Words and Water Dragons - a report

The prospect of a crisp Sunday morning in the Japanese Garden at Brisbane Botanic Garden Mt Coot-tha enticed lovers of Japanese poetry forms to the Queensland Poetry Festival's Second Annual Words and Water Dragons readings on Saturday July 8.

After participating in a ginko led by QPF Artistic Director Graham Nunn, our MC for the morning, and informally sharing inspirations and first-draft haiku, more than 30 people gathered in the square pavilion to hear readings of haibun, haiku and tanka complemented by the achingly beautiful sounds of the shakuhachi in Carl Rathus' skilful hands.

Jan Bostok and Jeff Harpeng were feature readers. Other Brisbane haijin including Ross Clark, Graham Nunn and John Knight read from their work, once again reminding us of the breadth of talent in this sector of Brisbane's thriving poetry scene.

In the open reading, we were treated to a selection of readings including haiku by courageous first time readers. Some people who had participated in Jan Bostok's recent highly successful workshops for QPF read pieces which showed how their work had developed in just a few weeks.

It was a pleasure to sit in the winter sunshine in this beautiful garden, to take a moment to focus on the present moment in our surroundings and to share the work of so many talented people in our growing community of poets.

Carl Rathus' sensitive and evocative shakuhachi playing brought an additional dimension of pleasure to the morning for readers and listeners alike.

Sincere thanks to Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha for again allowing us to run this event, to Visitor Services Coordinator Margot MacManus for her support, suggestions for planning and for publicity, to Frances Blines for allowing us to use her water dragon line-drawing, and to the Consulate-General of Japan, the Australia Japan Society, and Carl Rathus for promoting our event on their websites.

See you all next year!

Ynes Sanz