January 27, 2007

Eucalypt: a tanka journal

The inaugural issue of Eucalypt, Australia's first literary journal for tanka only, is now available.
The first issue features the work of 27 Australian tanka poets, as well as that of leading tanka poets from Japan, USA, NZ, Canada, England, South Africa, Croatia and India.

Eucalypt is attractively produced on Hanno Art Silk paper and contains poems only It is supported by a free electronic occasional newsletter and a web-site

Tanka On-line (US)- a site for learning about tanka

"Tanka Online at which premiers February 1, 2007, is a website teaching poets new to the form how to write tanka. A collaborative effort by poets Jeanne Emrich, Michael McClintock, Tom Clausen, Margaret Chula (all of the USA), Amelia Fielden (Australia) and Mariko Kitakubo (Japan), it features essays and articles on writing and appreciating tanka, a tanka gallery, recommended reading, and more."

January 16, 2007

Another haiku opportunity

Poam, the newsletter of the Melbourne Poets' Union, includes a haiku page in each bi-monthly issue. Poets receive payment of $3 per haiku and there is a book prize for one haiku, chosen by the newsletter editor each time.

You need to be a member of the Melbourne Poets Union to submit haiku – but it's worth joining anyway, especially for Victorian poets.

To enquire about joining go to

Send your submission to the haiku editor, Peter Macrow,
by email:
with subject line: poam haiku
or to
6/16 Osborne St, Sandy Bay TAS 7005, and include a ssae for reply.

Peter is the managing editor of Blue Giraffe poetry magazine. He also is poetry editor for the ezine, The Tasmanian Times.
His haiku collection, Oil Slick Sun, was published by Pardalote Press in November 2005.

Oil Slick Sun: haiku

Oil Slick Sun: haiku
by Peter Macrow

ISBN 0 9578436 7 4
published by Pardalote Press
125 x 180 mm, 64pp, colour cover, paperback, perfect bound
Price: $AU 18.50
available from

Peter’s poems have a soft resonance of resignation, a quiet recognition of the beauty of things past, and pointing to the aesthetics of death in a secularly spiritual way, which perhaps the ancient masters could only do through a Buddhist veil. Maria Flutsch, University of Tasmania
oil slick sun is a fascinating text, not afraid of “difficulty” but not seeming to indulge in it for its own sake. A fluid sense of time, place, individual and family generates complexes of meaning and feeling with which most readers will be able to empathise. Macrow’s use of a briefer line in his haiku than the traditional 5/7/5 syllable form, his ability to use the structure in a very accomplished and thorough way and to challenge and subvert orthodox beliefs about the process and purpose of haiku, makes for thought-provoking reading. Patricia Prime, Stylus

January 15, 2007


The Haiku Section in the magazine FreeXpresSion has been launched and
the first edition is now available. The two page centrespread presents
haiku from around the world, with contributions from Peggy Willis Lyles
and Ferris Gilli (USA), Dhugal Lindsay (Japan) and Ernest Berry (New
Zealand). Also represented are respected Australian writers, such as
Janice Bostok, Beverley George, John Bird, Myron Lysenko, Ron Moss,
Ross Clark, Vanessa Proctor, Lyn Reeves, Graham Nunn and others.

Members of HaikuOz are invited to submit material, up to five
unpublished haiku at a time, not on offer elsewhere. Send these direct
to the Haiku Editor, Quendryth Young (,
including your postal address. Please keep a copy of your submission.
You will be notified within seven weeks concerning the acceptance of
your work. Any writer whose work is published receives a complimentary

FreeXpresSion is available by direct subscription only. The current
annual subscription rate for twelve issues is $42 ($66 airmail
overseas). For six months (6 issues) it is $25 ($36 overseas). The
address is: The Editor, FreeXpresSion, PO Box 4, West Hoxton NSW
Australia 2171.

