How fortunate we are to have a journal like Windfall: Australian Haiku, showcasing as it does, the best of Australian haiku— bringing together familiar and new voices (and the new voices are exciting). This issue, like those before it celebrates many and varied aspects of Australian life in its country, coastal, urban and domestic settings accompanied by a host of perceptive observations around season, landform, flora and fauna and the lives of people.
we slow our stroll to another time outback town
perching magpie the blackened stump seamed with ash
breaking my journey by Gregory Piko reviewed by Cynthia Rowe
breaking my journey, published by the prestigious Red Moon Press, is delightfully produced. The cover, designed by Ron C. Moss, a digital photograph, is particularly striking. The book is smoothly finished, and a pleasure to hold.
The collection contains ninety-eight individual haiku, two haibun, a rengay and haiku shuffle, wherein Gregory Piko extols the things we take for granted, the essence of what makes us ‘us’. He extracts beauty from the everyday, makes us see the world in a fresh light; that which seems banal on first viewing is elevated to the extraordinary, universal in its appeal.
Number Eight Wire is the long-awaited Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology. The last anthology, the excellent The Taste of Nashi, was published a decade ago. The title Number Eight Wire is a reference from a haiku by Karen Peterson Butterworth to the New Zealand trait of innovation and resourcefulness – to be able to mend anything with number eight wire. It’s a fitting title which holds together a strong selection of 330 haiku from 70 poets which are, as the editors state in the introduction, ‘100% pure Aotearoa’, yet also universal. Continue reading “Number Eight Wire – Review by Vanessa Proctor”
This book is a delight, square in shape and persimmon-coloured, it is beautifully produced with deep green flyleaf covers and plenty of space around the text giving the haiku the room it deserves. The artwork of persimmons on the front cover by Eiko Mori and Richard Steiner’s artwork on the back is appealing and gives the reader the impression that a great deal of thought has gone into this book’s creation. Continue reading “Persimmon”
A collaboration between Vanessa Proctor and Gregory Piko, Blowing up Balloons, is a collection of 90 haiku and senryu about the experience of becoming and being a parent. The moments shared relate to the stages in a child’s life from the first hint of pregnancy:
distracted the curve of a new moon
to the early years of childhood:
bathtime / they re-enact the sinking/ of the titanic
walking home from ballet/ my daughter pirouettes/ through the blossom
These sensitive and tender poems evoke a sense of wonder and amazement that bringing a new life into the world gives rise to, and of the joy that can be found in the presence of these little human beings entrusted to our care. The opening haiku perfectly encapsulates this: Continue reading “Blowing up Balloons – review”
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.
Included in the Expositions section of the final edition of A Hundred Gourds – just released – is a review of Windfall 4, written by Australian haiku poet Jo McInerney, who is becoming increasingly respected as a commentator on haiku.
Through accessing the following link, readers will be able to appreciate Jo’s response to the latest edition of Windfall, an annual selection of Australian haiku edited by Beverley George and published by Peter Macrow’s Blue Giraffe Press:
“Prospect” is an annual poetry journal, with longer poems written by Australians and published in Australia by Blue Giraffe Press, owned and managed by Peter Macrow. “Prospect Five” is devoted to haiku and tanka, with Beverley George as guest editor. Beverley was president of Haiku Oz, the Australian Haiku Society. She edits and publishes “Eucalypt,” a tanka publication, conducts workshops, and writes essays and children’s books. Her tanka and haiku have earned awards, and some have been translated into Japanese. The cover image and design are by Ron C. Moss, and Rebus Press had charge of layout.
The journal as a whole is unmistakably and delightfully Australian. While some of the vocabulary is special to that country, the themes and emotions are universal. With a few exceptions, I was able to understand and appreciate the poems without resorting to a dictionary, though I did look up some words for their precise meaning and enjoyed this verbal visit to a country and continent so far away.
Haiku, usually three-line poems, are here arranged four to a page, while tanka, which have five lines, are three to a page. They are divided, ten pages of haiku, twelve of tanka, and twelve haiku, with the final two pages given to Blue Giraffe Press 2nd Australian Haiku Competition’s three winners and three commended haiku