Local poets invited to compete with their haikus

WEYBRIDGE — For the second year, Weybridge poet-laureates Julia Alvarez and Jay Parini invited residents to submit haikus for a local competition. Last year’s inaugural haiku competition, resulted in 70 haikus from two dozen residents.

The challenge is to write a haiku or two or more about Weybridge or Vermont: a moment in a season, a particular encounter, a vivid, sense-based snapshot. Maybe it’s a moment or observation that happened in Weybridge. Maybe it’s about Weybridge’s past or a look ahead at its future.

Last year’s themes included community, nature, home, people, farms and creatures. It’s an opportunity to let the imagination run free.

All submissions need to be in haiku form — either the traditional form of three lines no more than seventeen syllables total (5-7-5) or a short three lines that captures the spirit of the haiku. See examples below from last year’s winners.

Participants of all ages are encouraged to submit and do not have to be Weybridge residents, but should have some town connection. No experience is needed.

Winners will be announced at the town picnic on July 13. All haikus will be published in the By the Wey newsletter. Talent Night, a popular community event in the past, may be resurrected next winter. Winners would be read then. In addition, Parini and Alvarez will select other haikus to form a collection or renga, which would also be read at talent night.

The 14-and-under winner will receive a copy of Alvarez’s young adult novel, “Where Do They Go?” The adult winner will receive a copy of Parini’s Why Poetry Matters.

Winners will also receive gift certificates for the Vermont Book Shop.

All submitters will receive a certificate of participation.

Alvarez’s advice: Haiku are vivid snapshots, based on the senses, not abstractions.

Some examples from last year’s winners:


Monument stands high

Kids going outside to play

Good life in Weybridge

— Jonathan Kehoe


Monument Farms sells

Best chocolate milk in world

Really good, try it

 — Jonathan Kehoe



Cups of hot chocolate

And small snowflakes

Melting into warm summer nights

— Narges Anzali


Every time to you go outside

You see cheerful faces

Knowing you can trust them

— Esra Anzali


Travel takes a toll.

Planes, trains and automobiles.

Home? I’m on the Wey!

— Sam Prouty


Utopian school;

Children all above average

In Lake Weybegon.

— Sam Prouty


Moderator Spence

Never flustered. Knows his Robert’s

Do I hear any nays?

— George Bellerose


Wonder of the world.

Our school castle. Thanks Mike N.

Clark S., 56 knights

—George Bellerose



Trees verdant, grass green

Fragrant blossoms tumble forth

Hello Mosquito

-Melissa Lourie


On Snake Mountain Road

Those who drink and toss their cans

Prefer Twisted Tea

-Melissa Lourie


Submit haikus to George Bellerose by June 21 at georgebellerose@gmavt.net or 80 Meetinghouse Lane, Weybridge, VT 05753. He will forward them to our poet laureates for judging.

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