January 10, 2007

Jodie Hawthorne's haiku collection

Watching pilgrims watching me: haiku from Shangri-la Deqen Tibetan Region
by Jodie Hawthorne
ISBN 0 9578436 8 2
published by Pardalote Press
125 x 180 mm, 64pp, colour cover, paperback, perfect bound
Price: $AU 18.50
available from

‘a book of gentle grace’ - Christopher Bantick, The Sunday Tasmanian

Deqen's landscape evokes a sense of calm and healing that provides a perfect environment for artistic expression. These qualities, combined with the constant challenges, paradoxes and inconsistencies, brought into being the haiku moments of this collection.

just mountains
and people who love them

January 09, 2007

An interview with Jodie Hawthorne

JODIE HAWTHORNE has a new haiku book WATCHING PILGRIMS, WATCHING ME, published by Pardalote Press. It was launched in Tasmania. Kaye Aldenhoven had an opportunity to talk to Jodie in Darwin, as she waits for the birth of her child, before returning to China.

Kaye: I enjoyed reading your newly launched book of haiku. I admire this village image:

where children play
the words of Mao

How did you come to write haiku?

Jodie: I remember writing haiku in primary school; year 5 or 6. At that time it was part of the school curriculum and we wrote it according to syllable count, which is perhaps not the best way but helps children to write to form.
I remember the haiku were hung from the school ceiling on coloured cards and I was very proud as the teacher made a special remark about my haiku in front of the class. I never forgot the experience and a whole 18 years later (year 2002) while I was staying in Melbourne with a friend haiku entered my life again.
My girl friend was asked to teach a practical writing class to an adult group but couldn't think of any writing form that she could cover in 3 one hour sessions. I asked her if she had heard of haiku. She hadn't, but was inspired by my brief description and raced off to the library to find some reference books. I read through the books as well to refresh my memory, learning more about haiku and its history, form etc. and began to compose some.

Kaye: What influences your haiku?

Jodie: Honesty and beauty are the main influences in my work. I try to tell things as they are, but at the same time I look for beauty within the rawness of life's moments. Life is a constant journey, full of challenging experiences. It is when we face these challenges and accept them with honesty and grace we are able to grow and work our way through the units or courses of life; like completing a Diploma.

Kaye: I liked the images; for an Australian your haiku have very exotic contexts. Can you talk about how Shangri-la inspired you?

Jodie: As an "outsider", China is a very hard country to live in. It is especially hard to live peacefully in a large Chinese city; I spent 5 years in Kunming, Yunnan before moving to the Tibetan Prefecture of Deqen. I moved up there because on my visits to Shangri-la County I felt the local people (Tibetans and other ethnic minorities) understood and accepted me in a way that I had never experienced in Kunming. Possibly the reason for this is that they too (ethnic minorities) have always been treated as being different and not as cultured as the Han Chinese?
Other inspiration came from the climate and landscape of the region. Deqen is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived in, apart from my home state of Tasmania. Tibetan villages, wild rivers (Yangtze, Mekong and Salween), the holy mountains, grasslands and the mindset of simple people that live sustainably was what opened my heart and brought about my collection of haiku.

Kaye: Your book is a beautiful production. Please tell me about the design.

Jodie: The cover photo and the drawings were done by my best friend Anna Xue Yang, a fellow Australian. Anna and I met in Kunming. After I moved to Shangri-la she would often visit and she also fell in love with the place. Her drawings were done from images she collected on her trips to Shangri-la and at Makye Ame Tibetan Cultural Palace, a restaurant in Kunming.

Kaye: You dedicate the book to your true self. What does this mean to you?

Jodie: My childhood was not a very supportive or loving one, lacking completely in encouragement and I was constantly criticised. I always felt the need to prove myself as deserving of love as a young girl and then into adulthood. Moving to Shangri-la and writing Haiku changed my life completely. In Shangri-la I discovered my true self. I lost my insecurity and shyness and became myself. I sang, I laughed a lot, I cried a lot, I found myself, my soul had healed. The Tibetans allowed me to do that and I am forever indebted to them for showing me the way back to my true self.

Haiku is a poetry form that really opens one's senses. This is possible because haiku focuses on each moment, the simplicity, the rawness, the truth. You can't hide when you live each moment as it is. You just have to experience life and accept things as they are.

