Haiku for Winter Storms

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:

The monstrous yellow machines
remove snow–spread salt.

A beautiful image from Laura Ferrel (Skaneateles 2013):

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

Here’s hoping March goes out like a lamb!


Introducing Our 2017 Poster Series

We are pleased to report that our 16th Annual unveiling event of the 2017 Syracuse Poster Project Series on April 14 was a great success!  

2017 Wilson-Padgett
Autumn Wilson, artist


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

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.  


2017Jim Emmons and Rosalyn Carroll
Jim Emmons with poet & SPP blogger, Rosalyn Carroll

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), 

2017joemurphyboard of trustee
Joe Murphy, Board Member

or our dedicated Sponsors and Supporters (click here to read more)!  

Special thanks, also, to our evening’s photographers, Mindy Lee Tarry and Herm Card.  


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!  

2017 unveilingillustration students
Syracuse University Illustration Students

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!  

2017 David unveiling
Cannon David, artist

On May 1, the new 2017 Series Posters were mounted in specially designated kiosks throughout the downtown Syracuse area.  

2017 kiosk carroll
2017 Haiku Poster on Display

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.  


If you missed the fun–or just want to relive it–check out this video featuring our youngest poet, Kiru Morrissettewhose haiku was illustrated by Kelly O’Neill.  

Kiru Morrisette, poet

You will find other short videos of the evening by clicking here!  A very special thank you to our volunteer, Priya Balaji, for catapulting us into new video territory with these wonderful shorts!




Reading Haiku & Talking Art!


Go to our Facebook page to see other photos from the evening’s events!


Abigail Lent, poet





Our thanks, again, to all who made this a very special evening of community, poetry and art!  

You’re Invited!

You’re invited to the 16th Annual Syracuse Poster Project unveiling event of our 2017 series!  Mark your calendar for Friday evening, April 14 from 6 – 8 p.m.  We’ll be celebrating in the Atrium at City Hall Commons, 201 East Washington Street, Syracuse.   

Atrium 2016 Unveiling

Need a reason to dress up? Come and meet the poets and artists of this year’s poster series! Along with friends, family and other supporters of public art, please enjoy with us a light reception of hors d’oeuvres, drink and music!

To add to the merriment, sit and listen as our featured poster poets read their haiku.  Unveiling, 2016, Tarry (84)

And, of course, our wonderful new posters will be displayed along the glass walls of the Atrium!  

Prints of the new posters, as well as other items from Syracuse Poster Project, will be on sale during the event.  (Click here to view our online Shop.)  Unveiling, 2016, Tarry (33)

Our congratulations again to the 16 poets and Syracuse University Illustration students (respectively) who are featured in our 2017 poster series: Rosalyn Carroll / Bobby Davison; Chen Chen / Carly Wright; Sheila Forsyth / Cannon David; Ross Getman / Tong “Amy” Su; Linda Griggs / Tatiana Diaz; Abigail Lent / Mack Muller; Peggy Liuzzi / Geani Sanabria; Tara Miner / Lara Hirschberg; Kiru Morrissette / Kelly O’Neill; William Padgett / Autumn Wilson; Nicholas Petrone / Marisa Rother; Tanya Raymond / Lara Hirschberg; Erin Stepowany / Laura Mead; Susan Stiles / Amber Roach; Robert Stone / Monica S. Rexach Ortiz; and Elizabeth Westfall / Gabriella Silverstein

These featured poets can thank a combination of skill and luck for rising to the top, given the large number of participants again this year.   A striking total of 125 poets submitted 260 fresh haiku.  We added these to 717 active haiku from past entries, then selected one haiku from each poet to pass along for consideration by the student artists.  Bottom line: as a group, Syracuse University artists had a total of 414 haiku to consider!

Unveiling, 2016, Card (7)

Our student artists created 24 posters, from which 16 were selected.  The selection committee consisted of Laurie Reed and Bethany Holbrook, of the Downtown Committee; Professors John Thompson and Marty Blake, of the Syracuse University Illustration Program; and Jason Evans and Jim Emmons, board members of the Syracuse Poster Project.

We hope you’ll be able to join us and we look forward to seeing you on Friday evening! But, if you should happen to miss the evening’s festivities,Kiosks_2016_82B Kiosks_32be sure to look for this year’s posters in the kiosks dotting downtown Syracuse. They’re expected to be on view by May 1.