A Call for Haiku!

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.

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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.  

Happy writing!

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Rattle #47 – Japanese Forms Issue

Back in the Spring of 2014, we announced on our Poetry Blog, the call for submissions of Japanese forms of poetry (including our favorite: Haiku) from Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century.  The results have been published in Rattle #47.  You can find this colorful edition at http://www.rattle.com/poetry/print/40s/i47/.   Some selections may surprise you!

Enjoy!

Brownie Points?

Haiku on decorative paper
A submission from Randie Mosenthal, formerly of Syracuse, now living in Denver.

Were you the kind of pupil to submit assignments embellished with decorations? From the stream of haiku we receive, certain submissions make a splash. The writers set their haiku in fancy fonts or print them on floral bordered paper. As screeners and collators for the contest, we think of ourselves as impartial adults, unswayed by decorative touches. But the truth is, we love them. They remind us of grade school. And after all, isn’t the aesthetic treatment of poetry inherent to our mission?

So you may be wondering, Is that pretty girl who submits her haiku in purple cursive going to win? Probably not. First we enter all haiku into a database, then print it, using a single font and blind attribution. By the time screeners or student artists view the work, there’s no telling which poet made her haiku beautiful.

Meet the Illustrator of Our Dog Rescue Poster

Dog Rescue in Syracuse, NY
A cropped version of Tim Coolbaugh’s dog rescue illustration for the 2016 poster series.

Our annual call for haiku is in full swing until the deadline of Sept. 4. The 2016 poster series will consist of 15 posters created the traditional way (haiku first, illustration second) and one special poster created in reverse (image first, haiku second).

For the special poster, artist Tim Coolbaugh illustrated a dog rescue scene. At first glance, it’s a simple image of a dog in the passenger seat of a car, as seen from the driver’s perspective, with Clinton Square in the background. The back story is more elaborate.

Coolbaugh graduated from the Syracuse University with a master’s degree in illustration and has overseen the illustration program’s symposium. He is also a dog-lover, has owned several rescue dogs, and volunteers as a driver for dog rescue services. He has been helping to transport dogs from kill shelters to places that will find them homes since 2002. He estimates he has helped 2,300 dogs and cats, but mostly dogs.

“Most of the time, I’m a link in a chain,” Coolbaugh said. “Very rarely am I the person who starts the dog off, or who makes a placement in Syracuse. Usually, the dogs are on their way someplace else.”

In Coolbaugh’s typical scenario, dogs are traveling from the south, where kill shelters are prevalent, to destinations in Canada or New England. Each week as many as 12 transports may travel through Syracuse.

Coolbaugh participates in a network of 30 to 40 volunteer drivers. The transports usually take two days, with each driver driving 75 to 100 miles for a rendezvous. Coolbaugh drives on Sundays, and may make two or three runs in a given day.

“What I get out of this is knowing that the animal is safe and is going to have a life,” he said.

The dog that shares its life with Coolbaugh is Velvet, a seven-year old black Lab.

Last year, before joining us as an illustrator, Coolbaugh submitted this haiku:

Driving through the ‘Cuse,

a shelter dog by my side,

a fresh start awaits.

To submit haiku to complement Coolbaugh’s illustration, or haiku for the traditional call for haiku, visit our website.

Haiku Call: Rattle Spring 2015 Japanese Forms

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The wonderful independent literary journal Rattle will publish a special section in their Spring 2015 issue devoted to Japanese forms of poetry. Submissions are open until October 15, 2014. From their website:

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Our Spring 2015 issue will be dedicated to Japanese forms. The poems may be written by any poet, in any subject or length, but must use a traditional or adapted Japanese form: haiku, renga, tanka, haibun, etc. Translations welcome, as well. Though it’s not necessary to include this with your submission, contributor notes will be a short explanation of why you like to use these forms in your poetry – so feel free to include your thoughts with the submission if you’d like.

We’d also love to read any longer narrative essays about what draws you to write in Japanese forms, and/or how that affects your poetry. Essays can be any length.

For further information, and to submit your own works, visit Rattle’s submissions page.