Cloudcatchers (the haiku group on the Far North Coast of NSW) is three years old. On 5 December 2005, thirteen poets assembled at Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads, where the river meets the sea. Last Friday, 12 December 2008, fifteen enthusiasts gathered at the same place for the summer ginko. Nathalie Buckland presented our usual introduction, “I wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, and ask you to think of all of our ancestors, remembering other feet that have trodden this ground before us.”
Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop
Sunshine and a light breeze made a perfect day for the Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop, held in the CWA hall in Ballina, on Sunday 26 October. Eleven poets assembled at 10 am from as far away as Brisbane and Nimbin, with the group comprising both beginners and members of the local ginko group ‘cloudcatchers’. Quendryth Young tutored the workshop, which was supported by a comprehensive booklet of notes and examples. An introductory talk included a respectful outline of the ancient Japanese origin of the genre, followed by discussion of various definitions suggested for the form.
The Cloudcatchers’ Spring ginko was held on Friday, 19 September 2008, the eleventh since we began with a summer ginko in December 2005. The weather was cloudy and breezy, but fine and cheerful. We had a great day, gathering at 9.30 am at the Bangalow Weir (Far North Coast NSW). There were ten of us, including our unofficial Patron, Janice Bostok, whom we always love to welcome, and John Bird, whose idea it all was in the first place. Three poets participated for the first time, with two of them having graduated from local workshops. The area offers the dammed Wilson’s Creek, a bit of wilderness and some semi-rural environment.
Opportunity was given for swapping of books, information about members achievements, and up-coming activities, including the 4th Pacific Rim Haiku Conference next September.
The ginko itself lasted forty-five minutes, and was followed by some serious writing, and then the sharing of first drafts. Many worthy haiku were created, with other captured moments awaiting a bit of polish. These were read aloud, one at a time, around one big table. Great enthusiasm and quite a bit of laughter! Then, at noon, we lunched together at the Bangalow Hotel.
Following the ginko an email Round Robin is currently being conducted, comprising five submitted haiku, written at the ginko, from each poet. Each participant will comment on all offered material. And we love it. If you are in the area and wish to join us for the summer ginko, contact Quendryth Young at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Japanese Poetry Competition was conducted recently by the Friendly Street Poets in Adelaide. Sixteen awards were made. Of the eight awards for the categories that were open Australia-wide, four went to members of Cloudcatchers. This group comprises a small gathering of haiku enthusiasts who live and ginko together on the Far North Coast of NSW.
We would like to thank the Friendly Street Poets for offering this
opportunity to compete, and HaikuOz for the notification of the
competition in the first place.