Back to Newsroom

Friends Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge 2022

Friends Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge 2022
Balsamroot and lupine at sunrise, Rowena Crest. (photographer: Sharon Philpott)
By Kassy Delgado
Community Engagement Specialist
March 28, 2022

In celebration of National Poetry Month and International Haiku Poetry Day on April 17, Friends of the Columbia Gorge is announcing its third annual Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge!

Like many others, I spend every weekend lacing up my hiking boots and hitting the trails. Hiking and backpacking have always been my gateway to the outdoors. Spending hours on the trail, eating ramen and backpacking food for days, that’s the dream… for me.

However, that’s not the case for everyone, and that’s OK.

When we picture the word “outdoorsy” we often think of folks with Patagonia sweaters and Merrell hiking boots. We think of weekend hikers and accomplished mountaineers, folks who log miles on the trail and have all the survival equipment you can think of. This image is often a misconception, and it can limit who we see and who feels welcome in the Gorge.

The truth is, there are many ways through which one can appreciate and connect with the outdoors. You can dance in the Gorge. Or sing, paint, write, or haiku. That last one may or may not be a real verb, but I say this spring, we should make it one.

Find me in the Gorge,
Where all the wildflowers bloom,
Sun soaked and happy.

 

For Friends’ third annual Gorge haiku challenge, let’s redefine what it means to be “outdoorsy” and challenge ourselves to form new and different connections with nature. We are again asking Gorge-lovers to submit haikus illustrating what exactly it is that they love about it (the views, the communities, waterfalls etc.) as well as haikus about why it's important to protect, preserve, and steward the Gorge for future generations.

Please follow the traditional haiku format which is three lines with 17 syllables (5-7-5 syllable structure). Check out "How to write the perfect haiku," which has background and tips to consider as you craft your own verses.

To submit your haiku in the challenge, you can post it on:

  • Facebook (please tag @gorgefriends)
  • Instagram (tag @gorgefriends with the hashtag #HaikuPoetryDay)
  • Twitter (tag @gorgefriends with the hashtag #HaikuPoetryDay)
  • Email it to friends@gorgefriends.org
  • All entries are due by 5 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, April 14.

We will share several of our favorite submissions on our website and social media channels in celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day (April 17).

Happy writing and connecting!