from Progress Report 2 (2006)
No Worldcon bid conducted a haiku contest before. But no Japanese bid campaigned for a Worldcon before, either. Of course there was a haiku contest.
I did not judge or enter the contest, but bear a lot of the blame for it. I was asked to report the results. It was an offer I could not refuse.
Haiku are about four hundred years old. In Japan that is not very long. Neither are haiku.
The haiku is a kind of poetry to rouse anyone's sense of wonder. Its three unrhymed lines, of 5-7-5 syllables, communicate a moment. Because haiku are so short, they tend to work by the painter's rule of drawing a brushstroke to show where the mountain isn't. They may be great or small. They may joke or grieve or gleam.
In Japanese literature haiku naturally have a host of rules, for example that one haiku should reveal one season, and that the inner or subjective world, and the outer or objective world, should meet at the end of the first or the end of the second line. The contest did not choose to invoke these rules.
You can read up if you like: try R. Hass, The Essential Haiku (1994); D. Keene, World Within Walls (1976); R.H. Blyth, Haiku (1949).
The administrator and chief judge of the contest was Peggy Rae Sapienza, North America agent for Nippon 2007. Only entries in English were accepted. There were seventeen winners (one is a three-poem set).