A Break from our Regularly Scheduled Po-gramming


Send Your Poems To Space!

Or at least get your name out there

NASA probably didn’t have Life on Mars, Tracy K. Smith’s aforementioned 2012 Pulitzer-winning book of poetry, in mind when they came up with this, but they are calling for the public to submit haiku, three of which will get to go to Mars.

NASA’s MAVEN mission will send an unmanned spacecraft to orbit the red planet for a year in order to study its atmosphere. And, as part of its public awareness campaign, NASA is asking any and all poets to submit their haiku in a open-vote competition. The top three haiku, by public ballot, will go to Mars on the MAVEN spacecraft.

Cool, right? What’s even cooler is this: anyone who submits a haiku, whether or not it gets a single vote, will have their name included on a CD which will also be sent on the spacecraft. In a way, you can go to Mars (or at least its outer orbit)!

Haiku is not my strong point, as a poet. I haven’t written one in years. But I’m captivated with the idea of my name going out, into space. Maybe no one will ever see that CD, but in a way, I’ll have been there. I’m going to spend some time working that 5-7-5 syllable pattern this weekend, see what I come up with. How about you?

P.S. I originally read about this opportunity on an NPR blog, here.  If you scroll down to the bottom you’ll find a haiku by NPR Anchor Dave Mattingly that’s worth the read. It’s quite a chuckle.

Also, here is a link to the NASA page regarding this opportunity. The deadline for submission is July 1st. Public voting begins July 15th. Have fun, and good luck!