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.
Continue reading “Black Swans and Gymea Lilies: an Australian haiku?”
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.
Continue reading “Haiku on Trains”
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.
Continue reading “NSW Brunswick Heads- ginko”
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.
Continue reading “Tasmania- two ginkos and an exhibition”
Australian haiku poet, John Bird, is a joint-winner of the British Haiku Society James W Hackett award for the following haiku.
a village stray settles
at the busker’s feet
James W Hackett comments: “A picturesque, unique scene, well suggested. The stray lying down at the feet of the entertainer is a poignant, ‘Wordsworthian’ moment.”
HaikuOz congratulates John on this fine achievement.