March 31, 2015

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2015: Call for Entries

Now in its eighth year, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is open for submissions.

Presented by “Aesthetica Magazine”, this competition is judged by industry experts, including Arifa Akbar, literary editor of “The Independent”.

Deadline for submissions is 31 August, 2015.

To enter, visit:

Entry is £15 plus VAT (approximately $ 28.97AUD in total).

There are two categories for entry:
a) Short Fiction (maximum length 2,000 words each); and
b) Poetry (maximum length 40 lines each).

Prizes include:

* £500 Poetry winner
* £500 Short Fiction winner
* Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
* One year subscription to Granta
* Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage
* Complimentary copy of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual

Alexandra Beresford
“Aesthetica Magazine"

The Urban Halcyon: A Contemporary Haiga/Shahai Journal

The first edition of “The Urban Halcyon” – an Indian journal focussing on haiga and shahai – can be viewed through the following link:

This online journal aims to present haiga or shahai of a contemporary nature which reflect on a range of themes, including changes in culture, climate, flora, fauna and human nature.

In its first edition, contributors presented their signature artwork, keeping the weather in focus.

“The Urban Halcyon” is open for further submissions of haiga and shahai.

Neelam Dadhwal

March 26, 2015

Launch of Haiku Bindii: Willow Light

Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group are delighted to invite you to the launch of Haiku Bindii Vol. 2: Willow Light
To be launched by Rob Walker
Please join us at the Box Factory: 59 Regent St South, Adelaide from 2 pm on 25 April 2015

This is a free event. Refreshments will be served. Readings by the Bindii poets.

BINDII POETS: Judith Ahmed, Karin Anderson, Bett Angel-Stawarz, Maeve Archibald, Lynette Arden, Alexander Ask, Lee Bentley, Belinda Broughton, Dawn Colsey, Margaret Fensom, Jill Gower, Simon Hanson, Marilyn Linn, Julia Wakefield, Athena Zaknic.

Enquiries: Lynette Arden:

FreeXpresSion Haiku Competition 2015 results

Congratulations to Sandra Simpson for taking out First Prize in the Haiku Section of the FreeXpresSion 2015 Literary Competition. Rodney Williams was awarded Second Prize. Nathalie Buckland received Third Prize.

First Place - Sandra Simpson, NZ

planning her eulogy jars of carefully labelled seeds

Second Place - Rodney Williams, Vic

the scent of new-mown hay
raked into rows …
horse-tail clouds

Third Place - Nathalie Buckland, NSW

damp kindling …
a flock of firetails
lifts from the paddock

Highly Commended:

Quendryth Young, NSW

caldera anthill
basalt soil brought up
through the crater

Lorin Ford, VIC

the foreshore eroding –
just a few patches
of our first language left

Dawn Bruce, NSW

swinging up
from a fern filled valley
bellbird chimes

Scott Mason, USA

bare branches
the bone-white moon’s


Jennifer Sutherland, VIC

gallery opening –
the art of making

Quendryth Young, NSW

ghost crab
the toddler clambers
up his father

Ernest J Berry, NZ

another plum tree
without its garden

Carol Reynolds, NSW

repurposing workshop
a memory
with every stitch

Winners’ haiku and the judge’s comments are available in the May issue of FreeXpresSion magazine. Details: Send AUS$5.00 for the May edition which will include a supplement containing all the monetary prize-winning entries in full, or $2.50 just for the supplement; $6.60 to the rest of the world including the UK, USA, Europe Africa and Canada etc. Send to PO Box 4 West Hoxton NSW 2171 Australia. Please make sure you include your name and address.

Congratulations to all, and many thanks to Vanessa Proctor for judging the competition.

March 16, 2015

Red Kelpie Haiku Group Ginko & Meeting #3

It was one of those warm, bright Melbourne autumn days in the Botanic Gardens, a perfect day for our ginko . . . had we all been stone deaf.

Yes, it was Grand Prix day and the sounds of racing motors circled our green refuge, news choppers roared back and forth and in the breaks between car races, the air show boomed overhead.

