Poetry Skills Collide in Haiku Death Match

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Fifth Annual Haiku Death Match will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Ruth Ann Musick Library in Multi-Media Room A. As part of the event, three Fairmont State University alumni will compete for victory through poetry.

The event is open to the community as well as the students, faculty and staff at Fairmont State. Refreshments will be served. 

Haiku is a major form of Japanese verse written in 17 syllables divided into three lines of five, seven and five syllables. The subject of a haiku is often nature and includes allusions and comparison. As part of the Death Match, the combatants will have 90 seconds to compose a haiku about a topic drawn from the infamous “death hat.”

For the first time this year, the combatants will include three FSU alumni: Jason Vanfosson, Angela Rehbein and Molly Born. Their poems will face the judgment of former Death Match combatants: “Mighty Podman” Adam Podlaskowski, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; Fran “Capt’n” Kirk, Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre; and current title holder, Chris “The Godmutha” Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Elizabeth Savage, Professor of English, helped create the event and encourages the campus community to watch the competition at the Haiku Death Match.

“The audience is filled with professors, staff, all of the people that make up Fairmont State and it’s those moments that I think are the best times in college. [It’s] when you recognize that you’re not just there for classes and to get a degree, but to be part of a group of people that enjoy each other and enjoy thinking and having a good time and to see that those things can happen at the same time,” Savage said.

 Savage hopes that the alumni participation will encourage students to become more involved in future Death Matches. 

“It’s been a vision I’ve had from the beginning that students would at least eventually become participants, and I’m hoping this will operate as a kind of bridge that will encourage students to consider entering the competition,” she said.

For more information, contact Dr. Elizabeth Savage at Elizabeth.Savage@fairmontstate.edu.