HoopFest Haiku

click on each photo for the full image of each piece!
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What Is It?
HoopFest Haiku is an interactive poetry-basketball exhibit created especially for the Children's Museum of Spokane to use during HoopFest weekend 2001. Hoopfest is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament played in the streets of a 10-block square area in the heart of Spokane. Over 5,600 teams participate!
The HoopFest Haiku box was designed and created by artist Rik Nelson, with construction help from poets Lisa Roullard and Jason Olsen. During HoopFest, they were assisted with haiku creation by artist Elaine Green and poet Tod Marshall.

How Did/Does It Work?
The HoopFest Haiku box was installed in the Children's Museum near the windows on Wall Street. Signs on the windows invited children to follow the "bouncing basketballs" on the walls and sidewalk into the museum and to the exhibit.
Once inside, a child was invited to write a "HoopFest haiku" with the assistance of a poet. Their haiku was written on a colored ball and the child signed the masterpiece. Then the child shot the ball through one of three hoops atop the HoopFest Haiku box.
The box is 6' h. x 6' w. x 4" d. with a plexiglas face. Inside, the box is set up similar to a pinball or pachinko game, so when the ball dropped through the net into the box it zig-zagged its way to the bottom. As more and more multi-colored balls accumulated, a colorful haiku wall emerged, creating an entirely new look to the exhibit.
The HoopFest box is now installed at HoopFest headquarters in the Bank of America building in Spokane.

 

The Best Of HoopFest Haiku

The rusty bent rim
Hangs by three loose screws.
The boy practices.

Sneakers walk pavement.
Crowds watch and they cheer loudly.
Balls bounce into hoops. - Bernadette

Basketball bouncing
Butterflies erupt to sky
Swish! - Tod

My cousins play ball.
They play really hard and win.
Beautiful green trees. - Blake

Tack A Tack A Tack
Ashley. Kirsten. Cambri. Shaq.
Tack Attack A Tack. - Dugie

At the free throw line
One two three four five bounces
The crowd loudly waits. - Tod

Basketballs taste like
sea cucumbers…but not green.
A sea of people. - Christine

Stephanie barks out:
Children's Museum is free!
Sweat oozes like steam. - Stephanie

A basketball swoops
through the blue sky…the seagull
eats a dropped chip. - Tod

Players pass. Teams win.
Basketballs taste like beef jerky.
Hoopfest is so awesome! - Katie

The ball flies so high
as it soars to the basket
and in the basket! - Piper

Baskets taste like snacks.
Tao plays best. I want to
be a laughing frog. - Tao

The sublime moment:
Ball touches nothing but net.
Greg squeals in delight! -- Elaine

Hoop it up and down.
Hoop it all around the town.
I took my best shot. - Scott

Hoopfest is over.
The shots haven't all dropped,
But no one loses. - Tod

The ball in the sky
Art…
Yes…art.

Teams cooperate,
Players evaporate,
Balls gyrate, hoops facilitate,
Backboards vibrate.
Hoopfest is SO grrrrreat!

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