June 28, 2006

Calling for haiku for kids

In July I will have the privilege of working with primary school children (age 10 –12) to create haiku. I’d like to introduce them to a range of contemporary Australian haiku, as well as some by the old Japanese masters.

If you have some haiku you think might appeal to this age group, and would allow me to share them with children, could you please email them to Lyn Reeves by clicking on my name.
The poems won’t be published, except perhaps as a handout; you will be acknowledged as author and retain all copyright. I will be extremely grateful to you, and the kids, I’m sure, will be delighted.

June 25, 2006

Announcing Eucalypt: a tanka journal

I am delighted to tell you that Eucalypt; a tanka journal, Australia’s first journal dedicated entirely to this poetic genre, is now a reality.

You can discover it on
and my thanks go to John Bird who has devised the web-site.

Tanka has a thirteen hundred year history in Japan where it is still widely written. It has also become increasingly popular with poets who write in the English language. If you’d like to know more about the this amazing five line poem, please read the article available on the web-site titled Tanka; the Myriad Leaves of Words.

Eucalypt will be a high-quality print publication in which the poems will speak for themselves. Additional information and discussion will be available on the web-site and in a complimentary occasional email newsletter. If you wish to receive this newsletter you will need to email with a request to be added to the Eucalypt electronic mailing list.

I hope you are going to enjoy Eucalypt.


Beverley George
Eucalypt: a tanka journal

June 22, 2006

Workshop Report by Quendryth Young

Haiku Workshop
Graham Nunn 11 June 2006
RSL Hall Alstonville 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

Quendryth Young reports:

The Northern Rivers area of the far north coast of NSW is progressing in leaps and bounds in the haiku way. Recently a Haiku Workshop was conducted at Alstonville NSW, organised by the FAWS (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Summerland). This was made possible by a grant from the Minister of Arts to FAW.NSW Inc.
The workshop was tutored by Graham Nunn, published haiku poet, Convenor of the Brisbane Poetry Festival, Editor of Speedpoets, and currently the secretary of the Australian Haiku Society. It was a full-day workshop, commencing at 9.30 am in the local RSL Hall.
I was delighted with the way the day went. Among the fourteen participants there was great enthusiasm, great participation and quite a bit of awakening. Graham had prepared some hand-outs and these were really pertinent, and a good way to keep us moving forward. His excellent guidelines were clear, and a great reference for future writing.
After learning to read and appreciate (and criticise) some published haiku, Graham accepted haiku previously written by participants, and all members of the workshop were invited to comment. Graham was able to home in on the aspect of any given haiku that needed addressing. We were blessed to have among our number John Bird, an accomplished haiku poet, who was generous in his contributions during the workshopping.
The day just flew by. A ginko had been planned, but the weather was cold and windy, and this had to be abandoned. However, we were fully occupied with lively workshopping and discussion, and I doubt we could have fitted it in anyway!
Time was made available for an introduction to renga. Since then three enthusiasts have joined Graham in a trial run of an email-generated renga experience, and all accounts are of animated and enthusiastic participation.
That evening I was asked to summarise what I had achieved from the day. There was a delight in seeing so many students “lighting up” to the haiku way. There was the emphasis on “focus” – what is important to me, as the writer, to convey. And there was the concept of writing what I see – nothing more – capturing the haiku moment!
Graham contacted me after the day: “I enjoyed the workshop immensely and was so excited at the way people interacted and took to the day! Possibly the best workshop I have run yet! The knowledge and creativity in the room was astounding... Again... I got so much out of the day with all of you... Honoured to have had the opportunity!” One happy tutor!
Every one of the participants was richly rewarded by an excellent workshop. We shall be keeping in touch.

June 18, 2006

Kokako Tanka Competition

The Kokako Tanka Competition

Open to all!

