November 24, 2008

The Irish Haiku Society Haiku Competition 2008 Results

The Irish Haiku Society is proud to announce the results of the first ever IHS International Haiku Competition. 177 haiku by poets from twelve countries (Ireland, UK, Northern Ireland, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Romania and Serbia) were submitted to this year’s competition. Half of the submitted poems were from the island of Ireland. This year’s competition was adjudicated by Anthony Anatoly Kudryavitsky, and it was judged blindly. It had been previously announced that an entrant may win more than one prize, which, actually, happened. The following is the list of prize-winning and highly commended haiku.

1st Prize

John Barlow (UK) receives the first prize of Euro 150 for the following haiku:

mountain stillness
an empty chrysalis
fills with sunlight

2nd Prize

The 2nd Prize of Euro 50 also goes to John Barlow (UK) for the following haiku:

summer morning
every other post
has its crow

3rd Prize

Ernest J Berry (New Zealand) receives the third prize of Euro 30 for the following haiku:

early frost
the fragrance of pine
on fire


Highly Commended Haiku

In alphabetical order:

John Barlow (UK)

cold rain…
the fishermen wade deeper
into the lake

Sharon Dean (Australia)

winter chill
a bull ant climbs
the flame tree

Walter Daniel Maguire (Ireland)

autumn breeze –
spider’s web
convex… concave

Roland Packer (Canada)

the open gate
to an empty field –
country graveyard

Roland Packer (Canada)

Christmas Eve
swaddled in the busker’s case
a fiddle

Our congratulations go to all of the winners. We also express our sincere gratitude to the administrators of the competition, without whom… The Irish Haiku Society is planning to organise a free haiku workshop for the Irish entrants of the IHS competition, as well as for all the Irish haiku lovers who may wish to attend. Finally, plans are under way for next year’s contest. We are looking forward to turning the IHS Haiku Competition into an annual event!

Ron Moss - Member's News

Ron Moss has recently had a haibun published in frogpond. Please check out the link below to read his poem.

Simply Haiku features local haiga

I would like to announce that the winter edition of Simply Haiku is now online.

In this issue I was invited to be a guest editor in the haiga section. I would like to draw your attention to the work of Ross Coward of Hobart, and his first attempt at haiga, using his own haiku and images that he took on a recent trip in Tasmania.

Please enjoy at your leisure, what is a wonderful issue and well done to all concerned.

Ron Moss, Regional Representative for Tasmania

What is Haiku - Week 2

Dhugal Lindsay (Yokosuka, Japan) believes English language haiku should aspire to be:

"Short poem of rhythmical structure, usually between 7 and 17 syllables in length. It contains a reference to a seasonal or otherwise natural entity, is concrete, and illuminates some aspect of the existence of one or more of the elements or entities within the poem."

Dhugal and John Bird collaborated for this short description:

"A haiku is a brief poem, built on sensory images from the environment. It evokes an insight into Our world and The world."

Cynthia Ludlow (Brisbane, Qld)

"Haiku are small nature poems that I don’t understand but know to be true."

Tributes to W J Higginson - a thank you from Penny

Please thank all the members of the Australian Haiku Society for their
condolences, poems in tribute, etc. They warm my heart.

Penny Harter

November 17, 2008

What is Haiku? - Week 1

What is Haiku?

Today we begin a weekly display of members’ responses to the question:
What is haiku? Our hope is that by sharing our responses (definitions,
descriptions, comments, or quotations of wise words by others) we will
achieve a broader and more sympathetic understanding of this poetry we

Quendryth Young (Alstonville, NSW)

‘A haiku is a short poem of traditional Japanese origin which
captures the essence of a moment, finds the extraordinary in the
ordinary, and links nature to human nature.’

Kevin Sharpe (Blue Mountains, NSW) responds:

'haiku, senryu : of the moment’

Nicholas Barwell (Perth, WA) endorses Harold Stewarts’s definition:

"Haiku try to express what Japanese call Mono No Aware, the
ah!ness of things: a feeling for natural loveliness tinged with a
sadness at its transience."

