New South Wales News.
Contact the to report or receive local information, or to contact other haiku poets in your region.

February 08, 2016

Cloudcatcher Ginko #40

Ginko #40
Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads NSW
Thursday 4 February 2016

The tenth anniversary of the inaugural meeting of the Cloudcatcher haiku group was celebrated at the very same picnic table where the original gathering took place on 5 December 2005. Torakina Park, in Brunswick Heads, where the Brunswick River meets the sea, has been a favourite site for ginko, and this was the fourteenth assemblage there by the group. Janice Bostok, known as the haiku pioneer of Australia, was with us at that first meeting (as she was also at a number of subsequent ginko), inspiring participants with her astute comments and some impromptu haiku of her own.

Continue reading "Cloudcatcher Ginko #40" »

December 05, 2015

The Red Dragonflies’ Christmas Meeting and Ginko, 2015

On the 5th December Red Dragonflies, Vanessa Proctor, Cynthia Rowe, Barbara Fisher and Dawn Bruce, met for a ginko of the Great Masters Exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery. Members Beverley George and Lesley Walter were unable to attend and were sorely missed.
After the ginko, lunch was enjoyed on the café patio and haiku writing exercises read and workshopped. Small Christmas gifts and good wishes for the 2016 writing year were exchanged over coffee.

Dawn Bruce

October 25, 2015

Cloudcatcher ginko #39

Ginko No. 39 (spring)
Botanic Gardens Lismore NSW
Date: Thursday 22 October 2015
Cloudcatchers gathered at the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, which were established on wasteland on the fringe of the city in the late 1990s. Since then a lush rainforest has re-emerged, nurtured by volunteers, growing only native plants endemic to the region. Right next to this is an area featuring eucalypts, where the sharp-eyed may spy a koala or two; and nearby is a 30-year-old stand of hoop pine. The pine forest enclosed poets in an ambience of calm, with its soft quiet footfall, its towering giants, and an invitation to ‘Sit & Ponder’. In the rainforest species were well identified, with a variety of form and foliage, and there were scattered seats for relaxing, absorbing the atmosphere and recording images. In a more open area, those who witnessed a small honeyeater flitting in and out of its nest, well-camouflaged among rushes, felt this was the highlight. The venue abuts the city’s Recycling Depot, and this juxtaposition was not lost on those who were observing the natural turnover of life within the gardens. Ten poets partook of this delightful experience, and later shared lunch together.

Quendryth Young

September 13, 2015

Red Dragonflies Spring Meeting 2015

The Red Dragonflies Haiku group met on Saturday, 12th September at 11.30 am at member Lesley Walter's home for their 2015 spring gathering. Cynthia Rowe, Dawn Bruce, Vanessa Proctor and Barbara Fisher were present. Apology from Beverley George, whose husband is ill. As usual there were some challenging exercises set by convenor Vanessa, which stimulated many fresh and interesting responses, and included much discussion and laughter. The meeting concluded at 2.30 pm.

Barbara Fisher

July 26, 2015

Cloudcatchers' Ginko No.38 (winter)

23 July 2015

On again, off again! With rain and even a thunderstorm predicted we took our chances and gathered anyway for the Cloudcatchers’ thirty-eighth ginko. Yes, it drizzled most of the time, but with a few bursts of sunshine, a brilliant light on the waters at the mouth of the Richmond River in Ballina, along with the warmth of the camaraderie, we experienced another remarkable and productive day. Images of dolphins rolling wave-like up the river, the ever-optimistic fishermen silhouetted against a grey sky and raindrops on the tips of she-oak needles were recorded on damp pages. Lunch together wrapped up yet another morning of perception and empathy.

Quendryth Young

January 31, 2015

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.36

Ginko No.36 (summer)

Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head NSW
Thursday 29 January 2015

Cloudcatchers gathered at Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head, for a summer ginko on Thursday 29 January. This venue is north of Ballina, with the surf on one side of the road, and the tea-tree-girdled fresh water lake on the other.

Continue reading "Cloudcatchers Ginko No.36" »

October 31, 2014

Cloudcatchers' Ginko No. 35

Ginko No. 35 (spring)

Victoria Park, Alstonville

Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014

It was such a glorious day for our spring ginko, which felt more like summer, complete with the hum of a few mossies and March Flies. The rainforest was as alluring as ever, and in spite of the fact that it is the sixth time the Cloudcatchers have visited this venue since 2008, we managed to experience many fresh and different images.

