On Monday 1st September 2008, during National Poetry Week 2008, I was fortunate to attend a Haiku Workshop organised by the City of Perth Library, and held in the Library in Hay Street, Perth.
The workshop was skilfully presented by Maureen Sexton. Maureen is the WA Regional Representative for HaikuOz, the Secretary of WA Poets Inc, and has been published both in Australia and abroad.
The 2 hour workshop was one of several events organised by the City of Perth Library. The other events included a Haiku Competition, a Haiku Display and two Poetry Sessions with local poets. The winners of the Haiku Competition were announced the morning of the workshop.
We enjoyed an interesting and informative introduction to Haiku. We listened with enthusiasm as we learnt about its history and pioneers.
Maureen explained the difference between Japanese language Haiku and English language Haiku, and discussed Australian Haiku.
We learnt that in Haiku, more is less! To be concise and capture the moment... one single moment in time.
Our ears unwrapped the Haiku read to us... discovering with joy, the many layers of meaning hidden in simple words.
We practised the art of mastering the elusive Haiku moment... That "AHA", penny drops moment, where we see the big picture... the final layer of the Haiku.
The group showed great talent, with many writers infusing their work with rich images, simplicity, yet depth.
In attendance, amongst others, were Enis Pearce, June Earle, Donna Wood, Anne Dyson, Natasha Adams & Liz.
We were delighted to receive practical advice to get published in Australia and overseas.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Mr Yuichi Takatsuka, from the Consulate-General of Japan, who was one of the judges of the Haiku Competition this year. The Consulate-General of Japan have provided the judges for all the Haiku Competitions organised by the City of Perth Library since 2005. The winners in 2008 were: 1st Cassidy Marino WA, 2nd David Terelinck NSW, 3rd Mark Brenzi WA.
To join a Haiku writers group in WA, contact Maureen Sexton firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: http://www.maureensexton.com.au/Pages/haiku.html
Natasha L Adams