It seems hard to believe that this issue is the last print edition of paper wasp. Paper wasp, a quarterly journal of haiku, and Australia’s first dedicated haiku journal, has been part of the Australian literary landscape for over twenty years. Its journey towards publication began in Brisbane, with John Knight, Jacqui Murray and Ross Clark as the founding editors. Subsequently Janice Bostok and Katherine Samuelowicz joined the editorial team.
Much has changed in the Australian haiku scene over the last two decades. Poets have come and gone and new poets have emerged as haiku has become increasingly popular worldwide. The journal has increased the number of haiku in each issue over the years while retaining the same format.
There have been issues with production over the years and unfortunately this edition has not escaped them as two poets’ haiku are printed twice.
However, if we look past these minor glitches, it can be seen that this final edition of paper wasp still does what it has always done well, it showcases the work of both Australian and international poets, interspersing the haiku with black and white photographs taken by Jacqui Murray and Gavin Austin.
What is particularly encouraging is that this last issue includes the names of relatively new haiku poets. Along with established haiku poets, these emerging poets will ensure the future of haiku both in Australia and abroad.
This issue features some distinctively Australian haiku:
the long road before
Rose van Son
roundabout i give way
ooto a wallaby
triple-tier road train the dust the dust the dust
There are instantly realised ‘aha’ moments:
the last flash
of unstockinged legs
edge of autumn
a star falls
into lights below
and slower, but no less effective ones:
crossing the sandbar
a stingray and its shadow
drifting flax flowers the paddle’s slow turn
Paper wasp will definitely be missed and it leaves a large gap in the Australian haiku publishing scene. To the editors of paper wasp, past and present, we salute you for your long-standing and valuable contribution to Australian haiku.
down the mountain
gran’s last apple
Issues are available for AU $10 each within Australia and US $10 overseas from firstname.lastname@example.org
President Australian Haiku Society