Continue reading "Cloudcatchers' Ginko No. 35 " »

October 26, 2014

Red Dragonflies’ Spring Meeting 2014

The spring meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on Saturday 25th October at Dawn Bruce’s home in St. Leonards. Dawn kindly met us at the garage entrance so that we could all go up in the internal lift together.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies’ Spring Meeting 2014" »

August 01, 2014

Cloudcatchers’ Ginko No.34

The thirty-fourth ginko of the Cloudcatchers was held on Thursday 31 July 2014 at the site where it all began in December 2005; Torakina Park at Brunswick Heads. It was the mid-winter ginko, but a strange weather pattern had us absorbing the ambience of this beachside location in gloriously warming winter sunshine.

Continue reading "Cloudcatchers’ Ginko No.34" »

July 19, 2014

Red Dragonflies winter meeting 2014

The Red Dragonflies, with the inclusion of guest, Bill Tibben, held their winter meeting on Saturday 19th July at Vanessa Proctor’s home. With the smells of freshly baked bread and buttermilk cake with passionfruit icing wafting about us, we workshopped our pre-set exercises which had presented the usual challenge, i.e. to compose original haiku on topics including a night in the country, a winter plant, and International Friendship Day.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies winter meeting 2014" »

February 06, 2014

Cloudcatchers' Ginko No. 32 (summer)

Bulwinkel Park, Alstonville NSW

Date: Thursday 30 January 2014

Bulwinkel Park, named after an early settler, is cradled between the old highway to Lismore and the suburban sprawl of Alstonville. Here there is a gentle creek, well-known as being the site of numerous platypus sightings, even to this day.

Continue reading "Cloudcatchers' Ginko No. 32 (summer) " »

September 17, 2013

Red Dragonflies spring meeting

The Red Dragonflies held their spring meeting on Saturday 31st August ― a very summery last day of winter! ― so we seem to have rolled three seasons into one on this particular occasion.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies spring meeting " »

July 13, 2013

Red Dragonflies’ Winter Meeting 2013

The Red Dragonflies met on Saturday 13th July at Dawn Bruce’s home in St Leonards. Vanessa Proctor led members Dawn Bruce and Cynthia Rowe. Lesley Walter, Barbara Fisher and Beverley George were unable, regrettably, to attend and sent their apologies.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies’ Winter Meeting 2013" »

February 27, 2013

Red Dragonflies Autumn Meeting

The Red Dragonflies (minus their leader, Vanessa Proctor, regrettably) met on Saturday 23rd February at Cynthia Rowe’s home in Woollahra. Vanessa had preset members three interesting topics for their prepared haiku ― namely ‘books’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘natural disasters’.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies Autumn Meeting" »

October 13, 2012

Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 27

Ginko No. 27 (spring)
Meldrum Park, Ballina
Date: Thursday 11 October 2012

Meldrum Park in Ballina is a new venue for the Cloudcatchers. It is on the shore of North Creek, and was chosen to coincide with low tide. Nine poets trod the sandflats spreading out before us as the water receded.

Continue reading "Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 27 " »

October 11, 2012

Ozku Report

The Ozku group was delighted to share haiku, tanka and haibun from our anthology with the NSW Society of Women Writers members on Wednesday 17th September at their luncheon meeting in the Dixson Room of the Mitchell Wing of the NSW State Library.

Continue reading "Ozku Report" »

September 18, 2012

Red Dragonflies’ Spring Meeting

We kicked off our Red Dragonflies’ meeting on Saturday 8th September with a visit to the Sphinx at Bobbin Head, a memorial carved out of natural sandstone by an ailing ex-soldier, William Shirley, as a tribute to his fallen AIF comrades. We then retired to Vanessa Proctor’s home in Pymble, where we spent a wonderfully creative afternoon composing a Junicho renku entitled “Unexpected Rain”.

Continue reading "Red Dragonflies’ Spring Meeting" »

July 31, 2010

Cloudcatchers Winter Ginko

Most of us have accepted ‘beach’ as a summer kigo. However, participants in the winter ginko of the Cloudcatchers (Far North Coast of NSW) were obliged to re-think that concept, as it was held on Thursday 22 July at Shelly Beach, East Ballina. In spite of the FNC reputation for warm sunny winters, the day was appropriately ‘wintery’, with an overcast sky, a chilly breeze off a grey ocean and even some spots of rain. This did not daunt the twelve poets, who produced as much insightful writing as ever. The tide was low, so the rock pools featured in a number of haiku, along with sleeping gulls, hardy swimmers and the perpetually fascinating ocean. It was Max Ryan, who put into words the thoughts of many: ‘You can go to the beach and wander along it yourself, and write haiku. But you never get as much out of it as you do when you come to a ginko.’ The next step was lunching together at the Shaw’s Bay Hotel, and now the post-ginko round-robin (three each, by email) is in full swing. Our spring ginko will be held on 14 October, and any poet who wishes to join us is welcome. Contact:

July 11, 2010

NZPS International Poetry Competition Results

Cloudcatchers has become a thriving group of haiku enthusiasts on the Far North Coast of New South Wales. The aim of each participant is to explore haiku in an individual way. For some this is reading; for most it involves writing haiku. A number of us send our writings to haiku publications and to competitions.

