Short Poems Yield Big Prize

    Immortal Beauty Haiku Contest winners announced

    By Isabela C. Varela on January 11, 2013

    The two winners of the Immortal Beauty Haiku Poetry Contest have been selected, and their prizes are as big as their poems are short!

    For their winning 17-syllable haikus, Christie Schultz and Raj K. Bose will each receive an original artwork: a brush and ink rendering of their poem created by Shikō Kataoka, the 84-year-old Japanese calligraphy master featured in the University of Alberta Museums exhibition Immortal Beauty.

    Running from November 22 to March 2, 2013 at the U of A Museums at Enterprise Square,Immortal Beauty celebrates the work of Kataoka-sensei in the context of calligraphy-inspired works from the University of Alberta Art Collection. Because Kataoka's work is closely connected to the Japanese tradition of haiku, the Haiku Poetry Contest challenged gallery-goers to write their own haikus inspired by the exhibition. 

    The traditional Japanese haiku is a short poem of three lines, with both the first and third lines having five syllables, and the second having seven. Entries were judged on creativity, quality of the writing and relevance to the exhibition by a jury consisting of staff from the U of A Museums and the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, as well as a scholar of Japanese literature and culture from the Department of East Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts. Once the winning poems were selected, they were translated into Japanese, with the wording adjusted as needed to suit the calligraphy format. They will be painted by Kataoka in a public event held downtown on Friday, January 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the U of A Museums at Enterprise Square (10230 Jasper Ave., main floor). 

    Here are the winners of the Immortal Beauty Haiku Poetry Contest:

    Author: Raj K. Bose - business teacher, entrepreneur, actor, and poet based in Honolulu, Hawaii
    Inspiration: The first snow, by Shikō Kataoka 

    Softly, one by one 
    Each character on the scroll 
    Now unraveling

    Author: Christie Schultz - Executive Director, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta
    Inspiration: The first snow and Autumn fields, by Shikō Kataoka, as well as the experience of the flow of the artworks in the exhibition.

    Autumn fields give way 
    to first snow, beautifully, 
    as paper to ink