Meeting Lyn Reeves through the NT Writers’ Centre Festival and sharing my haiku with her was confirmation that my words were heard and understood. I was understood. My true self was validated through Lyn's interest in my work and her offer to publish this collection.

Kaye: You said that haiku is a good way to cross to understanding of another culture. How?

Jodie: When we experience or live with different cultures we have two choices. We can be judgmental and fight with ideals, or we can be open-hearted, consider acceptance and learn new ways of being. Writing haiku in new environments helps this process considerably as we focus without judgment on the beauty of what is.
Kaye: I like this image but don’t have an understanding of its symbolism.

red barley
a ration of three
in each palm

When the Dalai Lama has public meetings in India he offers small handfuls of red coloured blessed barley seeds to his followers. The Tibetans often bring these back to Tibet as gifts for family and friends. It is a great honour to receive them. The custom is to swallow 3. I have been lucky to receive them on special occasions and I have a packet in my purse that I offer to friends who are sick or in need of support.

WATCHING PILGRIMS WATCHING ME: haiku from Shangri-la Deqen Tibetan Region, by Jodie Hawthorne is published by Pardalote Press.

January 06, 2007

Australian poets, Janice M Bostok and Beverley George were invited to each contribute 12 haiku to an interactive computer game that's proving to be loads of fun.

Haiku Journey Computer Game
(Report by Michael Dylan Welch)

A new computer game for word-game lovers from Hot Lava Games, available for free preview at Featuring 540 haiku by 45 leading English-language haiku poets, selected by Michael Dylan Welch.

Hot Lava Games has just released Haiku Journey, a computer game that lets you explore Japan while "solving" some of the best English-language haiku available today. If you enjoy haiku and the board game Boggle, you'll enjoy Haiku Journey. In the words of Hot Lava Games: "Escape to picturesque and pastoral Japan at the foot of Mount Fuji in this new word puzzler. The unique experience of Haiku Journey is part logical mindbender and part relaxation therapy! Build words to gain inspiration and reveal/solve original haiku. Collect ancient artifacts along the way to power up your abilities. Includes two modes of play and a tranquil screensaver." And in the words of GameZebo: "Haiku Journey offers a unique experience. Relaxing and brain-straining at once, this oriental word-puzzler oozes atmosphere and high production values. From its slick interface to stunning visuals to tranquil music to challenging puzzles, it has it all, even a calming screensaver."

Haiku Journey features 12 haiku (three for each season) by each of 45 of the most prominent haiku poets writing in English today, for a total of 540 haiku. The poems appear randomly during the game as you advance through the various levels on your trip to the base of Mt. Fuji. The game also includes 11 informational screens that appear as you advance to each new level. These screens provide information about haiku's origins and aesthetics, introductions to Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki, and Chiyo-ni, as well information about the haiku scene in Japan as well as the West, written by Michael Dylan Welch, who also served as editor for the haiku. The game has educational classroom value as well as lasting interest for haiku writers and other poets--and anyone who loves word games.

You can download Haiku Journey for a free 60-minute trial or purchase unlimited use for $19.95 (in U.S. dollars). For more information on downloading the game, visit or To read a review of Haiku Journey (and to see screen shots), visit For additional information, please contact Michael Dylan Welch at

Hot Lava Games (, of Midlothian, Texas, was formed in 2005 to create entertaining casual games with the highest quality. Hot Lava Games launched 7 Wonders of the Ancient World on February 1, 2006 to major portals such as MSN, Real, Shockwave, and Yahoo. Haiku Journey was released on October 27, 2006, and is also available through numerous online portals, with further distribution is expected soon.

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Haiku Oz members, John Bird, Quendryth Young and Nathalie Buckland have just posted the second edition of their website, Wollumbin Haiku Workshop. The web address is

Comments are invited so please, visit the site, read the haiku and offer your feedback.

January 04, 2007

empty garden – a new review

There is a now a review by Patricia Prime of Beverley George's tanka anthology, empty garden, on Stylus see 'Reviews'. The review by Dave Bacharach for MET (Modern English Tanka) Issue 2 can be found on under empty garden