March 29, 2012

Those pesky records

Paper wasp has been somewhat taken aback by a (justifiably) irate email from overseas pointing out that one of its recent publications has fallen victim to the repeat publication of a singular haiku. It is unusual for journal editors and/or contest organisers to receive submissions that have been published elsewhere or haiku that occasionally bear a remarkable similarity to previously published material. It has, however, happened and this recent case does remind us all that patience and meticulous record keeping of haiku submissions to the many journals, websites and contests, now so easily accessible, is a good idea.

March 27, 2012

Paper Wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Competition 2011

Congratulations to Cynthia Rowe, Jo McInerney and Ron Moss for winning First, Second and Thrid prizes respectively in the 2011 Paper Wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Competition. The successful haiku in order from first to third were:

tree-lined stream
the falcon rowing
through air

holding the warmth
of the afternoon sun
dandelion ridge

simmering rhubarb
mother plays ragtime
on broken keys

While the Jack Stamm Award has over the years become a valued and sought after prize, Paper Wasp has announced that the 2011 competition will be the last in the series honouring, Jack Stamm, the Japan-based American beat generation haiku poet who was part of a Japanese initiative to reinvigorate Australian haiku in the late 1980s.

The 2011 Jack Stamm Anthology therefore reproduces all the prize winning haiku dating back to the first competition in 1999.

Paper Wasp has also announced that it will honour Australia’s greatest haiku poet, the late Janice M Bostok, with a new international haiku award - further details will be available in the coming months.

4th Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum Haiku Contest

Professor Oba at the Basho Memorial Museum in Yamagata, Japan, invites Australian entries by 11 June for the Museum’s 2012 English language haiku competition.

Guidelines for Submissions

1 Conditions for Submission: Only unpublished English haiku poems are eligible for submission. Each applicant is allowed to submit up to two poems. A Japanese translation should be included with each poem when possible, but non-Japanese applicants are not required to attach a translation.

2 Judging: The judging panel will consist of Takeshi Iijima (President of the International Association of Japanese Studies, Professor Emeritus of Yamagata University), Noboru Oba (President of the Association of Culture & Tourism Promotion of the Yamadera Area and former President of the Yamagata Prefecture English Education Research Association), Jo Marinokōji (poet and critic), and Lisa Somers (Yamagata University part-time instructor, translator).

3 Divisions:
(1) Division One: college students, general public
(2) Division Two : junior high school students
(3) Division Three: high school students
(4) Division Four: non-Japanese

Only Division 4 is open to non-Japanese entrants.

4 Application procedure:
Haiku submissions may be submitted by post, email, or fax. Applicants are also requested to give their division, name, age and sex (optional), and contact information (address, phone number, email address [if any]). Age, sex, and contact information will not be made public. Junior and senior high school students should include their school name and grade, and Japanese applicants are asked to give the phonetic reading of their name.

5 Participation fee: None

6 Deadline: Applications should be postmarked no later than Friday, June 11, 2011.

7 Submissions: Haiku submissions and inquiries may be sent by post, fax, or email to:

Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum
4223 Nanin Yamadera
Yamagata-shi, Yamagata-ken, 999-3301 JAPAN

Phone: (0)23-695-2221 Fax: (0)23-695-2552
email address:

8 Prizes: In each division, one grand prize and two distinguished work prizes will be awarded. Recipients will receive a certificate printed in both English and Japanese as well as an additional prize.

9 Announcement of judging results:
Prize winners will be notified by mail and will be invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held on July 15, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. Prize-winning haiku poems will be displayed on the Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum website during the month of July, 2012. All haiku entries will appear in the Haiku Submission Collection, and to ensure easy understandability, any unintentional spelling mistakes found in haiku submissions will be corrected by Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum staff.

March 22, 2012

Limestone Tanka Poets: 18 March meeting

Who would’ve thought that two hours would be enough time in which to enjoy a presentation of Moon Forest Armada Tanka Group’, as well as a talk on How-a-Poet-Works and have time in which to workshop new tanka. Limestone Tanka Poets did all three in our March meeting and what was achieved was pleasing if the contentment on everyone’s faces at the end were anything to go on.

Our first guest speaker, Saeko Ogi, a tankaist who came to Canberra from Tokyo to teach Japanese language to Australians in 1972, shared the fact that she had no intention of writing either tanka or haiku, but did so soon after her arrival. Being a widow of nine months, she explains might have something to do with it. Along with Saeko’s account of the Moon Forest Armada Tanka Group, a motivated group of young poets whom she met in 2010 and 2011, we were privy to a reading of a selection or their poems in Japanese and English. Saeko also touched on her understanding of shasei, a form most challenging. What was of equal interest was Saeko’s account of her experience on what it is like to write Japanese poetry in Australia, poetry she had never written growing up in her country of origin, Japan, and the adjustments she had to make because of that.

“I sometimes sense that my readers in Japan do not really understand my feelings,” she said, ‘as they may be peculiar or possibly influenced by my long residence in Australia”. This was a new and interesting angle to consider.

“On the other side of the coin,” she added, “They would probably be fresh to the readers in Japan. Therefore I am very careful to shape my tanka for my Japanese readers, to enable them to share my feelings”.

Barbara Curnow took us on more familiar territory in her How-a-Poet-Works. We were talked through examples of six tanka, three of which she was inspired to write while walking and three others created by reading prose and poetry. Barbara, who enjoys the mindful state writing tanka can bring us into, explained (tongue in cheek) that; ‘Writing tanka is like being a cow chewing the cud”. Her choice of point of view is based on the content, and she hastened to say that ‘I statements’ are not always hers.

Kathy bought attention to Dave Bacharach’s last message as editor in the latest edition of Ribbons (winter 2012). In it he examines the importance of tanka, a bite sized poem that are as he says more important “… now that we have reached an age in which human beings habitually take in knowledge, art, and general information as small quanta …” due to the influence of the Internet. He also stresses the urgency to write tanka reviews without worry of offence from “… a fellow poet within the small tanka community … especially if that poet exercises any critical or editorial influence the tanka literary community.” Whether we agree or no with these views, this last message from Bacharach is a stimulating read.

Now that it is autumn, we will meet and write at Australian National Gallery or in the Skyspace and surrounding areas, including Lake Burly Griffin instead of the ACT Writers Centre for our next meeting, 29th April. What could be better than to write tanka on location in Canberra with all its promise of colourful leaves and possible Indian Summer after a rain soaked summer?

Kathy Kituai, Founder and Facilitator of Limestone Tanka Poets

March 06, 2012

The 7th International Tanka Festival 2012

From Aya Yuhki, editor of The Tanka Journal [Japan] comes news of a contest for tanka in English.

The 7th International Tanka Festival 2012
Shonan Village Centre, November 28th- 29th, 2012


for tanka in English

Call for Submissions:
Open to everyone
Entry Fee: None

Submission Period: April 1st – June 30th, 2012

Address for submissions: ITF SHONAN VILLAGE CENTER Competition
c/- Nihon Kajin Club
Shuei Bldg. 2F, 1-12-5 Higashigotanda,
Shinagawa ku, Tokyo, 141-0022, Japan

Rules of Entry:
1. Tanka must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.
2. Post two copies of each tanka, with your name and address on one copy only.
Entry is by mail only.
3. Any theme is acceptable. (Five line form only)
4. Judging is anonymous.
5. Winning tanka and commended tanka will be published in the Festival brochure.

Prizes include:
The Japan Times Prize; The Tanka Journal Prize; The Jane Reichhold Prize; The Beverley George Prize; The Hiromi Itoh Prize; The Yasuhiro Kawamura Prize; The Aya Yuhki Prize;

March 05, 2012


The Bindii group met at the Box Factory, 59 Regent St South, Adelaide from 10.30 am to 1 pm on a very pleasant autumn morning. Minutes of the meeting are provided below.

Present: Lyn Arden, Lesley Charlesworth, Antoinette Wade, Lyn Williams, Lee Bentley, Alex Ask.

Apologies: Maeve Archibald, Dawn Colsey, Jill Gower, Belinda Broughton, Margaret Fensom, Margaret Rawlinson.

As we had two new people attending, everyone present was invited to give a short self introduction.

Haiku Bindii Vol. 1 Journeys 2011 copies are available for sale through our Treasurer, Alex Ask. Julia Wakefield is placing books in various shops and planning some other publicity. Alex Ask offered to try to place some copies in the Book tent at Writers Week.

Challenges: Autumn was suggested. Further suggestions are welcome by email.

Work from members has been requested for the 9 May reading in Mary Martins Norwood by the Kensington & Norwood writers group. A haibun renga is being written by several Bindii members for the event. If anyone would like a submission form they should email Lyn.

General Program of meeting: Members read out several favourite haiku and tanka (not their own work) and wrote them on the whiteboard. There was discussion of what made these examples special and how they worked. Judging from the number of examples brought by members and the discussion, this seems to be a very worthwhile exercise.
This was followed by a session where members wrote their own haiku and tanka on the whiteboard and received comments and suggestions from others in the group. Once again a popular activity.

Next meeting 7 April: This meeting falls on Easter Saturday, so we won’t be meeting at the Box Factory. Margaret Rawlinson and Belinda Broughton will organize a ginko in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens with alternate wet weather plans. More specific details will be forwarded to members by email.

