Update: We have a winner!


Thanks to everyone who submitted to our contest, “End Your Summer On A Haiku Note”. Every poem we read spoke to us in some way and all were examples of heartfelt, rhythmically captivating and often witty storytelling – making us feel, think and laugh.



Woodstock Peony by Sharon Rousseau


Our finalists offered perspectives of nature as experienced by insects, creatures and humans; a lovely circle of life theme.


We’re thrilled to present the winning piece, by Michael Tucker.


You sip from a glass
As a soft brown moth escapes;
Summer brushes lips.


–Michael Tucker




Congratulations, Michael! Our contest winner will receive a limited edition print of Sharon Rousseau’s photograph above, “Woodstock Peony”, and a signed copy of New York City Haiku.


And our three runners-up, below.

A petaled valley
Of white peony blossoms
An ant’s brief heaven.


— Perdita Finn

Late summer sun cuts
In low on the horizon–
Time to wash windows.


–Susan Darrow

Through thickening grass
poults, no longer little, strut,
bellies full of bugs.


–Tammi J. Truax

Thank you for writing haiku for Woodstock Bookfest. We were honored to receive and read so many fabulous poems. We hope that haiku will continue to be a form to turn to, enriching and recharging your writing life. And our sincere thanks to festival friend Sharon Rousseau, who inspired and guided this contest.

The contest:


End Your Summer on a Haiku Note!


When I saw this stunning photo on Sharon Rousseau’s Instagram page, I gasped. When I read the haiku that accompanied it, I knew we had to team up for a Woodstock Bookfest contest.



Woodstock Peony ©Sharon Rousseau


Instead of weeding
I held living stems to light–
searching for poems.

–Sharon Rousseau


When The New York Times recently held a haiku contest, no one guessed its editors would receive 2800 poems in ten days. From that outpouring of poetry about NYC, the paper chose its winners, and invited poet Marie Howe to choose her six favorites to publish as Poet’s Picks.


Writer, poet, photographer and friend of Woodstock Bookfest, Sharon Rousseau, was one of the winners of the contest and one of Howe’s Poet’s Picks. Rizzoli Books saw the project after it ran in print and online, and in April 2017, Universe Publishing, a division of Rizzoli, published New York City Haiku, with illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock.


We love haiku because it gets writers writing. And we love any chance for simplicity, because life is so complicated. Clear your mind with haiku.


So we’re having our own haiku contest.


Join us in crafting a haiku


Traditional haiku consists of three lines, the first containing 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, the third 5 syllables. The poem typically holds some element of nature or season, and the last line often contains a twist or surprise, something unexpected.


Not sure where or how to start? Let Sharon explain.


“As the season changes, I think of renewed routines and the idea of practice, of committing to activities in ways that sustain me, ground me and bring joy. As a writer, photographer and poet, I’m always moving between the three disciplines, finding ways to refresh and continue the process.


A couple of years ago, I was asked to participate in a project with writers composing daily haiku for 365 days. The idea sounded overwhelming, but exciting. So I began. From poems as daily practice to New York Times print and online to a Rizzoli book. I couldn’t have planned it, and it’s thrilling.


Recently I’ve been working on a series of photographs, which seem almost a visual expression of haiku for me.”


Our contest winner will receive a limited edition print of Sharon’s photograph, “Woodstock Peony”, and a signed copy of New York City Haiku.


Sharon Rousseau is a writer, photographer and poet in NYC and Woodstock, NY. She’s an Active Artist member of the Woodstock Artists Association Museum. Her photographs are exhibited in commercial space and galleries and appeared on ABC News sites, as well as other online platforms.


Custom limited edition prints are available of her series of photographs
From My Garden at


Follow Sharon on twitter and on Instagram.