May 20, 2013

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational

On the theme of cherry blossoms, limit 2 haiku. Winners announced in the northern autumn and winning poems featured during the 2014 festival. Judge is Terry Ann Carter.
Closes: June 3.
Cost: Free.
Full details from the website.

May 17, 2013

Cloudcatchers' Ginko No. 29

Ginko No. 29 (autumn)

Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head, NSW
Date: Thursday 9 May 2013

After so many ginko full of rain, sun beamed on the Autumn gathering of the Cloudcatchers on 9 May – until the last half hour.

Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head, a fresh water lake a stone’s throw from the ocean, glistened through the paperbark and banksia. A dozen species of birdlife animated the scene, and a few swimmers braved the cold dark tea-tree-stained waters, crossing wakes with those of cruising teal. After sharing our first drafts of haiku around a large picnic table we moved on to the Lennox Hotel for lunch together. The usual post-ginko email Round Robin is currently under way. The Winter ginko is scheduled for Thursday 8 August. Enquiries to Quendryth Young:

Danish Haiku Today 2012: A Review

Hanne Hansen, Chairman of the Haiku Group of the Danish Authors’ Society, recently provided the Australian Haiku Society with a copy of Danish Haiku Today 2012. Below is a short review of the anthology, written by Greg Piko.

In 2012, the Danish haiku group had the opportunity to meet with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, who is well known for his love of haiku and for publishing his own book of haiku in 2010.

The current publication is an extended version of an anthology produced for the Danish Group’s meeting with Van Rompuy in 2012. The haiku are produced in both Danish and English, thereby introducing 28 Danish haiku poets to the English speaking world.

Neatly set out, the anthology presents haiku by one poet on each page. While translating poetry is always difficult, the English translations allow the haiku spirit to shine through.

As Australian haiku poets, we often write of nature, the seasons, cherry blossoms and other subjects addressed by the Japanese haiku masters. It seems Danish and Australian haiku poets are alike in this regard with the anthology providing the following Danish examples.

snowflakes dancing
over the bare graves –
the sky is open

Niels Kjaer

the wind wraps itself
in her silk coat
- endlessly

Mona Larsen

white wooden houses
at the foot of the mountains
their snow covered tops

Hanne Hansen

withered leaves
rustle under my feet
the shadow moves silently

Jette Slaaen

Along the railroad
Tall slender goldenrods
In the sunshine rain

Kate Larsen

At the same time, it is evident from the anthology that Danish haiku poets also explore more modern topics and more modern forms as can be seen from the following examples.

My lips on your skin
Tasting yesterday’s dinner
My ginger girlfriend

Benny Pedersen

the white dove
flies over the battlefield
shitting on the war

Bo Lille

the seeds are spread
chance and change
nothing is finished

Helge Krarup

a word that takes time defoliation

Johannes S. H. Bjerg

a naked lunch in
the park the menu a sweet
but little french kiss

Leif Achton-Lynegaard

The storm is over
our shipwrecked hearts remain
next to each other

Ushi Tech

Overall, this collection provides a convenient introduction to the varied styles of haiku being written by Danish poets today. While members of the Danish Haiku Group are writing some lovely haiku in traditional form, which never seem to go out of fashion, they are also giving Danish haiku their own particular style. (in Danish only)

May 12, 2013

May Haiku Workshop

The 4 May 2013 meeting of Bindii group was held at the Box Factory in Adelaide. from 12:00 to 3:00 Eleven participated, including both experienced and new haiku poets. There were also nine apologies for the meeting. The workshop was organized by Lee Bentley and Lynette Arden.

Lee Bentley coordinated the meeting, which started with Lynette speaking on:
1. Differences between Japanese and English written language and counting of syllables, then the differences between the construction of haiku poetry and imagist (and other poetry) in English.
2. We talked about the parallels between paintings and haiku.
3. We then moved on to a brief discussion of the four Great Masters of haiku: Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki and a little bit of history of the haiku form and a few examples from the masters.
4. We looked at a classic haiku from Matsuo Basho with numerous different translations in English
(Handouts were distributed on each of these topics.)

Lee Bentley then discussed the way that a haiku in English is constructed, giving a few simple guidelines and distributing handouts covering guidelines and reference material for those wishing to expand their knowledge.

The group then split up so individuals could choose to walk outside or sit quietly indoors to attempt a haiku or at least some notes towards writing a haiku.

A shared lunch was followed by workshopping of the haiku attempted before the lunch break. Haiku and notes towards haiku were written up on the whiteboard so the writers could ask for feedback. A number of very interesting haiku were completed during this process.

The meeting finished at 3 pm.


3 August (Saturday) 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Box Factory
Renku with Lee Bentley (Box Factory booking) Workshop will include 30 mins lunch break.

2 November(Saturday) 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Box Factory
Haibun with Maeve Archibald (Box Factory booking) this will be the final meeting at the Box Factory for the year. Workshop will include 30 mins lunch break.

Minutes taken by Lynette Arden
4 May 2013

May 02, 2013

Review: A bird-loving man: haiku and tanka

A review by Cynthia Rowe of Rodney Williams’ A bird-loving man: haiku and tanka is now available on the New Zealand Haiku site hosted by NZPS

May 01, 2013

ABC Radio National: Haiku Competition

ABC Radio National is running a competition calling for people to submit their own haiku on the topics of food or flowers. Your haiku could be read live on air and win a prize. Entries close 1700 AEST on Thursday 9 May 2013. The entry form and other details are available at: