Poetry Contest: National Poetry Month’s Best Humanist Haikus

Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash

TheHumanist.com is pleased to announce the winners of our Annual Haiku Contest in honor of National Poetry Month.

We requested entries of haikus about humanism and humanist values. Submissions were required to be in the form of a haiku, a seemingly simple form of poetry in three lines: five syllables on line one, seven syllables on line two, and five syllables on line three.

We received 180 entries—even more than for our first haiku contest—and our judges chose eight of their favorites. You can read them below. A huge thank you to all of the poets who submitted their haikus. And another big thank you to our panel of judges: Kamilah Arteaga, Peter Bjork, Nicole Carr, Anna Clay, Caroline Peters, Meredith Thompson, and Kate Uesugi.

The winners will also appear in the Summer Issue of our print magazine.


Bear your scars with pride
Not because you suffer them,
Because you survive.

            by Shane


How human to want
neat lessons in humanness—
Muddle on, my love!

by Jeremy Downes


Stars in the black sky
Don’t care that we are loving
We do, you and I.

            by Kathy McKnight


Your eyes are different
than mine. Will you please tell me
of the world they see?

by Ian Paul Sieren


Searching for my path
I could not find what would be
Carved by my own steps.

            by Parks


My faith in people
is tested daily, and still
I reach for your hand.

by Diane Kirschner


by the mountain spring
we talk about the same things
just in other words

            by Goda Virginija Bendoraitienė


We are all we have
We must rely on kindness
From others on Earth

by Shannon LaValley