Photo provided by the American Swedish Institute

Photo provided by the American Swedish Institute


OK, it might just be a shameless ploy to get you to friend them on Facebook and follow their blog. But hey, it worked for me. The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis--that gorgeous, fairy castle of a building on Park Avenue--is hosting a "summer in the city" haiku contest.

The rules are simple: Like their page (which is here) and post your haiku on the wall. As many as you want, as often as you want.

The museum folks will then publish your haiku on their blog (which is here) where you can vote for your favorites.

What's in it for you? Besides the opportunity to start thinking poetically and minimally, in elegant lines of five-seven-five syllables?  Well, $200 could be in it for you--or, at least, a gift basket of goodies from the museum's gift shop, worth $200. The summery prizes are pictured on the blog: a blanket (for spreading in the grass?), a cutting board (for chopping up limes, no doubt, for those gin and tonics), a carafe, and a book, "The Ice Princess" by Camilla Lackberg.

I've checked the Facebook page and I'd say that the competition is stiff (especially  those haiku that are in Swedish!) but not insurmountable. Sharpen your mind, and your pen.

(The institute, it's worth noting, is closed until Nov. 1 for renovations. But clearly, like so many of us, it lives 24/7 online.)

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