Write a haiku, win a diamond ring, and see your poem tattooed to the arm of the program organizer.
That's the flashy part of the Tattoo-Haiku contest launched by Joseph Carman of 555 Collective, a Denver-based organization that promotes art to help trauma survivors. But the real point behind the whole thing is to raise money for homeless veterans in Colorado.
The Tattoo-Haiku contest donates money through $5 entry fees, which help purchase items like toilet paper and hygiene products for vets trying to get off the streets.
While the contest is meant to help vets in Denver and the Springs, Carman's tat work — destined for his left forearm — will be done by Pens & Needles Custom Tattoo Company on Weber Street. As for the ring, a seven-diamond piece from Tiffany & Co.: Carman hopes that by offering it as a prize, the contest will gain more traction. "The diamond ring as a prize is simply an attention getter," he writes via e-mail. "People ask why I don't just donate the ring - if this was a one time thing, then that would make sense, but we're trying to establish a presence with our organization that will allow us to do this on a consistent basis."
Haiku are to be submitted online, with a deadline of Oct. 31. The winner will be announced on Veterans Day. Carman hopes to be able to make a large delivery of supplies to Colorado Springs vets that day. He's working with the Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition here in town to determine what supplies they may need, which could include such everyday sundries as detergent, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shaving cream and aspirin.