March 31, 2009

Poet's Breakfast with Beverley George

Beverley George was recently invited to contribute to the Poet's Breakfast section of Australian Poetry Blog, Another Lost Shark

Beverley takes us deep into the intertidal space of her morning and allows us to linger over the sounds and imagery that are just beyond her back/front fence, so grab a cup of tea, and let your mind unwind… this is a breakfast landscape to lose yourself in.

Read Beverley's Poet's Breakfast here:

WHAT IS HAIKU? - Week 16 (final)

Andrew Lansdown ( Perth, WA)

(1) "Haiku are poems modelled on the seventeen-syllable three-line poems of the
ancient Japanese. Being poems, haiku are a form of literature and may employ
literary techniques and may be judged by literary standards. Generally
speaking, haiku stir emotion and stimulate reflection in the reader through
simple precise objective depictions of things in nature."

"Haiku are pebbles
poets lob into the pond
of our emotions."


Jack Prewitt (Serelemar, NSW)

‘Haiku are the little poems I write and call haiku.’


Lynette Arden (Adelaide, SA)

'haiku are small and humble poems that depict the everyday world around us, aiming to give a flash of insight into that world.'


Earl Keener (Bethany, West Virginia)

“Haiku represents
the smallest atom of literature in which we might study
the heart beat of the muse. Haiku is verbal resonance
resulting from psychological projection. It is the literary equivalent of the Shinto experience of the kami.”


 Susan Murphy (Sydney, NSW)

'Nothing is ordinary and to notice it without intruding, saying only what's needed, quite naturally touches eternity.'


Beverley George (Pearl Beach, NSW) endorses John Bird’s description:

‘A haiku is a brief poem, built on sensory images from the environment. It evokes an insight into our world and its peoples.'


This is the final publication of responses to What is haiku? Next week I’ll briefly review what we have shared over the past five months. John Bird, for the AHS Definitions Project.

March 27, 2009

Haiku for a Younger Audience

On Monday March 23rd, 2009, a total of 146 students from Brigidine College, St Ives, took part in 3 seminars about writing haiku, presented by Beverley George.

Students were quick to come up with imaginative ideas for writing their own haiku, and the English faculty will co-ordinate a competition for students.

Haiku Readings Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre

Tokyo tanka poet, Mariko Kitakubo, joined Beverley George, president of the Australian Haiku Society, at the Gosford Regional Gallery and Art Centre on Friday 13th from 4 -5 pm for a celebration of haiku. Nearly forty local residents attended the occasion and were welcomed by the curator of the Regional Gallery, Tim Braham.

Included in the reading was a haiku sequence “White Pebbles” which Beverley wrote in the adjoining Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Garden. This was interspersed with Mariko reading “Shiroki Jari”, her translation into Japanese of this sequence.

Some bushfire haiku from the Australian Haiku Society web-site were also read, which many found greatly moving. It was also an opportunity to tell members of the local community about the conference coming to the Central Coast in September.

March 24, 2009

Rick Rack by Julie Thorndyke

On March 14, a full room of supporters and fans gathered at Baulkham Hills Library, Castle Hill, for the launch of rick rack, Julie Thorndyke’s book of tanka poetry. It was a wonderful event with a variety of readings with complementary music. Tim, Julie’s husband welcomed the guests and introduced Beverley George who launched the book with a short history of tanka’s origins and readings from Izumi Shikibu.
Julie presented tanka from her book, talking about her tanka journey with each tanka or sequence displayed against stunning visual images. The audience was moved by the impact and effectiveness of Julie’s tanka that covered the gamut of human experience.
There were other readings – a very moving sequence by Beverley George and Meredith Collins, then Julie and Beverley read Locket, their prize winning tanka sequence. The special guest, well known Japanese poet, Mariko Kitakubo, beautifully dressed in a silk kimono, read some of her tanka in Japanese, with Beverley reading the English translations by Amelia Fielden. Mariko accompanied the readings with the Hamohn, a Japanese musical instrument. There were also readings by the Tanka Huddle group from Eastwood Hills Fellowship of Australian Writers ( Those present were Carolyn Alfonzetti, Jan Foster, Beverley George, Anne Howard, Carmel Summers, David Terelinck, Julie Thorndyke).
The star of the show, though, was Julie’s wonderful tanka, which demonstrated why Julie is considered to be one of the leading tanka writers in Australia today.
Carmel Summers

March 22, 2009

WHAT IS HAIKU? - Week 15

Timothy Russell (mile 61 on the Ohio River, Toronto, Ohio, USA)
“Haiku is a single molecule of poetry.”


