Haiku/Senryu Poetry Competition

Calling all students, all poets and non-poets from the University of Glasgow!

Looking for a creative outlet after months of working and learning remotely due to the Covid pandemic?

Now students at the University of Glasgow can take part in a poetry competition to submit a Haiku/Senryu traditional Japanese style poetry on the theme of Covid and remote study/working.

Haiku is a traditional Japanese unrhymed poem, written in a 5/7/5 metre, which often focuses on images from nature. Senryu (also in 5/7/5), by contrast, usually refers to human nature or emotions, often with a sense of humour. 

The judges will be looking for up to five Haiku/Senryu in English on the theme may be submitted and considered (original, self-authored, unpublished, and not entered for any other competition). The Haiku/Senryu should be one to three lines (or even a one word ‘atomic poem’) with no strict syllable count.

Some examples of Senryu by Japanese university students are listed below:

Hard to connect

both internet

and people


Not enough

money, conversation

or sunshine


Became a better typist, but

poorer talker

Since English and Japanese are very different, the judges do not require the traditional 5/7/5 structure. You are welcome to try to keep this structure, if you wish! We are looking for a poem which is brief, simple, clear and, if possible, witty.

Thanks to the generous donation from the Japan Alumni Association of the University of Glasgow, the student authors of the winning Haiku/Senryu will receive:

  • First place: £100
  • Second place: £75
  • Third place: £50
  • Special prize: £30

Note: a prize will be awarded to the winning authors, not each Haiku/Senryu i.e. no winner will receive more than one prize.

Deadline: Friday 16 April 2021

How to submit: Please use the application form found at the end of this story . Then sent the form in an email from your University of Glasgow account to Japan_Scotland@glasgow.ac.uk with the subject ‘Haiku/Senryu poetry competition entry’.

First published: 8 April 2021

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