When many people hear the word ‘haiku’, their immediate response is, ‘That’s a Japanese poem written in seventeen syllables – 5-7-5’. While it’s true that traditional Japanese haiku is written in this form, haiku in English, because of the very nature of the English language, doesn’t conform to the 5-7-5 pattern.
This year for the first time Queensland Poetry Festival and Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha invited poets and poetry lovers to an informal reading of haiku and other Japanese verse forms in the the Japanese Garden.
On Saturday 19 August, a lovely spring-like morning, 20 or so people gathered for the readings.
The morning opened with a dedication and reading of the work of Barry Dangerfield, a former curator and significant force behind the gardens as they are today, who passed away late last year.
A strong selection of Brisbane writers including Duncan Richardson, Katherine Samuelowicz, Jeff Harpeng, Ross Clark, Rowan Donovan, Graham Nunn and Ynes Sanz read from their own and others’ work.
The highlight of the event for organisers was hearing from a number of people who responded to the invitation to compose a haiku during the morning, especially since some of them had never before written a haiku or read in public!
Those who were there enjoyed the opportunity to listen and read in such a peaceful and fitting setting and supported the idea of building from this somewhat tentative beginning in future years.
The paper wasp poets continued to meet during 2006 to greet old friends and new faces at Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s, West End, to workshop and generally encourage each other.
2006 has been a productive year so far for paper wasp and for individual members:
This information is provided as an alerting service to members and visitors. The Australian Haiku Society accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information and entrants are advised to check the details directly with the various organisations before submitting their work.