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.

3 thoughts on “4th Annual Poetry Contest

  1. Gee has it al­ready been a year?
    I’ve been so busy this last year — my po­et­ry has been put on the back burn­er…
    Look for­ward to read­ing all the en­tries.

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