Thanks to Quendryth, Kevin and Nicholas for sharing these.

Can you answer THE question in less than forty words.? Then please tell
John Bird at He is is editing this feature for us.

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its sixth collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under archives .
Do forward this email to anyone who might be interested.

Feedback is appreciated.

Nathalie Buckland

November 09, 2008

SA Haiku Group: Ginko Report

The SA Haiku Group met on Saturday 8 November for a ginko, at the Himeji Garden on South Terrace, Adelaide, with nine haiku poets attending on a windswept and showery morning.

The garden, opened in 1985, was built to symbolize bonds of friendship with Himeji, Sister City of Adelaide and to help the people of Adelaide understand Japanese culture. It blends two classic Japanese styles: the ‘senzui ‘(lake and mountain garden) and the ‘kare senzui’ (dry garden) and contains features which are of profound religious significance to the Japanese people.

After general discussion on what members would like to gain from the group and future meetings of the group, we dispersed to walk, stand or perhaps find a comfortable rock to perch upon and enjoy the ambience.

Haiku poets spent around three quarters of an hour experiencing the sounds, scents and sights of this exquisite garden, filled with water lily ponds, streams and manicured trees and shrubs. Here and there, carefully placed Japanese water features delighted the eye and ear. One admired feature consisted of a bamboo pipe that gradually filled with a trickle of water then, reaching a tipping point, bounced forward to discard its load.

We then gathered in the small viewing pavilion at the dry garden to admire the rock ‘islands’ and the combed ‘waves’ in the gravel. After writing up our notes, we each copied a few of our haiku on sheets of paper, to circulate for comment. We found this a useful exercise, for the more experienced writers, as well as those who were novices to the haiku form.

The group plans to hold future activities in 2009.

Lynette Arden (on behalf of HaikuOz SA representative, Martina Taeker)

November 04, 2008

'Calico Cat' haiku contest

Note this a blitz contest If you miss out on this one be sure to check back from time to time.

8th Calico Cat bilingual international haiku contest has started November 2, 2008. The Contest is founded, organized, conducted, sponsored, judged, and translated by Origa twice a year. in autumn and spring. Prizes are Origa’s original sumi-e paintings. This is the only international haiku contest in two languages, with valuable prizes yet free for the participants, held entirely by one person. Anyone may participate in this contest by sending up to three haiku on the theme of the new sumi painting "Little squirrel and a Pomegranate". Submit your haiku no later than Tuesday, November 5, before midnight EST. All haiku will be translated in English and Russian both ways, so that everyone can read every haiku! Our previous First prize winners were: Beverley George, Australia; Carlos Fleitas, Uruguay; Shanna Moore, Hawaii; Kirsty Karkow, USA; Valeria Simonova, Italy; Kilmeny Niland, Australia and Petar Tchouhov, Bulgaria (tied); Robert Bauer, USA. Please see all the details, and submit haiku, here:

Defining haiku

In 2007 the Australian Haiku Society committee requested John Bird to advise the Society on haiku definition(s) and to try to formulate one that we could adopt, officially, as meaningful for our members and helpful to those new to the genre.

John reports that he has considered many descriptions and definitions of haiku by overseas writers and now wants to understand how Australian poets, at all levels of experience, think about haiku.

He hopes to include some examples of the latter in his published report and would like to share a subset of these on the Australian Haiku Society [HaikuOz] site, if this is agreed to by their authors. If you would like your views to remain anonymous, please say so at the time you submit them. This will be respected.

Haiku are elusive to define. But in attempting to describe them we may come to understand them better. Please don’t feel intimidated that your definition must be academic, or even wise. It’s simply what you think haiku are about that counts. Please send John your personal definition of haiku, whether long-standing or written for this exercise, at:

Please try to restrict your thoughts to 40 words, preferably no more than 25. If you have adopted a published definition written by somebody else, please include all details.

Below are two personal definitions of haiku. You are warmly invited to share yours.

Beverley George
Australian Haiku Society

Vanessa Proctor (Sydney)
‘Haiku is a concise poetic form which is often inspired by an epiphany or close observation of the natural world. “The haiku moment” expresses universal human experience which cuts through cultural boundaries.’

