Washington State Ferries Haiku Contest

In March of 2020, with Washington State poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna, I cojudged the third annual haiku contest for the Washington State ferry system, which Wikipedia reports is the largest ferry operator in the United States, and the second-largest vehicular ferry system in the world.

You can read the haiku contest announcement by Justin Fujioka on the WSDOT blog.

Claudia and I each selected two of the 248 submitted poems, tagged with #WSFHaiku on Twitter, and the top four poems were then put to a public vote on Twitter.

And here’s the winning haiku, by Diane Walllihan, announced on 27 March 2020:

mist-shrouded cedars

somewhere on the Salish Sea

a ferry’s horn sounds

This poem was slated to appear on the summer 2020 Washington State Ferries schedule, to be made available to hundreds of thousands of ferry patrons. However, because of the pandemic, a special summer schedule was never printed in 2020, unlike the 2018 and 2019 contest years, but the poem did appear on the Peak Season 2021 schedule instead. The contest was not revived for 2021 or 2022, again because of the pandemic, but I hope it will continue in 2023.