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The Haiku Foundation Monthly Kukai

THF Kukai Overview

A kukai is a (usually quite casual) poetry contest. The administrator of the kukai (that’s us) assigns a theme for a given writing period and posts to Troutswirl (The Haiku Foundation blog) on the THF site, which is then redirected outward through our various media outlets. Poets write work to this theme during the allotted time and submit it to the administrator. The work submitted is gathered into an anonymous ballot and posted to Troutswirl (The Haiku Foundation blog) for public viewing. At that time all participating poets and other interested readers may vote for their favorites. Votes are tallied and the results made public. The top winners will be acknowledged on the first (1st) day of the following month, and offered their choice of prizes from a list compiled by the Foundation. Please remember that everyone who votes is a winner — the process of choosing your personal favorites is not just fun, but also one of the best ways to improve your own haiku practice!

Submission schedule

On the first (1st) day of each month The Haiku Foundation will announce the kukai theme. Poets will be able to submit their work from that time until midnight (east coast time) on the fifteenth (15th) of the month.

Voting schedule

On the eighteenth (18th) day of each month an anonymous ballot comprising all submitted poems on that month’s theme will be posted. Participants will be able to vote at that time until midnight (east coast time) on the twenty-fourth (24th) of the month.


Anonymity is an essential part of any kukai. Please respect this to offer the reader (and voter) the opportunity to choose only the poem.

Good luck, and have fun!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. As a newbie to THF I feel as if I’ve found a sanctuary. Inspired by discovering a wealth of views and material that challenge me to pause a bit longer, observe a little more keenly and appreciate with greater fervor life’s Haiku moments. The Kukai contest a fun tool to learn from my peers and share my unique insights. Namaste.

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