At the Word Storm Writers’ Festival in Darwin in 2004 I was privileged to run a workshop with eleven Northern Territory writers. The participants had varying backgrounds in haiku, from those who’d come across it at school to a couple of poets who had read much of the contemporary literature on the form. A few had strong background or interest in Zen Buddhism, which I believe is a valuable asset to accessing the haiku mind.
I recently had the pleasure of attending Wordstorm, the 2006 Northern Territory Writers’ Festival held in Darwin (May 18 – 21) at the Museum and Art Gallery NT. The programme connected almost 60 writers from Indigenous, non-Indigenous and Southeast Asian cultures with a diversity of readers, writers, artists and lovers of life who came to share the experience and excitement of this unique festival.
It was a privilege to be included in the programme and an honour to be asked to run a workshop on the art of haiku. Opportunities such as this continue to raise the profile of haiku in our country and I was thrilled with the energy the small but committed group of workshop participants generated.
I look forward to keeping in contact with all of the participants and sharing their haiku journey.
Report by Myron Lysenko
On April 6th 2006, 36 haiku appeared on decals in Melbourne’s trains and they will ride the rails for the next four months. This exciting project was the brainchild of poet Leanne Hills, who approached Connex Trains about the idea in August last year. She recruited Haiku Oz members, Matt Hetherington and Myron Lysenko to help her with her proposal.
The selected haiku includes work by renowned haiku practitioners such as Carla Sari, Sue Stanford, Mary Hind and John West; established Melbourne poets such as Alicia Sometimes, Catherine Bateson, Ian McBryde and Phil Ilton; and introduces extremely young poets such as primary school students Taman Ulrich and Eva Kulessa-Spires. Melbourne’s omnipresent mayor John So is also represented with a haiku about Melbourne Square.
A Report by Nathalie Buckland
River and sea meet at Brunswick Heads, on the far North coast of NSW. On a fine autumn Friday, just a hint of autumn in the air, ten haiku poets gathered close to a sandy beach for a ‘ginko’. This was the second time that we had been privileged to get together with the two JBs, Janice Bostock and John Bird.
A Report from Tasmania by Ron Moss
The Mountain Festival was a great success with many excellent events and enthusiastic participants. Ross Coward and Ron Moss once again ran the haiku gingko walks over successive Saturdays and many people enjoyed the silent walking with occasional haiku and beautiful flute playing by our friend, Satyamo. We shared green tea together at our destination ‘Lone Hut’, on the slopes of Mount Wellington.