You know when you walk into a nice hairdresser and they offer you a complementary tea or coffee, or you attend a fancy event and there’s a glass of sparkling on arrival? Just a little something to say “hey, thanks for coming.” Well, we want to be able to offer our visitors a complementary haiku when they stop by The Book Bird—a few words that ultimately mean: it’s nice to see you. Because it is so nice to see you, readers.
We are turning six during a year of separation and uncertainty. We’ve been open, closed, together, apart… and all it has taught us, essentially, is that we love what we do. We love being your local independent bookshop connecting you with great books, inimitable characters, and talented writers. We love being in our physical space (which has just had a facelift by the way!) and we know you do too.
So, to celebrate our sixth birthday, help us get our complementary haiku service off the ground by entering our writing competition. One overall winner will be awarded $100 cash, and highly commended entries will score a $30 voucher to our shop. The winning and highly commended entries will then be printed, displayed, and distributed in store.
WHAT IS A HAIKU?
The haiku is a Japanese verse form that originates from the hokku. In English, a haiku usually consists of three unrhymed lines with specific syllable counts: the first line has five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third five. Haikus often depict a single or pair of images; they are about capturing a brief moment in time.
Here is an example by the American poet Sonia Sanchez:
Haiku [for you]
love between us is
speech and breath. loving you is
a long river running.
- Poems should conform as closely as possible to the traditional haiku structure, however we will not disqualify poems that depart slightly from the usual syllable count, as such departures are part of the history of haiku. The most important features, for us, are that the poems have three lines and adhere to the characteristics of haiku: simplicity and clarity. (Please note: we will be extra lenient for entries submitted by writers under 18).
- Haikus must be on the topics of books, bookshops, reading, writing, or birds.
- Writers can enter as many haikus as they like, there is no limit!
- There are two ways to enter your poem in our competition:
Post your poem to Instagram and use the hashtags #thebookbird, #thebookbirdgeelong, and tag us!
If you do not have Instagram, you can submit via email. If submitting via email, please include the following information in your cover letter, and attach your haikus as a separate document: full name, age (if under 18), address, phone number, and email. Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Writers can be of any age and from anywhere in Australia. If entering from interstate, please note that the book vouchers for highly commended entries can not be swapped for cash. We can, however, redeem vouchers over the phone and organise postage to anywhere in Australia.
Entries open on our birthday, Monday 25 October 9am, and close on Monday 15 November 5pm. The winner will be announced on Monday 29 November via our website, newsletter, and social media. And our complementary haiku service will be up and running in time for Christmas shopping!