The results of the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition (Haiku section) 2010 have just been announced. I am delighted to tell you that first and third prizes were won by Quendryth Young, with John Bird and Helen Davison receiving Commended awards; Helen for two of her haiku. Quendryth also won the 'Jeanette Stace Memorial Prize' for Senior Haiku 2010.

I thank Quendy, who has for several years organized our meetings, checked out suitable venues, coordinated post-ginko round robins and kept us all informed of competitions we might enter. I am so happy to see her achievements.

Nathalie Buckland

April 29, 2010

Cloudcatcher' Ginko no. 17

Cloudcatcers' Ginko No.17 Autumn
22 April 2010
Victoria Park, Alstonville

A ginko in a rainforest is always a little bit different, with added emphasis on the aural stimuli. So many bird calls we can't identify and fascinating tiny creatures that even some of the more experienced naturalists have never seen before. Shy pademelons cross our path from time to time. Add to that the clean fresh intake of breath, and the stillness of mind amidst all the forest noises. We ponder on the knowledge that this is truly pristine habitat.
The venue is a well-preserved remnant of rainforest in the Victoria Park Nature Reserve, a few kilometres out of Alstonville in Northern New South Wales. Occasional showers came and went, but did not interfere with our enthusiasm. Discussion persisted as we lunched together afterwards at the House With No Steps, and continues still as haiku re-worked from the day are workshopped in a Round Robin.
If you are in the area, we would be glad to welcome you to participate in our winter ginko. Contact Quendryth Young:

March 23, 2010

Autumn Meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo)

The autumn meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on Saturday, 13th March at
Barbara Fisher’s home in Mosman. Vanessa Proctor led members Beverley George,
Lesley Walter, Cynthia Rowe, Dawn Bruce and Barbara Fisher in a stimulating
series of haiku exercises. One particularly challenging exercise was to write an autumn
haiku without using the word ‘autumn’, while anonymous contributions to the haiku
bowl provoked the usual interest and hilarity.

Vanessa also presented everyone with an attractively produced chap-book of haiku
selected from work inspired by the group’s ginko at Pearl Beach last December.

Barbara Fisher

February 09, 2010

Cloudcatchers' Summer Ginko No.16

Cloudcatchers' Summer Ginko No.16
held at Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads
on Thursday 4 February 2010

How fortunate we were to number among our participants at the summer ginko two of Australia's leading haiku poets. Janice Bostok and John Bird took their places along with eleven others at the venue where it all started, as we headed into our fifth year. We have a special affection for this glorious spot at the mouth of the Brunswick River, and, in spite of having visited the site together eight times previously, the haiku were fresh and innovative. On one occasion John picked up on a haiku written by Leonie Bingham, saw its potential to be converted to a tanka, and threw it to Janice, who did this immediately and with aplomb. We lunched together afterwards at our favourite beachside cafe, and the good times went on and on. And they continue still, as we exchange our re-worked haiku in the current Round Robin. The autumn ginko is to be held in a rainforest in April. All haiku poets are welcome. Contact Quendryth Young at

Quendryth Young

January 25, 2010


A poetry group dedicated to the study of haiku

The inaugural meeting of the newly formed ozku poets met at haijin Dawn Bruce’s home in St. Leonards on January 20th.
The group of six enthusiastic members will meet each month to discuss haiku, its history, traditions and various forms, as well as to workshop their own haiku. Present were Dawn Bruce, Beatrice Yell, Margaret Grace, Joyce Christie and Joanne Watcyn-Jones. Geoff Lucas sent his apologies.

The following haiku, by Joyce Christie, was inspired by the exercise – write a ‘summer’ haiku:

kangaroos bound
across blocked roads

Joanne Watcyn-Jones

December 13, 2009

The Red Dragonflies Summer Meeting

The Red Dragonflies’ summer (and Christmas) meeting was held on Saturday 12th December at Pearl Beach Cafe, Pearl Beach, where members enjoyed a delicious lunch before workshopping their haiku over coffee. One of the prepared exercises had been to write a haiku about a childhood memory of Christmas. The haiku presented were testimony to the fact that memory can serve equally as well as observation in producing seemingly immediate haiku. Members agreed that, as Australians, it does seem a lot easier to write evocatively about the heat of summer than it does about winter’s cold… Despite the day being a glorious summer one, members were cooled by strong easterly breezes through the cafe’s open windows, which inspired the following ‘moment’:

sea breezes sweep the cafe –
we hold on to our haiku

Lunch was followed by a ginko on the foreshore, from which convenor, Vanessa Proctor, is hoping to produce a booklet. In this way, members will relive what was a most stimulating, enjoyable and, as always, convivial occasion.

