News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Adult poetry contest winners announced

New Oregon Arts & Letters and Sisters Farmers Market recently co-presented the inaugural Food & Farm Haiku Contest. The judge was the State of Oregon’s official poet laureate, Kim Stafford, soon to appear at the inaugural Sisters Festival of Books.

Stafford chose a poem by Holly Crosson of Corvallis as the first-place winner in the adult Out-of-Towners category. Crosson wrote a triptych of poems, which she later revised; the full triptych will be published online at

Hoes strike stones that sing.

Sweat and dust and heat, then green.

Music in the fields.

— Holly Crosson

The three finalists were Lee Kordell of Scottsdale, Arizona, who has family in the Sisters area. Portland residents Heidi Bazille and Jeb Pearson were also finalists, their haiku focusing on harvest season. Prizes in the category included gift certificates to Bedouin clothing store and Seed to Table education farm.

organic delight

juicy peaches in summer

napkin optional

­— Lee Kordell

Weathered hand to bell

Clangorous round peal resounds

Cattle called to trough

— Jeb Pearson

The full moon harvest

a performance of color

then, brown lattice leaves

— Heidi Bazille

Stafford said that in judging the many entries, he looked for “the strong image, resonant sensation, kinship connection to nature, and the stroke of surprise associated with the haiku form.” He urged local gardeners to keep growing local food and writers to keep growing


Two categories were not judged by Stafford, but by market staff on the day of the event. Winning a gift certificate to Bedouin was Maggie Saslow, taking home the Community Spirit Award.

Working together,

Hands with heart cultivate greens,

Nurturing us all.

— Maggie Saslow

Linda Hanson won the Last-Minute Haiku Award, with a gift card to Paulina Springs Books.

Rain brings on a smile

Like the crunch of an apple

First flavors of Fall.

— Linda Hanson

First-place winner of the Locals Only category was Willard Bartlett III, with Paul Bennett, Nancy Bright, and Theresa Kempenich as finalists. Their haiku were published in a previous edition of The Nugget.

Kids’ winning poems will be featured in an upcoming “Kids in Print” section in the newspaper. Additional selected haiku entered in the contest will be published online at http://www.sistersfarmers


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