Black swans basked on the lake with their heads under their wings for the duration! Wattle birds and swallows put on their own air shows and the clear notes of bellbirds rang out during the quieter intervals.

A long, snaking queue to the greenhouse slowly shuffled towards the current main exhibit: an Amorphophallus titanium or Corpse Flower, over 8 metres tall. Some of us did get a glimpse of this surreal flower, native to Sumatran jungles, which blooms once every 7 years.

Before wandering off on our separate ways for the silent ginko, we welcomed new Red Kelpie member Janet Howie, then we all read out and discussed haiku with Australian seasonal references which we’d found in journals, anthologies and individual collections.

It was noted that such haiku seemed relatively thin on the ground across these publications compared to those with nature references not specifically seasonal. (For our purposes, haiku that named the season outright weren’t counted.) We touched lightly on the difference between EL seasonal reference and ‘kigo’ in Japanese literary culture.

As usual, we will prepare ‘final’ versions of our draft haiku or write up haiku from notes taken on the day for email comment & critique from everyone in the group.

The Red Kelpie Haiku Group is currently: Lorin Ford, Jennifer Sutherland, Jayashree Maniyil, Robyn Cairns, Marisa Fazio, Rodney Williams and Janet Howie.

Enquiries from haiku writers who might like to join the group or be invited along as guests and who have at least three haiku published in edited, English-language haiku journals should be directed to Lorin Ford via haikugourds at gmail dot com, with ‘Red Kelpie Haiku Group’ in the email subject bar.

Lorin Ford, Melbourne, March 2015

March 15, 2015

"Windfall 3’\ Launch in Hobart, February 20th 2015

The launch by Robyn Mathison of "Windfall" issue 3 took place at the Allport Library and Museum in Hobart, with the prior launch of a haiku book by Ron C Moss facilitating the use of this excellent location, and an interested and informed audience of about sixty people already in place.

Peter Macrow, founder and manager of "Windfall", was present, as was I as editor. "Windfall" poets in attendance included Marilyn Humbert, visiting Tasmania from Sydney, Lyn Reeves, Robyn Mathison, Ron C Moss, Sarah Clarkson, Judith E P Johnson, and Lorraine Haig.

The launch was expertly conducted by respected Tasmanian poet, Robyn Mathison.

Robyn expressed her appreciation to Peter Macrow and his Blue Giraffe Press for “offering poets the chance to be published in this tiny but stylish collection of haiku,” and congratulated the fifty-three poets for moments shared in the sixty-three haiku included in "Windfall 3".

An extract from Robyn Mathison’s launch speech follows:


“I’d also like to thank the editor Beverley George and congratulate her on her selection and particularly for the sequencing of the haiku she has chosen. I have taken several leisurely strolls through the pages of "Windfall", stopping to ponder awhile after each haiku and again after reading the three grouped on each page. In my readings I noticed and appreciated the connections between each trio. Sometimes it is colour that connects them; sometimes it is a season, or movement; or the activities of people, animals and other creatures.

On page three, for instance, it is reference to sound that links them, the completely imagined sound of water tumbling a stone in the middle one.

winter sunshine
an unseen guitar
in a minor key

John Bird

river stone
the current of years
in every shape

Dawn Bruce

wombat bones
dry hollyhocks rattle
by the roadside

Ron C. Moss

On page six, birds make the connection.

lowering sky
the breeze lifts a brolga
into flight

Kent Robinson

rain gauge
the bird bath full
after the storm

Rose van Son

against a dull sky
the pink parts

Quendryth Young

On page eight, moving and changing light links the images.

windswept rocks
the fisherman’s lantern
comes and goes

Cynthia Rowe

wind chopped light chopped winter bush

Kieran O’Connor

fading daylight
gathers more sky . . .
winter solstice

Jayashree Maniyil

And on page twenty-one, all three are about home.

google earth
I mostly look
at my house

Lynette Arden

he threatens
to sell again
the crunch of a snail's shell

Bett Angel-Stawarz

holiday over
my backpack sags
on the floor

Duncan Richardson”

Robyn Mathison’s closing remarks included:

“Like one of those miraculous Japanese paper buds that only needs a glass of water to unfold slowly into a flower, this little book needs only quiet reading to expand into dozens of images for the mind’s eye or the mind’s ear and to provide hours of contemplation.

