Stay Home and Write a Poem

Call for Entries: SHRM’s Fourth Annual HR Haiku Contest

By Rena Gorlin March 26, 2020
woman with laptop

​Many people are staying inside and practicing social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19. It's a stressful time, but being creative relieves stress and brings us closer in other ways. Join the SHRM Certification Team in observing National Poetry Month in April by submitting an original poem to our HR Haiku Contest. The best "HRaikus" will be published in the April 9, 2020, issue of SHRM Certification Update. To enter, please e-mail your entries to by March 31.

Haiku poems have a rigid structure of 17 syllables divided into three lines: five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line. Haikus don't need to rhyme.

Your HRaiku should be about the HR profession, SHRM or certification. The tone can be factual, fictional, comical, cynical or anything in between—just be original! Here are some of last year's winning entries to inspire you:


Listen intently.

Respond compassionately.

Essential HR.

—Mary R. Burnett, SHRM-SCP, Overland Park, Kan.


Be a good leader:

Know yourself before you get

To know anyone.

—Karina Ortega, Salt Lake City



Professional commitment

Leaves an impression

—Angel Hopper, SHRM-CP, Alton, Ill.


SHRM-certified now

Earning credit for later

Don't procrastinate

—Julie G. Rogers, SHRM-CP, Andover, Kan.


Wed, divorce, retire,

Bury your dead, have a child:

There's a form for that.

—Emily Misztal, Atlanta


Major in English

Make a career in HR

Then write some haiku

—Sara Tinslorius, San Francisco


Submit as many entries as you like via E-MAIL ONLY to by March 31, 2020. Please do not submit entries to any other SHRM e-mail address. Include your name (or pen name, if you don't want attention) and SHRM credential (if any), plus your city, state, country and e-mail address (your e-mail address will not be published). Winners will be determined solely by the editors. No monetary gifts or prizes will be awarded other than a congratulatory e-mail, publication in the first April issue of the SHRM Certification Update and the esteem of your colleagues. Good luck!


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