4th Annual Poetry Contest

It is that time of year again. I find it hard to believe that this is the 4th year that I’ve had a writing contest. The first three years were haiku contests, this year I’m broadening it in form and being a bit more specific in regard to content. I hope you like the prize. April is National Poetry Month and my humble contest lasts the thirty days. Details past the jump.


Don Eulert’s book Field: A Haiku Circle presents an admirable requirement for this little contest of mine; namely:

…haiku should simply arise out of a genuinely felt moment, and…“be the starting-​points for trains of thoughts and emotions.” … A short poem like haiku needs juxtaposition. A haiku that might become a “starting-​place for trains of thought and emotion” begins with a non-​didactic Zen attention. Then maybe a couple of things come into awareness simultaneously, with a little surprise. … More a way of being in the world than a way of writing, haiku supposedly see without ego. … But Robert Haas notes that even Basho takes us into “the deeper mysteries” through what Haas calls “the scent of a particular human life.”

But as I’ve already said, this is a bit broader than a haiku contest. Any kind of poetry is acceptable, but what I’d like you to do is to strive to teach without teaching, show without telling and be without being self-​conscious. The poem doesn’t have to be those things, but I’d appreciate it if you tried writing in that sort of mindset. If you reread this you might realize that there aren’t really any requirements. Don’t worry about your writing skill. Each poem is an equally wonderful gift in my eyes.


Poems should be e-​mailed to poems@​organicmechanic.​org no later than April 30th. Anything received in May isn’t eligible to win a prize.

Rules and Disclaimer:

1. Don’t plagiarize. I’ll find out. I’m good like that.
2. I will post your poem here, you will still retain the copyright to your work, I’m just reproducing it for everyone’s enjoyment.
3. I’m the sole judge. Ooh, Scary.
4. I’m not making any money off this contest, or your poetry.
5. Anything else I forgot goes here.


Four folks will get prizes. Only the grand prize is exceptional. The rest are sort of lame.

Mega-​Jumbo-​Super-​Happy-​Joy-​Sauerkraut Grand Prize:

• A copy of Don Eulert’s Field: A Haiku Circle. Only 1,000 copies were printed, so this is a rare treat and quite hard to get ahold of.

Field: A Haiku Circle is the title of Don Eulert’s collection of prize-​winning haiku for bedside reading, meditation, and holiday gifting. Field is the result of one year in which Dr. Eulert wrote a haiku each day as a method of contemplative practice. Dr. Eulert has promulgated Zen and Haiku in teaching at Columbia University, Reed College, the C.G. Jung Institute-​Zurich, and at Alliant’s San Diego campus, where he has been a professor of cultural psychology for over 20 years. In 1963, Dr. Eulert co-​founded American Haiku, the first journal in English devoted to Zen poems in the Japanese tradition. That publication led to flourishing haiku societies and publication of haiku in numerous languages. Published by AHA Books, Gualala, CA.

• A personalized mix CD.

ROFLMAO-​Indigo-​Kielbasa-​Opium-​Heavenly-​Three-​People-​Tied-​For-​First-​Runner-​Up First Runners Up Prize:

• A personalized mix CD.

Any questions? Shoot me an email.