Valentine’s Day–a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love! Symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses and candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems, it’s one of our favorite days of the year!
Haiku being our forte, we’re often searching our archives for poems and haiku posters that perfectly fit an occasion or holiday. For this St. Valentine’s Day post, we come back to these wonderful haiku from our talented contributors.
I chase the song of life. My heart knows the hidden path where love finds me.
From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day all over it:
Alphabet clusters beget confabulation PS I Love You
Frequent haiku contributor, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:
Young opera moon, you caught us stealing kisses Under red awnings!
And, Sandra Hewett’s haiku (Syracuse 2014) sets the scene for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner:
Candles glow brightly On the table as we eat Faces full of love
Speaking of love and romance, it might be frightfully cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you up on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet is long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier; the poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working as a designer and illustrator in New York City.
Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square
If you’re stuck for an idea for something special to give your sweetheart, feel free to download one of our specially commissioned St. Valentine’s Day cards here. As we have done in years past, each of our Valentine’s Day cards are created with a wonderful background and enough space to give you an opportunity to write your own love poem. Our 2019 card can be downloaded here. It was artfully designed by Jiaqi Liu, our Spring semester graphic design intern.
Snow and slush and sleet and rain and hail–and sun!–and clouds and ice and salt.
As dryly described in Matt Tompkins’ (Owego 2013) haiku above, this January has been cold and snowy–and everything else inbetween!
Haiku has the perfect ability to express these Winter days in such a way that you can nearly forget it’s January…well, almost! It’s too early for Spring Fever, so try warming up with these few haiku found in our archives and written by our wonderful contributors.
When it’s not too cold or blustery, January offers a great time to be outdoors. In his colorful haiku, poet Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2013) sets the mood for a day of skiing. Can you feel the anticipation?…the thrill of a good day on the slopes?…not noticing the cold on your face?
Perfect packed powder, Exhilarating ski trails– Lean forward and smile
In just a few words, Kate Stewart’s (Cazenovia 2012) vivid haiku describes a unique experience known only on a clear Winter’s night:
Snow diamonds twinkle. Crisp night air, I hear only Softly, gliding skis
If you have ever snowshoed, you know you’ve made an indelible path on your journey–even if it’s just to get to the backyard to fill the birdfeeder! Snowshoeing at night? Finding your way isn’t a problem at all, as Joan Cofrancesco’s warm haiku (Camillus 2001), describes:
Moon looms over pines Along the Beaver Lake trail Snowshoes left behind
Speaking about enjoying outdoor activities during the Winter months, it seems only appropriate that we feature once again, this rich haiku poster from our 2014 Series. The haiku, with a wonderful play on words, was written by Dianne Emmick and richly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Ash Merkel.
Cars trapped in driveways. / Skiers glide softly mid—street / Making morning tracks.
Lest we forget, have you noticed the neighborhood kids with their colorful sleds? Do you remember, as a kid yourself, climbing that big hill in your own backyard, dragging up your new red Flying Saucer, holding on tight and getting that head-start of a push from behind? If you do, you’ll enjoy this haiku by Elisabeth Anderson, (Lafayette 2001):
We haul our sleds up, and push off. Trees blur, snow leaps aside. We can fly!
As Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2014) cheerily writes, Winter can be a sensory feast:
I am your haiku In red ski vest gliding through Your white city park
All in all, when you have a haiku warming your insides, January isn’t too bad! Do you have a Winter haiku to share? Send it in the comments below and we will post it in our next Blog!
In case you missed it, we recently announced the poet – artist selections for our 2019 Poster Series! As you may recall, for this year’s event, we reached out to independent artists from throughout the community to help create our haiku posters. A record 34 artists responded!
Responding artists selected haiku from hundreds of poems submitted by new and former contributors. A total of 15 posters were finally decided upon by a panel of five judges. This blind selection included awarding a first-, second-, and third-place poster–also new this year! And, because we received such a wealth of good work, our Board selected two additional haiku posters–“board picks”–bumping the 2019 Series to 18 posters, up from our usual 16!
You may not be aware of this, but in addition to each year’s call for haiku and securing the artists to illustrate these wonderful poems, we also engage a local advertising and marketing firm to help us. This year, we are very pleased to announce that the Syracuse office of Mowerhas joined us with their support, including a one-of-a-kind contribution by one of its Creative Supervisors, Steven Peters.
Our annual unveiling event for the 2019 Series is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Thursday, April 18. Mark your calendars and help us celebrate this wonderful union of art, haiku and community!
Thanks again to our judges, board members, contributors, sponsors and supporters! And, Congratulations to the poets and artists of our 2019 Series!
Listed below are the 2019 poet-artist pairs, ordered by poet’s name first. Former, contributing poets or artists are bolded; by clicking on their name, a link will take you to their previous work with us.
Thanksgiving–a day steeped in tradition, handed down to us from our nation’s original immigrants in celebration of a bountiful harvest. A time for community, a time for family and friends. However you spend this thanksgiving day…
….whether in the smallest of gestures, as exemplified simply in Mary Taitt’s (Grosse Pointe Farms, 2001) haiku:
to eat stale bread and coo small thanks, pigeons gather at our elder’s feet
A week ago, a Sunday drive through apple country revealed mostly yellow, yellow-green hillsides. Since then, following a damp and chilly October week of grey clouds and mostly rain, Autumn still lingers with plenty of reds and oranges appearing around every bend!
These autumnal changes in Central New York are given colorful definition in Mary Ellen Morgan’s (Syracuse 2011) brilliant haiku–“multiplicity”, indeed!
Green hills, Autumn leaves Unpredictable sunshine Multiplicity
“Unpredictable sunshine”—another unique characteristic of Autumn, but one that is sometimes tough to get used to! With Judith Friedman’s (Fayetteville 2014) lovely, sensory-driven haiku, you can practically feel October’s brilliant sun as it flickers through the trees and “shatters” on the breeze!
October maples Sunlight through crimson stained glass Glow briefly, shatter
Lest we forget, Autumn is also Baseball’s Postseason, the end of Fall Crew and of course, Football Season! Paul Goat Allen’s (Camillus 2014) Autumn haiku is as bright as it is smart!
Autumn’s golden glow Orange football in the Dome Tailgater’s heaven
A post about Autumn and the transitions going on around us would not be complete without a haiku about migratory birds. Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Peggy Liuzzi’s (Syracuse 2011) vivid haiku is both joyful yet somewhat melancholy, isn’t it? Can you hear those mighty flocks as they fly away with Autumn?
The Autumn skyway Sings with the high, wild sound of Geese yearning southward
What do you love about Autumn? What moves you about Nature’s colorful transformation? Let us know in a haiku and we’ll publish it on these pages!
Since the Summer Solstice, it’s been sunny and warm–just the way Summer should be! But, with a heat wave hovering about for a few weeks now, we could all use some relief! What better way to survive the heat than by reading some wonderful haiku from our archives which warmly reflect this Summertime occurrence!
In Summer’s fierce heat
Sparrow hops into backyard
birdbath: cooling, splash.
Mary Gardner’s(Skaneateles 2003) vivid haiku reflects how Summer and the many opportunities for outdoor musical activities go hand-in-hand…despite the heat:
Heat hung low and haze Hinders not these hearts at play– Music in the square
The familiar sounds of a Summer’s heat wave are nicely reflected in Ellen Agnew’s (Syracuse 2005) spirited haiku:
Waves of locust songs ebb and flow with no excuse except Summer heat.
And, Ruthnie Angrand (Syracuse 2014) offers an energizing prescription for those of you who are fitness or sports minded and love Summer’s many opportunities to be outdoors:
Drip. Stew. Drive. Swelter. Severe heat and haze, focus. West. Run. Keep Running.
You can practically feel the heat of the street and its buildings with this beautifully illustrated haiku poster from our 2010 Series. Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Hee Soo Cho, the poster heartily reflects the glowing words of Michael McAnaney’s haiku.
Summer sun mirrors / a gallery of faces / Salina glitters
Lastly, we’d like to thank our readers for their responses to our last blog (see Haiku For a Summer Solstice). We received this delightful Summertime haiku from Yvonne Kovits (Little Falls 2018)–there’s no denying the music of Summer found her poem! Thanks, Yvonne!
Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with haiku, of course, and we’re offering a specially themed poster from our 2014 Series at a 10% discount from our online shop here. The well-crafted haiku was written by self-published poet, Seneca Wilson, and colorfully illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Erick Friely, now a professional Illustrator and Visual Development Artist based out of Oakland, CA. Learn more about Erick’s work here. We’ve even made a video of this fine poster for your viewing pleasure! Click here to view!
Luck of the Irish / Green beer, white snow, orange pride / Reversed traffic light
Remember that old saying, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb”? Well, let’s hope it holds true this year! Since March 1, Winter storms have wreaked havoc up and down the East Coast, dropping snow, rain and sleet from Hilton Head to Connecticut to London to the French Alps; they’ve caused power failures across New York State; and broken tree limbs are strewn about everywhere one looks! Quite a lion of a start if there ever was one!
As Michelle Miles (currently, in sunny and warm Amman, Jordan) wrote this week:
A haiku would say that springtime is on its way– but first, a detour!
Meanwhile, the not so melodious sounds of snow blowers, snow shovels and loud, rumbling snow plows, continue to break the sometimes eerie silence of softly falling snow! A search of our archives reveals many haiku contributed by Central New Yorkers who’ve contemplated our fierce Winter snow storms alongside the sound–and the glory–of these useful snow storm tools! Here are a few to consider as you look out your window at the falling March snow!
From Thomas Michael Duncan (East Syracuse 2011), you know it’s going to be a long day for the city’s snow plow driver:
Accumulations. The monstrous yellow machines remove snow–spread salt.
Pre-dawn whirs and scrapes– a community chorus born of snowy nights
A familiar scene, aptly described by Chen Chen (Syracuse 2014) — read more about this talented A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize winning author here:
Just the front scraped clean– our car after blizzard wears a mullet of snow
Our featured poster is a fine tribute to Winter snow storms! It’s from our 2011 Series with the clever haiku by Jim Kenty(Syracuse 2008) and the colorful illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Maura McGonagle.