Closing date: 31st December, 2006

First Prize

2 Runners-up prizes of NZ$100 each

Owen Bullock

Send entries to:

The Kokako Tanka Competition,
Patricia Prime, co-editor
42 Flanshaw Road
Te Atatu South
Auckland 8
New Zealand

Please make cheques out to Kokako
Overseas entrants may send cash at their own risk

Conditions of entry

1. Tanka must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.
2. Entry fee is NZ$2 per tanka or 3 for NZ$5; for overseas entries, US$1 per tanka, or 4 for US$3
3. Send two copies of each tanka, or group of tanka, with your name and address on one copy only.
4. Winning tanka and commended entries will be published in Kokako 6 (April, 2007).
5. Winners will be notified by mail.
6. Any theme is acceptable.

Any queries, email:

June 16, 2006

Haiku Vancouver May 2006

Haiku Vancouver May 19-22 2006. A report from Pauline Cash

Among the rhodendron gardens in the University of British Columbia, 41 haijun gathered to discuss haiku and tanka.
The event was organised by Alice Frampton and was attended by poets from Japan, US and Canada. Participants from Australia were Amelia Fielden and myself. We were housed in a student hostel on campus.

A highlight of the first day was a ginko (haiku walk) through the Nitobe Gardens where we went our separate ways to contemplate the sensory beauty and symbolism of this walk through life. The cedars, firs, maples and hemlocks, the low rock, the waterfalls, bridges, lanterns and birdlife provided inspiration for many haiku. Later that day poets wrote their haiku for posting on a wall outside for all to enjoy.

Several renku parties took place in the evenings and continued into the early hours, helped along by swigs of sake! Mariko Kitikubo from Japan wearing a beautiful costume, danced as a shrine maiden in a prayer for peace.

Howard Lee Kilby spoke of his experiences in Buddhist Zen in Paris and of the silence, the pause between words in haiku and Michael Dylan Welch told of the 'aha' moment in haiku.

There was warm discussion regarding the length and number of syllables in haiku and tanka written in English. It was stated that 86% of English haiku poets do not use the 5-7-5 formula and that in American and Canadian anthologies the average number of syllables was twenty-five, not thirty-one.

Amelia told how, in her role as translator of haiku and tanka into English, she first researches the background of her client to gain a feeling for the book as a whole, finding expression and meaning that will lead to a literal translation of the work. She then re-drafts it in a poetic way attempting to keep the rhythm of the original work. Mariko read her tanka to us with the rhythm and nuances of the Japanese language, followed by Amelia's translation in English. Tanka, I learned, was traditionally sung, but haiku was spoken.

And so to a final walk through the Van Dusen gardens with their splendid show of rhododendrons, irises and tulips– a captivating stroll through a tunnel of golden chain trees to a final dinner and goodbyes to fellow poets, now friends.

June 12, 2006

The 3rd International Haiku Contest Klostar Ivanic 2006

The Third International Haiku Contest
Klostar Ivanic 2006, Croatia
organized by Tourist Community of Klostar Ivanic
and 'Three Rivers' , Haiku Association, Ivanic Grad

Haiku in English only.
Deadline: In hand – June 30, 2006
Free of charge.
Open to all – contestants must be 12 years of age or older.
Send only unpublished haiku.
Theme: any theme is welcome, but remember Nature and man as a part of it
Haiku may be sent by e-mail or by post.
Please send five haiku with your name, address, telephone number, profession, age.
Results will be on the Internet in October, 2006.
Judges: Vladimir Devidé, Ruzica Mokos and Vida Pust Skrgulja

First Prize:USD 80,00
Second Prize: USD 60,00
Third Prize:USD 50,00
and Commendments

Postal address:
Turisticka zajednica Kloštar Ivanic
Trg Sv. Ivana 1
10312 Kloštar Ivanic, Croatia


with 'for the contest' in the subject line

June 05, 2006

Aussie Wins Tanka Society of America International Competition 2006

Australian tanka poet, Beverley George, from Pearl Beach, New South Wales, has won the Tanka Society of America's International competition 2006 from a field of 317 entries from various countries. Second was Margaret Chula from Portland Oregon and 3rd was Linda Jeannette Ward from Coinjock North Carolina. Beverley also received a High Mention for a second poem. She gained 2nd place in the same competition in 2005 but this is the first time an Australian has won this major competition.