Thanks to over 500 poets, parents and teachers for making Haiku Fest successful.

Please note that as soon as the Haiku Festival Awards Program can be rescheduled (due to COVID-19), cash prizes and certificates will be awarded.

We proudly announce the following commendations for participants in grades 7 and 8:

First Prize

Spring leans on winter
Warm breezes uproot the chill
Sweet earth is ready

Naomi Kidane, Age 12, grade 7
St. Thomas of Canterbury, Chicago


Founders Award

scuffed wooden floorboards
barren walls suppressed with fear
they have all left me

Helen Kraemer, age 12, grade 7
University of Chicago Lab School


Honorable Mention

my sweater is warm
it smells old and of perfume
I feel safe in it

Paulina Rivera, Age 13, Grade 7
Josephine Locke Elementary, Chicago


Honorable Mention

birds chirping softly
the opera begins now
sweet songs, soothing sounds

Bethlehem Berhane, Age 13, Grade 7
St. Thomas of Canterbury, Chicago


Teacher of the Year:

Ms. Lauren McNeela
Norman Bridge Elementary, Chicago


Teacher of the Year Honorable Mention:

Ms. Mindy Gonzalez
Josephine Locke Elementary, Chicago


School of the Year:

Josephine Locke Elementary, Chicago

Ms. Mindy Gonzalez
Ms. Joanne Hernandez
Ms. Jennifer Salen
Ms. Jessika Maldonado
Mr. David Kissane
Ms. Kristina Jubera
Ms. Mary Selim


School of the Year Honorable Mention:

Norman Bridge Elementary, Chicago

Ms. Lauren McNeela