Eucalypt: a tanka journal is the first Australian literary magazine devoted entirely to the 1300 year old genre from Japan which has so much relevance to the way we think and feel today. Information is available from www.eucalypt.info or by writing with an SSAE to Beverley George, Editor: Eucalypt, PO Box 37 Pearl Beach 2256 Australia
Martina Taeker, RR for SA, recently conducted a ginko in the Art Gallery of SA and based on her experiences offers some thoughts on how a winter ginko might be conducted indoors.
Are you and your haiku feeling a little tired, cold, or stale? Have you thought about taking a ginko, but put it off because it’s winter and you’re still coughing from the last flu you caught?
Try taking a ginko indoors, at your local art gallery.
Don’t know anything about art? It doesn’t matter. After all you are not intending to write a thesis. You want to enjoy some art, be inspired and invigorated by it, and use this experience to create art by writing haiku.
Artists have been inspiring each other for centuries. It is useful for artists to be exposed to the work of others. You can see what subjects they choose and how different artists tackle a particular subject in different ways.
Remember to observe the people around you in the gallery, but discreetly. People respond to the same piece of art in individual ways and that too is grist for the artistic mill of your pen.
If this is your first visit to a gallery, begin by wandering slowly through it. Notice which art works catches your eye, but don’t stop. Get an overview before focusing in on one area. You might even find that this is more than enough material for one day. In which case you can return for another ginko in a few weeks.
Graham Nunn 11 June 2006
RSL Hall Alstonville 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
Quendryth Young reports:
The Northern Rivers area of the far north coast of NSW is progressing in leaps and bounds in the haiku way. Recently a Haiku Workshop was conducted at Alstonville NSW, organised by the FAWS (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Summerland). This was made possible by a grant from the Minister of Arts to FAW.NSW Inc.
The workshop was tutored by Graham Nunn, published haiku poet, Convenor of the Brisbane Poetry Festival, Editor of Speedpoets, and currently the secretary of the Australian Haiku Society. It was a full-day workshop, commencing at 9.30 am in the local RSL Hall.
Haiku Vancouver May 19-22 2006. A report from Pauline Cash
Among the rhodendron gardens in the University of British Columbia, 41 haijun gathered to discuss haiku and tanka.
The event was organised by Alice Frampton and was attended by poets from Japan, US and Canada. Participants from Australia were Amelia Fielden and myself. We were housed in a student hostel on campus.
A highlight of the first day was a ginko (haiku walk) through the Nitobe Gardens where we went our separate ways to contemplate the sensory beauty and symbolism of this walk through life. The cedars, firs, maples and hemlocks, the low rock, the waterfalls, bridges, lanterns and birdlife provided inspiration for many haiku. Later that day poets wrote their haiku for posting on a wall outside for all to enjoy.
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.
This article was first published in Five Bells: Australian Poetry, Summer 2006 Haiku, a traditional form of Japanese poetry, is becoming increasingly popular in the West. English-language haiku has been described as ‘one of today’s most exciting literary developments.’
To mention haiku is to elicit one of two responses among those who are not current readers or writers of the form. Either they have never heard of it, or they remember it (and may even teach or study it) as a three-line Japanese poem, consisting of seventeen syllables and having something to do with nature. While this description may suit past translations and attempts at writing haiku in English, many changes have taken place, not only in the way we write haiku, but also in our understanding of the genre.
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.