Syracuse snowflakes / meet their fate on the blade of / my shovel of doom
Aside from waiting for Spring to arrive by mid-March, if we learn anything from late Winter snow storms, it’s learning to have patience. However, if your street doesn’t get plowed for hours, you may feel like Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge 2008), in her vivid haiku:
Armies of snowplows Invade snowbound neighborhoods Winter prison break
Or, rather than impatience, you may feel like Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):
as snow plows lumber through the blizzard leftovers grateful cars make room
If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that we frequently highlight our activities and events with a short newsletter-style email blast. This short bulletin also features a poster from our archives that best matches our latest news–and, it’s usually offered at a special discount! (**See how you can get on our mailing list below!)
Our latest newsletter teases us out of our Winter doldrums with a wonderful haiku poster from our 2013 Series showcasing Columbus Circle on a bright Summer’s day. Written by Ricky Maeweather and illustrated by Walter Kampf-Lassin, this wonderful scene certainly allows us to forget–even for a moment–the cold, dreary weather we’ve been having this January!
large buildings stand tall / the center always crowded / square blocks building lofts
It will be a few months yet until the sun warms us up as it does in this bright haiku poster, but we are always warmed by the responses we receive from our followers to things we’ve written about in our newsletter–and, our blog!
In fact, we’d like to say ‘thanks’ to our long-time–and now, long-distance–friend of the Syracuse Poster Project, Patricia Rickard, for her comment to our Columbus Circle dispatch. From sunny Florida, where she is researching publishers for her book, ‘The Complete Guide to Child-Centered Musical Theater’, Patricia writes, “I hear from family and friends back in Syracuse and the North Country that Winter is already old and cold, and it’s only January. Spring will eventually come to Syracuse in two more months!! So, close your eyes and be transported with this Haiku!”
Sun, Sea, Sand, Blue Skies; Palm Trees Sway, Seagulls Swooping; Red Hibiscus Bloom!
How simply marvelous…can you feel the warmth, now, of a soft, sunny blue day in January? Thank you, Patricia!
So, hang in there all you Central New Yorkers…it’s almost February!!
Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project
**If you’d like to join our mailing list to receive news about our activities, invitations to submit poetry and notices of shopping deals, please contact us here. We’ll keep you informed by email and occasionally by direct postal mail. Rest assured, we do not share contact information or email addresses.
Snow and slush and sleet and rain and hail–and sun!–and clouds and ice and salt.
Typical of January, it’s been cold and snowy–and everything else inbetween–as mischievously described in Matt Tompkins’ (Owego 2013) haiku above. Dark frigid nights seem to last forever this time of year, too, though daylight is (thankfully) lasting longer. Haiku has the perfect ability to express these Winter days in such a way that you can nearly forget it’s January…well, almost! Try warming up with these few other haiku found in our archives and written by our wonderful contributors.
When it’s not too cold or blustery, January offers a great time to be outdoors. In this colorful haiku, poet Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2013) sets a sensory mood for a day skiing. Can you feel the anticipation?…the thrill of a good day on the slopes?…not noticing the cold on your face?
Perfect packed powder, exhilarating ski trails– lean forward and smile!
In just a few words, Kate Stewart’s (Cazenovia 2012) haiku beautifully describes a different kind of sensory experience only known during the long Winter months:
Snow diamonds twinkle. Crisp night air, I hear only Softly, gliding skis.
Like skiing, if you have ever snowshoed, you know you’ve left an indelible path on your journey. If it should snow overnight, you might have trouble finding that path again in the morning. But on a clear, moonlit night, you might not have any problem at all–as cleverly described in Joan Cofrancesco’s haiku (Camillus 2001):
moon looms over pines along the Beaver Lake trail snowshoes left behind
Reminiscent of the first ‘no school day’ of January, our featured haiku poster is from our 2014 Series. The haiku, with the wonderful play on words, was written by Dianne Emmick and richly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Ash Merkel, now a working artist whose fine illustrations, sketches and ceramic work can be found here.
Cars trapped in driveways. / Skiers glide softly mid—street / Making morning tracks.
Speaking of ‘snow days’ have you noticed the neighborhood kids with their sleds? Do you remember, as a kid yourself, climbing that big hill in your own backyard, dragging up your new red Flying Saucer, holding on tight and getting that head-start of a push from behind? If you do, you’ll enjoy this haiku by Elisabeth Anderson, (Lafayette 2001):
We haul our sleds up, and push off. Trees blur, snow leaps aside. We can fly!
All in all, when you have a haiku warming your insides, January isn’t too bad! Do you have a Winter haiku to share? Send it in the comments below and we will post it in our next Blog! As Thomas Stock(Fort Plain 2014) cheerily writes, Winter can be a sensory feast:
I am your haiku in red ski vest gliding through your white city park
Remember back when it was December 31, 2016? When January 1, 2017 was just the beginning of another new year? You may ask, where’d the time go? Or, perhaps you reminisced about all the ups and downs of 2016. But, here we are, the first week of another new year already behind us! The Holidays are officially over and Winter is here with a frightful blast of cold and grey! What better time than to sit and reflect on all the things that kept us warm and busy during 2017!
For the Syracuse Poster Project, 2017 was a particularly good year. We saw several fruitful collaborations established, many ideas realized, and met some new friends along the way.
Fruitful Collaborations! Coinciding with the Erie Canal Bicentennial, we joined statewide festivities by issuing a special Erie Canal themed poster for our 2017 Poster Series. We commissioned Tong “Amy” Su, a graduate student in the Syracuse University Illustration Program, to illustrate a scene for our poets to respond to. Su created a lively bird’s-eye view of canal commerce with the winning haiku coming from Ross Getman.
canal side commerce / briefcase, balloon, umbrella / echoes of past steps
We then teamed up with the Erie Canal Museum to win a grant from Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today for an installation of our Erie Canal Poster at the Museum. We reproduced Su’s historic Canal poster in triplicate—the original poster flanked by two enlargements—and installed these three panels on the exterior of the Museum’s storage building.
From former windows on the second story, the Canal posters overlook Erie Boulevard.
On the heels of this successful rendering, we found ourselves collaborating with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, host of the World Canals Conference, to produce a commemorative poster for the Conference which took place in Syracuse this past September. Tong “Amy” Su’s work for the Poster Series was so appealing, we asked her to develop another poster to promote the Conference. The stunning result prompted the organizers to purchase 50 of her beautiful posters as gifts for their speakers at the Conference!
Something New! Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, we’ve become a video nation. The Poster Project joined the flow this year with a series of splashy videos produced largely by enthusiastic volunteers and, in one instance, by professional videographers.
We proudly passed these monies to the charity of our choice—CNY Arts—for its good work advancing arts and culture in Central New York. Click here to read about Jim Emmons’ winning entry and video and click here to read about the other winners of the Foundation’s 2017 contest.
Our next series of video productions took flight thanks to a volunteer, Priya Narayanan, who briefly graced us with her filmmaking skills. Priya studied information technology and taught herself filmmaking on the side. She joined us just before the opening celebration for the 2017 Poster Series. She dashed off a series of video portraits from the event, produced a video on our travelling exhibit at the Upstate Cancer Center, and, for her last work, whipped together a piece on Art on the Porches—click here to view her work at this annual event and here for videos from the 2017 Poster Event. Over the summer, we had to say goodbye to Priya as she and her husband moved to Delaware. We’ll miss working with her!
We’re tempted to call 2017 the year of Splash Poetry! Our story is often one of circling back: we get excited about an idea, but can’t find the time or resources to pull it off. It simmers on a back burner for a year or more, until finally we stir it again, add the right ingredients, and serve it up. That’s how it was with our Splash Poetry Project.
Board member, Joe Murphy, was exploring civic poetry groups in other parts of the country when he discovered Mass Poetry doing something fun: stenciling poetry on sidewalks with special spray paint that only shows up when rained upon or splashed with water! This seemed tailor made for our haiku—and for rainy Syracuse Summers! But, the idea had to mature for a year or so until the time was right to bring it to term.
Finally last Spring, along with an uplifting, out-of-the blue, contribution from the Central New York Community Foundation, Joe and fellow board member, Jason Evans, kick-started the conception and our Splash Poetry Project was born! Together, they designed stencils, had them laser cut, and then stenciled site-specific haiku at 10 downtown locations. (Click here to see where the splash haiku were initially placed.)
When the original poems washed away, we stenciled them again. But, this time, we hired a pair of professional videographers, Michael Barletta and Courtney Rile, of Daylight Blue Media, to document our appropriately named, Splash Poetry Project. They did an excellent job, both of filming as Joe and Jason stenciled poems on downtown sidewalks, and of editing the footage into a vivid portrait of civic art in action! This was our first experience with the power of professional filmmaking, and we’re delighted to have joined forces with Mike and Courtney. Click here to view this wonderful video! Keep an eye out for more Splash Poetry in the warmer months of 2018.
Over the summer, we worked with executive director of CNY Jazz, Larry Luttinger, to install large-format jazz-themed posters in the newly renovated lobby of Jazz Central. The display consists of two posters on panels, with a third panel in storage for periodic change outs. The Poster featured here is from our 2010 Series. The Jazz-themed haiku was written byElisabeth Anderson and the poster illustrated by Eric Johannian adjunct faculty member of the Art Department at Phoenix College.
Carbonated jazz, sloe gin soul with open mic, two drink minimum.
Sales benefit both the Onondaga County Library System and Syracuse Poster Project. As we diversify our engagement with civic art, we view these literary posters as belonging to that realm. You’ll also see that we worked with the Central Library to install a library-themed poster, like the one below, next to the third floor elevator. The Poster featured here is from our 2003 Series and was written by Janine DeBaiseand illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Christopher Savido,whose portraitof former President George Bush created quite a stir in 2004.
Rows and rows of books Lure me into their pages I leave with arms full
New Board Members, Volunteers and Interns! After a period of attrition—veteran board members retiring from the board—2017 was a year for board growth. We’re now enjoying the energy and skills of several newcomers, including: Anna Putintseva, a lawyer with Bousquet Holstein; Lindsay Speicher, a community liaison at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield; Adam Rozum, an independent designer and owner of Polonaise European Market; Jason Evans, an architect at Ashley McGraw; Gwen Morgan, a media specialist at LeMoyne College; and Chris Montgomery, a jobs specialist at SUNY Educational Opportunity Center.
