Miami Poets Celebrate the Arts With Haiku Contest

MIAMI  – South Floridians showed their love of the arts 459 times, submitting as many entries to a haiku contest exploring the recent debate over funding for the arts in Miami-Dade County.

The contest was sponsored by the University of Wynwood and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, a $40 million initiative to bring the South Florida community together through the arts.

“The response to this contest is further proof that the arts not only enrich our lives, they unite communities like nothing else,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s Miami program director and head of the Knight Arts Challenge.

Local actor Alex Fumero took the top prize - $500 – for his 17 syllables. Artist Jim Drain and writer Andres Solar came in second and third place, winning $250 and $150 respectively. Five others received honorable mention, a $100 prize.

Renowned poet and Florida International University Professor Campbell McGrath and University of Wynwood Director Scott Cunningham judged the contest, which aimed to provide a canvas of opinion on the arts in Miami-Dade in addition to promoting a fun, interactive medium for public expression.

The winners and their haikus are:

First place: Alex Fumero:

if picasso joined
my 305 collective
he would have no paint.

Second place: Jim Drain

an artist's greatest asset
lights off, hungry mice

Third place: Andres Solar

Miami bus stop
I wait with my new painting
Hours. Then bus splashes.

Honorable Mentions:

Marlene E. Adams:

Enthralled child whispers:
Five days of classical songs
Are stuck in my head.

Ellen Berger:

Night out on the town
found  the venue was closed down
Two feet from a dance

Doris B. Kraus

Light on the water
Notes singing through the palm fronds
Sudden dusk and still

Pat Singleton:

Water quenching thirst....
good food nourishing bodies....
the arts feeding souls.

Margaret Lake:

very sunny place
yet the shade is everywhere
shine on in the dark

All entries will be published on the Knight Arts blog, at

The Knight Arts Challenge’s community-wide contest to fund the best ideas for the South Florida arts will again accept applications starting Feb. 19. Visit for more.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About the University of Wynwood
The University of Wynwood was founded in 2008 with the goal of promoting the spoken and written word in Miami. Visit for information about events and to sign up for special invitations.

Contact: Marc Fest, 305-908-2677;

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit