September 28, 2008

10 days in August Exhibition

Step right up folks and recapture your favourite Ekka memories at Museum of Brisbane's (MoB’s) exciting new exhibition. Uncover the rich history and grand traditions of this iconic annual event.

While the Ekka for many Queenslanders is a great day out in August, it also represents an enormous effort by many thousands of people. This MoB exhibition goes behind the scenes to find out what it takes to deliver these 10 days in August, from the past to the present. Local poet, Graham Nunn, who was poet-in-residence at the 2007 Ekka, has ten haiku featured in large vinyl letters throughout the exhibition, providing a unique perspective on his Ekka experience.

Visitors can also discover some of the unique personalities that give the Ekka it’s special atmosphere, delve into vintage showbags, and find out the stories behind memorable moments like the Grand Parade and old favourites such as strawberry sundaes and dagwood dogs - all of those things that make the Ekka, the Ekka!

10 Days in August: Memories of the Ekka
Until Sun. 16 November 2008
10am - 5pm daily.
Entry is FREE.
Museum of Brisbane, ground floor of Brisbane City Hall,
King George Square (between Ann and Adelaide Streets), Brisbane.

September 26, 2008

On the Road with Queensland Poetry Festival

On Saturday, September 13, I was privileged to run a haiku workshop for approx 20 eager haiku enthusiasts at the Bundaberg Enterprise Centre. During the first half of the session we discussed several definitions of haiku, asked the question - are the syllables important?, looked at the fragment and phrase theory, the importance of nature and the senses and some basic rules for writing haiku. With this knowledge, we looked at eight haiku and critiqued them, to get everyone thinking about what really makes a haiku sing. We then examined eight techniques used when composing haiku, looked at a series of questions to help revise your writing and spent some time composing/critiquing the group's original haiku. The results, I must say were absolutely wonderful. The best feedback was given to me at the breakfast the following morning... when several of the group told me they had been up all night writing haiku. The haiku bug had certainly bitten!

by Graham Nunn

September 25, 2008

Cor van den Heuvel's Baseball haiku

Cor van den Heuvel's talk and reading from Baseball Haiku given at the Chautauqua Institute in June with Al Pizzarelli and Ed Markowski is now on line as a video at

When you get to the home page, just click Culture, then click Sports and you will get a Sports features page with the talk as one of the spotlighted features. You can then click on to the video for highlights or for the complete talk and readings.

New haibun by Beverley George on Haibun Today

Haibun Today edited by Jeffrey Woodward has a new haibun by Beverley George 'Sticky Fingers ' on its blog spot. To view the poem visit:

Beverley's previous haibun 'Roadsidia 'published on September 6 is also available from this web-site.

September 24, 2008

Kikakuza Haibun Competition

Kikakuza is a group of haikai (linked-verse) poets founded in 2005 in honour of Kikaku (1661~1707), Basho's celebrated disciple. We wish to help revive the tradition of haibun which gradually went out of favour after the Meiji Restoration. For this purpose, we have created a Haibun Contest and invite foreign writers to enter. The contest will
be judged by Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill. The results of the contest will be announced in the Kikakuza Bulletin and on its homepage, and awards will be sent directly to the winners. All entries must meet the following conditions.

1 Subject: Free, but discretion must be used to avoid slander and obscenity.
2 Style: No restrictions, but special attention must be paid to honour the spirit of haikai.
3 Length: Not more than 30 lines, each line of not more than 80 spaces long.
4 Haiku: At least one haiku should be included.
5 Format: Print on a sheet of A4 size paper and write at the bottom your name and your pen name if you have any, together with your address and telephone number. Your privacy will be strictly protected, and the judges will not see your names.
6 Deadline: All entries should reach the following address by 31 January 2009. Entries received after this date will not be accepted.
Kikakuza (c/o Kifuu Futagami)
117-1 Nakogi, Hadano-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan 257-0024
7 Entry Fee: All entrants residing in Japan are kindly requested to pay 2000 yen into the following postal money order account and send Kikakuza a receipt (or a copy of it) together with your haibun.
Postal Money Order: 00250-4-95332 Kikaku no Kai
No entry fee will be requested from those living abroad.
We cannot accept personal checks because it is so costly to process them.
8 Questions: All questions should be sent to the Kikakuza address above or by fax to the following number: 0463-82-6315.
9 Sample haibun: Sample haibun can be read at the following sites:
http://hailhaiku. haibun/ (also click
`longer haibun' page)
http://contemporary all/

September 23, 2008

Two Spring Ginko

Spring is here and many of our haijin have been out and about, enjoying the change in the season. Please enjoy these reports from Bangalow & Adelaide.

