Sad news has been received that Stuart Quine, the English haiku poet, died on March 24 from the Covid-19 virus. A former associate editor of Presence haiku journal (he rejoined for a time after the unexpected death of his friend Martin Lucas), Stuart had one of his poems added to the Katikati Haiku Pathway collection last year and kindly agreed to having the one-liner engraved as three lines to fit the boulder. Stuart and Martin attended the 2009 Haiku Pacific Rim conference in Terrigal, NSW, Australia. Continue reading “Vale Stuart Quine, 1962-2020”
‘White Heron: The Authorized Biography of Janice Bostok’ by Sharon Dean has gone up on The Haiku Foundation website as the ‘Librarian’s Cache’ for the week.
It can be accessed at this link:
As noted by Lorin Ford, ‘this is a piece (a major work!) that will be welcomed and applauded by all Australians at all interested in haiku.’
Presentation to John Bird
Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head NSW
Thursday 5 May 2016
This was no ordinary ginko. Earlier in the year the committee of the Australian Haiku Society, with Vanessa Proctor as president, resolved to honour John Bird with recognition of the invaluable role he has played, not only in the formation of the society, but for his initiative and application in developing and promoting Australian haiku. The AHS requested the presentation be made at the autumn ginko of the Cloudcatchers, on the Far North Coast of NSW. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 41 (autumn) 2016”
Jan had a special relationship with Wollumbin/Mount Warning which dominates the Northern Rivers landscape of NSW, the country in which Jan was born and spent most of her life. Her connection to the mountain was profound. In feisty middle age Jan drew herself as the mountain. Mountain as naked woman. Her sketch and accompanying haiku appeared in the first (summer 1994) edition of paper wasp of which Jan was a foundation member and editor.
Late in life, when Jan moved from her beloved Dungay farm, she chose her last home with care. She could not, she explained, live anywhere where she could not see ‘her’ mountain. As with the first people of this land, Jan believed that the mountain was not only her totem, it was her strength and source of energy. I never look at Wollumbin without thinking of Jan.
above the dark earth
Wollumbin’s dawn light
Over the past 15 years I was privileged to work with Janice on many haiku activities including the international promotion of her work. As a tribute I offer this summary paragraph taken from my nomination of her in 2003 for the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Prize.
This news really shakes me up. I am so sad to hear this. For me, Janice occupied a very special place. –Michael McClintock
She was a fine poet who gave much to the haiku community in Australia–and around the world. The haiku community will miss her. Rest in peace, Jan. –Penny Harter
Her poems were threaded with empathy, a sense of discovery, insight and joy. She was an enriching spirit, and we shall greatly miss her. –Katherine Gallagher
Vale Janice M. Bostok
After reading the sad news that Jan Bostok had passed away, I sat down and reflected on the strange but true story of how we didn’t meet back in the early 60s. This story came to light not long before the Second Australian Haiku Anthology went to press. Jan, with an uncanny perspicacity, had noted ‘something American’ about my haiku. This, she later told me, was because her own haiku beginnings had been encouraged by American haiku writers such as Marlene Mountain and Bill Higginson and she’d recognized something of a common style, but at the time I wrote back giving the details of where I was born and where I’d lived, hoping to prove I really was Australian and my work would be considered for the anthology.
Jan wrote back, “The hair on my neck is standing on end! Did you know my husband, Silvester?”
Since news of Janice’s passing, I have sifted through her poetry and sumi-e, but it is the stories of her life recounted in conversations, and sometimes in the afterwords of her books, that have most possessed my mind. Hers was an indomitable, independent spirit, balanced by an almost surprising gentleness. I remain grateful to her for years of support in her role as senior adviser for haiku and related genres in Yellow Moon, and for her friendship.
Janice’s poetic voice was original and resonant. It is fitting that my tribute to her should be in her own words. This tanka was published in Two Thirds of Why Impressed Publishing, 2004 and another version of it in Songs Once Sung Post Pressed, 2004.
from the darkness
a cicada’s brittle shell
breaks away in wind
your voice now tightly grips
through whirlwinds of memory
President Australian Haiku Society 2006-2010