Report on the Haiku Workshop at Lobethal Woollen Mill: 5 March 2017

The workshop was presented by Julia Wakefield, who has provided the following report:

I was invited by Anne Griffiths to conduct a one hour workshop on the art of writing haiku at the h.ART Spoken words Exhibition at Lobethal Woollen Mill on March 5 2017.

This was followed by a reading by Bindii members: Maeve Archibald, Lynette Arden, Jill Gower and Belinda Broughton.

The workshop attracted ten people, ranging from complete beginners to a couple of Bindii members (Belinda Broughton and Jill Gower)who were happy to share their own experience and expertise.

We began by looking at the rules, including the technical requirements, compiled by Lee Bentley and Lynette Arden, that I had copied and slightly adapted from the Haiku Bindii blog. We discussed how they could be applied to two sample haiku that I had supplied, by Johnny Baranski and Maya Lyubenova.

We went on to look at a selection of contemporary haiku that I had collected from a number of Internet sites and discussed the validity as well as the appropriateness of putting them into the categories of Neoclassical, Shintai and Vanguard.  We briefly touched on the concept of senryu, and we all agreed that some of the haiku illustrated could also be classed as senryu.

We finished by briefly looking at an example of a haiku string downloaded from The Australian Haiku Society and I suggested that this was a good way to start writing a haiku. I gave everyone a set of simple prompts that would help them start writing, then invited them to take a pen and paper kindly supplied by Anne Griffiths, and take their own time to write a haiku for the exhibition, to be displayed on the board at the front of the building.

I had some very good feedback afterwards, even though I was sorry we didn’t have enough time to try writing some haiku on the spot. It would be good to do a follow-up workshop with anyone who is interested in developing their skills and knowledge, but many of the attendees are also interested in attending Bindii meetings.

Julia Wakefield

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