In what may well become one of Tucson’s signature “rites of spring” pursuits, the Haiku Hike is a special community activity that signals a change in the air. This year’s theme, Living in the Present Moment, couldn’t be more timely. Now, more than ever, as the community peels off layers of isolation and social distancing, the Haiku Hike is a physical and mental reminder of spring and the re-awakening of nature.
Presented by The Downtown Tucson Partnership and the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the 2nd annual Haiku Hike literary competition will showcase 20 winning haiku poems printed on acrylic signage in planters located on Congress Street and Stone Avenue. These signs will provide visual and cultural interest throughout the Spring season, beginning March 20. A hike through downtown following the Haiku trail is the perfect opportunity for the public to get reacquainted with all that Tucson’s urban center has to offer.
“The Haiku Hike brings art and culture to our downtown streets while providing visual interest and beauty. This year’s theme, ‘Living in the Present Moment’ is poignant and intended to engage visitors on an introspective level. It also provides a fun way for people to get out safely, get active and support the local economy,” said Kathleen Eriksen, CEO of DTP.
This year’s haiku entries were judged by Tucson’s poet laureate, TC Tolbert. The 20 winning poems were selected from over 700 submissions.
“The response to the Haiku Hike, literary competition is astounding with 712 total entries; 572 came from Tucson and the remaining hail from 14 different states and eight countries! We’re excited to continue to support this event as a Tucson tradition,” said Tyler Meier, the poetry center’s executive director.
DTP is continuing to encourage downtown patrons to Visit Safely by social distancing from others, wearing a mask and washing or sanitizing hands regularly. DTP has posted hundreds of health and safety reminders, and deployed 30 hand sanitizer stations throughout downtown.