John Knight Memorial Contest planned

Distinguished haiku publisher and poet, the late John Knight, is to be honoured with a new Trans-Tasman haiku publishing contest.

The contest will serve as a memorial to John and is being announced to coincide with the first anniversary of his death after a long battle with cancer in February 2012. It will commemorate and, hopefully, keep alive his generous efforts to publish and support haiku poets from both countries. The contest is being sponsored by Paper Wasp, which John helped to establish, and paper wasp journal of which John was a foundation editor.

The contest will produce an attractive Australia-New Zealand book featuring between ten and twelve haiku poets. They will each receive five free copies of the book in lieu of cash prizes – in keeping the spirit of John’s publishing endeavours.

John launched Post Pressed, an indie publisher of verse, fine arts and academic books, in 1995. It never made money but John nursed it along to give poets and academics a voice in print. Post Pressed was one of the most prolific publishers of haiku in the world and made publication possible for around two dozen Australian and New Zealand haiku poets.

John was born in Bendigo in 1935 to an evangelist preacher and his New Zealand born wife. In 1938 the family moved to New Zealand before returning to Australia in 1946. Throughout his life John retained close links with Aotearoa and, over the last 20 years of his life, with New Zealand haiku poets.

Paper Wasp hopes the new John Knight publishing venture will become a regular event every second year whilst maintaining the international Janice M Bostok Award in alternate years.

Full details of this new venture will be announced later.

Jacqui Murray, February 2013