“Small Wonders” Haiku Contest

[A] very deep strain of existential gratitude . . . runs through a lot of poetry. It’s certainly in haiku. Almost every haiku says the same thing: “It’s amazing to be alive here.”

—Billy Collins, Poet Advisor, Katonah Poetry Series

Haiku poetry helps us to discover, appreciate and share with others what’s truly extraordinary in the so-called ordinary things and everyday moments of our lives.

an airborne squirrel
        a tall straw
        color drains
        from crushed ice
        starry night
        the lifeguard stand
        tilted back

—three haiku by Scott Mason

Anyone can write haiku! For legions of regular folks in dozens of countries worldwide, it’s become not just a pleasurable literary pursuit but also a life-affirming gratitude practice. Come try your hand at haiku with our “Small Wonders” Haiku Contest while also supporting our beloved Katonah Poetry Series (KPS), now celebrating its sixth decade. For more info and to enter the contest>>

Upcoming Readings for 2023

September 17, 2023: Kim Addonizio

Kim AddonizioKim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry: The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. Her poetry collection Tell Me was a finalist for the National Book Award. She also has two word/music CDS: Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing (with Susan Browne) and My Black Angel, the companion to My Black Angel: Blues Poems and Portraits, a collaboration with woodcut artist Charles D. Jones. Her poetry has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Hungarian. Collections have been published in China, Spain, Mexico, Lebanon, and the UK. Addonizio’s awards include two fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim, two Pushcart Prizes, and other honors. Her latest books are a poetry collection, Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin). Now We’re Getting Somewhere, was published by W.W. Norton (March 2021). More Info>>

October 22, 2023: Henri Cole

Photo by Susan Unterberg

Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan and raised in Virginia.  He has published ten collections of poetry and received many awards for his work, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent book is Orphic Paris, a memoir, published by New York Review Books. From 2010 to 2014, he was poetry editor of The New Republic. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College and lives in Boston. More Info >>

Read our exclusive interviews with Matthew Olzmann, Franny Choi, Kevin Pilkington, Peter Filkins, Dana Levin, Jenny Xie, Arthur Sze, Dan Chiasson, Forrest Gander, Rosanna Warren, Laura Kasischke, Gregory Djanikian, Timothy Donnelly, Timothy Liu, Diana GoetschDeborah Landau, Maggie Smith, Brenda Shaughnessy, Carl Phillips, Major Jackson, and Alan Shapiro.
If you say on the steps of the Katonah Village Library for the past 35 years, nearly every notable American poet would have walked by. - Billy Collins, Poet Laureate
KPS has been presenting readings by prominent poets under the auspices of the Katonah Village Library since 1967.