We were also fortunate to have several new volunteers join us, including: Naomi Coufal, John Kulak and Brittney Cason. And, of course, we’d be lost without our long-standing volunteers, sponsors and partners as well as our Interns who work with us for a short period of time, but produce phenomenal work. (Click here to see a list of our interns from over the past few years.)
For example, before we said our goodbyes to our hard-working Spring semester intern, Naomi Masingale, she was the subject of a photo documentary by photographer, Nancy Kasberg, who came to us from the Military Journalism Program at SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.
This wonderful narrative slideshow, complete with Naomi’s voice over, walks you through her internship experience with us. (Click here to view this video!) Congratulations to Naomi who graduated this past year with a Masters in Arts Administration from LeMoyne College!
In addition, our student interns were paramount to tweaking our website this year! For a small organization, we have a robust website. With help from web development interns, we added significant features to our growing presence on the web. Most notably, we re-established an interactive map that shows all locations that have given rise to posters over the years, with links to corresponding posters, artists, and poets–since our founding in 2001, more than 500 poets have submitted haiku! The map first existed on a Google platform, until Google discontinued the service. It was then in hiatus for a couple of years until we took on an intern, Xi Chen, capable of investigating a new platform. Thanks to Xi and her successor, Yunhui Zhu, we now share our interactive map via Mapbox. You can explore a map that shows where poets come from, which municipalities or neighborhoods are most poetic, and where the hotspots of poetic energy come from! To see the map, visit our Participate page and scroll down. Find your haiku poster here!
The website now has an improved Photo Gallery Section where visitors can quickly peruse both the Poster Series archived by year (click here to view) and/or photos from the annual unveiling events (click here to see these). And, the Shop section of our website took on two new categories: one for literary posters promoting the Rosamond-Gifford Lecture Series as mentioned above; another for graphic work by Syracuse artists working in veins similar to ours.
More on Information Technology! What end-of-year summary would be complete without a report from the IT Department? Frankly, we wish we had an IT department! It would be incredibly helpful. Nevertheless, in our measured way, we made IT strides in 2017. With a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation, we bought three high-performance laptops, installed new accounting and graphics software, and subscribed to the cloud computing services of Office 365. All of which enables us to take on more interns and volunteers, and to work with them efficiently.
Funding! We remain a small nonprofit organization supported by product sales, corporate sponsorship, and charitable grants—no dedicated year-to-year funding. As challenging as it is to raise funds, we experienced bright spots in 2017. We brought on three new corporate sponsors–TCGPlayer, Bousquet Holstein and Drive Research— and saw a longstanding sponsor, Byrne Dairy, significantly boost its sponsorship.
In the New Year!With our new computer resources, we’re well positioned to begin work with a growing roster of interns and volunteers. These new hands should help us produce the 2018 Poster Series and move on to tasks that sometimes exceed our resources: applying for grants, refining our website, developing new products and projects.
In fact, we’re already underway with a specially commissioned poster from Nicora Gangi for our 2018 series on the theme of Syracuse as a place of welcome for all people and cultures. Jean Fahey’s fine haiku was selected to match this poster which will be unveiled in April.
A beacon of hope City of welcoming arms A place to call home
We will further this theme by reviving our Cards for New Americans Project. We initiated the cards project several years ago with partial funding. The idea is to issue packs of notecards as welcome gifts for new Americans at their naturalization ceremonies. In 2018, we’ll resume fundraising and see the project to completion.
Incidentally, our featured Poster is from the 2010 Series; the haiku written by Wendy Moleski and poster illustrated by Gina Kim:
The last dish is fired Kiln’s cooled, now the auction starts Good—bye my old friend
Thank You! As you see by these few highlights, 2017 was a very productive year for us. We could not have done this without the loyal support of our friends, board members, volunteers, interns and our families. Thank you for your continued support of the Syracuse Poster Project!
Happy New Year to you!
Jim Emmons with Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project
The Holidays! Oh, the excited anticipation of them all! The planning and the decorating; the ever-changing shopping lists–two miles long; the food and the get-togethers with all that wine! And, then there’s the writing out of Christmas cards and the wrapping of presents; the lighting of candles and the Yuletide tree; the sounds of music in the air, at the school concert and in stained-glassed churches everywhere!
Phew! So, between the stress and the laughter, we’d like to offer you these few haiku from our archives to brighten your celebration of this season of light and love, hope and peace!
The holidays are Cookie Exchanges and building Gingerbread Houses with the kids:
Gingerbread delights The Erie Canal is trimmed With giggles and smiles!
Our featured Poster Illustrates just such a scene. The haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Nancy Liccione (Clay 2003) and brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Yealim Kong, now a Home Textile & Graphic Designer based in New York City.
Nighttime in the Square / Tree lighting and carols sung / Skaters mingle there
However you spend these last few days of 2017, we wish you a warm and merry Holiday Season!
Ripped fingertip gloves Cold keys and warm melodies Fill dark streets with light
It’s “Over the river and through the woods” time! While some families are packing up the car to travel far and wide for the long weekend, others are preparing for the long-awaited arrival of loved ones. From our 2003 Series, this featured haiku poster nicely captures the spirit of arriving home with the hubbub of holiday activity downtown. The haiku was written by long-time contributor, Claire Bobrycki, and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Mellgren.
Long drive, weary eyes— / Cityscape lights the night sky / Syracuse, I’m home!
It’s Turkey stuffing days! While plump turkeys are roasting and all manner of pies baking, there are those tracking tackles and downs, too.
Spiral in the air Raucous cheering of the crowd Pigskin in the zone
Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)
It’s still Autumn! Leaves have fallen, leaving trees mostly dark and bare.
Fading sun spot lights Roosting crows in bare fall trees, Night black fruit to pick.
It’s the “Holidaze” season! Grocery stores are stuffed with shoppers while traffic delays are just beginning as Christmas Holiday sales lure folks to the mall.
Produce from the earth In crowded marketplaces Displayed with purpose
Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)
It’s time to sit in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace! From our 2014 Series, this featured haiku poster was beautifully created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Andrew Casadonte, (now a storyboard artist at DreamWorks TV Animation), using the fine phrasing of another of our long-time contributors, Paul Goat Allen.
Winter is coming / wool socks and long underwear / the long sleep is near
We hope we’ve made your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit richer with these wonderful poems gathered from our archives of contributed haiku! And, if you’re looking for a special Christmas gift for the poet or artist in your family, be sure to check out our Shop Pagefor some great ideas!
As the end of Summer draws near, sturdy Sunflowers still stand shoulder high. While their full-seeded heads seem to be nodding, Farewell, their brilliant shades of yellow add a unique dimension to the colorful arrival of Autumn.
From our archives, we found some Sunflower-themed haiku to share with you–what better way to show our appreciation for this beautiful flower that bridges Summer into Autumn!
Brilliant sunflowers cast against slate sky, red birds fly in for dinner by Sheila Forsyth (Fayetteville 2008)
Lofty sunflowers arrayed in golden splendor heads above the rest by Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007)
Van Gogh Sunflowers paint themselves across the fields Camillus, New YorkbyJoan Cofrancesco(Camillus 2009)
From our 2010 Syracuse Poster Project Series, our featured haiku poster was written by Claire Bobryckiand illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Catherine LaPointe, now a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer–see more of her wonderful work here.
Blue Moon, Big Dipper / Sunflowers under porch lights / Peace on the South Side
We conclude with three more gems:
Sunflowers drooping looking for a warm embrace oh, where is the sun? byKelly Bargabos (Syracuse 2010)
Sunflower faces a swoosh of yellow and black: goldfinch dinnertime byEllen Barnes (Syracuse 2014)
A smile on your face is brighter than sunflowers at the farmer’s stand byJungtae Lee (Syracuse 2006)
We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tribute to the Sunflower! What do you see when you gaze upon a Sunflower?
We recently announced our call for haiku for the 2018 Syracuse Poster Project Series. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 8!
Stuck for an idea? Why not visit the newly redeveloped Morningside Cultural Trail? In fact, its official Grand Opening Event is Wednesday, September 6 at the Barry Park Field House. Festivities begin at 5:30 pm. Learn more about the opening event here and a brief history of the project here. Celebrating Syracuse’s Eastside, with its 7-mile walking path, the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through three notable neighborhoods (Map) and includes a Public Arts Pathway (Map). For photos of the Trail, check out their Facebook page here. With trails meandering through Oakwood Cemetery (Map), the Morningside Cultural Trail offers interesting reflections–just the kind you might need to write some haiku!
There is much to learn about Oakwood Cemetery. Its assortment of mausoleums and monuments have inspired several haiku from our haiku contributors. From Peggy Liuzzi(Syracuse 2014) a fine sensory approach to haiku:
With each step, dry leaves / speak of memories. Oakwood / whispers Autumn’s song
And, from Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007), a warm reflection inspired by a walk through Oakwood’s hallowed grounds:
And there they all sleep / Beneath the earth and granite / Oakwood their fine bed
Visitors to Barry Park may find a tennis game going on or kids playing soccer–just like Meganne Oakleaf (Fayetteville 2010) did in her cheerful haiku:
Fall sees Barry Park / ablaze with colorful leaves; / soccer jerseys, too.
At Barry Park Pond / black-webbed geese crowd two children. / Small hands tear soft bread.
Meadowbrook and Westcott, two of the neighborhoods the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through, has inspired several haiku from our contributors–including this one from Jane Cassidy which, in turn, inspired this beautiful poster from our 2006 Series by former Syracuse University illustration student, Natalie Zuk:
Unexpectedly / a stone staircase in the woods— / very Narnian
Walk the Morningside Cultural Trail and Get Inspired!
A call for haiku is now underway for the Syracuse Poster Project’s 17th annual series of haiku posters! In fact, you’re invited! Please consider participating in this community-wide event by submitting up to three (3) of your best haiku which reflect our fair city’s multi-cultural heart, the Central New York countryside or Syracuse at large!
In addition, we have commissioned Syracuse artist, Nicora Gangi, to create a poster giving you the unique opportunity–in essence, an Ekphrastic challenge–to write at least one (1) haiku inspired by her wonderful image! That image being, fittingly enough, of our city as a place of welcome to all people and cultures. Ms. Gangi will select the winning haiku. To read a review of her superb work, click here.