John Swabey (Teneriffe, Qld)
’This moment / sliced / by these words’


Vasile Moldovan (Romania)
“A Haiku Poem is heavy water and perfume essence in the same time; a
pearl appearing from pain and hope; the moment that passes in no time
and that you meet a few while in life; hurry up, don't lose it!”


Ynes Sanz (Brisbane, Qld)
“haiku is 'aha' / even from / afar “


Sharon Dean (Alstonville, NSW) likes Roland Barthes' assertion that a haiku is:
"not a rich thought reduced to a brief form, but a brief event which immediately finds its proper form".

The response to this exercise has been wonderful but it is time to wind it up – no more submissions, please. I will later attempt a collage to summarise what we have shared. John Bird, for the AHS Definitions Project.

March 21, 2009

Haiku News

There are many good things going on for haiku in Australia.

In WA, Creatrix provides a new publication opportunity. see Regional News – WA for details from Maureen Sexton and to support this venture.

John Bird's valuable forum "What is Haiku" continues in the main (current events) page. More on this soon.

Also please visit to read short essays and articles relevant to Australian haiku.

Coming up in Regional News for NSW
A haiku bilingual reading at Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Garden promotes community understanding of the genre, as does
A presentation of writing haiku in Australia for 160 students.

and coming up in tanka news (Australia) this week a launch and a workshop.

Don't forget to send the secretary of HaikuOz your news!

March 17, 2009

WHAT IS HAIKU? - Week 14

Laryalee Fraser (British Columbia, Canada)
‘A good haiku instills a moment with new awareness which surprises and satisfies the reader.’

Gina (Invermay, Tas)
(1) the moment – begging to be a haiku – excites my senses
(2) a stack of pages looking for a fragment – coffee-stained phrases

Barbara A Taylor (Mountain Top, NSW)
half a blink away
an instance of awareness
in the moment
keen and

Claire Holloway (Sydney, NSW)
Harmony bookmarked… Earth, Heaven and Humankind – In divine synch.

Angelee Deodhar (India)
“ A haiku is a three lined (short, long, short) poem of Japanese origin which expresses simply the essence of an emotion keenly felt at a particular moment in time. It may or may not have a seasonal reference.”

The response to this exercise has been wonderful but it is time to wind it up – no more submissions, please. I will later attempt a collage to summarise what we have shared. John Bird, for the AHS Definitions Project.


March 09, 2009

WHAT IS HAIKU? - Week 13

Claire Gardien (France)

Haiku, poem of a brief instant of nature life and the emotion
felt at the precise moment it happened. A three lines'prose of
5/7/5 syllables. The third line is either opposed to the text or
re-inforces it.

David Terelinck (Guildford, NSW)

Haiku is a journey along a road lined with small windows. Each
time we pause to peer into one of these, we are astounded by the
beauty and depth of the vista behind them.

Julie Simpson (Millford, NSW)

Sometimes a simple, stunning mental snapshot, sometimes as
boring as a slideshow at the neighbours.

Luong Son Truong (Khanh Hoa, Vietnam)

When sounds are used to echo immortal silence a haiku is

Matt Hetherington (Melbourne, Vic)

a poem of a poetic moment
written as briefly as possible
in the present tense

if regarding nature, it’s haiku
if human nature, it's senryu

The response to this exercise has been wonderful but it is time
to wind it up no more submissions, please. I will later attempt a
collage to summarise what we have shared.

John Bird, for the AHS Definitions Project.