Lesley Walter

October 31, 2009

Çloudcatchers Ginko #15

(Haiku group - Far North Coast of NSW)

Thursday 22 October presented very summery weather for our Spring Ginko. And the greetings were also warm, as fourteen of us assembled at Bangalow Weir, where the Wilson River was dammed many years ago to become the neighbourhood swimming hole. Birds, butterflies and water dragons still abound, with a background of roosters and cows adding to the aural content of our haiku. The ginko is a sharing, with no workshopping and no tuition. However we were blessed by the presence of Janice Bostok and John Bird, who by their participation and comments (at times illuminating, at times hilarious) contributed to the significant ambience of the day. Lunch together at the Bangalow Hotel rounded it all off sumptuously. The 'after-ginko' Round Robin is currently being undertaken, with enthusiastic involvement.

Quendryth Young

August 26, 2009

Red Dragonflies spring meeting

At the spring meeting of the Red Dragonflies on August 22 at Vanessa Proctor's home, members were led by Vanessa through the rigours of writing a 12 verse Shishan renku. As several members were new to this style of writing, there was some confusion and much hilarity to begin with, but as confidence grew, everyone settled to the task. A very enjoyable meeting.

July 12, 2009

Illustrating haiku in real time

Many people reading this will be familiar with, and perhaps a practitioner of haiga. What was different – and challenging – about a haiku workshop I gave for the Central Coast Art Society at the invitation of Ms Margaret Hardy of Multi-Arts Confederation, was that the haiku were presented and illustrated in real time in sumi-e (black ink brush painting) or conte crayon. Artist Sherry McCourt, demonstrated the very different techniques required for each. Instant reponse painting is quite demanding on the artist but Sherry coped admirably. The first workshop was great fun and it would be fascinating to explore this type of activity further.
Beverley George

July 11, 2009

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its seventh collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under archives .

Feedback is appreciated, contact:

Nathalie Buckland

July 02, 2009

Cloudcatchers' Winter Ginko June 2009

The forecast of 'Fine - high cloud" was quite correct for the fourteenth ginko of the Cloudcatchers on the Far North Coast of NSW on Thursday 25 June. The venue of Shaw's Bay at Ballina presented a grey day, with a dirty sea full of yellow foam and post-storm debris which contrasted with all previous seaside ginko. But the trawlers were still going out, and along came a pod of dolphins to break our concentration, lighten our hearts and enter our writing. Many fine first drafts were produced, and the best of these are currently being discussed in an email Round Robin among the participants. We welcomed one new enthusiast, and invite any haiku poet who is in the area to join us for our Spring ginko in October. Contact Quendryth Young at

June 06, 2009

Red Dragonflies’ Ginko and Winter Meeting 2009

The winter meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo) was held on 30th May at Dawn Bruce’s home in St Leonards. The group had planned a ginko in Dawn’s leafy garden but, due to inclement weather, the meeting was held indoors.

Vanessa Proctor led members, Beverley George, Barbara Fisher, Dawn Bruce and Cynthia Rowe in a productive afternoon. Leslie Walters sent her apologies.

The following haiku was inspired by the exercise (Red Dragonflies’ Winter Meeting 2008) – write a haiku using ‘winter solstice’:

on the horizon...
winter solstice

Dawn Bruce


XXIV:1 February 2009

report by Cynthia Rowe

May 09, 2009

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.13

Rocky Creek Dam, 50 kilometres inland from Byron Bay. is the main water supply of Lismore and the surrounding areas, and is set in part of the original Big Scrub Rainforest in the Nightcap National Park. It was here that the Cloudcatchers conducted their Autumn ginko on 30 April. This thirteenth gathering of local haiku poets comprised ten enthusiasts, who, following a cancellation of a very rainy day three weeks previously, were blessed with glorious sunshine. Abundant resonating haiku poured forth, and the round-table readings were appreciated with empathy, delight and humour. Over a picnic lunch, John Bird and Jacqui Murray casually stimulated our perception of haiku today with pertinent contributions. How fortunate we all are! Any haiku poet, living in the area or passing through, is welcome to join us at our Winter ginko in July. Contact:

by Quendryth Young

April 02, 2009

Janice M. Bostok - Article of the Month on NZPS

Janice M. Bostok's article Must Haibun Contain A Haiku? is the article of the month on the New Zealand Poetry Society website. You can read the article here:

March 31, 2009

Poet's Breakfast with Beverley George

Beverley George was recently invited to contribute to the Poet's Breakfast section of Australian Poetry Blog, Another Lost Shark

Beverley takes us deep into the intertidal space of her morning and allows us to linger over the sounds and imagery that are just beyond her back/front fence, so grab a cup of tea, and let your mind unwind… this is a breakfast landscape to lose yourself in.