Each haiku you submit before Friday, September 8 will be presented to a senior class of Syracuse University illustration students. Ultimately, your haiku may be chosen to be illustrated by one of these students! Of all the posters created, 15 of the best haiku posters will be selected for display in downtown Syracuse kiosks next April, 2018.
Need inspiration? Not sure how to capture a moment? Consider how these frequent contributors approach writing haiku–
Walk…along an Erie Canal pathway, where, as Rosalyn Carroll(Manlius 2007), writes:
Wildflowers sway bright / Dragonflies buzz and fish bite / Erie traffic hums
Watch…as Debra Alexis (Jamesville 2016) does:
Moonbeams hitch a ride / onto lazy waves, while the / leaves flutter and fall
Walking by the lake / Icy winds that sear my soul. / My cheeks are burning!
Remember, any season, any place, any subject–write about your experiences in a haiku using three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables, and submit your poems by September 8, 2017. For further details, click here for this year’s brochure. For additional entry materials, click here. If you’re new to writing haiku, click here for general guidelines. Find more good haiku by local poets in this poetry blog.
Summertime, when days are warm and humid…we’ve had a few of them here in Central New York recently. It’s days like these that make Summer simmer (no pun intended)! If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that we often highlight seasonal themes, sometimes focusing on singular characteristics of the season we’re in. Hot, humid and hazy Summer days happen to be the subject of many haiku found in our archives contributed by Central New York poets. We thought it would be timely to add these to our Blog before Summer ‘daze’ slip away.
There’s a unique sound to warm Summer days. You can practically hear the sultriness in this fine haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):
waves of locust songs ebb and flow with no excuse except Summer heat
Along with spindly grasshoppers, the sound of crickets and cicadas are even more noticeable when days are long and warm. It’s easy to imagine the captivating scene detailed in Anna Pyrohanych’s(Auburn) colorful 2012 haiku:
Sun sets, moon rises– Shimmer across still waters… Summer crickets sing
When there’s a stretch of days in the high 80’s, even the inevitable thunderstorm offers little relief, as perfectly described inKarl Krohl’s(Syracuse) 2015 haiku:
Thunderheads tower Summer, a breathless haze–still the cicadas drone
From our 2006 Poster Series, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lauren Katz, beautifully conceived Jane Cassady’s (Philadelphia 2005) fine haiku:
Humid moon rises / over the stopped clock tower / like a real city
Now that it’s August, you can forget the heat with this delightful haiku by another frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor,Mary Gardner (Skaneateles 2003):
Heat hung low and haze Hinders not these hearts at play– Music in the square
Speaking of music, don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying the other sounds of Summer as Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku vividly describes:
Sizzling riffs from sax “Jazz in the City” heats up Cool, full moon evening
Finally, there’s no doubt we’ve all shared Michele Reed’s (Oswego) feelings from time to time as crisply expressed in her 2015 haiku:
sound of cicadas on a sultry Summer’s eve and I dream of snow
What do you find distinctive about warm Summer days? However you spend these remaining hot, hazy ‘daze’, stay cool!
In just a few syllables, Haiku are a perfect way to capture a scene, a memory, or even a mood. Regardless the season–or time of day–clouds can do pretty much the same thing. Mountainous thunderstorm clouds can be majestic. Serene, wispy cirrus clouds can make a sunset heavenly. In color and shape, or by how quickly they’re moving, clouds will let you know if you need to carry an umbrella or if you’re likely to rev up the snowblower–in which case, if they’re very low and grey, you might consider going back to bed! But, on a bright Summer’s day, when clouds are drifting lazily, high in the sky, watching these seemingly magical shapeshifters is pure joy.
From our archives of contributed haiku, we’ve selected a cloud-themed few for your Summer reading pleasure. Can you tell which season the poet is describing? Have you ever experienced the same feelings as expressed in the haiku? Do you remember a day the clouds were just like those characterized by the poet?
From Cynthia Perrine (Fabius 2015):
Sun breaks through the clouds / Mist rises from the water / Day begins anew
One, then two at once! / Colorful balloons drift east / Low clouds they vanish…
From Diane Lansing (Syracuse 2014):
Dragonfly’s kiss makes / once still pond pulsate rings of / fractured clouds and trees.
From our 2004 Syracuse Poster Project Series, a wonderful display of Summer. The haiku was written by Jennifer Sanford and the poster illustrated by Cally Jones, former Syracuse University Illustration student.
Summer breezes lift / gull and dragon kites across / Onondaga Lake
At long last, it’s coming on Summer! From our archive of contributed haiku, we’ve found a few to highlight the return of this sunny season.
Spring flowers have faded, making way for bright Summer blooms. Everything’s comin’ up roses, too, as vividly described by Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu (Syracuse), in her 2011 haiku:
A burst of petals flame red, melon, pale yellow Summer rose gardens
After a long Winter and wet Spring, neighbors are slowly emerging from their homes, greeting each other like old friends. Beth Miller (Auburn) skillfully creates such a scene in her 2015 haiku:
Warm friendly greetings Summer on South Geddes Street Flowers lead to porches
Outdoors, there’s the sound of lawns being mowed and the comforting smell of fresh cut grass. Green grass and Summer–there is nothing quite like it as Thomas Stock (Ft. Plain 2014) describes in his mirthful haiku:
Cool clover carpet seduce my bare feet with dew Summer night, you muse!
The arrival of Summer also means weekends are suddenly booked with music festivals, sporting activities, sun gazing and weddings! Our featured poster from our 2004 Series notes this traditional season for wedding celebrations with a cleverly written haiku by Ralph Long, Jr. and a beautiful illustration by Elizabeth Couturier, former Syracuse University Illustration student.
In a Rose Garden / at the top of Campus Hill / wedding dresses bloom
Of course, Summer’s arrival also means construction season is underway everywhere you turn. When artfully expressed in a haiku, such as this one by Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2015), delays don’t seem quite as dreadful:
Summer highway rite Orange cones stretched forever A sea of detours
How do you welcome Summer? Write us a haiku in the Comments and we’ll publish it next time on our blog.
Run run Jerry run / freedom is at hand oh Lord / helpful hands stretch out by Pat Flowers (Columbus 2006)
Originally referred to in the late 1860’s as Decoration Day–a day of remembrance when mourners could grace the graves of the Civil War’s dead with flowers–Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971. It remains a day of solemn observance; a day reserved to honor and remember all Americans who have died while serving in our country’s military service.
Heroes defended / Liberty and freedom rang / Stars and stripes rippled by Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016)
Memorial Day is also a day to celebrate our freedom, the unique cause that these American servicemen and servicewomen died for.
Souls of the soldiers / march and quiet names surround / Freedom’s arena by Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007)
Over the last few decades, Memorial Day has also come to be known as the unofficial start of Summer. Marked with patriotic parades, major sporting events, family gatherings and barbecues, Memorial Day is still a shared American tradition.
Our featured haiku poster this Memorial Day is from our 2004 Series. It was written by frequent contributor, Jay Cox and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Steve Kim. We think you’ll agree, the poster exemplifies the beauty of our monuments to peace, freedom and remembrance.
The blue sky ripples / and clouds stream by in the water / fountain reflections
However you observe this Memorial Day–whether it’s laying a wreath or raising a flag, marching along with a parade or gathering with family, watching a ballgame or enjoying the evening’s fireworks–safe travels!
Birds coax forth the dawn. / She smiles and all turns golden. / Our lake beams its thanks… by Patricia Ziemba (Syracuse 2010)
Along with their families and friends, several of our featured poets, artists and students turned out for this yearly Spring celebration.
With music by D.J. Bella, Jasmine Coan,
and tasty Hors-D’oeuvres by Creole Soul Cafe, the evening moved smoothly from brief introductions by Jim Emmons (co-founder of the Syracuse Poster Project) and John Thompson (Illustration Professor at Syracuse University) to the haiku readings and acknowledgements of the night’s Poets and Artists.
Of course, the evening would not have been possible without the valued assistance of our enthusiastic interns and volunteers (click here to read more); our committed Board Members (click here to read more),
or our dedicated Sponsors and Supporters (click here to read more)!
Once again, the Atrium, at the City Hall Commons, proved to be the perfect spot to exhibit the kiosk-sized haiku posters. The excitement upon entering through the Atrium doors was unmistakable!
What a thrill to slowly walk down the exhibit hall, watching poets find their poster, listening to artists and poets meeting for the first time, mingling with the crowd and oohing and ahhing at every poster!
On May 1, the new 2017 Series Posters were mounted in specially designated kiosks throughout the downtown Syracuse area.
They are also for sale on our web page. In fact, check out our online store here for all our haiku posters, cards, books and other Syracuse Poster Project paraphernalia.
The promised light of December’s Winter Solstice seems to have temporarily disappeared behind grey clouds this January in Central New York. Along with cold temperatures, lingering patches of icy dirty snow have also made for some rather bleak days here. But for the brief moments of morning sun, or the colorful flight of cheerful Cardinals and noisy Blue Jays, cloudy skies remain the dominant trademark of Winter in Syracuse. While a backdrop of grey is not wholly unexpected this time of year, we certainly could use some clear, blue skies!
As you might expect, writing haiku brings a whole new perspective to cloudy and grey. And, it’s a perfect antidote for cabin fever. Digging through our archives of wonderful haiku contributed over the years by Central New York poets, we found a few which might give you pause to reflect before going completely stir-crazy!
Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox (Pompey 2007), vividly taps into our search for blue skies while braving the cold on a wintry Syracuse day:
Blue sky illusions scrape Winter’s gray haze—slogging numb down Salina
Pamela Lynch’s (Oneida 2013) graphic haiku brings an artist’s eye to this discussion of grey Winter skies which can indeed be quite stunning at times:
Fronts collide to paint Phenomenal cloud skyscapes Swirling overhead
From Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge), the ominous feeling of another impending storm is quite striking in this evocative 2005 haiku:
Iron sky holding back the snow; the roar of rail cars, then grave quiet
Snow sweeps the sidewalk / Piles fluff onto bare branches / Turns gray to glisten
Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat (Syracuse), finds both beauty and a kind of acceptance of Winter’s hold on us with her captivating 2009 haiku:
geese skim the river as clouds gather overhead bittersweet season
Hope you’ve enjoyed these few samplings from our archives. It’s wonderful how writing Haiku provides a way of expressing deep emotions and seeing nature from a variety of perspectives with just a few words. So, when Winter’s grey is making you blue, write a Haiku!
