Golden Haiku poetry contest

March in D.C. usually means longer days, warmer weather, and lucky first sightings of cherry blossoms. It’s also when the Golden Triangle BID adorns downtown D.C. with posters that display the winning verses from its annual haiku competition. This March will be a bit darker than most, marking the anniversary of the District’s first COVID-19 case. Taking note of that date, the theme of this year’s haiku competition is “Daydreams and Musings,” inviting locals and writers from around the world to escape from or reflect on the pandemic in their poetry. The competition follows the Haiku Society of America’s guidelines for modern haiku, which explains why many previous winners deviate from the usual 5-7-5 syllable structure we learned as kids. In addition to the usual winners—overall first, second, and third place winners, as well as a regional favorite—the BID has also introduced two youth categories this year: one for elementary and middle school students, and one for high schoolers. If you want an opportunity to reflect, or at the very least something to stop you from doomscrolling, you can try your hand at a haiku and submit it to the BID by Feb. 7. Come March, maybe you’ll bump into it while strolling down the street. The competition is open until Feb. 7 at goldentriangledc.com. Free.