Haiku For March Madness

Here at the Syracuse Poster Project, a lot of haiku submitted and contributed by our fine poets, highlight observations and sensory experiences found in the world around us. Topics run the gamut, from Mother Nature to our love of music, holiday celebrations and even sporting events!

To celebrate March Madness — the kind of madness when hoops, top seeds, Selection Sunday, brackets and hopeful Cinderella’s, take on a life of their own — we’ve opened up our archives to some fun haiku with an eye on Basketball!

Spoiler Alert: What with Syracuse University in our front yard, many of the haiku presented below highlight the Syracuse Orange games held at the Dome on the SU Hill.

In that airy Dome
orange knights vow grand conquest
Big East battleground!

by Robert Stone (Baldwinsville, 2008)

The stakes are rising,
screams echoing through the Dome,
the shot’s up, it’s in!

by Nolen Brann (Jamesville, 2018)

Hoops hysteria
basketball stars down the court
Orange Carrier

by Jennifer Fulco (Syracuse, 2012)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2008 Series. The colorful haiku was written by poet, Pat Flowers and beautifully illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Gabe Eng-Goetz, now working as a professional artist and designer; he is also the founder of Runaway.

Fenced in glory hoops / leap in air toward heaven / endless chatter scores

From the 68 teams selected from across the country, to the Sweet Sixteen, to the Elite Eight, and down to the Final Four, March Madness is certainly an exciting tradition to welcome Spring!

The town with the MOST
We play basketball and boast
On streets we all coast

by Nick Ghezzi (Canastota, 2011)

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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This year’s wintry mix of weather has not dampened the spirited shenanigans of St. Patrick’s Day revelers here in Central New York.  From parades and concerts to hearty helpings of corned beef and cabbage, St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays! From our archives, please enjoy these cheerful haiku dedicated to this Irish celebration!

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Green attire swishes
Fast feet, giddy crowds sip ale
Leprechauns walk by

By Pearl Popiak (Syracuse 2011)

Parades, Irish music, food and drink, are among the ways we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Salina Street wears
a green stripe and marching bands
on St. Patrick’s Day

By Nan Gartner (Fayetteville 2007)

It’s a day to revel in the sounds of bagpipes, bodhrans, Irish flutes and fiddles! And, it’s a great day for Irish dancing and singing of Danny Boy!

Dancers jig and clap
Bagpipes blast a cheering tune
Leprechauns skip by

By Gabrielle Gardner (Camillus 2013)

It’s a day that would be incomplete without corned beef and cabbage or a frothy Guinness Stout at your favorite Irish pub. Best of all, St Patrick’s Day is a sweet prelude to warmer weather!

on St. Patrick’s Day
the city dances with green,
welcoming Spring

By Heidi Stephens (North Syracuse 2008)

Our featured haiku poster on this special occasion is from our 2007 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Jennifer Sanford and the poster beautifully illustrated by our own, Joseph Murphy, when he was an illustration student at Syracuse University. Joe is one of our Board Members; you can learn more about his work, here.

Our Irish landmark / Green light proudly wears the crown / Tipperary Hill

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Winter’s Day

Ice and snow and howling winds — oh, my! Just when the sun peeks out for a day or two, Winter strikes back for one more round of cold, grey days. We’ve written here before of Winter’s many faces and while daylight is lasting longer–thank goodness–this singular season is anything but over! So, before we bid adieu to February blizzards, black ice, wind chill, freak rain storms, thick fog and ice tsunamis, here is one more wintry blog to enjoy.

From our archives of submitted haiku:

With Jean Fahey’s (Syracuse 2017) haiku, the brilliant warmth of a Winter sun on a crisp and clear morning after days of snow is wonderful—-take out your sunglasses!

the dazzling sunlight
after snowstorm is over
makes diamonds of snow

If you have little kids, you’ll know that by wearing one’s pj’s inside out all snowy night long, there’s a good chance of a sensational snow-day tomorrow…you can almost hear the groans of disappointment in Erin McConnell’s (LaFayette 2010) haiku:

Up early for school.
Snowplow rumbles on the road.
No snow-day today.

A cold, wintry scene is set in Marsha Egan’s (Cicero 2009) dramatic haiku:

Snow blankets the earth:
the brittle silence is broken
by passing footsteps.

Winter storms aren’t complete without a little wind howling through bare trees and underneath the roof eaves! Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius 2019) wrote this haiku during one such storm:

Wild winter winds crashed
through the trees knocked on my door
Delivered fresh snow

Our featured haiku poster—-from our 2012 Series—-says it all on a cold, snowy day in late February! The poem was written by our frequent haiku contributor, Michele Reed, and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Anna Rettberg, now a busy and successful illustrator living in Seattle. See more of her wonderful work here.

Hear the snow crunch / underfoot as I’m walking / I dream of the beach

We’ll leave you with this artistic point of view from Mary Taitt (Grosse Pointe Farms, 2011):

Snowflakes in simple
brushstrokes sweep over drifts, pile
in long arching curves.

Stay Warm — only 21 more days ‘til Spring!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Valentine

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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.

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku To Warm Up January

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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!

Stay Warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project


Our 2019 Haiku Poster Series – An Update!


Selecting the 2019 Series

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 Mower has 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. 

Peter Allen & Aaron Lee

Dianne Apter & Kathleen O’Dell

Mary Jane BeVard & Erin Nowak

Laura Braaten & Dani Pendergast

Sherry Chayat & Steven Peters

Aubry Cooper & Cayetano Valenzuela

David Harper & Eva Hunter

Shari Hemsley & Alexandra Grant

Perri Hogan & Daniel Shanahan

Kyle Johnson & Hall Groat Sr.

Diane Lansing & Jill Pierce Long

Michele Madonna & Alyssa Dearborn

Elina Park & Anne Lathrop

Elizabeth Patton & William Padgett

Carolyn Senft & Jamie Santos

Marilyn Shelton & Marianne Dalton

Erin Stepowany & Jamie Ashlaw

James & Barbara Yonai & Paul Lilly

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For a 2018 Thanksgiving

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

….manning a soup kitchen as frankly described in Silvia de la Garza’s (Manlius 2011) haiku:

black and white faces
awaiting the noon-day meal
and Samaritans

….spending the day outdoors, as cleverly described in Linda Liddiard’s (Moravia 2010) haiku:

Oak leaves drift softly,
men on fields in bright colors.
Tight spirals land hard.

….or gathering around the dining room table with family and friends as warmly described in Anne Mackenzie’s (Homer 2014) haiku:

kinfolk gathering
pepper specks on buttered corn
black starlings scatter

….we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving with our featured haiku poster from our 2012 Series: finely written by Sara Parrott and wonderfully illustrated by professional artist and instructor, Skip Frost.

Community builds / bridges of thought between us / hope for the future.