Haiku Newton Returns

The Haiku Newton project debuted last spring, 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 created by project co-director Grey Held (pictured at right).

Thanks to grants from Newton Community Pride, the Newton Cultural Council, and Mass Cultural Council, which also supported the project last year, Grey and co-director Elizabeth Lund were thrilled to announce the submission period for Haiku Newton 2023 a few weeks. They were also pleased to welcome Greg Fulchino as a co-director.

Now that the submission period has closed, two dozen winning poems will be chosen from the many entries and featured on signs that will travel to several sites in Newton, beginning in early April and into May. A celebratory reading will be held on April 27.

Check back soon for more details as we make poetry “bloom” once again.
welcome to haiku newton image
In early May 2022, co-directors Grey and Elizabeth “planted” the inaugural haiku signs in two public parks: Newton Centre Green (banner photo, above) and Capt. Ryan Park. The signs remained there for two weeks, then were moved to the Upper Falls Greenway and the Waban Library.

On June 1, the signs traveled again – to the Newton Senior Center, at 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville, and the Nathaniel Allen House, 35 Webster Street in West Newton. The poems remained at the Allen House until July 23, when several of them moved back to the Newton Centre Green, to be part of the Linda Plaut Newton Festival of the Arts. The poems were accompanied by an interactive Haiku Hut. (See photo at right.) The signs at the Senior Center remained a few weeks longer.

As one passerby said of the signs, "They made me stop, think, and breathe." Another noted that the poems "talk to" one another, creating "an amazing and meaningful" respite in the midst of bustling village centers.

The project ended with an online reading of some of the poems, by the poets themselves. That reading can be seen on Elizabeth's series, Poetic Lines, which airs on NewTV.

The 2023 signs will be installed in multiple new locations.

how haiku newton began image

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.

Read More  

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.

Read More  

Greg Fulchino

Writer and Senior Library Assistant

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

Read More  

Newton Cultural Council

Mass Cultural Council

Newton Community Pride

Collage of Voices: 100 Years of Women's Right to Vote

This video commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment and reminds us all how the arts were used to sway public opinion. The project features poems and songs written by five of the many notable suffragette poets, as well as work by three award-winning contemporary women poets.

Poetry in Place

Grey Held has brought poetry out of the book and into several unexpected venues through the Poetry in Place series. These projects, completed in the past few years, have included Make Poetry Concrete and Hidden Poems, Mother's Day poems written in chalk on the steps of Newton City Hall, and nature poems affixed to stones in Edmands Park.

  • Newton, MA, USA