August 23, 2013

Milestone New Zealand-Australia haiku anthology

To celebrate the life of the late John Knight, Paper Wasp will publish a joint anthology of haiku by New Zealand and Australian poets.

Please note that submissions for the anthology are invited by 20 October 2013 from haiku poets resident in New Zealand and/or Australia. New Zealanders and Australians living overseas are also invited to participate.

John was well known in haiku circles in both countries and, through Post Pressed, provided many poets with a publication outlet for which he is gratefully, and fondly, remembered. After consultations on both sides of ‘The Ditch’, it was agreed that a milestone Trans Tasman anthology should serve as the memorial publication to honour John’s memory. The anthology’s size will depend on submissions and pages but Paper Wasp will ensure that it is an attractive and affordable publication in keeping with John’s enduring legacy.

Poets are asked to submit a maximum of ten haiku, either published or unpublished, with a cheque for $Aust 10. Those with an Australian bank account can deposit $10 by bank transfer. That amount will then be deducted from orders for the final cost (including postage and handling) of the anthology.

Poets must also include brief biographical notes to a maximum of 50 words as well as publication and/or prize details of previously published haiku.

Paper Wasp reserves the right to make selections for the anthology based on established conventions of merit.

Please send submissions to:
Jacqui Murray/Paper Wasp
124 Balemo Drive
Ocean Shores NSW 2483

Katherine Samuelowicz/Paper Wasp
14 Fig Tree Pocket Rd
Chapel Hill Q 4069

For information about bank transfers within Australia please email:

Email submissions, with payments details, can also be sent to that address.
Deadline: 20 October 2013

NB: In view of the costs involved, Paper Wasp regrets it cannot concurrently sponsor the very popular Janice M Bostok Haiku Award in 2013. It will return in 2014.

August 16, 2013

7th Kokako Haiku and Senryu Competition

Entries are invited until 31 October 2013 for the 7th Kokako Haiku and Senryu Competition. The competition will be judged by Barbara Strang.

First Prize: NZ$200, 2nd and 3rd prizes NZ$50 each.

Conditions of entry:

1. Haiku must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.
2. Entry fee is NZ$5 for every 3 haiku; for overseas entries, US$4 for every three haiku, AUS$4 for every 3 haiku. Cheques acceptable or cash at your own risk.
3. Send two copies of each group of haiku, with your name, address and email on one copy only.
4. 1st, 2nd & 3rd haiku, 3 Highly Commended and 3 Commended entries will be published in Kokako20 (April 2014).
5. Winners will be notified by email or mail.
6. Any theme is acceptable.

The closing date for entries is 31 October 2013.

Send entries to:

The Kokako Haiku Competition
Patricia Prime, co-editor
42 Flanshaw Road
Te Atatu South
Auckland 0610
New Zealand

Please make cheques out to Kokako.
Overseas entrants may send cash at their own risk.

Any queries, email:

August 13, 2013

Hobart Workshops: The Art of Haiku

Fullers’ Cafe Poet, Lyn Reeves, will hold a series of haiku workshops at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart.

10.00am – 11.30am, Saturdays 17th August - 14th September.

Explore the traditions and contemporary practice of these 'capsules of poetic insight' in a series of four workshops, followed by a ginko (haiku walk) in St. David's Park. This course is aimed at people with an interest, but little or no knowledge of these brief but potent poems.

Numbers strictly limited. Please

August 12, 2013

Evening in the Plaza by Jeffrey Woodward: A Review

Below is a review by Cynthia Rowe of Jeffrey Woodward's new collection of haiku and haibun.

$13.95 US/ £8.50 UK/ €10.00 Available through Amazon, Amazon Europe and CreateSpace.
ISBN 978-0615834757 Publisher: Tournesol Books (July 12, 2013) Paperback: 94 pages

Jeffrey Woodward currently acts as general editor of Haibun Today, a journal that he founded in 2007. He formerly edited Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose and served, in 2010 and again in 2011, as adjudicator for the British Haiku Society's Haiku Awards. His selected poems, under the title In Passing, were published in 2007 and he edited The Tanka Prose Anthology in 2008.

Evening in the Plaza contains forty-one haibun and forty-eight haiku, selected from the published writings of over a decade, by Woodward, a leading exponent and theorist of haibun. The origins of haibun, or the wedding of prose and haiku, can be traced to 17th century Japan but this literary genre gradually fell out of favor and practice in its homeland; it has been revived and naturalized internationally by English-language poets in recent decades and Woodward is one of its finest exponents.

On first viewing, one is struck by the elegance of the cover, austere, intriguing and inviting. Cover designer Ray Rasmussen’s use of light and shade is a metaphor for the haibun and haiku within the pages of this handsome volume.

