Welcome to Haiku Newton

Our sponsor, Newton Community Pride, has announced the winners of this year's Haiku Newton contest. You can read the announcement here.

Over the next few weeks we will spotlight the 2024 poems on this website, along with writer bios.

Later, we will share an online anthology that includes all the poems we received from a variety of writers including students, Newton neighbors, established writers, and poets who live halfway around the world.

You can view the 22 winning haiku in several locations. A complete set of signs has been installed in front of the Newton Free Library, located at 330 Homer Street (see the first and second photos at left). Several signs also have been placed at the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton, 675 Watertown Street, at Trio, 845 Washington Street, and at the Austin Street Plaza (third photo), 28 Austin Street in Newtonville.

We hope this project helps people experience the delight and beauty of poetry in unexpected ways. We're pleased that several passersby have already told us how inspired and uplifted they felt after seeing the colorful signs and reading the vibrant poems.

Check back soon for more photos and updates.

The Haiku Newton project debuted in spring 2022, bringing poems on lawn-style signs to various locations in the Garden City. Passersby were surprised and delighted to encounter the haikus in parks or along busy sidewalks.

As word spread on social media about the project, people came from around Greater Boston to see the signs for themselves. Others viewed the poems via short online video tours that were created by project co-director Grey Held (pictured, first photo in carousel at right).

Grey and co-director Elizabeth Lund were thrilled to welcome Greg Fulchino as a co-director (second photo in carousel) in 2023. Poets from various states and two foreign countries submitted work that year. A panel of judges selected 24 winning poems, which were printed on display panels and attached to sign frames.

The 2023 signs were displayed in front of the Newton Free Library, at 330 Homer Street, and in front of the First Baptist Church in Newton, at 848 Beacon Street, until late May. The installations then moved to three new sites until late July: the Depot Coffee Shoppe in Newton Upper Falls (third photo in carousel), the Boys & Girls Club, located at 675 Watertown Street, Newtonville, and Grey Held's front lawn on Watertown Street.

Haiku Newton also participated in the Linda Plaut Festival of the Arts on July 22. One set of signs was on display at the festival location, the Hyde Community Center at 90 Lincoln Street, and a Haiku Hut encouraged attendees to write poems of their own.

If you weren't able to see the signs,  you can enjoy two videos that Grey created of the library installation. Each video features 12 poems, so viewers can see both sides of the signs. One tour heads toward the library's parking lot; the other heads toward Walnut Street.

We're thrilled that Newton Community Pride is now the generous sponsor for Haiku Newton. Sign up for our mailing list in the footer of this website to receive updates about the 2024 contest.

Haiku Newton received so many wonderful submissions this year that we wanted to acknowledge them all. Co-director Greg Fulchino, a Senior Library Assistant, created a special binder, which was displayed on the Circulation Desk at the Newton Free Library until late May. The binder has been moved to a permanent location on the third floor. Greg also created a pdf for those who can only visit us online.

Both formats of the Haiku Newton anthology are intended to celebrate and encourage creativity, and to spotlight the talents of everyone who shared their poems with us.

We've heard several comments from people who've read through the binder before or after they checked out a book or renewed their library card. As one woman said, "This is a wonderful poetic pause, so unexpected."

To read the poems, click here, or download the file in the section below.

Grey Held

Poet and Literary Activist

Grey Held is a recipient of a NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing, and the 2019 Future Cycle Poetry Book Prize Winner. Three books of his poetry have been published.

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Elizabeth Lund

Reviewer and Interviewer

Elizabeth Lund writes about poetry for The Christian Science Monitor, where she served as poetry editor for 10 years. She also hosts and produces Poetic Lines at NewTV.

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Greg Fulchino

Writer and Senior Library Assistant

Greg Fulchino is a writer and Senior Library Assistant who is passionate about bringing poetry to communities.

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  • Newton, MA, USA

Newton Community Pride

Founded in 1989, Newton Community Pride (NCP) is a non-profit organization building community through free arts and culture programming, public art, beautification and service projects. If you’d like to learn more about NCP, please visit newtoncommunitypride.org.