Wollumbin Haiku Workshop was formed in 2004 by John Bird, who invited Nathalie Buckland and Quendryth Young, all members of the Australian Haiku Society, to join him in discussing the haiku genre, the sharing of literature and rigorous criticism of each others’ work. Full-day monthly gatherings were held at the home of Quendryth in Alstonville NSW, with Nathalie and John travelling 50 and 45 kilometers respectively.
Each came from a different background: John, an army officer born in country New South Wales, described himself as a right-handed poet; Quendryth, a career cytologist born in Sydney, was a Bridge National Master; Nathalie, an early childhood teacher born in Wales, sang and drummed in a women’s band. Each was committed to the writing of haiku, and felt a strong connection to a common environment, the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, with its sub-tropical mix of rainforest, farmland and long sandy beaches. ‘Wollumbin’ is the aboriginal name for Mount Warning, which is part of the caldera of an ancient volcano. This striking peak was a landmark common to all three poets, hence its inclusion in the group’s name. Most of the haiku presented for discussion reflected the influence of this countryside.
A website bearing this name was created by John in 2006, when a selection of workshopped material was offered on-line, with Nathalie editing the collection, and John as the webmaster. The majority of haiku chosen for inclusion were previously unpublished. During the following years six more collections were added, until the site was closed in 2010. Many of these haiku have subsequently been published on John Bird’s Haiku Dreaming Australia.
Wollumbin Haiku Workshop may still be found on-line
Although the home page is labelled CLOSED, there is a link on the right hand side to ‘archives 7 collections’, on which this assemblage is still available.
Enjoy the reading!
Quendryth Young 2016