Bowerbird Tanka Workshop #4

Bowerbird Tanka Workshop #4
held at 'Wirraminna' Pearl Beach, NSW
February 27th 2010

Nineteen Bowerbirds, including three presenters, gathered at Beverley George's tranquil home, hoping to take away with them some inspiration and technical tips for writing better tanka.
Not a single bird returned home disappointed.

Amelia Fielden spoke about the tricky question of punctuation, sharing her views and style. She also included a valuable exercise which involved punctuating a number of tanka to improve them.

Kathy Kituai's presentation, 'Write Below the Surface' prompted a lively discussion on a tanka written by Izumi Shikibu and an excellent exercise on listening to our own and other peoples' poems.

Guest speaker, Mandy Austin, a director of The Japanese Saturday School, gave an interesting overview of 'Living in two cultures'. She discussed Japanese traditions, demonstrated the setting up of a tea ceremony and passed around items that ranged from practical towel holders to exquisite pottery all with tanka written on them.
Julie Thorndyke, speaking about 'The Magic of the Five Lines', not only illuminated the magic and allure of tanka but also gave each participant a comprehensive, illustrated handout of her presentation. Just what a bowerbird loves.
During the lunch break we had the pleasure of a champagne toast for Australian tanka and also for Beverley's enchanting new book 'the Preposterous Frog'.

A most satisfying day for all.

Catherine Smith