"Windfall 3" is an excellent chance for you to get an inexpensive but very rich collection. I have much pleasure in launching it into the world – and I’d like to invite those contributors who are here this evening to read their haiku from "Windfall".”

Robyn Mathison


Although unable to attend the event in person, Australian Haiku Society secretary, Rodney Williams, lent his support to the occasion by producing a tanga; a photograph of a fruit tree with a tanka imposed on it, and gifting copies of this to Peter Macrow, Robyn Mathison, Beverley George and Ron Moss.

with this breeze
such sweet nectarines
as windfall
she gathers together
all those precious poems

Rodney Williams

Beverley George, Editor, "Windfall"

March 14, 2015

Haibun and tanka prose sought by “KYSO Flash”

A special call for submissions is being made by the online journal “KYSO Flash”.

Genres sought: haibun and tanka prose.

Reading period: open now, through till April 15.

Maximum word count: strictly 1,000 words, including text and title.

Full details and submission guidelines may be found at this link:

The online launch date for the next edition of “KYSO Flash” will be no later than June 1.

There is also the possibility of a soft-cover special edition anthology of best works being published in November, depending on the number and quality of submissions received.

Otherwise, haibun and tanka prose accepted for the online journal will be republished in Volume 2 of the “KYSO Flash Anthology” (another soft-cover publication, likewise scheduled for release in November).

Cash prizes may also be awarded, along with compensation for rights to publish works online.

“KYSO Flash” pays $30-$60 (USD) per piece, depending on word count, for original works published online.

Payment is made within 30 days of acceptance.

In addition, exceptional works will be nominated for prizes such as the Pushcart, and for possible inclusion in the “2016 Best of the Net Anthology” and the “2016 Best Small Fictions Anthology”.

While previously published works occasionally appear in “KYSO Flash”, payment is not available in such cases, nor are these pieces eligible for being reprinted in anthologies.

Clare MacQueen

Founding Editor/ Webmaster

Successes in Kusamakura Haiku Competition

Australian haiku poets Simon Hanson and Jennifer Sutherland both deserve congratulations for winning prizes in the 19th Kusamakura Haiku Competition.

The following haiku by Simon was one of the entries sharing second prize:

left behind
skimming stones
moonlit ripples

The following haiku by Jennifer was one of the entries sharing third prize:

dandelion a wish lingers on the breeze

Further details about this haiku contest can be accessed at this link:


March 12, 2015

Patron of the Australian Haiku Society

I am delighted to announce that Dr Jacqui Murray: Founder, Paper Wasp and Founding Editor, paper wasp: a journal of haiku, has accepted the position of Patron of the Australian Haiku Society.

Given the leadership she has shown in supporting and championing haiku writing in Australia, not to mention the extraordinary work done in co-founding paper wasp - the longest running Australian haiku journal still in print - we believe that as Patron she will be able to keep alive the ideals in furthering the development of haiku in Australia.

Dr Jacqui Murray will be a wonderful asset to HaikuOz and we look forward to working with her.

Cynthia Rowe
President, Australian Haiku Society

March 10, 2015

Launch of "The Bone Carver" by Ron C. Moss

On Friday, February 20th, Hobartians welcomed the long-awaited arrival of Ron C. Moss’s prize-winning haiku collection, "The Bone Carver" (Snapshot Press, 2014), at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

In her launch speech, Beverley George – past president of the Australian Haiku Society – began by giving an overview of the nature of haiku and of its current practice, citing John Bird’s description of the form:

“A haiku is a brief poem, built on sensory images from the environment. It invokes an insight into our world and its peoples.”

