Golden Haiku Contest: Washington DC

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) in Washington DC encourages economic development through a range of initiatives including public art projects. The District stretches from the White House to Dupont Circle.

This is the seventh year the BID has run the Golden Haiku poetry contest. More than 1,700 entries were judged by a distinguished panel of haiku experts including: Abigail Friedman, Kit Pancoast Nagamura and John Stevenson.

On 18 February 2020, a press release was issued. The winning entries plus some 90 judges’ favourites will be ‘seen on more than 350 colorful street signs displayed in the bustling sidewalks of the Golden Triangle neighborhood’. The signs are on display until the end of April 2020. I was pleased to have the following haiku selected for display:


Golden Haiku - Gregory


Also on display is the following haiku by my Blowing Up Balloons co-author, Vanessa Proctor:


Golden Haiku - Vanessa


As the BID says, the haiku signs are ‘displayed on some of Washington DC’s most iconic streets, bringing warmth, color and artistry during the late winter months’. Sadly, though, the COVID-19 pandemic is with us and the sidewalks of Washington DC are not likely to be nearly as ‘bustling’ as usual – prompting me to write:


Image and haiku by Gregory Piko


      just a squirrel

      on the sidewalk

      Golden Haiku




We all need to follow the advice of our health authorities regarding physical distancing and self isolation in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, if you are in Washington DC, I do hope you have an opportunity to enjoy the Golden Haiku signs. Otherwise, you can read all of the selected haiku here.

Please keep safe in these difficult times.