It’s only the first month of Winter, and already, it’s cold, grey and snowy! But, inbetween thick bursts of Lake Effect snow, we’ve had occasion to soak in brief periods of sunshine. Sometimes, just seeing blue sky is enough to warm up and brighten one’s mood, but overall, it’s been just plain cold! Living with snowy, cold Syracuse Winters has been the subject of numerous haiku contributed by Central New York poets. We’ll try to warm you up with a few of them!
Despite the cold, getting outdoors is one way to tackle Winter. Can you picture yourself in Rachel Brown’s (Baldwinsville, 2008) fine haiku?
I bundle up warm laced up tight, feet on the ice, the cold air at me
As cold as it is, sometimes, just standing in the falling snow can be something wonderful. Syracuse poet, William Neumire’s (2012) haiku beautifully depicts such an occasion:
Snow in lamplight stills the streets until we all stop and reach out our hands
Our featured poster from our 2007 Series exemplifies ‘cold’ in its many forms. By using the proximity of Clinton Square’s Ice Skating rink with Syracuse’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Skaneateles poet and regular contributor to the Syracuse Poster Project, Mary L. Gardner, paints a vivid picture. Former Syracuse University Illustration student, Chris Casciano, now a professional Illustration Artist, beautifully captures the essence of Mary’s words with his poster.
Sculpted heroes stand / guard on the icy square where / cold blades dart and glide
Baldwinsville poet and frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Martin Walls (2012), finds warmth in one of Winter’s many sounds:
Snowflake settles on The skating rink with the sound Of children laughing
And, Jay Cox’s(Pompey, 2001) haiku vividly describes a typical Winter’s day in Syracuse:
Skaters swirl around Clinton Square—Lake Effect snow blankets the city
This Holiday Season, Central New York has been white, grey and cold! Fortunately, December traditionally warms us up a bit as it sparkles with the twinkling glow of Menorah Candles, the soft gleam of red, black and green Candles of Kwanzaa, and with the brightly colored lights wrapped ‘round a freshly cut Yuletide Tree. As Teddi Caltabiano (Liverpool 2011) writes:
Sidewalks gleam Holiday lights softly shine Christmas in the ‘Cuse
A nighttime drive through Syracuse’s snowy streets can indeed be a visual delight. Varicolored Christmas lights and decorations adorn neighborhood lawns, lampposts, doorways and rooftops. Lit up Christmas Trees can be spied through curtained windows and storefronts, too. From our 2004 Series of Posters, artist Elizabeth Crosby beautifully captures such a scene using poet, Beth Miller’s captivating words:
A Christmas Tree glows / Through windows of memory / Jasper Street – my home
A drive around Clinton Square on a snowy December night will make you smile, too, as warmly dressed ice skaters, laughing and singing, fly past the City’s brightly lit Christmas Tree. This giant of a tree is covered from top to bottom with glistening lights of red, blue, green, yellow! It’s the perfect backdrop for the Square’s rink as delightfully imagined in this poster from our 2003 Series. The haiku was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Erick Ledesma, now a busy Studio Artist living in his homeland of Puerto Rico.
around Clinton Square / flakes of falling snow dissolve / on Christmas tree lights
And, lest we forget, Nan Gartner (Fayetteville 2010) reminds us of the warm light of the moon, too:
December snowflakes Fall by moonlight on late night strollers in the square
The color, Orange, is alive and well in Central New York. Visually beautiful, Orange is the height of the season this year. Shades of Orange–from Yellow-Orange to Red-Orange, light Orange to deep, nearly Brown-Orange–still dress many trees here. But look around, and you will see blankets of Orange covering wooded stands of near-naked trees, carpeting front lawns and backyards, raked high on neighborhood curbs, stuck in the tangle of low, fading bushes, crowded into window-well corners, plugging up gutters. Drive in the howling rain and Orange comes slapping at your windshield and paints the roadway slick!
Bright Orange Pumpkins have been a smash hit this year, too–no pun intended! Add to this their colorful family members, Gourds and Squashes, we now have a lush harvest, too. Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Jean Somlo (DeWitt 2014), affirms this plenteous season of Orange with her evocative poem:
Farmer’s bounty here Colorful and succulent Cooks delight tonight
autumn’s golden shine harvest, sweet corn and football the orange city
What better way to celebrate the season of Orange than with this splendid haiku poster from our 2015 collection. The poet: Christopher Caskey (Sicklerville 2011) and the artist: former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rob Byers now a freelance illustrator and designer.
Leaves raked–a mile high. Young ones dive, imagining football field of glory.
What inspires you as Autumn leaves fall? What connotations does the color Orange instill in you? Write your thoughts in a haiku and add it to the comments below. We’ll publish your haiku here on our blog!
Every year, it seems, we assure ourselves that Autumn will be as colorful as the year before–our memory clearly remembering the rich Fall colors of years past. With such a dry, hot Summer of 2016, the theory was there’d be no color to witness this Fall. Thankfully, that didn’t happen! We think you’ll agree, this year, Autumn in Central New York has surely outdone itself what with its brilliant and long-lasting shades of red, red-orange, orange and golden yellow–even shades of mauve dressing the leaves of certain trees!
In fact, many of Central New York’s old, towering trees, some with their trunks draped in red kudzu, make for beautiful canopies along local byways and highways. Their striking colors, comforting in their familiarity, seem as warm as blankets! This feeling is delightfully described in Sally Lloyd’s (Cazenovia 2010) haiku:
Autumn rolls out quilts along Route 20 . . . Yellows reds, golds warm our hearts
These last several days of October can be felt in this picturesque haiku by William Padgett (New Woodstock, 2008):
Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Bethaida Gonzalez (Syracuse 2014) and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Anna Ellis, combined their love of Autumn in this charming poster from our 2015 series.
Autumn winds comfort / spreading scents of the season / like an ocean breeze
Sea oats shimmer gold in October’s dimming light waves in Autumn wind
And, from Peggy Liuzzi (Syracuse 2010), a somewhat nostalgic perspective of Autumn:
I miss you most when the Autumn skyway sings with the calls of wild geese
Autumn–it is a season of color, earthy smells and the rustling sounds of leaves flying. What is your favorite sensory experience of this season? We’ve chosen only a few of the many beautiful haiku we have in our archives about Fall to share with you here–write us your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll share them in the next blog.
The Autumn Equinox arrived quietly last week, and as if on cue, end-of-September days have become cooler and starry nights, longer. From the Syracuse Poster Project archives, our haiku contributors have found interesting ways to describe Summer’s prelude to Fall.
Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Maggie Iribarne (DeWitt 2012) observes this seasonal passage of time with her evocative haiku:
Green gorge glimmering Summer’s last cold splash summons Fall’s red-gold promise
And, Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007) gently describes how the days following the Equinox tend to be around here:
Single Leaves flutter on delicate air currents still feels like Summer
Meanwhile, Deirdre Tait’s (Syracuse 2013) haiku vividly describes what many of us look forward to with the coming of Autumn:
Rolling hills surround orchards hold the gift of Fall crisp, juicy goodness
Our featured haiku poster is from the 2015 collection. Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Gabrielle Bittel, (now a Central New York-based concept artist), the poster beautifully complements the colorful haiku written by Roseanne Olszewski.
Golden crimson leaves / Infused with sunlight hue–fall / blazing my pathway
For many of us, it’s sad to see Summer leave. But, as Mary Cappelli (Syracuse 2013) writes, there is beauty in the leaving:
a new slant of light butterflies flit in gold leaves– So long, sweet Summer!
And finally, for this blogger, a delightfully straightforward haiku from Angelina Allen (Camillus 2014), the young daughter of frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Paul Goat Allen, pretty well sums it up:
Summer is over the first day of school is here leaves fall from the trees
How do you feel about the Autumn Equinox? Can you put your feelings about this change of season into a haiku? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below–we’d love to hear from you!
The end of August can be somewhat bittersweet: The warm, lazy days of Summer are slowly becoming a sweet memory. Parents, students and teachers are gearing up for a new school year to begin and college campuses have already begun conducting classes. Baseball season is winding down while high school soccer games and football practice are largely underway. But, even though the Great New York State Fair and Labor Day officially mark the end of the Summer season, Summer stays with us until September 21! Days remain mostly warm and sunny, the nights a bit cooler. And, although tall, golden-eyed Sunflowers have settled back home facing East, there remain colorful songbirds at the feeder and the hum of cicadas and crickets are still lulling us to sleep.
This time of year clearly resonates with many of our haiku contributors who savour this slow transition to Autumn. Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2014) haiku says goodbye to Summer with a beautiful image:
Evening cricket plays farewell to Summer on its hind leg violin
As does Ellen Barnes’ (Syracuse 2014) haiku:
Sunflower faces A swoosh of yellow and black: Goldfinch dinnertime
And, Jay Cox (Pompey 2010) pays homage to Summer’s end with this expansive and thoughtful haiku:
Monarch butterflies dance with fading wildflowers as the sun slides low
We wanted to share with you a series of delightful haiku posters from our collection which clearly display these final “daze” of Summer. Enjoy!
Hitchcock and Cassetti
DiCaprio-Lee and Cedeno
Walls and Ryan
From our 2009 Series, Artist: Q. Cassetti and Poet: David Hitchcock who writes: “Although I’m often inspired by the interplay of sound and thought, I also write about my own experiences and try to put into words memories that will resonate with others. In these poems, I want people to say, “Yes, I remember that feeling.” I also think a little humor can open them to thoughts that they may not have had otherwise. So here the poem opens with a little humor, two puns in four words. Then it becomes slightly nostalgic, remembering summer as a child, and how fast it goes, and how baseball games and swimming can remind us of that time. There’s all that in just three little lines.
Chiefly close to home, / catching fast flying Summer / in a baseball mitt.
As it’s done every mid-August since 2001, Syracuse Poster Project has announced its annual call for Haiku for its upcoming 2017 season. Entering its 16th year, Syracuse Poster Project invites you to participate in this annual call for Haiku. Consider this as an opportunity to contribute to the culture of our City–as your submitted haiku has the chance of becoming an illustrated haiku poster!
