Report on Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group meeting: 2 June 2018

Members met at the Box Factory for our meeting on 2 June, with Maeve Archibald as our workshop presenter.

The meeting consisted of a series of exercises designed to stimulate ideas for writing haibun. Maeve presented each exercise and the participants wrote, and then read what they had written. We hope, of course, that this will result in some worthwhile haibun being developed after the meeting.

So that other groups can share the workshop ideas, we have added them below this report.

Present: Maeve Archibald, Lynette Arden, Marilyn Linn, Athena Zaknic, and Jill Gower.

Apologies: Lee Bentley, Sara Abend-Sims, Margaret Fensom, Julia Wakefield and Dawn Colsey.

NEXT MEETING: Saturday 4 August: Renga/renku: Lee Bentley

The meeting finished at 2.00 pm.

Minutes taken by Lynette Arden 2 June 2018

Workshop by Maeve Archibald


The aim of this workshop is to provoke some ideas for starting a piece of writing.

A Haibun is a story form – it takes you on a journey.  So that other readers can relate to it we need to give it a physical setting.  It should help the reader follow the logic of your journey.


A specific geographical setting – tells the reader where you are– one you know well (doesn’t have to be real).  Know your country.  It does not have to be named.

Exercise 1 – make your own list of possible places.  Share with group.

Examples: park, garden, beach, hillside, river bank, country road, desert, tropical setting, mountain top, forest, aviary, wild life park, arbour, tree house, Italy, bridge, window seat, fence, boat, aeroplane, paddock, corner, car.

 Exercise 2 – choose one and write for 5 minutes using that as your setting.  Share with group.

TIME – a time also helps orient the reader

Examples: last year, every summer, in the evening, at sun rise, on the weekend, a winter’s day, summer holiday, yesterday, June.

 Exercise 3 – make your own list of possible times.  Share with group.

Combined T & P – combining these elements can set a background to your writing

Every evening I sit on my balcony.

It was our annual beach holiday.

Yesterday I turned into that well-known avenue.

On Sunday I went for a drive…

These elements are not confined to Japanese forms and can be applied to; autobiography, biography, diary, essay, historiography, prose poem, short story, travelogue, etc.  A Haibun can take any one of these genres.

Exercise 4 – Start writing with the phrase:  ‘every evening I sit on my balcony’.

Write for 5 minutes.  Share with group.  Now go back and change first sentence/phrase so that we don’t all have the exact same starter.  Share change.  An extra 5 minutes to add a haiku.

There is one more element to add – mood – angst gives tension.


Examples; lost, making a decision, why me – its unfair, growing older, don’t know what to do, worried, mortality, immortality, choosing, reminiscing, wonder, moral dilemma, telling a lie, going home, a funeral, a wedding, grief.

Exercise 5 – make your own list – share with group.

Exercise 6 – choose a place, a time, a mood for your next writing piece.  Look at different genres, choose one.  Write for 5 minutes.  An extra 5 minutes to write a haiku or two.  Share with group.

Maeve Archibald







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