Today I’m very excited to announce the results of the EIF Haiku Poetry Challenge. The response was fantastic, and made me realise just how much care and attention is involved in creating haiku that are both poetically beautiful and resonant with meaning.
We received so many striking and skilfully-crafted haiku that I’m pleased I did not have to select the winning entries. For that task I hand over to this week’s judge, Jaya Avendel of Nin Chronicles, winner of the EIF Halloween Poetry Challenge and internationally-published poet.
First Place: Nick Reeves
the postman’s whistle
within diminishing light:
an enveloped kiss.
‘Haiku are tricky to write. Being poems, they are not just seventeen syllables. Each word must be chosen with care to create a picture that changes word to word.
In this haiku, Nick manages to provide not only a picture but also pushes across feelings through his words. Here is a poem that presents a sense of time and is nostalgic in that it shares a beautiful and wistful glimpse at love. I congratulate you, Nick, on crafting a lovely haiku!’
Congratulations, Nick on your well-deserved first place. I would like to offer you the chance to judge next week’s challenge, should you wish to!
Second Place: Laura Schmidt
cutting back the dying branch
impeding the path.
‘This haiku calls to life vivid pictures of a forest alive with colors and reminds us rebirth does not only happen in the spring. I love it because I come from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and, standing at one of the many parkway overlooks, November truly burns!’
Congratulations, Laura. I love how you captured the idea of clearing away the old to make way for the new, all in a breath of Autumn.
Laura writes poetry, and also articles on everything from current affairs to TV, music and literature at Voyage of the Mind. Laura has also guest posted some excellent short fiction pieces at this site.
Third Place: ‘Abracadabra’ by Cheryl Batavia
Questions work magic!
Great discoveries appear
when we seek answers.
‘Here is a haiku that made me nod! Seeking answers is one of the best ways to reach acceptance. Seeking answers helps us understand ourselves better and even come to terms with things we do not like. In sharing this message, Abracadabra becomes more than a poem. It becomes, appropriately, magic.’
I agree that there is magic in these lines. Congratulations, Cheryl! Cheryl writes at Gulf Coast Poet, and has published several volumes of poetry, including her Hanging Out with Wild Animals series which is recommended by the US Review of Books. Cheryl is also a wonderfully supportive member of the blogging community and always has a kind and encouraging word to say to her fellow bloggers.
A massive thank-you to all who entered, and especially to Jaya for judging the competition. Rest assured that every entry received had merit and was a pleasure to read. Jaya had this to say in conclusion:
‘I extend my gratitude to all of you who entered in this poetry challenge! Though I could not award you all a place, I commend you for learning something new and trying your hands at writing a haiku. It was an honor to ruminate over your writing!
Finally, a thank you to Ingrid for hosting this challenge. Without her, none of this writing magic would be possible. Thank you, Ingrid!’
Stay tuned for the next EIF Poetry Challenge, to be announced next Wednesday. Follow the tag ‘EIF Poetry Challenge’ (#eifpoetrychallenge on Twitter and Instagram) to be sure you don’t miss out!