UNF library accepting submissions for Haiku Poetry Contest

Ketan Narotam, Police Reporter

In honor of National Poetry Month, Ospreys have a chance to win $30 in prizes during April’s Haiku contest hosted by the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.

According to Marriam-Webster, a Haiku is defined as an “unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively.”

National Poetry Month is a month-long celebration of poetry, poets, and creativity as a whole. It is celebrated every April and was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Formed in New York in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is one of the largest nonprofit literary organizations dedicated to promoting the art of poetry in our schools.

“National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters,” the Academy of American Poets stated on their website.  “Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”

“The fact that it takes place in April when the natural world around us begins to wake up and bloom is very inspiring,” said Maria Atilano. “I love how there’s a poem or poet for my every mood, and how I can pick up a book or find a tweet or blog post that can inspire me or help me through my day.”

Photo of Maria Atilano. Photo courtesy of UNF.edu.

Maria Atilano is the student outreach librarian at the UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library. She is in charge of planning and promoting library events and activities for Ospreys. Atilano originated the Haiku contest’s idea last spring during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Atilano, the first Haiku contest was so well received that it had 152 entries. 

“Many entries were about coping during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which really hit home for library staff judges who were working from home,” Atilano said. 

The contest is free to all UNF students and faculty. The deadline to submit your Haikus is Sunday, April 11 by 11:59 p.m. The winners will be announced on the library’s social media page @unflibrary on National Haiku Day, Saturday, April 17. 

Contest Rules:

  • Must be a current UNF Student, faculty, or staff to enter.
  • Ospreys may submit multiple entries, but can only win one prize.
  • Entries that do not follow the 5+7+5 rule and that are not original will be disqualified.

Prize Structure:

    • 1st place $20 Target gift card
    • 2nd place $15 Publix gift card
    • 3rd place $10 Amazon gift card

You can find a list of last year’s Haiku contest winners at this link.

“This year, our library building is thankfully open, but we’re hoping the contest will once again be a success,” Atilano said.


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