Rob Scott (Melbourne)
‘Haiku in the West, a concoction of the Japanese original, is a short poem with an experience of nature, the seasons and the mystery of humanity at its core that crystallizes (rather than intellectualizes) a keenly observed moment. ‘

[Vanessa’s definition, and an earlier version of Rob’s, first appeared in Max Verhart’s study, THE ESSENCE OF HAIKU AS PERCEIVED BY WESTERN HAIJIN, published in Modern Haiku, Volume 38.2, Summer 2007. See ]

November 03, 2008

Matsuri on Mobara - report by Martina Taeker

On Sunday October 26th, the Matsuri on Mobara was held to celebrate the relationship of Salisbury, SA, with its sister city Mobara in Japan. Cultural activities included demonstrations of martial arts, Japanese dance and music, and stalls featured origami, ikebana, calligraphy and Japanese food.

A Japanese poetry stall manned by Martina Taeker and Allison Millcock, was one of the popular attractions. The display of Allison's haiga and Martina's haiku scrolls drew a lot of attention. Many people were delighted to find that haiku was much more than the "boring 5-7-5 stuff" they had been taught at school. Information about Japanese poetry was also available, and bookmarks from HaikuOz, Eucalypt, and Wind Over Water were eagerly snapped up. Copies of 'Gathering: Japanese poetry by South Australian poets' were sold as were haiga and haiku scrolls. The level of interest the poetry stall received shows that Japanese poetry is enjoyed by people of all ages in Australia.

The announcement that the Salisbury Writers' Festival, held in August 2009, would be running a haiga competition drew considerable attention.

Haiga is the combination of haiku and visual art. For this competition, haiga will be defined as a haiku/senryu poem (not tanka) in conjunction with a two-dimensional work of art (photograph, drawing, digital art, etc). Both must be the original work of entrants.

Prizes total $500. Entries will be displayed in the John Harvey Gallery, Salisbury, and at Wind Over Water, the 4th International Pacific Rim Haiku Conference.

Further details will be posted on the HaikuOz website when they become available in 2009, but for those of you who are interested you can get a head start on watching for haiga moments.

Results of the Capoliveri International Haiku Competition

The results of the Capoliveri International Haiku Competition (Tuscany, Italy) for 2008 have just been published here:

We are proud to announce that Sharon Burrell (Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin), a member of the Irish Haiku Society, was this year's English-language winner and a co-winner of Premio Internazionale, the main prize. The prize is awarded annually for a selection of five haiku.

Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop - a report

Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop
Sunshine and a light breeze made a perfect day for the Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop, held in the CWA hall in Ballina, on Sunday 26 October. Eleven poets assembled at 10 am from as far away as Brisbane and Nimbin, with the group comprising both beginners and members of the local ginko group ‘cloudcatchers’. Quendryth Young tutored the workshop, which was supported by a comprehensive booklet of notes and examples. An introductory talk included a respectful outline of the ancient Japanese origin of the genre, followed by discussion of various definitions suggested for the form. At this point everybody attempted to write something, using Tim Russell’s excellent exercise. A set of guidelines was offered, giving beginners some idea of how to create a satisfying haiku. Then the ginko – along the banks of the Richmond River – with its seagulls and terns, the sandbar and the mangroves across the water, the little boats and the Sunday fisher-folk. There was a great hush for half an hour, as pencils flew over paper, until a reluctant stop was called. The whiteboard displayed, in turn, over twenty haiku from enthusiastic participants (all that time would allow), and the workshopping was lively and productive. At the end of the day, at 4 pm, eleven publishable haiku had been created, with many more potentials in small note pads carried home to be worked on, agonized over, and loved. Feedback records: “A fabulous workshop. I had a terrific day, and learnt lots.” “I felt I got closer to the haiku spirit on Sunday.” “What a great way to learn haiku. For something so simple, haiku is certainly challenging. I have had my haiku-eyes on alert ever since the weekend. The brain is buzzing the whole time, and now I have a whole lot of observing and thinking to do.”

Nathalie Buckland