Read Beverley's Poet's Breakfast here:

March 27, 2009

Haiku for a Younger Audience

On Monday March 23rd, 2009, a total of 146 students from Brigidine College, St Ives, took part in 3 seminars about writing haiku, presented by Beverley George.

Students were quick to come up with imaginative ideas for writing their own haiku, and the English faculty will co-ordinate a competition for students.

Haiku Readings Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre

Tokyo tanka poet, Mariko Kitakubo, joined Beverley George, president of the Australian Haiku Society, at the Gosford Regional Gallery and Art Centre on Friday 13th from 4 -5 pm for a celebration of haiku. Nearly forty local residents attended the occasion and were welcomed by the curator of the Regional Gallery, Tim Braham.

Included in the reading was a haiku sequence “White Pebbles” which Beverley wrote in the adjoining Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Garden. This was interspersed with Mariko reading “Shiroki Jari”, her translation into Japanese of this sequence.

Some bushfire haiku from the Australian Haiku Society web-site were also read, which many found greatly moving. It was also an opportunity to tell members of the local community about the conference coming to the Central Coast in September.

March 09, 2009

Sydney The Red Dragonflies' Autumn Meeting

The Red Dragonflies met on Saturday 28th February at Barbara Fisher's home in Mosman. All members attended and we had an enjoyable meeting discussing the theme of autumn, concentrating on moon haiku and the welcome coolness of the season.

by Vanessa Proctor

February 21, 2009

Beverley Interviewed on ABC 7ZR

Beverley George, President of Haiku Oz, was interviewed statewide on ABC Hobart 7ZR by Siobhan Maiden on February 13 2009 about the bushfire haiku on our web-site and invited to read several out, as well as discuss haiku more generally.

December 21, 2008

Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko

Cloudcatchers (the haiku group on the Far North Coast of NSW) is three years old. On 5 December 2005, thirteen poets assembled at Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads, where the river meets the sea. Last Friday, 12 December 2008, fifteen enthusiasts gathered at the same place for the summer ginko. Nathalie Buckland presented our usual introduction, “I wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, and ask you to think of all of our ancestors, remembering other feet that have trodden this ground before us.”

After some chatter, then a long silent walk in the evocative surroundings, we wrote together. Haiku were shared in turn around one large picnic table. These first drafts were appreciated for their insight and their flair. “I saw that – but you have captured it!” “Perfect!” “Oh, I wish I had written that!”

Participants were invited to join an email Round Robin, commenting on haiku drafted on the day, and re-worked at home. Submissions have been circulated, and currently comments are returning for a composite email workshopping of this summer ginko.

We await our autumn ginko with high anticipation.

Quendryth Young
15 December 2008

November 17, 2008

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its sixth collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under archives .
Do forward this email to anyone who might be interested.

Feedback is appreciated.

Nathalie Buckland

November 03, 2008

Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop - a report

Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop
Sunshine and a light breeze made a perfect day for the Cloudcatchers Haiku Workshop, held in the CWA hall in Ballina, on Sunday 26 October. Eleven poets assembled at 10 am from as far away as Brisbane and Nimbin, with the group comprising both beginners and members of the local ginko group ‘cloudcatchers’. Quendryth Young tutored the workshop, which was supported by a comprehensive booklet of notes and examples. An introductory talk included a respectful outline of the ancient Japanese origin of the genre, followed by discussion of various definitions suggested for the form. At this point everybody attempted to write something, using Tim Russell’s excellent exercise. A set of guidelines was offered, giving beginners some idea of how to create a satisfying haiku. Then the ginko – along the banks of the Richmond River – with its seagulls and terns, the sandbar and the mangroves across the water, the little boats and the Sunday fisher-folk. There was a great hush for half an hour, as pencils flew over paper, until a reluctant stop was called. The whiteboard displayed, in turn, over twenty haiku from enthusiastic participants (all that time would allow), and the workshopping was lively and productive. At the end of the day, at 4 pm, eleven publishable haiku had been created, with many more potentials in small note pads carried home to be worked on, agonized over, and loved. Feedback records: “A fabulous workshop. I had a terrific day, and learnt lots.” “I felt I got closer to the haiku spirit on Sunday.” “What a great way to learn haiku. For something so simple, haiku is certainly challenging. I have had my haiku-eyes on alert ever since the weekend. The brain is buzzing the whole time, and now I have a whole lot of observing and thinking to do.”

