The Challenge for our Spring 2015 Issue:
Found Haiku!

"Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original. . . " (Wikipedia on Found poetry).

The Spring 2015 issue's Challenge will be the second in our series of exploring the interrelation between text and image in ways that are not, strictly speaking, haiga. As a subgenre of Found Poetry, Found Haiku presents particular problems. When I was first beginning to write haiku, I quickly found a "headline haiku" website that showed how to clip and compile newspaper headlines into snarky 5/7/5 pseudo-haiku. There's a tendency, thus, not to take clipped word haiku seriously, but I've found over the years newspapers, magazines, mail order catalogues, any kind of written text that includes descriptive language can be a wonderful source for haiku. They can open us to greater awareness of the language that surrounds us in our daily lives finding its way into our thoughts, moods and poems.

Found haiku may be anywhere—I've compiled them from newspaper headlines, magazine advertisements, mail order catalogues, and even subject headings from my spam mailbox—but for this Challenge we're going to restrict ourselves to classic literary texts as sources. Because this means close encounter with Copyright and Fair use, so the specifications for submitting to this Challenge will be spelled out a little more strictly than usual. Please read and follow all directions.

Poetic text:

  1. Choose a literary text by another author that has influenced your own writing. Your source text can be a novel, an essay, a longer poem, song lyrics, a theatrical script, etc., but please select one that is available online We will be hyperlinking to it as part of crediting your source.

  2. We won't limit you to works that are in public domain, but excerpting a well-known source or author is part of the fun with found poetry so do try to use a classic text as your source.

  3. Use a longer literary text for your source. Do not use a haiku or other short-form poem: there will probably not be enough transformation of the original to qualify for Fair Use exception.


Create a visual or graphic setting for your poem. There are various ways of setting a found haiku artistically, among them

  1. Found text Haiga: Transcribe the text of your found poem and insert it into an image just as you would with an ordinary haiga. Numerous lovely examples of transcribed found texts—albeit without haiga settings—may be found in Melissa Allen's Red Dragonfly blog.

  2. Haiga Collage: Cut and paste the words of your found text into a graphic presentation. You may do this with paper, scissors, glue and a scanner or digital camera (some nice examples using a 19th century children's reader are at the odd inkwell), or the haiga can be built digitally (see my own "Haigacollage" in the 2003 issue of Haigaonline.

  3. Blackout Haiku: Circle the words of your found poem and mask out the rest of the text on the page. Blackout poems appear throughout A Humument, the altered book by artist Tom Phillips. More recently the technique has been popularized by Austin Kleon.

Mechanics of Submitting:

  • Our maximum image size is 650 pixels high or wide, and 72 pixels per inch resolution. Larger files will be resized to fit our page format.

  • You may submit as many entries as you like, but we will be accepting one from each submitting author/artist.

  • Apart from your source text, submissions should be unpublished and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. This includes not only publication in online and print journals but also works displayed where others can access them on social media, personal web pages, online photo albums, blogs, and at online workshop groups and forums.

  • Include "Found Haiku Challenge" in your subject heading. In the text body of your email give full footnote information and a URL to which we may use to link to the text online. Submissions that do not include full source citation (such as your high school teachers taught you about bibliographies and footnotes) cannot be accepted.

  • Our standard copyright disclaimer is that copyright to all work published in Haigaonline remains with the contributing author/artist, and that nothing in the issue may be copied, reproduced or republished without their written permission. Artists and authors are free to republish work when the issue is no longer current, but agree as a condition of acceptance to credit Haigaonline as the first place of publication. Needless to say, found poems are a considerably different situation. We feel we're operating under the educational and transformative exceptions of Fair Use and accept submissions for this feature in good faith, but if any originating author, estate or publisher objects, we must of course remove the work from the issue.
  • The Deadline for submissions is 1 February 2015. Email submissions to the editor at

paplinda at


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