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 [email protected] or 80 Meetinghouse Lane, Weybridge, VT 05753. He will forward them to our poet laureates for judging.

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