Beverley George then gave the audience insight into the qualities of Ron’s work, not just his haiku, but also his much-admired illustrations that have enhanced other poets’ haiku and book covers around the world.

The following text is extracted from Beverley George’s speech:


“These are haiku gathered over a long period and carefully assembled. Although haiku are brief, their resonance is long and the white space about each poem in "The Bone Carver" is designed to give the reader, or listener, time in which to bring their own experiences into response…

Ron Moss’ poems are soundly based on a respect and love for nature; for our world:

almost heard
the wind between
the stones

first light
a hawk dragonfly
beads with dew

But they are also imbued with sensitivity and practical caring for Ron's fellow man:

cancer ward . . .
only his impression
left on the pillow

Sometimes they are engagingly funny:

city market
a toddler steers a doughnut
with both hands

and at others… simply … tender:

passing car
a tiny hand opens
to the rain

Several elements come together harmoniously in Ron’s haiku. Ron describes himself often as a student of Zen, but I believe that, just as in Japan, the ancient animistic practice of Shinto harmonises readily with the more recent 8th century introduction of Zen Buddhism from China.

Ron’s long experiences in end of life care and fire fighting add a subtle layering to his haiku. Poems of careful observation of natural elements are deepened by human compassion and empathy.

Ron’s visual art has not only added dimensions to his own work but it has augmented the work of many other poets around the world. Most people who write haiku for a while experience the pleasure and the honour of having their work translated into other languages, usually by invitation of the translator, but it is a similar honour when our work is enriched with a complementary accompanying illustration, especially when the illustration is in traditional black ink (sumi-e) and sensitive to tradition.

If I may now move briefly back in time and indulge in personal memory.

"Yellow Moon" magazine, which I produced and edited for twelve issues, was competition-based and the haiku were often judged by the highly regarded haiku poet, Janice M Bostok.

Early on, a name bobbed in and out of notice – a bloke from Tassie. A couple of first prizes, as included in this anthology, but others too: Highly Commended and included.

At the same time I became increasingly aware of other haiku activity in Tasmania through the many fine writers in Lyn Reeve’s Watersmeet group and the wonderful publication work of Pardalote Press and the haiku section of "Famous Reporter". And of course the contribution of Peter Macrow to the haiku scene continues to this day. Good on you, Tasmania.

It was in "Yellow Moon"’s haibun section that I first became aware of Ron’s role as a firefighter, and later enjoyed the initial glimpse of his art when he quietly sent me a watercolour depicting a Yellow Moon.

Respect for his artistic talent grew when I convened the international conference, the 4th Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, in Terrigal in 2010.

How to decorate the walls in the conference room for the presentation of haiku papers to eighty international delegates? Well, haiga, of course!

Ron offered to add his artwork to five haiku I had written about Australian landscape, which had been translated and beautifully calligraphied by Tokyo poet, Mariko Kitakubo, supplying substantially sized prints for me to have framed. Perfect for haiku and for our overseas delegates.

These five haiga which graced the walls at the conference have hung in my home hallway ever since. I walk past and enjoy them every day, as do the many poets who come to my home for workshops.

A more recent collaboration of ten haiga, again with calligraphy by Mariko Kitakubo and with sumi-e by Ron Moss, was published on "Haiga Online", 2014. A harmonious collaboration between Aussies from Pearl Beach and Hobart and a poet and translator from Tokyo: I love each one of them.

More recently still, Ron has supplied artwork for two major collections, "Earthlings" and "Muttering Thunder", and he is the resident artist for the on-line journal "One Hundred Gourds".

A few days ago, Ron received the gratifying news that he had won "The Heron’s Nest" Awards Readers’ Choice Award, 2014.

Ron’s haiku is respected throughout the international haiku community and news of this award has been warmly and widely celebrated.

What shines through in all of this is that Ron’s love of haiku is genuine, deeply felt and a key component of his daily life, his core.

His success flows from genuine commitment to this diminutive genre.