Nathalie Buckland

October 28, 2008

Bowerbird Tanka Workshop

The second Bowerbird Tanka workshop was held on 26th October, 2008 at Beverley George’s welcoming home at Pearl Beach, NSW.
The presenters, Beverley George and Amelia Fielden, led a most enthusiastic and creative group of thirteen women throughout the perfect spring day.
Workshopping began with prepared tanka on the theme sport/recreation/hobby or an interest which was followed by a highly informative talk by Amelia Fielden about shasei (sketching from life).After lunch on Beverley’s sun deck by the lagoon, we worked in pairs rising to the challenge of writing a responsive string using memories as a theme and incorporating the newly learnt shasei.

September 15, 2008

Haiku Workshop Opportunity

A HAIKU WORKSHOP is to be held on Sunday 26 October 2008, in Ballina NSW, organised by the local haiku group, 'Cloudcatchers'.

The workshop will include guidelines for appreciating and writing haiku, and the opportunity to take part in a ginko (haiku walk). This will be followed by the writing and sharing of haiku, with workshopping of participants’ work. It is aimed at beginners, but established writers, who wish to extend their experience in this genre, are welcome. Those poets who have already written haiku, are invited to present material for sharing and discussion.

The workshop will run from 10 am to 4 pm, with a break for lunch. Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake will be provided. Participants may bring their own lunch or buy it close by. The cost of the workshop is $40, which includes a set of notes.

Continue reading "Haiku Workshop Opportunity" »

Spring Meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo)

The spring meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on 13th September at Lesley Walter’s home in Summer Hill. Vanessa Proctor led members, Beverley George, Barbara Fisher, Lesley Walter and Cynthia Rowe in a productive afternoon. Dawn Bruce sent her apologies.

Special guest Katherine Samuelowicz, editor of paper wasp and respected haijin, inspired with her talk about time and the sense of place in poetry.

Beverley George briefly outlined the progress of organising Wind over Water, the fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, due to take place 22-25 September 2009 on the NSW Central Coast.

by Cynthia Rowe

August 27, 2008

International Award for Quendryth Young

Quendryth Youngʼs collection of haiku, The Whole Body Singing, has received an award from The Haiku Society of America, 'for excellence in published haiku, translation or criticism', with second place in the
Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards for 2008.

The book may be obtained from the author at 5 Cedar Court, Alstonville NSW 2477, $17 posted.

July 06, 2008

Haiku in the Garden

Haiku in Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Garden, 5 July 2008
report by M L Grace

These lovely Japanese style gardens provided a perfect setting for the reading of haiku,
with last autumn leaves clinging to maples and a backdrop of silver birches overlooking a koi pond and pagoda.

Beverley George ─ President of The Australian Haiku Society (HaikuOz) and well known, widely published poet, organised the readings which were preceded by dynamic Taiko drummers who awoke the audience and provided the contrasting silence for the haiku readers.

The first segment commenced with five poems from the 16th century Japanese haiku master, Bashō, my favourite being:

the stillness –
soaking into stones
cicada cry

Amelia Fielden, a professional Japanese translator and renowned writer and translator of Japanese poetry, followed with a reading of poet Chiyo-ni’s work Chiyo-ni, , who later became a nun, is a female counterpart of Bashō. Amelia read four poems to represent each season, the spring poem being:

to tangle or untangle
the willow –
it’s up to the wind

Beverley and Amelia read together a haiku sequence entitled ‘White Pebbles’ ─ Shiroki jari, written by Beverley George, in these same gardens, and translated by Tokyo tanka poet, Mariko Kitakubo. A poignant reading, alternatively, Beverley in English ─ Amelia in Japanese.

A short break was followed by a reading of nineteen contemporary haiku by Australian haiku poets, clear notes of a bell separating each one.

his wedding ring
in the jewel box

Dawn Bruce

unable to see
my neighbours’ house
I sense her light

Janice Bostok

a winter haircut ─
winter ears

Michael Thorley

These three examples illustrate a range of emotions, sadness . . .loneliness . . . humour . . . left to be interpreted by the listener.

A sequence, entitled, Village Hall April 25, 2006 which paid tribute to similar Anzac Day observances around Australia, completed the readings. It was very moving to hear this read in the resounding timbre of a man’s voice.[Written by Beverley George, read by David George.]

Beverley concluded by suggesting people might like to wander the gardens and compose their own haiku . . . some indeed did.