In fact, if your haiku is chosen to be illustrated by a senior Syracuse University Illustration student, it will be on display for one year following our unveiling event in April! Each of our illustrated haiku posters uniquely enhances downtown Syracuse: mounted in the City’s colorfully painted kiosks, Syracuse Poster Project posters celebrate the area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite Syracuse area pastimes, our community celebrations and events. Our posters, like our mission, continue to bridge art and poetry within our community and with our Central New York neighbors.
This year’s call for Haiku is especially noteworthy as we are also paying special tribute to the Erie Canal’s 200th birthday! Officially, the commemoration of this notable bicentennial of the historic Canal begins in 2017. Syracuse–and many of the towns, cities and villages along the Erie Canal Corridor–will be hosting events and festivities to celebrate this iconic landmark. Coincidentally, Syracuse has the distinguished honor of hosting the World Canals Conference in September 2017. Learn more about the Erie Canal here; about the NYS Canal Corporation which manages the Canal here.
You can contribute to the Canal’s bicentennial festivities by writing a haiku to complement our special Erie Canal poster! Displayed below, this colorful poster was commissioned for our special tribute by Tong “Amy” Su, a graduate student in the Syracuse University Illustration Program. If the Erie Canal, its history and its future intrigue you, consider submitting a haiku to complement Su’s charming poster! Visit our website for entry materials and further information here.
If you are new to Syracuse Poster Project, the 2017 poster series will consist of 15 posters created the traditional way (poem first, illustration second) and one special poster created the reverse way (illustration first, poem second). Poets may submit up to three haiku to the traditional contest and one haiku to complement the Canal poster. We request that your Haiku have three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables; no need for title lines. Need inspiration on writing haiku? Look here for our wide selection of books on writing haiku, books about haiku artists, and compilations of our own archived haiku contributed by Central New York poets.
The entry deadline for your haiku is Sept. 9. Poets will be notified if their haiku was selected for a poster in early December. Our unveiling event happens in mid-April–and what a fun evening it is!
To download an entry form, click here. To download the Call-For-Haiku brochure, click here.If you would like to download a sample of the Ms. Su’s Canal poster, click here.If you are an elementary and / or secondary school teacher, we would love to hear from you and your students, too! Several posters have featured student poems and we enjoy the vision and spirit of student work. If you have your class participate, please help with the selection work. For each class, send us the best five haiku. Thank you.
And, don’t forget, all our posters are for sale on our website, here. You will also find them on display locally as our traveling exhibit brightly lines the walls of area restaurants, cafes and college campuses.
Summer. Long days. Blue skies. Bright evening stars. Among its simple pleasures: the sweet cacophony of birdsong, the laughter of children playing, the chirping of crickets lulling us to sleep.
Many of our archived haiku reflect these simple joys of Summertime. Here are a few of them!
Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2011) offers up a delightful poem which warmly embraces one such Summer treasure – the company of friends:
Old-older-oldest Summer’s eve front porch sitters Wine-laughter-gossip
And, Jacquelyn Green’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku cheerfully evokes a Summer treasure that never gets old:
Dreaming of Summer. Double Dutch, hopscotch and friends. Good times and laughing.
For some, nothing says Summer like chasing Fireflies! Their magical flight, on a starry Summer night, can still take us by surprise. As part of our 2015 Syracuse Poster Project collection, our featured poster beautifully reflects a childhood we can still remember when we chased a brightly lit Firefly. Eloquently written in 2014 by frequent contributor, Thomas Stock, this charming poster was illustrated by former Syracuse Illustration Student, Sophia Openshaw, now a freelance illustrator from Annapolis, Maryland.
Fireflies blink brightly / Caught in jars of summer dreams / Where I once left them.
We’ll leave you with this 2014 haiku by Syracuse native and poet, Martin Willitts, Jr. He writes vividly of another Summer treasure which certainly cannot be denied:
Summer night concert Black crickets on violins Bullfrogs on bassoons
What do you treasure about Summertime? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page! And, don’t forget, if you see a poster you would like to own for your home or office, visit our Shop page!
Fountains echo words / Blues and jazz reverberate / Summer in the Square
Music. Festivals. Summer. They’re synonymous with one another. Celebrating the season nearly every weekend of Summer, festivals fill Syracuse squares and parks with all kinds of music, ethnic foods and treats, crafters and artists of all kinds, individuals and families enjoying the outdoor opportunities of coming together as a community.
Joseph Whelan’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku nicely describes this sense of community on one such Summer’s evening–perhaps an evening enjoying Syracuse’s Candlelight Series in Armory Square:
Music in the night Neighbors gather in the square Dancing in the street
Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse) similarly recounts the pleasures of one of Syracuse’s most popular neighborhood festivals, the Westcott Street Fair with her 2015 haiku:
Westcott Festival brings out musicians, artists, cooks, friends, and their dogs.
Peggy Liuzzi’s(Syracuse) 2009 haiku colorfully describes our collective refusal to have rain hold us back from celebrating Summer’s annual rituals, including the Syracuse Jazz Fest which inevitably has one rainy night in its lineup:
Music fills square. Rain falls and the crowd blossoms With bright umbrellas.
Warm Summer night’s wind Whispers Celtic music through Armory Square streets
Jay Cox’s 2003 (Pompey) haiku brilliantly reminds us that Summer in CNY is incomplete without celebrating the blues–as in the NYS Blues Fest:
Texas blues drift with the moonlight through a Summer night in Clinton Square
When all is said and done, our 2003 Syracuse Poster Project series haiku poster–written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Julia Cocuzza, now a working artist living in Brooklyn–says it beautifully:
Steamy Summer night– / ribs smokin’, guitars wailin’ / Blues Fest makes it right
Do you have a favorite Summer festival? Let us know in our comment section below, or even on our Facebook, and we’ll find a place for it in our next Blog Post!
Ah, Summer! Sunshine (mostly), long, warm days (usually), soft breezes (often)! What better way to officially welcome Summer – and all that it promises – than with a few haiku from the Syracuse Poster Project archives!
You can practically feel one of summer’s little pleasures with this beautifully written 2014 haiku by Thomas Stock (Fort Plain):
Cool clover carpet, Seduce my bare feet with dew Summer night, you muse!
And, on an early Summer’s morning, you might be surprised to hear the unique sound of hot-air balloons overhead–like Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius) did in her 2015 haiku:
colorful balloons drift lazily overhead breathing like dragons
….or, from a distance, you’ll see what Nan Gartner (Fayetteville) describes in her colorful 2007 haiku:
hot-air balloons rise and a riot of color blossoms in the sky
Either way, a sure sign Summer has arrived in Central New York, is the annual Jamesville Balloonfest held at Jamesville Beach Park. One of many Syracuse Summer festivals to feature arts and crafts, food and music, this festival is special for its lovely venue and beautiful hot-air balloons!
rooted in Oakwood old trees towering above granite monuments
….as did Mark Shevalier (Henderson) with his 2007 tribute to this tranquil and historic Syracuse landmark:
And there they all sleep Beneath the earth and granite Oakwood their fine bed
Summer would be incomplete without a visit to Thornden Park’s Amphitheater where you can help celebrate William Shakespeare’s 400th Birthday by catching a variety of theatre productions presented by the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival. While you’re there, smell the roses (!) and become inspired–as did our poet, Rosalyn Carroll, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rebecca Zomchek, now a full time Illustration professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Rebecca’s motivation behind her beautiful poster: “I have always loved Shakespeare and was very excited about the opportunity to illustrate a piece about the wonderful Shakespeare Festival in the park. I love walking out to the amphitheater in the Spring when the roses in the park are in bloom. I wanted to create a fun and interesting piece and tried to give my version of Shakespeare a unique look and personality. I hope this piece reflects those ideas and the wonderful haiku, and encourages everyone to enjoy the wonderful festival, garden, and arts here in Syracuse.”
Drama in the round, / Roses, far and wide abound. / Shakespeare would be proud.
Summertime events and haiku – what a great combination!
It’s difficult. Finding the right words to use when tragedy strikes. Again. When lives are cut short. Not wanting to sensationalize. But, wanting to say something. Something that will support, comfort and soothe.
Eagles nestled in High above the peaceful shore Watching, protecting By Michael Brigandi / 2014 Syracuse
Our archives hold many haiku describing love, hope and the clear, simple splendor of Nature. We’ve chosen only a few with the hope that you will find solace in their words.
Heaven’s cries resound Weeping tears open flowers New day springs alive By Deb Bateman / 2002 East Syracuse
Our featured poster is from the 2010 collection. The beautiful haiku was written by Peggy Liuzzi and the gorgeous illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Alec Acevedo, now a freelance illustrator and in-house artist for Jay St. Video Games in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
White trilliums light / the dark forest floor glowing / ghostly like spilled stars
Pulse. We are touched and saddened by what’s happened in Orlando. One of many horrific events that will be in our hearts for a long time…like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine, San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Boston, Charleston, Oklahoma City….
Love, come sit by me The sun is tucking in now My shoulder is yours By Kathryn Hammer / 2015 Syracuse
With our deepest sympathy.
Over graves and drifts frozen teardrops of snow sigh and whisper soft grief. By Mary Taitt / 2011 Grosse Pointe Farms
Though the Summer Solstice is still three weeks away, Memorial Day Weekend and the first week of June, essentially welcomes Summer! And now with the season of fun in the sun officially underway, so are its many celebrations, including outdoor festivals, concerts, craft fairs, art shows, field days, Highland Games, baseball games, boating events…we could go on forever!
And, believe it or not, there are haiku from our archives that fit nearly every summertime occasion imaginable!
For instance, during the first weekend in June, the Taste of Syracuse event in Clinton Square has celebrated the opening of Summer for the past 20 years. Food tasting and music dominate downtown Syracuse for two days and two nights. Our illustrated haiku poster from the 2011 collection gives you an idea of the crowds that have enjoyed this annual event. The poster was created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Rebekah Mackay, and written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robin Gross.