Cloudcatchers’ Spring Ginko

The Cloudcatchers’ Spring ginko was held on Friday, 19 September 2008, the eleventh since we began with a summer ginko in December 2005. The weather was cloudy and breezy, but fine and cheerful. We had a great day, gathering at 9.30 am at the Bangalow Weir (Far North Coast NSW). There were ten of us, including our unofficial Patron, Janice Bostok, whom we always love to welcome, and John Bird, whose idea it all was in the first place. Three poets participated for the first time, with two of them having graduated from local workshops. The area offers the dammed Wilson’s Creek, a bit if wilderness and some semi-rural environment.

Opportunity was given for swapping of books, information about members achievements, and up-coming activities, including the 4th Pacific Rim Haiku Conference next September.

The ginko itself lasted forty-five minutes, and was followed by some serious writing, and then the sharing of first drafts. Many worthy haiku were created, with other captured moments awaiting a bit of polish. These were read aloud, one at a time, around one big table. Great enthusiasm and quite a bit of laughter! Then, at noon, we lunched together at the Bangalow Hotel.

Following the ginko an email Round Robin is currently being conducted, comprising five submitted haiku, written at the ginko, from each participant. All participating poets will comment on all offered material. And we love it. If you are in the area and wish to join us for the summer ginko, contact Quendryth Young at:

Quendryth Young
Cloudcatcher coordinator

Spring Ginko - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

On Saturday September 13th, twelve poets, including one visitor from Tasmania, met in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens for a ginko.

After a quick hello, we took an hour to enjoy the Gardens. Some of us wandered without guidance, turning up or down paths as the whim took us. Others sought out the "Special Plants of the Month", and a couple sat down to observe the surroundings and people in one place.

The Cacti and Succulent Collection was popular. During the hour several haijin strolled among the spines and fleshy leaves. The cactus Bunny's Ears and the Euphorbia Medusa's Head were just two of the plants that set us thinking about the exotic names in the plant world. Near the creek and the Golden Chalice Vine, some of us encountered small giggling fairies celebrating a five-year-old's birthday.

We met up at the cafe to talk about our wanderings and to discuss our notes and poems. After the coldest August for many years, it was invigorating to be out on a sunny 27 degree day. Even more, to be able to share this experience with like-minded people through our interest in and love for haiku. Before parting, the group decided to meet again in November and explore another part of Adelaide.

Martina Taeker

September 16, 2008

WA Workshop

On Monday 1st September 2008, during National Poetry Week 2008, I was fortunate to attend a Haiku Workshop organised by the City of Perth Library, and held in the Library in Hay Street, Perth.

The workshop was skilfully presented by Maureen Sexton. Maureen is the WA Regional Representative for HaikuOz, the Secretary of WA Poets Inc, and has been published both in Australia and abroad.

The 2 hour workshop was one of several events organised by the City of Perth Library. The other events included a Haiku Competition, a Haiku Display and two Poetry Sessions with local poets. The winners of the Haiku Competition were announced the morning of the workshop.

We enjoyed an interesting and informative introduction to Haiku. We listened with enthusiasm as we learnt about its history and pioneers.

Maureen explained the difference between Japanese language Haiku and English language Haiku, and discussed Australian Haiku.

We learnt that in Haiku, more is less! To be concise and capture the moment... one single moment in time.

Our ears unwrapped the Haiku read to us... discovering with joy, the many layers of meaning hidden in simple words.

We practised the art of mastering the elusive Haiku moment... That "AHA", penny drops moment, where we see the big picture... the final layer of the Haiku.

The group showed great talent, with many writers infusing their work with rich images, simplicity, yet depth.

In attendance, amongst others, were Enis Pearce, June Earle, Donna Wood, Anne Dyson, Natasha Adams & Liz.

We were delighted to receive practical advice to get published in Australia and overseas.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Mr Yuichi Takatsuka, from the Consulate-General of Japan, who was one of the judges of the Haiku Competition this year. The Consulate-General of Japan have provided the judges for all the Haiku Competitions organised by the City of Perth Library since 2005. The winners in 2008 were: 1st Cassidy Marino WA, 2nd David Terelinck NSW, 3rd Mark Brenzi WA.

To join a Haiku writers group in WA, contact Maureen Sexton or go to:

Natasha L Adams

September 15, 2008

Haiku Workshop Opportunity

A HAIKU WORKSHOP is to be held on Sunday 26 October 2008, in Ballina NSW, organised by the local haiku group, 'Cloudcatchers'.

The workshop will include guidelines for appreciating and writing haiku, and the opportunity to take part in a ginko (haiku walk). This will be followed by the writing and sharing of haiku, with workshopping of participants’ work. It is aimed at beginners, but established writers, who wish to extend their experience in this genre, are welcome. Those poets who have already written haiku, are invited to present material for sharing and discussion.

The workshop will run from 10 am to 4 pm, with a break for lunch. Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake will be provided. Participants may bring their own lunch or buy it close by. The cost of the workshop is $40, which includes a set of notes.

