SPL Announces Haiku Winner


Staff member
Feb 14, 2021
The winner of our 2021 Haiku Contest is:

⁠Pale light, smoke’s last sting⁠
Green conquers scorched earth, lark’s praise⁠
Spring dawn on the range⁠

By Jordan Veenendaal⁠

The runners-up are the haikus by:⁠

Tracy Whitaker & Maggie Gillam⁠

We received wonderful submissions and while our final judge Patricia Traxler, winner of the 2019 Kansas Book Award for Poetry, enjoyed reading our seven finalists, this is what she had to say about these three poems:⁠

“I thought the very purest examples of haiku among the seven were [the three listed above]–all three of which refrain from specifically naming Kansas and instead beautifully describe aspects of the seasonal weather or the landscape that are so evocative of our state. At that point, with three finalists determined, I actually agonized over the choice of a winner. In the end, I chose ‘Pale light, smoke’s last sting’ for its poetic elegance, for the eloquence and elliptical quality of its language, and for the painterly quality of its descriptions, which are breathtakingly visual.”⁠

Thank you to Patricia for judging and to everyone who submitted haikus. Congratulations to our winner and runners-up!




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