APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Haiku Writing Contest

  • By David M. Kinchen, with information from Knopf 
APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Haiku Writing Contest
Who better to set the pace on our poem-a-day journey than Basho, the seventeenth-century Japanese poet and bohemian traveler, who left us just over a thousand haiku. A selection of these are newly translated by Knopf poet David Young, and, as he reminds us in his introduction to Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times , we cannot generalize about the mechanism of these great small poems, which “love to startle, first the writer, and then the reader. As though a hummingbird were to land suddenly on your resting arm. It is the way the world so often surprises us, reaffirming its rightness from a direction we didn’t expect.” We offer a handful; if you’re a practitioner, please join in our haiku-writing contest this month (details below).

To share the poem-a-day experience with friends, pass along this link >> 




A bell at sunset
no one to hear it
this spring evening

Midnight frost
I’d like to borrow
the scarecrow’s coat

Before you cut reeds
for the roof-thatch
go moon-viewing!

Sweeping the garden
the broom as it goes
forgets the snow

To participate in Knopf’s Poem-a-Day haiku-writing contest, please submit at least one, but no more than five haiku to KnopfHaikuContest@gmail.com, including your email address so that we can contact you. We will share the winning verses on our websiteFacebook, and Tumblr at the end of the month, and the winners will receive copies of David Young’s Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho, as well as one other recent Knopf poetry title. Thank you for participating! Pass along this link to invite your friends to join our haiku-writing contest.

Buy the Book

Excerpt from MOON WOKE ME UP NINE TIMES. Copyright © 2013 by David P. Young. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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