October 31, 2013

HaikuOz for the month of October 2013

The following items were posted on the HaikuOz website during October and can be accessed at

paper wasp - 20th anniversary 2014

Haiku on the personal side of healthcare

Haiku in English Anthology

Australia-New Zealand haiku anthology deadline

Results of the Einbond Renku Contest

Renku Reckoner by John Carley

Fujisan haiku competition 2013

Report on Bowerbird Workshop #10

100 Tanka by 100 Poets of Australia & New Zealand

October 27, 2013

paper wasp – 20th anniversary 2014

paper wasp: a journal of haiku is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2014, making it the longest running Australian journal dedicated to haiku and its related forms still in print. The journal was founded in 1994 by John Knight, Ross Clark and Jacqui Murray who established the Paper Wasp Group in 1988. The paper wasp team was strengthened in 1995 by the legendary Janice M Bostok and again in 2000 when Katherine Samuelowicz made her debut as an editor.

This very special year will be marked by four unique 2014 paper wasp editions. Two of those special editions will take both paper wasp and haiku in new directions. For that reason, the upcoming deadline for the final 2013 issue of paper wasp will be the last for broad-spectrum submissions until November 2014 (for 2015 editions).

Poets, will, however, be given plenty of opportunities to spread their wings in 2014. Details will be released later.

Throughout its 20 years, paper wasp has been supported by haiku poets and subscribers in Australia and around the world. In fact, the bulk of paper wasp subscribers are located overseas – placing the Australian paper wasp amongst the world’s acknowledged haiku publications. Moreover, in an era which has seen increasing delivery of haiku on-line, this support has never wavered. Recently it has actually increased – giving editors the luxury of a large number of submissions from which to select representative haiku.

paper wasp is grateful for that support and so is sharing the presents during its birthday year. paper wasp subscription prices have never changed. To celebrate our 20th anniversary, paper wasp annual subscriptions will remain at 1994 prices throughout 2014 ($20 or $US26 overseas for four issues) and for as many annual subscriptions, in advance, as subscribers want to take out.

Jacqui Murray & Katherine Samuelowicz

October 22, 2013

Report on Bowerbird Workshop #10

Saturday 19 October 2013, Pearl Beach, NSW, Australia
by David Terelinck

‘Wirraminna’, the home of Bowerbird Tanka, saw the 10th convocation of this immensely popular twice-yearly workshop. Gracious as always, Beverley George opened her home to poets from Sydney, Canberra, Bathurst and the central coast region on Saturday 19 October 2013.

It was a smaller group than usual; ten in total. This was unusual as numbers often creep into the low to mid-twenties. However the impact of the NSW fire situation meant several people were unable to attend on the day. We wish them well as fires continue to rage out of control and threaten the homes and safety of many people.

The intimate atmosphere of a smaller group was enjoyed by everyone, and it allowed tanka poets present more time to ask questions. It also meant those attending could be more closely involved in the discussions and activities arising during the course of the day.

The day commenced with a segment that everyone who has been to Bowerbird knows and loves. It is where Beverley has asked three people, in advance, to prepare a critique or discussion on a favourite tanka by a poet they have never met. This session continues to be informative and insightful and really sets the scene for the quality day ahead. The critiques are thoughtful, carefully prepared, and take us deep inside tanka that are strong, resonant and have lasting impact.

Jan Dean was unable to be with us, but had emailed her prepared talk. Her critique of Yosano Akiko’s tanka was read out to the group by Yvonne Hales.

Gently, I open
the doors to eternal
mystery, the flowers
of my breasts cupped,
offered with both my hands

Next was Dy Andreasen giving us her appreciation of the following tanka by Claire Everett.

cold water
and chrysanthemum petals
our ‘tea for two’
the cup of memory
i can barely hold

David Terelinck rounded off this session by explaining why the following tanka by Susan Constable will remain with him for all time:

a large bruise
deep inside the mango
the way you turned away
when I needed you most

Common to all assessments are the rich layers within all poems, the strength of the structure, the dreaming room, the skilful building of the poem, and the multiple interpretations that each tanka can offer. They were all seen as excellent examples of tanka that are well constructed, ring true with each reading, are lyrical with clear imagery, and have the power to linger long after the words have drifted away. All critiques will be available on the Eucalypt website and make excellent reading in showing why a particular tanka has meaning for an individual. Visit for all Favourite Tanka assessments to date and additional information on Bowerbird Tanka Workshops and the Australian tanka journal Eucalypt.

