Illawong Haiku Group Autumn Meeting Report

It is with pleasure that I am able to report on our Autumn gathering since the December meeting went unreported due to various issues that prevented our normal modus operandi.

Fortunately, despite the current very unpredictable weather, we were able to gather on the balcony of Margaret’s home amid the very calming space she has created with her ever growing collection of potted greenery.

We had a full complement of members and were very happy to welcome a visitor, Rita Potente, who is new to haiku and we hope will join us for future meetings. Reversing our usual format we enjoyed haiku readings from the haiku bowl while we enjoyed morning tea and some of Margaret’s freshly made carrot cake, then it was down to business.

Rita Potente, Patricia Meredith, Carol Reynolds
Alison Miller, Margaret Mahony, Ros Pitt

For this meeting I drew heavily on the significant educational material available on The Haiku Foundation website in order to encourage the group to further their haiku knowledge and stimulate their writing.

Handouts included responses from notable American haiku writer Crystal Simone Smith on her journey to haiku following an interview by Julie Bloss Kelsey (THF Education Committee) which appeared in the section ‘New to Haiku’ and ‘Some Thoughts on Line and Syllable Count in English-Language Haiku’ which also appeared in the ‘New to Haiku’ section.

We discussed one of the recent postings which appeared in the ‘Haiku Dialogue’ section using the theme ‘Finding Peace and Contemplation’. Current Guest Editor is the very experienced and talented Australian haiku writer Marietta McGregor. We read Marietta’s introduction to the segment, circulated the photo, read her response to submissions together with her chosen haiku and associated commentary. As a consequence we added several new words to both our English and Japanese vocabulary.

Again changing our usual format we circulated a copy of each person’s newly composed haiku. Rather than verbal commentary members were asked to write their response on the back. We then went around the table discussing the responses to each haiku. These were then returned to the writer to use as a resource for improving their original haiku if needed. This exercise proved beneficial for everyone so we will continue in this way at future meetings.

We were treated to hot sausage rolls and sandwiches for lunch until some light precipitation made it necessary to retreat indoors. After some personal chit chat it was time to leave until next time.

Carol Reynolds
Convenor