The event was hosted by the Sister Cities Association. Haiku readers were Meredith Collins, Margaret Grace, David George, Beverley George and Amelia Fielden

June 25, 2008

Central Coast NSW - Haiku reading at Edogawa Gardens

On July 5 between 11 and 1, the Central Coast branch of the Australian Sister Cities Association will host an event at the Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Garden. This is to celebrate International Sister Cities Day.
Entertainment will include drumming, haiku reading and "Spirit of the Coast Harmony. Refreshments are provided and entry fee is $5. RSVP Margaret Hardy 02 4369 4534

Sydney The Red Dragonflies winter meeting

Focus for this meeting was on the June solstice and other aspects of winter.

The meeting took place – most appropriately – in a Japanese style private garden and concluded with quietly listening to Poetica and enjoying the readers' voices and the expert sound engineering of that program.

June 08, 2008

Cloudcatchers News

A Japanese Poetry Competition was conducted recently by the Friendly
Street Poets in Adelaide. Sixteen awards were made. Of the eight awards
for the categories that were open Australia-wide, four went to members
of Cloudcatchers. This group comprises a small gathering of haiku
enthusiasts who live and ginko together on the Far North Coast of NSW.

We would like to thank the Friendly Street Poets for offering this
opportunity to compete, and HaikuOz for the notification of the
competition in the first place.

Quendryth Young
Convenor Cloudcatchers

May 06, 2008

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its fifth collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under archives

Please feel free to send the workshop web address, to any groups or individuals you think might find it of
interest. Feedback is appreciated.

April 19, 2008

Members Book Launch - Dawn Bruce

'Sketching Light', is a collection of free verse, haiku, tanka and haibun by Dawn Bruce, published by Ginninderra Press. It will be launched by Beverley George at Gleebooks, Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, Sydney on 31st May at 2.30. All welcome to come along.

March 16, 2008

Inaugural Meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo)

The inaugural meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo) was held on the 15th March, with an autumn theme, at the convener's home in Pymble.

Honoured guest haijin, John Bird, inspired the group with his haiku and commentary as well as sharing methods of organizing a haiku group, informed by his experiences with the Wollumbin and Cloudcatchers Haiku Groups, located near Byron Bay.

On her shady patio, Vanessa Proctor led the members, Dawn Bruce, Barbara Fisher, Beverley George, Cynthia Rowe and Lesley Walter, through a most fruitful afternoon.

Dawn Bruce

March 15, 2008

Haiku, Zen and the Eternal Now

A workshop for anyone interested in haiku and Zen Buddhism

upon the temple bell
the butterfly sleeps

The interactive workshop will examine the influence of Zen on the ancient Japanese form of haiku poetry, explain how the two have come together and why Zen has relevance to writing haiku for even those who have little understanding of Zen philosophies.

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December 27, 2007

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop #4

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its fourth collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under archives. Please feel free to forward this email, or send the workshop web address, to any groups or individuals you think might find it of interest. Feedback is appreciated.

December 10, 2007

Haiku report:Julie Simpson.

Julie Simpson reports that The Pencil Orchids Creative Writing Group at Wollombi in the Lower Hunter Valley celebrated National Poetry Week 2007 with a display at Cessnock Library. Their (70-piece grape vine shaped collaborative haiku, (pictures of which Beverley George took to the 3rd Pacific Rim Haiku Conference, Matsuyama, as part of her presentation), together with an illustrated History of the Haiku Masters -- from Basho to Koi Nagata -- attracted favourable attention and warm comments. An A3 sized Haiku a Day poster was eye-catching in the library’s front window and there was a colourful display of bird and insect kites, carp, bonsai, a paper umbrella and haiga (haiku paintings) in showcases and on the foyer walls.

August 08, 2007

Sand Between the Toes - a DPP initiative

Haiku, the short poem which originates in Japan, has probably never been more relevant than it is today. Haiku subject matter, with its emphasis on humanity’s place in the natural world, is the stuff of today’s headlines.

Indeed, in the words of one great English-language haijin, the late American Jack Stamm, haiku are headlines. By this he meant that in no more than 17 syllables, haiku cast bright spotlights on nature.

Haiku demand that we look, that we see, beyond our own minds at the world around us.
These micro poems demand of us consideration for a setting where our planet’s welfare is our own.

Sand Between the Toes, a collection of haiku in print and with music on CD, could not have come at a better time.

