Yoko Ono To Judge Poetry Contest

Interactive haiku competition launched

Renowned artist and musician Yoko Ono has been confirmed as the judge of an exciting new haiku competition.

Often derided, the humble haiku is one of the most delicate of poetic forms. By strictly limiting word choice the poem is capable of expressing philosophical questions in just a few lines.

Developed in Japan, the haiku contains only fifteen syllables, usually spread over three lines. Predominantly based on imagery drawn from nature, the opening two lines introduce a theme which is resolved or contradicted by the final line.

An example:

Typewriters whistle
Black ink on buzzing white screens
Silent deadlines pass

Opening yesterday (May 18th) people visiting London’s King’s Cross station will be invited to submit haiku based on the theme of the British summer. So plenty of poems on rain, then.

Would be poets can submit their entries via Twitter, making this the world’s first interactive haiku competition. A display board at the station will make the best efforts visible to the public within minutes of the poems being sent – no pressure or anything.

The Independent reports that the poems will also be displayed at the King’s Place arts centre next to the station.

Yoko Ono is the joint judge for the competition, alongside renowned British writer Jackie Kay. The winning poets will be given free entry to King’s Place’s ‘Words On Monday’ event.

“I liked the idea of doing something that combined an old form with a very new form,” said Jackie Kay. “People could do a haiku on the way to work and it’s a good way to exercise the brain. It’s like the sudoku,” she added.

Yoko Ono has been busy of late. The peace activist has asked fans around the world to recreate the famous Bed Protest, undertaken by the artist and her husband John Lennon. In addition to this Ono has re-launched her acorn protest, sending a small of acorns to every world leader.

The competition closes on May 22nd.

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