Craft shows, concerts, food / Taste of Syracuse so fine / Dance to the music
Meanwhile, in the nearby Village of Chittenango, Oz-Fest celebrated its 39th year this first weekend of June by again painting the town yellow—er, green! This Oz-stravaganza celebrates the birthplace of L. Frank Baum with parades, hot air-balloon rides, munchkin races and Dorothy look-alike contests. Manlius writer, Sylvia O’Connor, describes this bright occasion with her 2014 haiku:
Immoderate Spring Bursting into leafy green Emerald as Oz
A well-written Haiku can say a lot in only a few words and syllables–it can tell a story and even express deep emotions; it can also be political and make us pause to reflect upon the world around us. Like other forms of poetry, haiku can speak to war and peace, heroes and fallen soldiers, victory and defeat, freedom and sacrifice.
Among many things, this poster from our 2003 Syracuse Poster Project collection beautifully reflects the haunting memories of war. The haiku was written by poet, Bryan Wilbur, and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student,Robert Franceschini.
Emptiness echoes / around monuments. A man / remembers shadows.
Wherever you find yourself this Memorial Day–whether it’s laying a wreath or raising a flag, marching along with a parade or gathering with family for a barbecue, watching a ballgame or enjoying the evening’s fireworks–we wish you well!
spiraling around the mailbox pole, they climb, climb brief springtime neighbors!
Our thanks to Michelle Miles, (Amman, Jordan, 2016 and youngest sister of this blogger), for her comment on our last blog, (Waiting for Spring to Spring!), in the form of this richly evocative haiku. We think you’ll agree, her words could easily describe the Clematis, Morning Glory or Honeysuckle you’ve seen lately snaking up mailboxes, lampposts and telephone poles–all reaching for Spring’s blue sky!
Around Central New York, you may have also noticed red-tinged Peony buds and purple-budded Irises shooting up in freshly mulched flower beds. Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Audia Denton (Ithaca) cheerfully describes how good the colors of Spring can make us feel in her 2011 haiku:
Shoot forth stems of Spring hues from every source waving flowers smile at us
Fragrant and colorful Lilacs are making their appearance now, too, while Apple and Cherry blossoms are filling out many a bare-limbed orchard. Another of our frequent contributors, Jennifer Groff (Lancaster 2013), celebrates all the blooming going on with this wonderful Springtime haiku:
flowering trees flaunt voluptuous silky blooms of new spring dresses
Springtime in Central New York is also grey baby goslings vying for space with afternoon golfers on bright green golf courses. It’s a family of black turtles sunbathing on half-sunk tree logs along the Erie Canal. It’s blue Robin eggs spied in a new nest. Norma Odell’s (North Syracuse) 2014 haiku vividly describes another Springtime activity:
Bobbing goldfinches Upon purple coneflowers Ignore my feeders
Lest we forget, nothing says Spring like the smell of freshly mowed grass or the smell of rain after days of dry weather. Our featured haiku poster is from our 2006 collection. Written by Sheila Forsyth and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Elizabeth Black, it lends itself well to Spring musings, doesn’t it?
Rain beads on petals / Thornden among the roses / After passing storm
Spring flowers, Spring smells, Spring sounds and Spring sites…ah, joy!
Around Central New York this year, Spring seems slow in showing up. Digging through our large archive of wonderful haiku, this 2013 poem by Joan Dear-Houseman (Chittenango) is striking in its description of how unhurried a start to Spring it’s been this year:
Mittens on my hands, Contradicts the month of May. Will Spring ever come?
The sudden demise of early Spring flowers saddened many of us…thank goodness for the brilliant cheer of our fine-feathered friends as depicted in this playful 2013 haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sam Donnelly (Syracuse):
On a frosted branch A love-sick chickadee croons– You-hoo, babe, it’s Spring!
And, if you don’t see anything blooming brightly yet in your neck of the woods, look closer–as Robert Gaurnier (Syracuse) does in his illustrative 2003 haiku:
Ducks in Webster’s Pond dive under the Spring sunshine tail ends sprouting up
Still looking for Spring? Check your lawn, where crazy as it may sound, dandelions have already begun to seed! David Hitchcock (Fayetteville) vividly captures this disparaged Spring flower in his 2009 haiku:
Dandelions spring,disturb the tranquil green lawnwithcheeky yellow.
One of our lovely Spring posters comes from our 2014 Syracuse Poster Project series. The haiku was written by James & Barbara Yonai(Syracuse) in 2011 and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Emily Rhain Andrews, now a Vermont based freelance illustrator.
Spring comes, flowers bloom / deer dine on floral buffet / gardeners must pay
Finally, as we wait for Spring to spring, consider the hopeful words of this 2010 haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor Joan Loveridge‐Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse)
Spring rains gently coax earth for purple primroses to open anew
How do you wait for Spring to spring? Send us your thoughts in a haiku and we’ll add it to our blog!
On April 14th, we celebrated the unveiling of the Syracuse Poster Project’s 2016 poster series. Our 15th annual event was a wonderful evening of art, haiku, hors d’oeuvres and music! Congratulations once again to our 2016 poet-artist pairs–your creativity represents another year of fine work! Our thanks also to all those who attended, and to our sponsors and the many volunteers who helped make this celebration a success.
If you happened to miss this colorful celebration, do not fear: photos of this special evening can be found here; the names of the poet-artist combinations here; and you will find this new series of eclectic posters here–as well as in kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse.
Our featured poster this week comes from the 2016 series. Written by Grace Carroll and illustrated by Syracuse University Illustration student, Madeleine Slade, this haiku-poster lightheartedly reminds us that smiles can be our umbrella–even on a rainy Spring day such as today!
Splashing in puddles / Umbrellas spin in the air / A childhood rainstorm
Syracuse Poster Project is proud to announce the unveiling of its 2016 collection on Thursday, April 14. Our festivities will be a gathering of poets, artists, friends and other supporters of public art. Food, drink, music and of course, a display and haiku reading of each of the 16 new posters will be served! This year’s merriment begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Atrium of City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse. Click here and here to see photos from a few of our past openings and recent kiosk displays.
We hope you will join our celebration of this year’s series! In addition to our “traditional method”of creating posters from contributed haiku, this year’s collection includes another poster created by what we like to refer to as a “reverse process” poster–meaning, we solicited haiku to complement an illustration. We added this unique process to our annual call for haiku in 2009. Two of our many favorites created by “reverse process” are:
Community builds / bridges of thought between us, / hope for the future.
Our 2016 reverse process poster was created by artist and Syracuse University adjunct professor, Tim Coolbaugh. His captivating poster was spotlighted last August on our blog post: Meet the Illustrator of Our Dog Rescue Poster. In response to Tim’s poster, we received over 70 haiku submissions; five semi-final haiku were selected and then passed along to the artist for his decision. Of these five, Aubrey Joy Cooper’s (Auburn) haiku was selected to accompany Tim’s poster.
Dare I hope again? / Human eyes reveal few truths. / Still, I hope once more.
Here are the other four (4) semi-final haiku:
Roaming the streets, lost / Looking for love, a fiend, warmth / Today…a new home. Michael Brigandi, Syracuse
…and we have a cat. / So, that’s the whole family. / Let’s go home–my friend.Karl Krohl, Syracuse
Driving through the ‘Cuse / A shelter dog by my side. / A life worth saving. Justin Blok, East Syracuse
A neglectful past / A hopeful future awaits / Rescued, loved againPhilip Andon-McLane, Syracuse
Our thanks to the many poets who submitted haiku for the 2016 poster series. We had an excellent response: approximately 100 of you submitting a total of 168 fresh haiku! Combined with submissions from past years, we had a total of 371 poems to pass along to our Syracuse Univeristy Illustration students whose efforts this year–as you will see–were outstanding! Our thanks to these talented student artists and their faculty members who have worked closely with Syracuse Poster Project since our very beginnings–we are fortunate and blessed to have you! Finally, our thanks to our wonderful volunteers without whom this event would not have been possible!
April. The word itself elicits all things Spring: April showers that bring May flowers, soft breezes and memories of April in Paris, cherry blossoms and lilacs, love poems and songs…think Simon & Garfunkel, April Come She Will and Frank Sinatra’s rendition of I’ll Remember April.
High walls of Spring snow Line the roads of the city. When will the tulips bloom?
April is also a month of celebration. In fact, Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating its 15th year! Bringing together community poets and Syracuse University artists and illustration students, Syracuse Poster Project creates an annual series of poetry posters which are hung in kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse. Be sure to catch our annual haiku-poster unveiling event on Thursday April 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington Street.
April is also the start of fishing season and the first heady days of baseball season. We think you’ll agree that our featured Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster from our 2007 collection beautifully depicts an April scene. The haiku was written by poet Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Wei Hsing.
Cold hands, smoky breath / Brown trout jumping Nine Mile Creek / in the April dawn
Our thanks to one of our readers, (Anonymous), for this wonderful Spring haiku:
March into April, Shed the outer cloak, breathe and Take the umbrella….
Responding to our recent question, What is your favorite sign of Spring?,we think you’ll agree, this beautifully descriptive haiku evokes all the hopes of Spring that April brings.
It’s been a chilly, rainy “March” to Spring this year. Much different than what we experienced last year–a cold, snowy, and seemingly interminable journey! But still, Spring has sprung at last, and when mornings awaken blue and bright, it’s as wonderful as this 2015 haiku by Syracuse Poster Project contributor Sean Conrey (Syracuse):
A spring breeze still cold All nerves beneath the black oak A new leaf unfurls
Depending on where you live, you may still have patches of snow on the ground. But that hasn’t stopped the green shoots of tulips and daffodils from pushing their way up through the soggy Winter ground just as imaginatively described as in this 2012 haiku by Jane Woodman (Syracuse):
Syracuse snow banks cover heat-seeking missiles of Spring daffodils.
No doubt you’ve also seen colorful blooms of crocuses cropping up everywhere you turn. More than Winter’s white and grey, these sweet hints of Spring colors to come is delightful–as is this 2011 haiku by Sam Donnelly (Syracuse):
Blossoms in short shorts Sunbathing between snow banks, Blooming in the thaw
forsythia arms sleeved in little bursts of sun shoveling the snow
While the earth is renewing itself, our fine-feathered friends are returning home, too. Robins, of course, among the first signs Spring has arrived. Surprisingly, even Gulls, as vividly described in this 2008 haiku by Alexa Carter(Fulton), herald hope:
Gulls like drifts of snow Gather on the shores in spring Harbingers of fun to come
One of our many favorite posters from the 2009 Syracuse Poster Project Collection, written by longtime Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox and illustrated by teacher and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Devin Scannell aptly describes this taut time between Spring and the last of March snows.