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July 09, 2007

Dangerously Poetic Launch - sand between the toes: a haiku journey through Byron Bay and beyond

Dangerously Poetic Press will be launching sand between the toes, a haiku journey through Byron Bay and beyond CD/book at the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival on Sunday the 29th of July at 1:45 pm.  Dr. Jacqui Murray will do the honours. Poet, journalist, historian and broadcaster, she has been writing haiku for many years. In that time she has been an international haiku judge, co-ordinated the JAL World Childrens' Haiku Contest in Australia and has been widely published. She is also a founding editor of the haiku magazine, Paper Wasp.  About the cd/book, she has said, A lyrical reaffirmation of nature in haiku, music and organic sound to calm the senses and feed the soul.

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July 01, 2007

Tanka at the Bay

Report by Beverly Sweeney
on behalf of
Dangerously Poetic Press

Byron Bay’s Dangerously Poetic Press invited Beverley George, internationally acclaimed tanka poet and editor of Eucalypt, Australia’s first literary journal for tanka, to lead our Tanka Workshop on Saturday 16 of June and to also read at our monthly poetry reading on the following day.

In the quaint little CWA hall in Brunswick Heads 15 poets, some having their first attempt at tanka, sat down pens in hand eager to learn about this fascinating Japanese form. Beverley shared her extensive knowledge of the history and current status of tanka both in Japan and other countries. There was much laughter and lively discussion demonstrating yet again the interest in this area stimulated by Japanese poetry. In the afternoon with Beverley’s support we all attempted at least one tanka and were given plenty of useful feedback. There’s no holding back our Northern Rivers poets when we get together. It was especially delightful that we had amongst the participants several poets experienced in this form such as John Bird and Max Ryan. We lunched, laughed and wrote and I for one have been tinkering with tanka ever since.

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June 07, 2007

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop 3

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop
presents its latest collection of haiku on:

Previous collections may be found on the site under 'archives'.

Please feel free to forward this email, or send the workshop web
address, to any groups or individuals you think might find it of

If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please notify the
Workshop by using the email address below.

Nathalie Buckland

July 23, 2006

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop

Wollumbin Haiku Workshop presents its inaugural collection of previously unpublished haiku by John Bird, Quendryth Young & Nathalie Buckland at:

June 22, 2006

Workshop Report by Quendryth Young

Haiku Workshop
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.
I was delighted with the way the day went. Among the fourteen participants there was great enthusiasm, great participation and quite a bit of awakening. Graham had prepared some hand-outs and these were really pertinent, and a good way to keep us moving forward. His excellent guidelines were clear, and a great reference for future writing.
After learning to read and appreciate (and criticise) some published haiku, Graham accepted haiku previously written by participants, and all members of the workshop were invited to comment. Graham was able to home in on the aspect of any given haiku that needed addressing. We were blessed to have among our number John Bird, an accomplished haiku poet, who was generous in his contributions during the workshopping.
The day just flew by. A ginko had been planned, but the weather was cold and windy, and this had to be abandoned. However, we were fully occupied with lively workshopping and discussion, and I doubt we could have fitted it in anyway!
Time was made available for an introduction to renga. Since then three enthusiasts have joined Graham in a trial run of an email-generated renga experience, and all accounts are of animated and enthusiastic participation.
That evening I was asked to summarise what I had achieved from the day. There was a delight in seeing so many students “lighting up” to the haiku way. There was the emphasis on “focus” – what is important to me, as the writer, to convey. And there was the concept of writing what I see – nothing more – capturing the haiku moment!
Graham contacted me after the day: “I enjoyed the workshop immensely and was so excited at the way people interacted and took to the day! Possibly the best workshop I have run yet! The knowledge and creativity in the room was astounding... Again... I got so much out of the day with all of you... Honoured to have had the opportunity!” One happy tutor!
Every one of the participants was richly rewarded by an excellent workshop. We shall be keeping in touch.

June 16, 2006

Haiku Vancouver May 2006

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.

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May 03, 2006

NSW Brunswick Heads- ginko

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.

The pattern of a ginko morning had been set by John, the initial organiser, at our first meeting last December. This time we spent just a few minutes in greeting the others. Quendryth Young reminded us of the focus of the ginko, and we walked away in silence.

For half an hour we wandered slowly, on the beach, by the river, through the park. We used all our senses, jotting down words and phrases. There were birds and clouds, yellow butterflies and the sound of the waves. There was also a wooden bridge and the rattle of passing cars, the voices of children, a plane overhead.

Still in silence, we sat at the picnic table and wrote, trying to put all our collected images into haiku.

After another half hour of deep concentration we shared morning tea, and then took it in turns around the table to read out our haiku. There was a rich assortment of people, young and not so young, experienced writers of haiku and those keen to learn. What was universal was the freshness of the writing, surrounded as we were by the environment which had inspired us all minutes before.

The reading was not intended to be a workshop situation, more a sharing. Of course we all learned a lot from each other, especially from John, Janice and Max Ryan.

This golden morning will stay with us all.