Quadru-haiku Challenge Winners

An inside look into the Vocal Curation Team's favorite poems from the Quadru-haiku Challenge

By Vocal Curation TeamPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Every day, we walk into our offices thinking how we can make Vocal better. It's a never ending task that we love trying to accomplish. But what's most fun about this daily challenge is that we often look to our Creators to guide us.

For this Challenge, we were thrilled to be able to lean into the discussion happening on Vocal lately about art versus form, giving you the option to write a traditional haiku or a set of four, each an ode to a different element. As always, the results were beautiful, haunting, funny, moving. We look forward to reading more of your posts on art, form and how they are met through a Vocal Challenge.

Here are the winners of the Quadru-haiku Challenge and spotlight on two of the Runners-Up. You can check out the full list of winners HERE.

$1,000 Grand Prize Winner

Kristen Balyeat for Smoke Signal Rising

This haiku struck a beautiful balance between the literal prompt and its interpretation. Yes, each verse in the set referred to an element, but these elements were tied closely to the human heart, each element burst open to describe one person's depth of emotion and their struggle with mental health.

Smoke Signal Rising told a story. We felt the walls close in then felt them slowly break apart as the water trickled forth. We particularly loved the use of the words trowel and split mortar, sharp consonants and tough words balancing the haiku's whispered message with a visceral bite. This haiku embraced the prompt and more. We loved every syllable. Congratulations, Kristen Balyeat!

$250 Second Place Winner

T.R. Tadhg for American Northwest Summer (or Mountainside)

Traditionalists, huzzah! This classical, evocative, eloquently rendered haiku begins with a natural setting and ends with a provocative image. Fire wearing rose petals as perfume. We all had the same image in our minds as we read these words, flames licking the earth, a burst of pink and red petals and mist before it is all subsumed by fire.

Each element is so perfectly sewn into this haiku, each element playing an active role. Not a moment wasted, one word flowing seamlessly into the next. A terrifying, beautiful ending. And, all of it huddling together, made perfectly clear, by the haiku's title. Congratulations, T.R. Tadhg!

Honorable Mention

E.K. Daniels for Fickle

This being a haiku Challenge, we believe that, sometimes, simple works really well. There is nowhere to hide in this haiku. It is over before it begins. It does what it says on the tin, as they say across the pond. We particularly liked the last line, Is my restless mind. Of course, that's the crux of the haiku, but the word is as opposed to in or on takes full ownership over the wind, over the fickle nature of their mind. Their mind is fickle, the winds are their mind, mind and element, one being. This haiku was a total and quick immersion. Well done, E.K. Daniels!

Honorable Mention

Chloë J. for You Wrote Me A Love Note

You Wrote Me A Love Note is a cinematic haiku that gave us the feeling of nostalgia for young romance and star-filled nights. Stars are fire, humans are ash, we are all stardust. In this haiku, we felt connected to both our fellow humans and what lies beyond the night sky. It had us wishing for warm summer nights and the hopes that whatever love notes we receive are burnt up in a fit of happiness, of wanting to connect with the galaxy, to spread love to the farthest corners of the sky because love is the meaning that keeps humanity human, it's what warms this cold rock and what we always want to be met with, wherever we are in the universe. Well done, Chloë J!


Craving more opportunities to hone your craft? Check out our live challenges:


About the Creator

Vocal Curation Team

Collaborative, conscious, and committed to content. We're rounding up the best that the Vocal network has to offer.

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Comments (9)

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  • sleepy draftsabout a year ago

    Huge congratulations!! 💗

  • Testabout a year ago

    Huge congratulations to all the winners and runners up! Every entry did a fantastic job 💕🙂

  • TheCryptoJediabout a year ago

    Solid Foundation Holy Mother Mold My Heart A Mother To Earth As I Surf The Skies Pneuma Guides My Sails Along An Unseen Highway Into The Furnace Don't Rescue Me From The Fire Impurities Burn Wash Me Clean Of All Polish The Gem I've Become Solidifying Me I mean this is such a perfect description of the souls journey into higher forms of crystallization like what really

  • TheCryptoJediabout a year ago

    Congratulations to the winners though.

  • TheCryptoJediabout a year ago

    I literally Live what I talk about, I have been through the depths of hell where shells have no life and talked about the trials and a direct journey in becoming the 5th Element = Love, in such a short and precise pithy form and it doesn't get a top 10 runner up. You guys are slacking or lacking. (My Opinion)

  • Testabout a year ago

    Congrats to all winners!

  • Kendall Defoe about a year ago

    It can be hard to say so much with the form, and I think you made the right choices! ;)

  • Zack Grahamabout a year ago

    Big congrats to all of these winners - these haiku challenges are cutthroat and I really learn a lot every time a new list comes out. Great job, poets!

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