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EUI Haiku Competition

This crazy winter,

people and emotions caged,

share them. set them free. 

Anonymous Haiku on the topic of 2020

Thank you everyone for your entries! The jury has deliberated and the winners are: Adam James Humphreys, Xiaoman Lin, Alvaro Pereira, Pauli Aro, and Adrien Bradley. Congratulations to the five of you, and to everyone else who participated. 
To read the winning Haiku, and see who the runners up are go to EUI Haiku Competition Winners. To read all of the Haiku go to EUI Haiku 2021 the poems


This winter the EUI Language Centre invites you, as a member of the EUI community, to share your emotions and thoughts in a creative way… by writing a haiku.  

What is haiku? A haiku is a type of short poetry originally from Japan. It consists of three phrases that contain seventeen syllables: the first phrase contains five syllables, the second phrase – seven, and the final phrase – five syllables. You can learn more about haiku at Poets.org and see a similar competition at the Law and Humanities blog Hedgehogs and Foxes.


Why participate?

Despite living through unprecedented times of social and physical distancing, the EUI community is finding many ways of remaining strong together. The 2020 winter break will probably be the quietest at the EUI. If you wish to bring joy to the community by letting your creative juices flow during these long dark days inside, the haiku competition is for you.

  • Not only will you create joy, but you will develop essential skills. Writing a poem is challenging. Writing a short poem with a strictly defined structure is even more challenging. Playing with words, fitting them into a very precise format, expressing one’s thoughts in a concise form are excellent transferable skills to develop.
  • Not only will you develop essential skills, but you will have the thrill of seeing yourself in print. 
  • Not only will you have the satisfaction of creating art, but if you win one of the categories, you may also imagine yourself sipping warming premium tea this winter as you read the wonderful haiku written by the EUI community.

Who can participate?

The whole EUI community is warmly invited to participate in this competition. If you are the partner of an EUI member, you must use your partner's EUI email to participate, but also indicate your own personal email for communications.

We hope that everyone will join us on this creative adventure!

How can I participate?  

Your haiku may be serious or sad, it may be funny or ironic, it may be soothing or stimulating.

It may be anything you like, provided it is your original work and meets the following criteria.


Your haiku is on one of five topics:

  • your research

  • your EUI experience

  • life in Italy

  • the year 2020

  • world affairs


Multiple submissions are welcome. Include as many haiku on one form as you like. If you have already submitted a haiku, but want to submit another one (or ten), you may find the system doesn't allow you to do so. In this case, send us your haiku to [email protected].

Your haiku meets the following criteria:

1. A haiku is structured in three lines:

  •  Line 1 : 5 syllables
  •  Line 2 : 7 syllables
  •  Line 3 : 5 syllables  

The Poetry Foundation's definition of SYLLABLE: 

"A single unit of speech sound as written or spoken; specifically, a vowel preceded by zero to three consonants (“awl,” “bring,” “strand”), and followed by zero to four consonants (“too,” “brag,” “gloss,” “stings,” “sixths”)."

2. Your haiku complies with the EUI Code of Ethics, especially the principles of respect and responsibility.

3. Your haiku can be submitted in any language. If, however, it is not in English, you must provide a translation. The translation does not have to respect the structure of the haiku, although of course if it does, then that would be great!  

4. You must use an EUI email. If you are a partner with no EUI email, you must indicate your partner's email, and include your own in the alternative email box below.



The competition is now closed, but you can still submit a Haiku and see it published. Go to EUI Haiku 2021 the poems.




What happens after the submission?

After the deadline the Organizing Committee will anonymize haikus and send them to the Jury for evaluation. The Jury will meet and select one best haiku for each category on perceived beauty and authenticity.

All the haikus that respect the mentioned criteria will be published online. 

The winner of each category receives a prize: a 50 euro voucher you can use to buy tea, green, black, with or without jasmine.... 

The winners will be announced in early February 2021. 

The Jury consists of five people chosen from across the EUI community:
  • one faculty member
  • two PhD researchers
  • one postdoctoral fellow
  • one staff member

All four departments are represented, and five different nationalities, none of which are the same as the three different nationalities of the Organizing Committee. 


 The Organizing Committee

Nicola Hargreaves (Language Centre Coordinator)

Svitlana Lebedenko (PhD researcher, Law Department)

Takuya Onoda (Max Weber Fellow, SPS Department)

 Any questions?

If you have any questions, reach us at [email protected]

Page last updated on 16 February 2021

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