5 May Meeting: Alexander Ask will conduct a discussion on haiga. Members are requested to bring some examples if possible.
The meeting concluded at 1 pm.

Lyn Arden


An open-theme haiku contest with proceeds going to the Haiku Pathway project.
Thanks to Kings Seeds for providing the cash prizes. Kings Seeds is a Katikati business that is a leader in its field and we are pleased to welcome the family-owned company to the contest.

18 & over: $100 for first; $50 for second and $25 for third
17 & under: $50, $25, $10 (all prizes in New Zealand dollars).

Poems should preferably be typewritten, otherwise clearly handwritten.
Haiku should not have been previously published (including on the web or broadcast).

Submit 2 copies of each haiku with 1 only including your name, address, phone number (no mobiles, please), e-mail address, and for the junior section only, your age. Putting several poems on an A4 sheet is fine.
There is no limit to the number of entries that an individual may make.

Entry fee:

Within NZ: 18 & over $5 for 3 haiku or $2 for 1 haiku.
17 & under $1 for up to 2 haiku.
For overseas entrants: $US5/3 haiku or $US2/haiku.

Entries in hand by Friday, May 16. Post to: Katikati Haiku Contest, PO Box 183, Katikati 3166, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

A judge's report will be sent by email, otherwise please include a stamped addressed envelope. Judges are Owen Bullock (senior) and Catherine Mair (junior).

Results will be announced and presented on Saturday, June 16 at the Haiku Festival Aotearoa.
Any entry not accompanied by the correct entry fee will be disqualified. Entrants send cash at their own risk.

Please note: Due to bank charges, we will no longer accept personal cheques in any currency other than NZ$. Entry fees may be paid by PayPal using the email recipient address

Inquiries to

Memorial Page for John Knight

Farewell dear JohnnyK. We will miss you and your poetry. Shalom.

mackerel sky -
waves breaking white
on a distant shore

Lyn Reeves

flowing to the sea
slowly, Chopin-like: the river
and his ashes

Nuri Rosegg, Norway

February end-
the branch falls
near that log

lingering effect
of the gone butterfly..
early spring
the knight's
long battle with cancer..
headstone stillness

Rita Odeh
Nazareth, Israel

My sympathies are with everyone who has had the good fortune to have
known John Knight.

running, a kelpie pup
on its jaw
a cow pat

Kuranda cat
into its own embrace

Thank you so much John for staying the course despite ill health, and
may you still be writing and editing in that big magazine upstairs.

Alan, With Words

I was saddened to hear of the passing of John Knight. Although his has been a BIG name in the history of the haiku story in Australia, our paths crossed but once. This was at the haiku segment of the Queensland Poetry Festival, held in the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens on 3 August 2008, where I read some of my work. John and I exchanged books, and as I hold his collection of haiku in my hands, I feel privileged to have spent time with John, even for those brief hours. The impression left by this accomplished poet, this engaging personality, is huge.

the big man
catches his wave
wide horizons

Quendryth Young

please extend my heartfelt sympathy to his family

Pamela A. Babusci

buds on the lily
nose their way towards the light
the balm of your phone call . . .

Esther Theiler

March 02, 2012

Red Dragonflies’ Autumn Meeting

The six members of the Red Dragonflies haiku group met at Dawn Bruce’s home on Saturday 25th February in glorious sunshine for our first meeting of the year.

We workshopped and shared haiku about global warming and the unseasonal weather which has settled over Sydney for the past few months. We also did an exercise using the colour blue, which resulted in some surprising and exceptional haiku. There was the usual laughter and happy companionship and it was really brought home to us just how subjective our responses to haiku can be, as group members’ opinions about several of the haiku presented varied greatly.

Vanessa Proctor

March 01, 2012

A Hundred Gourds 1:2 now online

Issue 1:2 of A Hundred Gourds: a quarterly journal of haiku, haibun, haiga tanka and renku poetry is now online.

The deadline for all submissions to AHG 1:3 is March 15th

In this issue Ray Rasmussen introduces a feature on ‘The Graphic Haibun of Linda Papanicolaou’. You’ll find AHG’s first renku section, as well as haiku, tanka, haiga and haibun, an essay on the ‘New Junicho’ renku, an interview with Peter Yovu and reviews of three haiku books.

In response to suggestions from our readers and for your ease in locating haiku, tanka and renku poems by author’s name, AHG has now established an index of poets for these sections. This index has also been applied retrospectively to the AHG 1:1 haiku section.

A Hundred Gourds welcomes your submissions to the June Edition, Issue 1:3.

Lorin Ford, haiku editor,
for the Editorial Team
A Hundred Gourds