The book comprises five parts: ‘Questions for the Flowers’; ‘Out of Season’; ‘Dead Letter Office’; ‘Legion’; ‘Imago’. Each section, apart from the final ‘Imago’, concludes with twelve beguiling haiku. The writing is talented, the mood remote and yet engaged, while the poet’s eye for detail is exemplary. The haibun are haunting; the haiku are fine examples of the genre, his style, at times, whimsical and reflective, seductive in its lyricism and mastery. The author leads us gently into the collection with the haibun ‘Adrift’, beginning with:

This calm? No less immediate and palpable than the unexpected storm that just passed.

and concluding with the run-on haiku:

a yellow skiff
adrift from the dock
and rocking idly

The poetry is halcyon and muted, leaving us wanting more.

In contrast, ‘Shorty’ (Contemporary Haibun Online 3:3 September 2007), a particular favourite of mine, invokes stream of consciousness writing, sans punctuation, as though the poet must disgorge these thoughts, needs to get the words out before they desert him.

that summer at the sawmill at the end of a gravel county road dusty cottonwoods and cicadas parallel rows of corn inscribing the shortest distance between any two given points acre upon acre so irredeemably flat as to tempt neither carpenter's nor mason's level the equidistant straight lines

concluding with:

Shorty seated on his wooden stool before the shed maybe bent to his task of honing of honing an occasional glint from the blade's edge

rubbing a whetstone away—
cicadas at dusk

Line 3 of the haiku juxtaposes the sound of the cicadas with that of the rubbing of the whetstone. The kireji emphasises the point.

An excellent example of Jeffrey Woodward’s work which contains conversation, prose, and personal involvement is ‘Goat's Beard’, beginning with the delightful dialogue:

That's not a very pleasant name for a flower – goat's beard. Nor is Tragopogon dubius much better.

Woodward is in a confiding mood, as if complicit with the reader, concluding with the haiku:

noon flower –
the solitude of
a wish floats away

(‘Goat's Beard’ published in Contemporary Haibun, Volume 9, 2008)

Haibun without haiku exist. ‘Dead Letter Office’ (Haibun Today, Oct. 28, 2008) is a notable illustration. Again the mood is confidential, almost wry:

Although you may count me among that number who are inclined to say, I would prefer not to, midway in my journey I do not find myself disoriented in a forest but here, in the Dead Letter Office, where the Fates, busily foreshortening somebody’s thread, have secured a position for me.

Woodward affirms the Sisyphean effect of the Dead Letter Office with the final paragraph:

Meanwhile, my position is secure, for the sorting of this mail will not end. I almost said my purgatorial business but, in this trade, there is no cleansing. Instead, letter after letter with a bad or illegible address, with an intended recipient long departed–judgments for debts overdue, offerings of condolence, confessions of love: the destiny of every petition, no answer.

In this haibun, a haiku would be redundant.

Within the closing ‘Imago’, the first haibun ‘California Trail’ (Contemporary Haibun Online 4:4, Dec. 2008) stitches together some threads of the history of the Donner Party.

Often the land is level, broad and dry and one makes good time. Then there is rain or there is a trail by a thorny thicket overtaken.

A stranger, a passerby, tells of a detour to an easier route. The promised shortcut is tempting and is tried.

The concluding haiku has a sense of finality:

a late autumn wind
over the Sierras
to the Donner wagons

‘California Trail’ recounts the tragedy lyrically and yet suitably bleakly, leaving the reader, in the comfort of his/her armchair, subdued by the experience.

The equally chastening haibun ‘Sharecropper’ (Simply Haiku 6:4, Nov. 2008) revisits another American tragedy, the poverty and displacement of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. We are reminded of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

It was my mother's great uncle on her mother’s side, patiently waiting there just outside the screen door for perhaps the last time, the straw hat with the soiled band crumpled in his hand, there with the gaunt exterior of a black-and-white Walker Evans' Depression Era photograph, his skin wrinkled and parchment-thin, his voice like an echo in a dry well, his singular tale that of lean times and crop failure, of winds blowing the very land away, leaving only parched lips, only the vacant gaze.

The final haiku is mournful, redolent of what might have been. The third line impresses with its phonics in the alliterative: a faraway freight

not a drop of rain
since the hired hand came —
a faraway freight

In the four haiku sections, Woodward leads the reader through the seasons and their ever-changing moods.


she lets the baby cry
and blankly scours a pan …
gathering thunderheads

Despite the overly long syllable count, this haiku appeals to me in its evocation of despair, the simmering anger implied in the final line.


thorns alone
adorn the tree–

Tied to the harshness of winter, there is a hint of religious connotation with the specific use of December and the first line: thorns alone.


the snowman
has no hat,
snow falling

The fact that the snowman has no hat adds to the bitter cold of this haiku, as though a snowman needs head cover to ward off the iciness – an interesting haiku, offering a quizzical take on the season.


with an amicable monster–
a child’s drawing

This haiku brings a smile to the reader’s face. In the innocence of childhood, monsters, although inducing a pleasurable frisson of terror, are always benign.

Jeffrey Woodward, with the exception of abbreviated stints in West Virginia, New Mexico and California, has worked and lived in the Great Lakes Region for much of his life. Evening in the Plaza is a compelling collection that reaches deep into the human experience. It is moving, honest and memorable. Worth visiting and revisiting.

