Winners of the 2019 SHRM 'HRaiku' Contest

Third annual contest celebrates National Poetry Month, HR professionals’ creativity

By the Editors of the SHRM Certification Update April 11, 2019
Winners of the 2019 SHRM HRaiku Contest

The editors of SHRM Certification Update are pleased to announce the winners of this year's SHRM HR Haiku Contest, conducted in observance of National Poetry Month in April.

Winners were chosen in four categories: Grand Prize, HR Profession, SHRM & Certification, and HR Comics & Cynics. A special prize for Most Epic Entry was awarded for an HR tale told in three stanzas. Thanks to everyone who contributed their amazing "HRaiku" poems, and congratulations to the winning poets!

Grand Prize Winners

First Place

Human capital

Is the engine of the firm;

HR makes it hum.

—Teresa A. Daniel, Louisville, Ky. 


Second Place

Passed my SHRM exam!

Danced like no one was watching!

Everybody watched!

—Tanya Thomas, SHRM-CP, New York


Third Place

HR has taught me

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Can't make this stuff up.

—Laura Bosse, SHRM-CP, Lewiston, Maine


Honorable Mentions

Day in and day out

Expert resources for humans

I need some coffee

—Kerry Giammetta, Cranbury, N.J.


Let's figure this out

Leave our egos at the door

Now there's room to think

—Bonnie J. Urbano, SHRM-CP, Titusville, Fla.


HR Profession Category

First Place

Listen intently.

Respond compassionately.

Essential HR.

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


Second Place

Be a good leader:

Know yourself before you get

To know anyone.

—Karina Ortega, Salt Lake City


Third Place

People person? Yes,

and Finance, Ops, Strategy,

Impact. I'm HR!

—Jim Smith, SHRM-SCP, Cleveland


Honorable Mentions

My job: CEO—

Chief Everything Officer.

How high can I go?

—Laurie Disparte, Woodland Hills, Calif.



with a seat at the table

can be an asset.

Londa Youngblood, SHRM-CP, Beloit, Wis.


SHRM & Certification Category

First Place


professional commitment

Leaves an impression

Angel Hopper, SHRM-CP, Alton, Ill. 


Second Place

SHRM-certified now

Earning credit for later

Don't procrastinate

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


Third Place


We should all have one, you see

SHRM-CP for me

—Amanda Brunson, SHRM-CP, Orlando, Fla.


HR Comics & Cynics Category

First Place

Wed, divorce, retire,

Bury your dead, have a child:

There's a form for that.

—Emily Misztal, Atlanta


Second Place

Major in English

Make a career in HR

Then write some haiku

—Sara Tinslorius, San Francisco


Third Place (tie)

An I-9 audit,

A compliance conundrum;

I do miss my hair.

—Salvatore Chieffo, SHRM-CP, New York



A necessary evil

Keeps you out of court

—Crystal Ponder, SHRM-CP, Springfield, Mo.


Honorable Mentions

People and meetings

And meetings about people

The day in HR

—Lynn Oaks, SHRM-CP, Hubbardston, Mass.



Am I paid what I am worth?

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

—Jeannie Pitsch, SHRM-CP, Jacksonville, Fla.


Most Epic Entry


"Why oh why?" they said.

"Our worker acts likes he's dead!"

"Talk more," HR said.


"But he knows," they said.

"He only knows what's been said,"

HR said wisely.


Sigh. "Okay," they said.

And surprise, he was not dead!

"Thank you, wise HR!"

Sarah Calfee, SHRM-SCP, San Diego


Our readers' enthusiastic participation in this contest is a testament to the goals of National Poetry Month, a worldwide literary event observed each April. It was founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of the importance of poetry in our lives and culture. For HR professionals, National Poetry Month presents an ideal opportunity for building employee engagement at your organization. To promote your events, download the official logo, order a poster, and e-mail to share photos and feedback. Follow national events on Twitter @POETSorg. (And don't forget Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26!)


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