The next session has also become a standing, but by no means standard, agenda item that is loved by everyone who attends. Every person brings a tanka to read aloud that has meaning for them. There is no commentary on the poem, either by reader or audience. This space is simply about experiencing the spoken poem and total immersion in the magic of the tanka and the moment. On the day we had readings of tanka from contemporary poets, some who have attended Bowerbird workshops in the past, and tanka of the court poets such as Izumi Shikibu and Ono No Komachi. A true moment of tanka beauty for all.

Unfortunately Kathy Kituai could not be with us at short notice as a result of the fire emergency. As such her workshop on Where the Poem Begins has been postponed to the February 2014 meeting. Beverley George and David Terelinck adroitly stepped into the breach and pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a workshop on link & shift in response poetry, specifically related to rengay.

Beverley and David outlined the history of rengay and the development of the form. They spoke about the importance of linking and shifting within the verses to create progression and retain reader interest. They gave examples of judging comments in relation to rengay and discussed what makes an award-winning rengay in terms of theme and construction.

Following this the attendees then paired up to write rengay themselves. An hour was allocated for poets to work in their pairs and explore the joy and satisfaction in the creativity of this short collaborative form. Only a handful of people present had written rengay before. But you would never know this when the writers came together after sixty minutes to share their works. Each pair had created a vibrant piece of writing, many with unexpected twists, imagery and lyrical turns of phrase.

All the pieces read out displayed great strength in the skill of link and shift to progress the poem. Without a doubt many of these rengay will go on to be published, and perhaps even win awards themselves. Each of the people involved expressed how much enjoyment they had in attempting this genre, and their desire to pursue it with their writing partner in later email exchanges.

Beverley then presented a short challenge in the form of a crossword puzzle. There were many creased foreheads and perplexed faces as everyone worked through her clues . . . all of which were relevant to the Bowerbird workshops. It was a lot of fun, and a little cerebral stimulation, before we broke for lunch.

Following lunch the group were well fortified for a fascinating workshop facilitated by Anne Benjamin entitled Tanka and the Sacred. In this session Anne explored tanka as a poetic form where there is engagement with the profoundly human and how this dovetails into the realm of the sacred. Writing about sacred space and events is not necessarily about specific religions, and is not about moralising. It is an exploration of the depth of humanity and finding the sacred within the everyday moments of our lives.

The sacred in tanka can deal with “the essence of life” and the elements of mystery. It taps into that deep inner part of what makes us human; what causes us to exist. Anne showed us that there are different kinds of touching the sacred from reverence to nature and awe of the natural world to formal religious writing, poems of grief and the human condition, and poetry of acceptance and transcendence. The sacred within tanka is often a journey and a pilgrimage towards acceptance and understanding of the human place in the world and the universe.

Writing about the sacred in tanka is not just about “being there”, but more about being “present in the moment” and the space where person, experience, emotion and nature come together. It is a conscious contemplation and a thirst to understand. Anne identified many themes common to the “literature of spirituality” be that tanka or other forms. And these were abundant in the many fine examples that Anne shared with the group. It is evident that the sacred within tanka has been with us for centuries from the times of the Court poets to today.

It is clear that in our search for meaning and to understand our existence in the universe, tanka is still an important vehicle for poets to express the journey of their discovery of the sacred. Out thanks to Anne for the engaging and highly interesting workshop, and for the detailed hand-out notes she prepared for the group.

The day concluded with a wrap-up of news and events from the various Australian tanka groups across the south-east of the country in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Once again Bowerbird was a tremendous success and everyone appreciated the ability to come together to share, collaborate, learn and revel in the joy of tanka.

