Haikus are the minimal expression of poetry: they rely in the juxtaposition of two poetic images or ideas and a kireji, or cutting word. The English version (that cannot convey the deceitful simplicity of the Japanese language) has 17 syllables and follows a 5-7-5 structure, but exceptions prove the rule so let your creativity bloom and don’t feel the need to follow this pattern.

The heart of a haiku is the ellipsis, the secret untold. Matsuo Basho, a haiku writer, said: “The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of”. Their domain is the hidden, the secret: a reflection in a water pond that awakens bittersweet memories in an old heart, the tempests and meadows forever locked in somebody’s chest.

By their own nature, haikus are surprisingly fit for queer narratives. They tell the stories contained in casual glances, romances never shown but as a wrinkle in your clothes or whispers in the dark. They depict intimate yet abstract landscapes. In this impossible equilibrium we can find the perfect tool both to reveal and conceal, to tell the stories of the overlooked and the silenced.
 Now is high Summer. Come with us, inspire and get inspired, share the beauty you can create!
Three haikus will be chosen from all the submissions to be illustrated by Judy Mièl and featured in COVEN BERLIN.

Of course you can participate as many times as you want and invite all of your friends. The more, the merrier! You can post your queer haikus using the hashtag #queer haiku contest coven berlin or post it on our COVEN BERLIN’s FB event. If you prefer to keep it secret, you can send them via private message or e-mail (covenberlin(at)gmail.com).

Let your queerness shine!




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