"The Bone Carver" is a testament to this commitment and it is one that enforces not only Ron C Moss’s personal achievement, but is a landmark for Australian haiku in an international forum.

This book was published in the UK by the prestigious Snapshot Press and the introduction by US editor, Ferris Gilli, is a mini master class for writing haiku.

It is with respect and delight, and no regard for syllable count, that I pronounce "The Bone Carver" by Ron C. Moss well and truly, irrevocably and triumphantly, and most emphatically, LAUNCHED.”


After Beverley's speech Ron treated us to more samples of his work from "The Bone Carver", accompanied by his good friend and fellow-haiku-poet, Ross Coward, as they each read a haiku in turn.

The pile of books on the sales table quickly diminished in size. Guests were eager to purchase a copy of this beautiful book for themselves and an extra as a gift for a lucky friend.

Lyn Reeves

March 01, 2015

A Hundred Gourds 4:2 released

The seasons roll around. Today, the first of March, Australia and New Zealand welcome our first day of Autumn, whilst those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are anticipating Spring’s arrival.

Wherever you are in the world, the 14th issue of A Hundred Gourds, a quarterly journal of haiku, haibun, haiga, tanka and renku poetry is now online for your reading pleasure.

AHG 4.2 Feature –The Seabeck Haiku Getaway: an interview with Michael Dylan Welch

Aubrie Cox, our haiga editor, was on the spot for the annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway, which is held in the beautiful, historical mill town of Seabeck in Washington, USA, close to the Canadian border. Aubrie has conducted an in- depth interview on the subject of this enviable retreat with the founder and organiser, Michael Dylan Welch.

Expositions Section

Due to the unexpected departure of Matthew Paul as Expositions editor last year, A Hundred Gourds will be looking for a suitable editor for our Expositions section in 2015. Please direct any inquiries regarding the Expositions section and submit reviews, essays or commentaries for 2015 issues of AHG to me, Lorin, until further notice.

In this issue, Michael Dylan Welch explores the use of haiku in David Patneaude’s young-adult novel, Thin Wood Walls, Jim Sullivan comments on two ‘bee’ haiku and Cynthia Rowe and Ray Rasmussen review recently published haiku books.

Submissions Deadline

The deadline for all submissions to AHG 4.3 (the June 2015 issue) is March 15th. AHG has an open submissions policy: any submissions received after the deadline will be filed for consideration for the September 2015 issue. Please check our submissions page for details and editors’ guidelines.

Please take the time to read the AHG submissions page, including the editors’ individual comments, and ensure that your submission complies with all requirements.

Lorin Ford – Haiku Editor, Managing Editor,
for the Editorial Team, A Hundred Gourds

HaikuOz items posted during February

The following items were posted on the HaikuOz website during February, 2015, and can be accessed at

Report on the February 2015 Meeting of the Bindii Japanese Genres Poetry Group
Result from Golden Triangle Haiku Contest
Results of the 5th Kokako International Tanka Competition
Issue # 30 of Shamrock now online
Launching Ron C. Moss’ The Bone Carver and Windfall 3
Windfall Issue 3: 2015
Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest
Pumpkin Festival Haiku Contest – Croatia, 2015
Iris Haiku Contest – Croatia, 2015
Ron C. Moss wins Heron’s Nest Readers’ Choice Award 2014
Kaji Aso Studio Haiku Contest 2015

While we remain committed to sending a group email containing the above information to all AHS members – on the first day of each month – technical difficulties continue to be experienced on a website-based level with this circulation process. Apologies are extended to any members who have not been receiving such emailed notifications. Efforts are still being made to rectify this problem.

Meanwhile, members of the Australian Haiku Society – and other readers of HaikuOz – are reminded that you are most welcome to submit items relevant to the haiku community, both here and overseas, especially in relation to:

• haiku competitions and opportunities for publication;
• news of success in haiku writing enjoyed by Australian haiku poets; and
• reports about meetings of haiku groups in various states/ territories across this country.

Best wishes,

Rodney Williams

Australian Haiku Society