The tutor, Quendryth Young, has won both Australian and International awards for haiku, with publication in nine countries and translation into three other languages. Her collection of haiku The Whole Body Singing recently received an award from The Haiku Society of America, ‘for excellence in published haiku, translation or criticism’, with second place in the Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards for 2008.

Enquiries and/or bookings may be made by email to:
or phone: (02) 6628.3753

Spring Meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo)

The spring meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on 13th September at Lesley Walter’s home in Summer Hill. Vanessa Proctor led members, Beverley George, Barbara Fisher, Lesley Walter and Cynthia Rowe in a productive afternoon. Dawn Bruce sent her apologies.

Special guest Katherine Samuelowicz, editor of paper wasp and respected haijin, inspired with her talk about time and the sense of place in poetry.

Beverley George briefly outlined the progress of organising Wind over Water, the fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, due to take place 22-25 September 2009 on the NSW Central Coast.

by Cynthia Rowe

September 13, 2008

Haiku and the Seasons: an exploration

by Beverley George

Beverley George is president of the Australian Haiku Society

The entire Japanese poetic tradition is grounded in the observance of the passing of the seasons, and it is quite simply second nature for Japanese to view human emotions through seasonal metaphors. Liza Dalby

The link between seasonal awareness and the writing of Japanese haiku is apparent. What is not so clear and causes much debate is whether this essential aspect of Japanese haiku can be successfully adopted into other cultural sensibilities and linguistic frameworks, including the English language.

In this article I would like to discuss the situation in Japan as I have observed it directly, rather than relying on readily accessible texts such as those by William J Higginson and Donald Keene and the pioneering work of RH Blyth, Harold G Henderson and James W Hackett, with which readers interested in haiku will already be familiar. I would then like to offer some thoughts about the importation of haiku into Australian writing and how it might be more widely understood and better incorporated. Three visits to Japan in the past two years and ten years of studying haiku do not an expert make, and I hope the tone of this paper is discursive and exploratory rather than in any way prescriptive. Writing haiku is a journey, not a destination, and it has many pilgrims.

Read the entire article by Beverley George here.

September 08, 2008

Haibun by Beverley George featured on Haibun Today

Roadsidia a new haibun by Beverley George is currently featured on Haibun Today. To read the poem visit the site at:

September 04, 2008

Members Publication - Haiga Moments: Pens & Lens

Announcing the release of Haiga Moments: Pens & Lens, a delightful little volume of photographically illustrated Haiku/Senryu poetry, by photographer Raymond Belcourt and Haiku poet Dr. Ignatius Fay.

The authors’ styles are rooted in a visceral understanding and appreciation of the world around us at its most elemental, most unadorned. Their work reveals deep-rooted fascination with nature and a need to express their observations through their particular art forms. The result is more than a simple linking of photograph to verse. At times poignant, pointed, irreverent, even humorous, these Haiga are always engaging, thoughtprovoking.

Little snippets of observation, these verses provoke deeper levels of emotion and contemplation than suggested by
their brevity and simplicity of structure. Both authors hail from Northern Ontario, Canada, where Ignatius still resides. Ray has been a resident of Alberta, Canada, for more than twenty years. Haiga Moments: Pens & Lens will appeal to most lovers of this Japanese art form.

60 pages, $12 Can., plus $3 shipping & handling—cheque/
money order payable to Pens & Lens.
For further information and ordering, contact: Pens & Lens,
P.O. Box 1182, Nisku, Alberta, Canada T9E 8A8.

September 02, 2008

6th Annual White Lotus Haiku Competition

The 6th Annual White Lotus Haiku Competition (formerly known as the Zen Garden Haiku Contest) is now open for entry! This haiku contest is open to all poets and haijin over the age of 13 and from around the world. Haiku submissions must be unpublished, not under consideration elsewhere, written in the three-line traditional or contemporary form, and be the original work of the poet. Entries are unlimited. Please see the Official Rules for more in depth information.

A new contest will run once per year. Entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2008 to qualify. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2009.

Prizes: 1st Place: $100.00, 2nd Place: $50.00, 3rd Place: $25.00

Winners will also receive a poetry certificate, copy of his/her winning poem, and a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place ribbon. The top ten placing haiku will be published in Shadow Poetry's White Lotus Magazine in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue.

There is a small entry fee of $5.00 for three haiku or $2.00 per individual haiku. To use the three for five feature, all three haiku must be entered at once. Individually entered haiku are $2.00 each. Contestants may enter via PayPal or through the mail. An entry form is provided in the Enter Now section. Visit: for all the details.

Haiku Dreaming Australia

Dreaming Haiku # 5– September 2008
HaikuOz supports Haiku Dreaming Australia in encouraging haiku on Australian themes. Each month we showcase a haiku from the Dreaming website.

     bay shallows
     a starfish moves its fingers
     over mine

                                  Lorin Ford

First Published The Heron's Nest March 2006