UKIAH, 1/15/24 – For the first time in three years, Ukiah’s annual haiku celebration, the ukaiHaiku Festival, is accepting submissions for its open competition. Here’s the announcement:
After a three-year hiatus, the annual ukaiHaiku Festival will once again include an open competition. For decades, poets of all ages, from Mendocino County and around the world have enjoyed submitting their haiku to the festival competition. The competition returns this year with categories in English and Spanish youth and adult, and also for the prestigious Jane Reichhold International Prize. Submissions will be accepted online at ukiahaiku.org through February 8, 2024. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Sunday, April 28th, 2024, from 2–4pm, at a location to be announced.
Haiku is a traditional Japanese poetic form that has gained enormous popularity worldwide thanks to its brevity and accessibility. Despite its apparent simplicity, haiku can capture subtle and profound aspects of nature, mood, and existence itself. The traditional haiku is a three-line poem which contains an allusion to a season. One of the most famous haiku was written by Basho in the seventeenth century (this translation by the late Mendocino County haiku scholar Jane Reichhold):
a frog jumps into
the sound of water
The competition’s regional categories are open to residents of Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, and Sonoma Counties in Northern California. The Jane Reichhold International Prize is open to anyone worldwide. Winners of the competition will be invited to read their haiku at the festival which will also include special guests and a musical performance. A publication of the winning haiku will also be available. In recognition that the Pomo people are the original inhabitants of Mendocino County and that the name Ukiah itself is from a Pomo language, this year for the first time, we are making an open call to our Pomo neighbors to share haiku that are in Pomo languages or express a Pomo perspective. For more information about how to write a haiku and what our judges are looking for in a haiku, please see our resources link found at the bottom of our homepage: ukiahaiku.org.