June 21, 2015

“Eucalypt” Issue 18, 2015 – Appraisals

From every issue of “Eucalypt: a tanka journal”, edited by Beverley George, two poems are peer-selected for appraisal.

Congratulations to New Zealand poets, Patricia Prime and Anne Curran, whose tanka were selected for appraisal by Sylvia Florin.

You can read about them here:

While visiting the site, you may also wish to read a wide selection of tanka appraisals at:

A regular feature of the full-day Bowerbird workshops, convened twice a year, is a presentation by each of three delegates of a tanka by a poet whom the presenter has never met. The appraisals are lively and varied.

- Beverley George

Red Kelpie Haiku Group Ginko & Meeting #4

Considering that June weather in Melbourne can be rainy, squally and generally miserable, we planned a venue with centrality and shelter in mind, so on Sunday the 14th we met down on the Old Melbourne Wharf, on the Yarra and now a part of Federation Square. Though a little cold, the day was surprisingly fine and sunny, with no wind.

Our discussion topic this time, inspired by Jaya’s query into the differences between haiku and senryu and taking into account Charles Trumbull’s insight into the growing preponderance of ‘tankaesque’ ku being written and published (see his ‘Between Basho and Ban'ya (bypassing Barthes): A New Brand of Haiku?’ in A Hundred Gourds, June 2015) was ‘Haiku, Senryu or Tankaesque Ku ?’ Each of us attending brought along examples of ku we thought fitted into each of these categories. A challenging topic! The discussion was enthusiastic, in-depth and very lively indeed.

Our conclusions? That while there are grey and overlapping areas, the most important consideration in distinguishing between haiku, senryu and ‘tankaesque’ ku is ‘spirit’: is this particular short poem written in the spirit of haiku, the spirit of senryu or the spirit of tanka? The spirit of haiku may be hard to define, but with close and engaged reading it’s not all that hard to recognise. After all, in the tradition of longer poetry, we have no trouble distinguishing between, for instance, confessional poetry and satire.

After the discussion, we all went our own ways, as usual, for the silent ginko. Some walked along the river to Birrarung Marr, others checked out the suitcase sale in Federation Square, others sat and watched ferries, rowers and swans on the river or visited the NGV Galleries in the Atrium. Many promising draft haiku and notes towards haiku were shared after we regrouped for lunch.

We were delighted to welcome Earl Livings, our most recent member. Earl expressed interest some time ago, but has only recently returned from a writing residency in Wales.

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

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, June 2015

June 06, 2015

Report on Bindii Meeting 6 June 2015

Nine members and guests met at the Box Factory for Karin Anderson’s talk on early love tanka, from as far back as ninth century Ise Monogatari. Karin then discussed kyoka, the humorous equivalent of the tanka form, also with examples.

Some examples were modern compositions published on the Prune Juice website.
Karin also prepared an informative handout for members. Our thanks to Karin for her well researched and well delivered presentation.
Lyn Arden presented some material on the early forms of katauta, sedoka and mondo, also with examples from current literature.
After the presentation, group members workshopped their Japanese genre poetry, mainly haiku and tanka.

Group Meeting Program for the remainder of 2015:
1 August: Lyn Arden: How to write haiku ̶ common techniques. This will be a workshop meeting where we will look at techniques, discuss them and try some of them out. Contrary to popular belief, there are well-known techniques that can lead to the writing of interesting haiku. There will be a handout. Please also bring any of your work for workshopping.
3 October: a ginko in Himeji Gardens has been suggested, as the weather should be warmer by then. We would meet at the Box Factory and then take a short walk to the gardens. The hoped for outcome would be a group of haiku that we could publish together as a result of the ginko. i.e. not a haiku sequence, but associated haiku. Our anthology Willow Light did not contain any collaborative work.
Lee Bentley also mentioned the possibility of some group members getting together to write some collaborative work, as we haven’t concentrated on that for a while.
5 December: Christmas meeting – format to be decided.

End of meeting: 2 pm.
Lyn Arden 6 Jun. 15

June 02, 2015

A Hundred Gourds 4:3 released

Yesterday, Lorin Ford – Haiku Editor, Managing Editor for “A Hundred Gourds” – wrote:

Outside my window is the first rainbow of my Melbourne winter, which begins today. Those in the Northern Hemisphere will soon be welcoming summer. Wherever you are in the world, the 15th issue of “A Hundred Gourds”, a quarterly journal of haiku, haibun, haiga, tanka and renku poetry is now online for your reading pleasure:


‘Between Basho and Ban'ya (bypassing Barthes): A New Brand of Haiku?’ by Charles Trumbull
AHG is delighted to publish Charles Trumbull’s witty and thought-provoking enquiry into a “hybrid” type of haiku which has become quite prevalent. This very enjoyable essay was first delivered as a presentation at the 4th Cradle of American Haiku Festival, in 2014.

Mike Montrueil, AHG’s Haibun Editor, provides an informative introduction to the context of Dr. Trumbull’s presentation, honouring the history of the Festival and allowing readers a sense of place.


Mike Montrueil also interviews Ray Rasmussen on the subject of his thoughts about and his extensive involvement in haibun, Michael Dylan Welch, in an entertaining manner, shows us how Japanese sound units differ from English syllables and Beverley George reviews Cynthia Rowe’s new book.

“A Hundred Gourds” is still looking for a suitable editor for our Expositions section. Please direct any enquiries regarding the Expositions section and submit reviews, essays or commentaries for 2015 issues of AHG to me, Lorin, until further notice.


The deadline for all submissions to AHG 4.4 (the September 2015 issue) is June 15th. AHG has an open submissions policy: any submissions received after the deadline will be filed for consideration for the December 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”

June 01, 2015

HaikuOz items posted during May

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

Success for Jan Dobb – With Words Haiku Contest
Arabic translation of tanka
Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award 2015
Success in Genjuan Haibun Contest 2015
Australians prominent in Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2015
Red Dragonflies Autumn meeting 2015
Cloudcatchers’ Ginko #37
Publication of John Carley’s “Renku Reckoner”

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 continue to be 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