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Head-To-Head Haiku in Pittsfield

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Do you write haiku? Do you want to battle other haiku-ers to find out who is the best of the best? Well, if you are then we have the event for you. Our friends over at the WordXWord Festival in Pittsfield are holding a special Head-to-Head Haiku event on Tuesday, May 29.

This event is essentially a haiku slam with three rounds of competition. Anyone who would like to signup can do so online (http://wxwwr.org/wp/2012/05/5th-tuesday-slam-may-29/).

Here is how it all works:

Head-To-Head Haiku

Poets – aka Haikusters – come armed with at least 33 Haikus. In this case, Haiku is defined simply as a poem having a maximum of 17 syllables. No titles, no props.

3 judges selected from the audience, are equipped with red and non-red flags.

Haikusters are matched up in pairs for head-to-head competition

First Round

Each pair enters a head-to-head, best 2 out of 3 match. One poet is designated as “red” and one as “non-red.”

Each poet reads one poem and – after a momentary pause for contemplation – the judges raise either a red or non-red flag to indicate their vote. The “Gyoji” (aka slam master or host)  issues a point to the winner of the round. Then each poet reads their second poem. Judges vote, point is awarded. If necessary, a third poem is read, point is awarded and a match winner is declared.

Winner moves on to next round.

Repeat for all 4 first round matches, resulting in 4 survivors who move on to the second round.

Second Round

Second round proceeds as the first with the exception that it is “best 7 out of 13.” First poet to 7 wins.

Second round results in two finalists.

Third/Final Round

Final round is 9 out of 17. First poet to 9 wins!

Note – A poet who makes it to the final death match could potentially need 33 Haikus. Our recommendation? Get busy writing. On the bright side, we’re only looking at 561 syllables, roughly the equivalent of a couple of hundred words. That should be a cinch!