Poetry challenge asks the public to write and share haikus on what they love about the Columbia Gorge and how we all can help protect, preserve, and steward the area for generations to come.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge Press Release
Press Contact: Burt Edwards, communications director | 703.861.8237 (Cell) | firstname.lastname@example.org (email)PORTLAND, OR – In celebration of National Poetry Month and International Haiku Poetry Day on April 17, Friends of the Columbia Gorge is announcing its second annual Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge. Recently, the video version of Amanda Gorman's popular "Earthrise" poem has inspired people around the nation in response to her challenge:
We relish the view;
We witness its round green and brilliant blue,
Which inspires us to ask deeply, wholly:
What can we do?
In the spirit of Gorman’s words, for this year's Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge, Friends of the Columbia Gorge is asking the public to submit haikus illustrating what they love about the Gorge (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 (i.e. What can we all do?).
"If the Columbia Gorge has given me anything, it is patience and preparedness for surprises and turns that come our way. And as shown by the national conversation that Amanda Gorman's 'Earthrise' poem ignited on what we can do to protect the places that inspire us poetry can be a powerful tool to help protect and preserve the wonder of the Gorge through the beauty of words," Friends Executive Director Kevin Gorman said.
For millennia, humans have used poetry, creative writing, and other artistic activities as a way to articulate feelings and thoughts that are often hard to convey in everyday language. And the wonder of the natural world has served as a source of inspiration for scores of beloved poems from "Earthrise" to countless other works of art over the ages.
To participate in the Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge, Friends invites Gorge and poetry lovers far and wide to write and share their passion for the Gorge with a haiku. All writers are urged to please follow the traditional haiku format, which has three lines with 17 syllables (5-7-5 syllable structure).
To submit a haiku in the challenge, members of the public can post the poem on Facebook (please tag @gorgefriends), Instagram (tag @gorgefriends with the hashtag #HaikuPoetryDay), or Twitter (tag @gorgefriends with the hashtag #HaikuPoetryDay); or email it to email@example.com by 5 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, April 14.
"Poetry was an escape for me growing up. By bringing treasured landscapes to life in our minds and reminding ourselves of what we love most about them, we can escape, inspire, and unite. Last year's Spring Gorge Haiku challenge was a huge hit, and we wanted to once again help provide a way for the public to stay connected with each other and nature at a time when many are still physically distancing," Friends Community Engagement Specialist Natasha Stone stressed.
One of the most majestic and unique river canyons on the globe, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, has the highest concentration of waterfalls in North America and at least 15 species of wildflowers that exist nowhere else in the world. Initiated as a project of The Haiku Foundation in 2012, International Haiku Poetry Day (April 17) occurs in the heart of the celebration of National Poetry Month.
For more information about Friends’ Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge, please visit gorgefriends.org. For additional information on Friends community engagement efforts and potential community partnership opportunities, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- See selections from Friends' 2020 Spring Gorge Haiku Challenge
- Watch a 2020 video of former Oregon Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford offering some tips on the process of writing a haiku.
- Learn more about Friends’ other recent public engagement activities
Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a conservation organization with over 6,000 members dedicated to protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Columbia Gorge for future generations. Friends maintains an office in Portland, Oregon, as well as in two Gorge towns—Hood River, Oregon, and Washougal, Washington. Learn more: gorgefriends.org or follow us: @GorgeFriends