Report of 5th Bowerbird Tanka Workshop

On Sunday 19th September 2010, 16 enthusiastic participants and 2 presenters, from locations such as Canberra, Sydney, the Northern Beaches, and the Newcastle region, arrived at Wirramina for the fifth workshop of the Bowerbird Tanka Group. Beverley George’s home, with expansive views of the freshwater lagoon, was a stimulating and delightful venue for this convivial meeting. Everyone was very appreciative of Beverley for again convening and hosting the Bowerbird workshop within her Pearl Beach home.

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Haiku in Australia 2010

Now seems like a good time to report briefly on the state of haiku in Australia. There is much to say that is positive.

The Australian Haiku Society (HaikuOz) is web-based and made up of many components. Its leadership comprises a patron, president, secretary, web manager and a small committee. Most input to the site comes from the leaders of the various small Australian haiku groups and from outside sources who send news of publication and competition opportunities.

Haiku groups
As in Japan, small groups are at the heart and soul of Australian haiku writing. These are poems of observation, so it is fitting the groups are regionally based, allowing members to share urban or rural landscape.

These groups include Cloudcatchers (Northern NSW, led by Quendryth Young); Bindii Haiku Group (Adelaide, led by Lynette Arden); Mari Warabiny (Perth, led by Maureeen Sexton) Red Dragonflies (Sydney, led by Vanessa Proctor); Watersmeet (Hobart, led by Lyn Reeves) and Ozku (Sydney, led by Dawn Bruce.) The ‘paper wasp’ group (Brisbane led by Katherine Samuelowicz) is currently not meeting regularly but it is hoped that this will resume soon. It is not unusual for groups to go a little quiet and then reinvent themselves.
In Melbourne, Myron Lysenko conducts haiku walks ‘Ginko with Lysenko’ four times a year.

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Bindii 4 September 2010

BINDII MEETING  4 September 2010

Present: Marilyn Linn, Lyn Arden, Susan Kay, Alex Ask.
Apologies: Athena Zaknic, Dianne Hill, Pam Brow, Margaret Dingle (Fensom), Maeve Archibald, Dawn Colsey.
Meeting on a wild and windy day in Adelaide, we were glad of our sheltered place in the Box Factory.
We held a kukai, followed by discussion of some haiku that members wished to workshop and then looked at the renku form, including a renku currently being composed by three members of the group via email.
October Meeting: we decided to make this a ginko (haiku walk) at the Himeji Gardens in South Terrace. Meet at the Himeji Garden and bring lunch.
Lynette Arden 4 Sept 2010

Harbourside Poets, U3A Harbourside North McMahons Point Community Centre

All twelve members of the Harbourside Poets, U3A Harbourside North area, were present for Bev George’s tanka presentation on 24th August.

Bev gave us a relaxed but highly professional talk about the history of tanka and the different styles used today. There was much interaction and the learning process proceeded at a high level. We enjoyed a coffee break after an hour and here Bev was able to chat personally to members and this time also allowed members to browse through her wide display of haiku and tanka books.
We then settled to reading and work shopping prepared tanka written by each member.
Here we were so fortunate to have Bev’s invaluable skill of honing our work to move from the ordinary to highly polished gems … such an easy way to learn the intricacies of the beautiful form of tanka. Every member was delighted with the learned input and the sensitive manner in which it was executed by Bev.
Many thanks for an exquisite two hours Bev!
Dawn Bruce