Cynthia Rowe
Editor: Haiku Xpressions
President: Australian Haiku Society

August 10, 2013

Perth Workshop: Haiku – Sensing the image

Maureen Sexton will hold a free workshop in Perth on 2 September: Haiku - Sensing the image. The short, long and short of it!

In this workshop, we will examine the 'what is' and 'how to' of haiku.

“Haiku is best without your interpretation, the judgement of your EGO, just your plain statement of what IS the essence of your observation (if you are really able to capture that!)” ~ Gabi Greve

Just as when you take a photo, the photo is objective and subjective at the same time, so it is with haiku. The photo is an image of an object, but it is also how we saw it. We, as the photographer, choose the subject of the photo. We are presenting an image based on senses, and how we sense it.

"Show, don't tell," is the haiku way.

This is a FREE event. Spaces are limited and bookings are essential.
Monday 2nd September 2013
1 pm to 3 pm
Meeting Room, City of Perth Library, Level One, 140 William St, Perth
Contact: Anna Teasdale, 9461 3500,

August 08, 2013

Bindii Group Workshop on Renku by Lee Bentley

The meeting of Bindii on 3 August was a Renku workshop organized by Lee Bentley.
Five members attended the meeting. Lee outlined the principles of renku and the history of renga/renku. This was followed by a more detailed look at how the method of link and shift is used to build a renku.

The group then read a kasen renku The Click of Mahjong Tiles together with the analysis of the links used to construct the renku.
Led by Lee Bentley, the group then began work on their own Junicho renku.
The meeting finished at 2 pm. Lee Bentley is considering organizing an extra meeting for those interested in renku or rengay. Interested members will be advised.


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
3 August 2013

August 06, 2013

John E. Carley's The Book of Renku

John Carley has published his 'The Book of Renku', in pdf form and free of charge “to anyone interested in poetry” on his Renku Reckoner website, where you will find this message:

"Welcome to the temporary Renku Reckoner web site.

This site will shortly cease operation. The material previously hosted here has been superseded by The Book of Renku.

Private individuals are cordially invited to download a complete pdf of The Book of Renku free of charge for personal use. Please click the button below and save to an appropriate location. Please refer to the terms and conditions that preface the book."

Don’t miss out on this opportunity, even if you haven't engaged with contemporary renku yet. John Carley's work on renku is indispensable and his warm and witty writing style is a delight to read.

Lorin Ford, haiku editor


August 04, 2013

2013 City of Perth Library Haiku Competition

Entries for this year's competition close Wednesday 28 August, 5 pm. Winners will be announced during the Open Mic session at the Library on Friday 6 September. The entry conditions are shown below.

* Haiku and Senryu will be accepted.
* Entries must be previously unpublished.
* Entries are limited to 5 per entrant and must all be on one A4 paper.
* The name of the poet must be included at the bottom of the page.
* A separate contact sheet must have name and contact details.
* The contact sheet must also list the first line of each poem.
* Font size to be at least 22pt. Any font style is acceptable.
* Entries will be judged purely on the text.
* Any pictures or decorations must fit on the page with the Haiku.

Submit entries:
* Post : GPO Box C120 Perth WA 6839
* Deliver to the Library : Level 1, 140 William St, Perth
* Email:

Emailed poems must be sent as a word document attachment.

Prizes: 1st$ 250, 2nd$125, 3rd $75.

Entries will be judged by Maureen Sexton, WA representative - Haiku Oz.

By entering, you agree that your name and the poem will be listed on the library blog should you be awarded a prize.

Due to space constraints only the winning haiku will be displayed in the Library. Entries are welcome from everyone, but overseas entries are not eligible for prizes. Entries will not be returned unless accompanied with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Key points on writing haiku:
Brevity is a key element in haiku. Around 12 syllables or less is ideal, but up to 17 syllables is okay. Can be read in one breath. Usually written in 3 lines. Uses simple language. No capital letters or punctuation. Usually a juxtaposition of 2 images, but single image is okay. Captures a 'moment in time'. Written in present tense. Has an 'aha' factor.

Creatrix online journal

WA Poets Inc is now accepting haiku from non-members for the next Creatrix online journal.

Submissions close 10th August. For guidelines, go to:

Ginko With Lysenko: #17

Traditional haiku is sometimes about the changing of the seasons so the last day of winter, 31 August, is a perfect date for a haiku walk in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.

Meet just before 11am at The Terrace tea rooms beside the Ornamental Lake. The closest entry point is through Gate A, which is on the corner of Alexandra Avenue and Anderson Street.

Bring pen and notebook. Also, please bring your own lunch or buy some from the expensive café.

Costs: $20 full
$12 concession

As places are limited, please contact Myron if you wish to attend at :

Under the Basho - a new haiku journal

Under the Basho will be published twice a year and welcomes haiku of five different styles: Traditional Haiku; Stand-Alone Hokku; Modern Haiku, One-Line Haiku, and, Concrete Haiku (Architectural).

Submission deadlines are August 15th for the September Issue and February 15th for our March Issue.

All submission information and details are posted on our website/journal: . If there are any questions, please click the "Contact Us" button for direct email to us. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Don Baird