Participants: authors of any nationality and age

Admission: FREE

Sections: individual: single authors - collective: schools and handicap area

Quantity: up to three UNPUBLISHED traditional haikus in Italian (5-7-5 syllables)

Submission: only by filling in the form on line
(by registration)

Expiry: 31st May 2009

Prizegiving: Sunday 22nd November 2009 at Cascina Macondo - official ceremony

Prizes: 114 classed haiku (57 individual section + 57 collective section) published in a volume

1st-2nd-3rd prize individual section: a precious Raku bowl, certificate, haiku book

to the 1st PRIZE also a one week stay for two people at CINQUE TERRE guests in a villa at Villaggio La Francesca (Bonassola-La Spezia-Italia)

to the 2nd PRIZE also a one week stay for two people guests at Pensione Signorini (Castiglioncello-Livorno-Italia)

1st-2nd-3rd prize collective section:

-ceramic Raku plaque to the School

-certificate and haiku book to the student

-book to the teacher

To the FIRST TEN classed in every section: a merit certificate

Note 1: all submitted haikus will be published on the website of Cascina Macondo

Note 2 : visitors of the website will be able to vote for their favourite haiku

(visitors' votes are a useful reference in cases in which a haiku obtained by the jury an equal number of votes)

click here for the complete announcement in 14 LANGUAGES (thank you to print it and hang it in some places)


Alessandra Gallo (writer-poetess-teacher)

Annette Seimer (translator)

Antonella Filippi (writer-poetess-Haijin)

Domenico Benedetto (photographer)

Fabia Binci (writer-Haijin-teacher)

Fabrizio Virgili (Haijin- teacher)

Giorgio Gazzolo (Haijin)

Michele Bertolotto (web master-Haijin)

Pietro Tartamella ((writer-poet-Haijin-teacher)

honorary members of the jury

Ban'ya Natsuishi (Japan)

Danilo Manera (Italy)

David Cobb (UK)

Jim Kacian (USA)

Max Verhart (Holland)

Nico Orengo (Italy)

Visnja McMaster (Croatia)

Zinovy Vayman (Russia)

Announcement from WA Poets Inc

Creatrix Poetry Journal now has a haiku section and is online. The founding members are: Maureen Sexton, John Bird and Nicholas Barwell. The editor for the haiku section is Maureen Sexton.

At this stage, publication is for WA Poets Inc members only, however you don’t have to live in WA to be a member. To download a membership form, please go to:

For haiku submission guidelines, go to:

Creatrix will be published online in March, June, September and December. The next deadline is 22nd May for the June issue. To have a look at the first issue of the haiku section of Creatrix, go to:

We look forward to your membership and your haiku submissions.

Haiku Workshops with Maureen Sexton

Haiku Workshop Part I was held last Saturday March 7 from 1pm to 3pm at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre, Joondalup. The workshop covered a brief history of haiku, how to write haiku and looking for that 'aha' factor.
The group participated in various writing exercises and were set homework to do.

Part II of the workshop will be held on Saturday March 21
1pm to 3 pm
Peter Cowan Writers Centre
Edith Cowan House, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup
Afternoon tea is included
In this workshop we will learn about the all-important brevity in haiku, editing our homework, and explore publishing opportunities. We will also investigate other related forms.
Part II is available to those who did not attend Part I. For more information and notes, contact Maureen:

Haiku Workshops with Maureen Sexton
To be run over two days, on the 10th October and 17th October 2009, at Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre, 11 Old York Rd, Greenmount.

Saturday 10th October

1 pm to 4 pm

We will cover a brief overview of the history of haiku, then move on to how to write haiku, with some directed exercises. We will discuss the ‘nature’ of haiku and how to get the ‘aha’ factor. There will be some homework to complete during the week.

Saturday 17th October

1 pm to 4 pm

We will edit our homework and learn about how and where to get published. We’ll also investigate some related forms.

To book, contact the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre on (08) 9294 1872 or by email: Website:

Sydney The Red Dragonflies' Autumn Meeting

The Red Dragonflies met on Saturday 28th February at Barbara Fisher's home in Mosman. All members attended and we had an enjoyable meeting discussing the theme of autumn, concentrating on moon haiku and the welcome coolness of the season.

by Vanessa Proctor

March 06, 2009

Shamrock Haiku Journal

The new issue of Shamrock Haiku Journal, the online magazine of the
Irish Haiku Society, is now available at
"This issue focuses on Polish haiku, and, as usual, has a big international haiku section, as
well as a haibun and a book review. Don't miss the results of the
Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Award 2008 just announced in
this issue: we have an Irish runner-up this year! And an Australian

Congratulations to Graham Nunn, secretary of HaikuOz, who is the Australian winner.

March 03, 2009

Haiku Tribute to Bushfire Victims - an update

I have now posted all of the haiku received in response to the tragic bushfires in Victoria. The response was overwhelming and I would like to encourage everyone to revisit the updated post to read the latest haiku.