A blackbird sways on / a goldenrod stalk covered / with afternoon snow
Finally, a fitting tribute to Spring by another of our haiku contributors, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore, 2005):
Snow melts to lilies Of the sweet valley, reborn In sensuous spring
It’s that time. The Ides of March, when the tables turned on Caesar, and the battle for power…oh wait… I mean, that time of year when the battles of March, played on basketball courts around the country, determine who will be the 2016 National Champion!
East, West, South, Midwest–what better way to express the excitement of March Madness than our featured 2008 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster created together by poet, Pat Flowers and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Gabe Eng-Goetz:
Fenced in glory hoops / leap in air toward heaven / endless chatter scores
Congratulations to the Syracuse University basketball team for their selection to play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In another day or so from this posting, they’re scheduled to play the Dayton Flyers. And, while the game won’t be here at home, Michael Brigandi’s (Syracuse) 2013 haiku resonates with our hopes for them:
Dark walking through snow Uphill, wet cold, bundled, warm Back down, Orange win
March has arrived – whether as a lion or a lamb, it’s too early to say – but, there is certainly music in the air! You can hear it in the wind. Just listen to the lion’s roar in Rachael Ikins’ (Baldwinsville) 2011 haiku:
Valentine’s Day: a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love, symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses, maybe a candle-lit dinner, whimsical cards and love poems.
Haiku being our forte, we searched our archives for words of love that might inspire your own celebration. Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse) 2013 poem transcends the ordinary and beautifully elicits love:
I chase the song of life. My heart knows the hidden path, where love finds me.
Kathryn Hammer (Syracuse) expresses love endearingly in her 2015 haiku:
Love, come sit by me The sun is tucking in now My shoulder is yours
Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a cherished moment of love in her 2003 haiku:
Young opera moon, you caught us stealing kisses Under red awnings!
And, Sandra Hewett (Syracuse) shares a special Valentine’s Day moment with her 2014 haiku:
Candles glow brightly On the table as we eat Faces full of love
This year, we at the Syracuse Poster Project, are celebrating Valentine’s Day by offering two, newly designed and downloadable, Valentine’s Day Cards. Thanks to Zhongwen Hu, a native of China now studying for a master’s degree in illustration at Syracuse University, this Valentine’s Day card includes a text box for writing your own haiku. You can see more of Zhongwen’s work at her Behance site or her Instagram site.
Our thanks also to Shiwen Su, another native of China who is also studying for a master’s degree in illustration at Syracuse University. Her delightful Valentine’s Day card has plenty of white space on its cover for writing your own haiku. You can check out more of Shiwen’s work at her Tumblr site.
If you still stuck for an idea, you will find a couple of our older, and just as whimsical, Valentine’s Day offerings and other inspirational items by clicking here and here.
It might be freezing cold outside, but our featured 2008 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you on this St. Valentine’s Day weekend. The poet: long-time Syracuse haiku contributor, Jungtae Lee ,and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Sahng-Yeon Lee:
A curious moon / peeping over the rooftop / in Armory Square
If grey skies have got you blue, and you’re tired of the cold already, why not head down to Provisions Bakery & Restaurant in Armory Square. Serving warm comfort for breakfast and lunch, the newly renovated site is currently hosting our travelling exhibit of framed poster prints – a visual delight!
As Norman Cohen’s (Jamesville NY) 2010 haiku cheerfully exclaims:
Climb over snowbanks Navigate icy sidewalks Hot cocoa inside!
Well, it’s officially Winter – or so the calendar says. The Season of Light, the Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve – all behind us now. But for the balmy 50 degrees weather we’ve been having on and off since Thanksgiving, you wouldn’t know that it is January in Central New York. So, where’s Winter?
Equating snow with Winter – as most of us do in CNY – frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Gary Weinstein (Syracuse NY), mused this question in 2004:
Strange…I miss the snow. The endless blanket that tucks us in all winter.
From the sound of the howling wind tonight, one can only imagine Winter as we know it will soon be here. Scott Austin (Brooklyn NY) anticipated Winter with his 2011 haiku:
Listen to the wind And you can hear snow approach Moments before flakes
CNY’s first major snowstorm of the 2016 season, (post New Year’s Eve weekend), has already been washed away by warm weather, high winds and lots of rain after only a few days on the ground. Tom Westpfal, (Fayetteville NY), captures this somewhat muddled Winter we’re having in his 2013 Syracuse Poster Project haiku contribution:
Grass poking through snow Has winter just ended—nope It has just begun
Thankfully, it doesn’t seem we will be having the long, bitter cold Winter we did last year – or like folks are now having in the Midwest. Regardless, this beautifully illustrated 2005 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster – written by Ellen Agnew and illustrated by former SU Illustration student, Ivy Hickam – sums up the ‘warm’ side of Winter.
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve noticed a lot of new energy. That’s thanks to our blogger, Rosalyn Carroll, of Manlius. Now that she’s gotten things rolling, we figure it’s time to introduce her. An aspiring writer and poet, Rosalyn has been writing haiku, poetry and short stories since high school. She enjoys music, theater and walking along the Erie Canal. We think you will like how she incorporates a variety of themes with haiku selections from our archives and with select posters from our collection of illustrated haiku. Rosalyn affords us new, creative opportunities, and we encourage you to participate by following her posts, reflecting, and commenting. In short, please join the conversation.
Autumn has finally settled here in Syracuse. With its tendency towards capricious weather and warm-colored landscapes, you could say that October is the official beginning of the ‘holidaze’ season — from Columbus Day to New Year’s Day!
Speaking of Columbus Day, did you know that this October event became a national holiday in 1937? And that groundbreaking for our very own Columbus Circle–with its wonderful bronze homage to the explorer–took place on Columbus Day, 1932?!
Exploring our haiku archives, (no pun intended), Columbus and Columbus Circle have often been highlighted over the years by several Syracuse Poster Project poets and artists. What better way to celebrate today’s holiday by featuring a couple of them here!
A bronzed Columbus in front of the Cathedral found by stray pigeon
The poem, by Robert Gaurnier,
contains a wonderful play on words, don’t you think? As the poet mused for this 2006 Series poster, “….Columbus….sailed a long way to find this land only to be now found by pigeons.”
The poster, created by former Syracuse University student, Jeremy Shuback, handily “….
capture(s) one side of Syracuse and
one side of Mr. Gaurnier’s fantastic
haiku.” (Read more about Jeremy
and what he’s been up to since his
days at SU, here.)
Roosting in bare trees Over Columbus Circle The crows are black leaves.
We think you’ll agree, this 2013 Series haiku poster beautifully illustrates the poet’s words. It also highlights the strong character of Columbus Circle and its ofttimes, serene atmosphere. The artist, former Syracuse University
student, Danielle Ceneta, now a New York-based artist, has even created the feel of an “…Italian piazza…” in this poster–exactly what the original designers had hoped to achieve with this space.
Doreen Miori-Merola wrote the sensory-driven haiku and describes her experience: “…Looking around, I noticed that the trees had already lost (what I thought was) almost all of their leaves. Then there was a loud noise. I’m not even sure what it was. The sound startled this incredibly large flock of black crows that had been roosting in the bare trees around the old library. Suddenly Columbus Circle came alive with the fluttering of black feathers. It reminded me that perhaps we are never truly alone. The haiku developed in my head with that momentary sensory experience.”
If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that Syracuse Poster Project strives to bring our community together through art and poetry. We are fortunate to have so many poets who use haiku as a way of confirming their affection for Syracuse and the Central New York area, its well known landmarks and festivals, its many diverse parks and neighborhoods, our wonderful music and art scene. We hope you enjoyed this brief history guide, if you will, of our city’s tribute to Columbus!
The deadline to submit up to three (3) of your best written haiku to the 2019 Syracuse Poster Project Series is quickly approaching! Is yours ready?
Are you needing some inspiration? Well, look no further! You’ll find a couple examples below of some wonderful haiku posters pulled from our archives.
From our 2002 Series: this fine,
sensory-filled haiku, was written by poet and frequent contributor, Martin Walls. In this haiku, the poet has created an “equivalency between the sound of the cicadas and the sound of the lights humming on.” The wonderful illustration is by former Syracuse University student, James Ryan, now a successful visual arts teacher and aspiring illustrator. Learn more about his work her
Fizz of Cicadas slows as evening cools–lights hum on in Armory
From our 2010 Series: even if you are not a dog lover, this delightful haiku, written by Cynthia DeKing and perfectly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Chalek, will certainly make you smile! By the way, Sarah, a dog lover herself, is currently working in Los Angeles for Ingenuity Studios; and Cynthia wrote this haiku using a personal experience walking dogs!
Ears flapping in wind trying to keep the dog’s pace walking me instead
From our 2011 Series comes a haiku
referencing an end of Summer event we are all too familiar with! Poet, Lori DiCaprio-Lee, uses fond memories and her experiences as a Mom, to create this rich, thought provoking haiku. She writes, “I’m excited about the Fair coming, but I’m also melancholy because summer is ending.” The colorful poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Keisha Cedeno, now working with Freeze NY as a graphic artist.
When the Great Fair comes school cannot be far behind. Summer ends too soon.
From our 2017 Series, this wintry
haiku was written by working Dad and poet, Nicholas Petrone. By
employing his years of experience
with Syracuse winters, he writes, “…I wrote the haiku one evening after a big snowstorm. My children had been playing all day in the wind and the snow, and after I put them to bed I sat down and wrote this poem.”Marisa Rother, another former Syracuse University and now a freelance illustrator and designer, created the beautiful and imaginative poster.
Children sleep soundly in warm winter pajamas— snowman guards their dreams.
As you prepare to write, remember, nearly all haiku selected for illustration by the Syracuse Poster Project, celebrate our area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite pastimes, our many diverse community celebrations and events! Create your haiku with three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables. Comb through your personal experiences and use your imagination!
Be sure to submit your poems by Friday, September 7, 2018.
If you need more inspiration, you’ll find more good haiku here on our Poetry Blog. If you’re new to the Project, and would like to participate this year, please click HERE for our standard entry form. To download our specially designed Invitation Brochure, click HERE.