Learn about NaHaiWriMo here. You can also learn more about NaHaiWriMo on Facebook and more about haiku.
What is NaHaiWriMo?
NaHaiWriMo is short for National Haiku Writing Month, which is held in February each year. The goal is to write at least one new haiku each day throughout February—the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry. NaHaiWriMo was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), held in November each year, where the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in the month. The burning question is, of course, which one is harder?
How do I participate in NaHaiWriMo?
Anyone can participate—just write one haiku each day for your own satisfaction. If you want to share your haiku and participate in the online NaHaiWriMo community, visit the Facebook page. A new writing prompt is provided each day to help inspire you, but the real goal is to write at least one haiku each day, not to post poems, or even to write in response to the writing prompts. And while February is the official month for NaHaiWriMo each year, daily writing prompts are provided on the Facebook page every day throughout the year, helping to develop a warm online community of NaHaiWriMo participants—please join us! Another option is to tweet your haiku. The Twitter hashtag for NaHaiWriMo is, surprise surprise, #nahaiwrimo. You can view the current Twitter feed for this hashtag. For more information on how to get involved with NaHaiWriMo, please visit the Participation page.
Can I buy a NaHaiWriMo T-shirt?
Not yet, but I hope to make NaHaiWriMo merchandise available as soon as I can. In addition to T-shirts and other items with the “No 5-7-5” logo on them, it would be fun to have other items as well, such as coffee mugs, pens, and more. If you have an idea for an item you’d like with NaHaiWriMo branding, please share it!
Who started NaHaiWriMo, and how did it start?
Who’s to blame? That would be me, Michael Dylan Welch. You can learn more about me by visiting Who’s in Charge Here? and the Bio page on my graceguts.com website. In 2010 I participated in National Novel Writing Month, in which I completed a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. Just before I started that project, in October of 2010, it occurred to me that poets needed NaHaiWriMo, or National Haiku Writing Month. February seemed to be the obvious month for it—the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry. I thought it would be a stimulating challenge to encourage people to write at least one haiku a day for an entire month. It’s no fair catching up on missed days—that misses the point, which is to get into a daily writing habit. Such a habit has the added benefit of changing how you see the world, noticing subtle details or seasonal changes. As Thoreau said, it’s not what you look at that matters, but what you truly see. I created the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page on 28 October 2010, and created this website on 7 January 2011. I later acquired the nahaiwrimo.com domain name. One of the greatest rewards of NaHaiWriMo participation is not just to write haiku and improve your awareness of the world, but to share your poems with others and become part of a vibrant community of haiku poets worldwide.
Is NaHaiWriMo just in English?
Since the main goal of NaHaiWriMo is to encourage participants to write haiku, as opposed to sharing them, you are free to write in whatever language you like. You are also welcome to share haiku in your own language, but please also include a translation into English if you post it to the main NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook. There are also NaHaiWriMo pages for haiku in French, Bulgarian, and Spanish (the Spanish page was closed for several years but resurrected in 2020). If you might be interested in starting a NaHaiWriMo Facebook page for another language, please contact Michael Dylan Welch (I can provide you with a NaHaiWriMo logo customized for your language).
How do I provide feedback about NaHaiWriMo?
You can always post comments on the Facebook page or send a private message on Facebook to NaHaiWriMo or Michael Dylan Welch. If you’re not on Facebook, you can email Michael Dylan Welch directly. Feedback and ideas are always welcome, including constructive criticism or suggestions for this FAQ page. Especially welcome are comments about how NaHaiWriMo inspires you. To see examples of such feedback, please visit the Comments page. Of course, if you want to provide feedback on individual postings on Facebook, you can click Like or the Comment option to share your thoughts.
Anything else I shouldn’t miss?
Take a look at The Simpsons Do NaHaiWriMo and Spiffy Endorsements. You can also read more about the first NaHaiWriMo event, in February of 2011, in the 2011 Report.
Learn more about NaHaiWriMo on Facebook and more about haiku.