2nd Annual Downtown Haiku Project Focuses on Arkansas River

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership and its Public Spaces Committee’s Haiku Project is returning again to bring the creative word to downtown. 

One of Downtown Little Rock’s greatest amenities was brought to us by mother nature. To celebrate this unique landscape, the Downtown Little Rock Partnership is seeking entries for a haiku art project that respond to the theme “Arkansas River Downtown.”

Up to ten haiku will be selected for display on temporary, outdoor signs in Downtown Little. This year we are partnering with art students from Lyon College, who will create miniature murals for each winning entry. This project seeks to capture the insights of what the “Arkansas River Downtown” means for our city, and to create a temporary community art installation that will provide pops of color and visual inspiration to pedestrians and passersby in the area. Last year’s “Fall in Little Rock” campaign brought in more than 70 entries, and we hope to have another great contest.

Originating in Japan, haiku is the shortest form of poetry in the world. Often focusing on natural images, haiku emphasizes simplicity and can capture complex moments and emotions in three short lines. 

To participate, submit your haiku HERE. Entries will be accepted from August 2 - August 31, 2023. This project is open to the public, including students, poets, or simply those interested in expressing what “Arkansas River Downtown” means to them. Each participant may enter up to three haiku. Winners will be notified via email and publicly announced in September.

All entries must be a true haiku with five syllables on the 1st line, seven syllables on the 2nd line, and five syllables on the 3rd line. All haiku must be the sole, original work of the entrant. There is no entry fee to participate. 

Entries will be reviewed by a volunteer committee. Judges may disqualify any entry that has been previously published, won awards or competitions, or does not meet the criteria for a true haiku.  Please keep a copy of your haiku as entries will not be returned. By entering the program, you are granting permission for the Downtown Little Rock Partnership to print your poem and your name for public display for this program.