While the rain is keeping our gardens and surrounding countryside lovely and green, it is playing havoc with our intentions to meet outdoors for our seasonal face to face catch-up. The Portarlington Golf Club became our venue, and just as well. It poured.
Eight of us met in a cafe in May to share recently written haiku and again chat about individual approaches we have regarding our inspiration and drive to write. With a few in our group very new to haiku, this is an important discussion and with so many opinions floating around as to what haiku is, it helps to reinforce that having a go and sharing ideas along with reading as many published works as possible is a step in the right direction. A number of us submit to THF monthly kukai and when the voting schedule is revealed, list our top picks and compare them. This activity stimulates a good deal of discussion and helps us realise that what resonates with one may have little connection with another. We continue to run our own monthly kukai and this definitely stimulates a lot of interest. One thing we did learn is that a busy cafe is not where we will meet next time.
The Portarlington Haiku Society came to fruition in October 2021 and has been operating on-line for the past five months until today when nine of its twelve members came together in person, a few to meet for the very first time. We met at the Pt Richards Reserve where a formally-mapped Haiku Trail exists, initiated by two of our members nearly three years ago.
Today, after introductions all round, we discussed the value of haiku and the Guidelines for Writing Haiku as published by the AHS from a workshop by Quendryth Young. We all agreed that this guide was one of the best we have found for the haiku beginner and have adopted it as our group’s go to information text.
We each read a haiku that we have come across in our reading that particularly resonates with us, then read one of our own recent pieces, telling of our inspiration and allowing for discussion. We also discussed how many highly acclaimed published works frequently contradict the guidelines but determined that rules are made to be broken and that each person takes on board what is best for them. We also discussed our own recent group renga and the best way to proceed with those.
The group are happy with the current newsletters and monthly kukai and it was suggested that we maintain our regular on-line communication with a face-to-face meeting occurring seasonally, with the occasional ginko tossed in for those willing and able on the designated dates. Most importantly, we all had a jolly good time and are all keen to learn through participation.
Exciting news! A new regional haiku group has started up in Victoria by Jenny Macaulay. You can read her profile by scrolling down the Haiku Group Leaders page on the AHS website here. The group began among friends in October 2021, with eight members currently and room for others who may like to join along the way. The group are running their own kukai and producing a newsletter – Wingspan.
We look forward to hearing more of their progress and to sharing the journey.