Plans are afoot for Bowerbird Tanka Workshop #14 to meet at ‘Wirraminna’ in February 2014. There will be a cut-off of 16 people, so please place your expression of interest early with Beverley George. When 16 is reached the list will be closed and other names will go on a cancellation list.

David Terelinck

October 18, 2013

100 Tanka by 100 Poets of Australia & New Zealand

100 Tanka by 100 Poets of Australia & New Zealand – one poem each - edited by Amelia Fielden, Beverley George & Patricia Prime, with an introduction by Kiyoko Ogawa, former joint-editor of Poetry Nippon, and illustrations by Ron Moss.

This innovative collection was inspired by the classic Japanese anthology, Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, edited by Fujiwara no Teika in 1235.

This book is now available from the Ginninderra Press website -

or mail: Stephen Matthews, PO Box 3461 Port Adelaide 5015

Beverley George co-editor

October 15, 2013

Haiku on the personal side of healthcare

Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine is a website providing stories and poetry recounting personal accounts of illness and healing. Neal Whitman, haiku editor for the website, is inviting haiku submissions. A new haiku will be published on the Pulse home page every other week. Each haiku will remain there for one week before taking up residence in the Haiku Collection back pages archive. Anyone who signs up (at no cost) to the Pulse website can submit haiku. Details are available at:

October 14, 2013

Haiku in English Anthology

A new anthology of Haiku-in-English, edited by Jim Kacian and published by WW Norton & Co, contains a good selection of haiku by Australian and New Zealand haiku poets. Some of those represented are Janice M. Bostok, Greg Piko, Lorin Ford, Ron Moss, Graham Nunn, Sandra Simpson, Ernest J. Berry, Patricia Prime and the late Cyril Childs.

October 13, 2013

Australia-New Zealand haiku anthology deadline

With just a few days to go to the deadline of 20 October 2013, submissions for the upcoming Australia-New Zealand haiku anthology are surging in – suggesting the milestone project will be a memorable publication.

The project was initiated to celebrate the life of the late John Knight who 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.

Haiku poets resident in New Zealand and/or Australia are eligible as well as New Zealanders and Australians living overseas. 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. 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 and their postal address. 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

October 10, 2013

Results of Einbond Renku Contest

Congratulations are in order for Lorin Ford (Australia), Cynthia Rowe (Australia), Sandra Simpson (New Zealand), John Carley (sabaki, England) and William Sorlien (USA) who together won First Place in the Einbond Renku Contest (USA). The renku form for the contest was nijuin (20 verses). Their winning renku, Early Morning Heat, will be published in the next issue of Frogpond. Details of the nijuin format are available at:

Renku Reckoner by John Carley

Forthcoming in print from Darlington Richards Press:

Renku Reckoner by John Carley

•Descriptions, seasonal schemas, appraisals and examples of twelve traditional and modern renku forms, from the 36-verse kasen to the 4-verse yotsumono.

•19 chapters on renku theory and practice, including a series of carefully constructed exercises.

Carley's reputation as a leading theorist in English-language renku is the result of 15 years' work, during which time he has led hundreds of linked verse sequences and translated a significant number of Edo period kasen. This book is the culmination of those efforts.

In addition to reworked and expanded versions of many articles originally available at Carley's website, Renku Reckoner will contain several new chapters expounding the author's latest arguments, as well as a dozen complete poems, some never before published, including a new translation of the Basho-school kasen "Purveyors of Verse" (Shi akindo, 1682).

This authoritative work will be a welcome addition to the library of any poet or reader, beginner or advanced, with a serious interest in collaborative poetry in English.

Darlington Richards Press

October 08, 2013

Fujisan haiku competition 2013

The Fujisan Conservation Promotion Division of Yamanashi Prefectural Government in Japan is again running a haiku competition to encourage people to reflect on the value of Fujisan. As you may know, Fujisan was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June this year.

Toru Haga, an expert on comparative literature, will judge the International Section entries. Entries close 19 December 2013. Full details of the competition and how to enter are available at: