UTD Senior Impresses Judges With Humor, Wins 2014 Haiku Competition

A simple seventeen syllable poem about books and coffee is the winner of the 2014 McDermott Library Reference Department Haiku Contest.  The author, Madeline Renals, is a senior mathematical sciences major who’s also on the pre-health/pre-med track. She will attend the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the fall.

Renals’ haiku was selected from more than 60 entries submitted by 35 contestants.

Books wait patiently
Scents of coffee drift gently
Thoughts flow easily

Reference librarians say they chose her haiku not only because it captured the essence of the Library but also because of its playful sense of humor.

“Usually, some little quirk causes a particular haiku to stand out to us judges, but I think we’ve tended to lean toward those with some degree of humor, “said librarian Matt Makowka. “ I think we all gravitated to this one because of its mention of coffee.”

A haiku is a short poem with unrhymed verses having three lines containing five, seven and five syllables respectively. Renals says the time she spent in McDermott is what influenced her entry. “The many hours I spent studying in the library over the past four years of college had a strong impact on my haiku. I tried to capture the ambiance of the UTD library as I have experienced it,” said Renals.

This is the fourth year the library has held the haiku contest in April to coincide with National Poetry Month. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. The winning haiku also appears in the Reference Department’s newsletter Since You’re Here and is preserved in [email protected] Dallas, the library’s online repository.