. – Kirsten Victorian, Undergraduate Student, Behavioral Neuroscience
Magnificent waves, Rising up and crashing down, Why am I the same? – Rhetta Moore, Graduate Student, Business Analytics
(Title: A Kitten's Warmth) The loveliest friend A warm and furry soulmate Curls up beside me – Allison Bradish, Undergraduate Student, Communication
Wan light warms headstone / Fallen leaves shroud the worn path / My heart knows the way – Elisa Martin, Staff Member, Student Affairs
Longing for you now, but you are gone with the tide, and I have no boat. – Michael Samoyedny, Undergraduate Student, Finance
Our fourth annual Haiku Contest received 124 entries from students, faculty and staff. The winners were as follows:
Blank page, white as snow Thoughts like ice, refuse to flow— Writer's block, oh woe
Holly Coleman – Graduate Student, English
Laptop's gentle hum, Library books piled up high, Classmates' chatter near.
Kimberly Laynes – Graduate Student, Computer Science
Harvest moon shines bright What does she reap from your field? That what you planted?
John Pullin – Undergraduate Student, Journalism
A bright beautiful and shimmering world, so vast but is it for me? – Mark Palompo, Undergraduate Student, Biology
Ozzie, Oh Ozzie | Your piercing stare, quite intense | Nowhere to escape – Valeria Montes Melendez, Undergraduate Student, Biology
I just want to be Top three of haiku contest So I can buy food – Chayada Songsakul, Undergraduate Student, Public Health
A chill raises hair / along my flesh. Cover me / with blankets of down. – Rhen Garlitz, Undergraduate Student, Early Childhood Education
Books line the shelves still Silent pages wait for us Library's embrace – Hailey Jacobsen, Undergraduate Student, Political Science
Life is a highway. I failed my drivers test twice. Drove on the sidewalk. – Simone Siefker, Undergraduate Student, Exploratory
Stars above so bright. Creatures awake in the night. My future in sight. – Kiela Jefferson, Undergraduate Student, English
Star-flowered fragrance Aggressively smothers tree When the jasmine blooms – Amanda Moore, Staff Member, FL Institute of Education
On the stage, I am / a different person. I am / a better person. – Amanda Bubb, Undergraduate Student, Health Administration
Piled up assignments, Netflix calls, but grades are due, Procrastination. – Kimberley Laynes, Graduate Student, Computer Science