A Seasonal Poetry Event
“Fall into Haiku” decorates locations throughout the city with original haiku written by people of all ages who live, work, or go to school in Albany.
Selected haiku are printed on signboards and panels and installed in public places from mid-November through mid-December. Approximately 70-80 haiku are selected from citywide submissions. The “Fall into Haiku” program is organized by the Albany Arts Committee.
Who Can Enter
Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Albany can submit a haiku for consideration. You do not need to be a published poet, just someone who enjoys writing haiku. All ages are welcome to submit.
What to Enter
Submit an original haiku poem related in some way to this year's theme, Urban Nature.
Urban Nature can mean the elements of nature that appear in our urban environment: trees as the seasons change, weeds in sidewalk cracks, squirrels and turkeys, the sky, the view of Albany Hill. Or, it can also mean our urban “nature,” how we live in a city and how we react to the things we experience every day. A haiku is often about a moment noticed, contrasts, surprises, sounds—in short, the objects and nature around us that stimulate our senses, our intellect, and our emotions.
What is a haiku? A haiku is a very short poem based on a traditional Japanese literary form. The Haiku Society of America defines a haiku as follows: “A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition”
Many English writers of haiku say that a haiku consists of 17 syllables broken into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. We do not insist that you follow a rigid haiku form. “Around” 17 syllables are fine. But we would like you to break your haiku into 3 lines to make sure it fits nicely on the signboard!
You may enter up to FIVE haiku, but you may enter ONLY 1 haiku per submission form. We will include only 1 entry per person in the final selection.
How to Enter
Click here to submit your haiku for consideration.
You will be asked to provide:
- your name
- your Albany address (your residence or place of work)
- your phone number
- your email address
- your age or your grade in school
- any special notes about printing your poem, italics, word breaks, etc.
To submit a hard copy haiku in person or by mail:
City of Albany - Fall into Haiku
1249 Marin Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
The poem you submit belongs to you, but if your poem is selected for inclusion in the program, you give the City of Albany the right to reproduce your poem and to archive it on the city website in perpetuity. Your poem will always appear crediting you as author.
You may only submit haiku that you yourself have written (or that you are submitting on behalf of someone else, with their permission). No haiku should include material taken verbatim from anyone else’s work. Poems with language or images that are offensive in the opinion of the judges will be disqualified.
All poems must be in English.
If you are under 18 and your haiku is selected, your parent or guardian may be contacted to approve your work’s inclusion in this year’s program.
Your poem may be edited for style, grammar, or spelling. You may be contacted to discuss any editorial changes to your haiku.
Submissions open on August 15 and close on October 1.
NEW! A “haiku gathering” party will be held on October 1. Watch the City of Albany website or Recreation & Community Services Facebook for details! Event will be held at the Albany Community Center (1249 Marin Avenue) from 6 to 8 pm.
If you have questions, contact Eva Phalen.