What's Happening with Haiku in the World Now

History of Haiku in Australia

Reported by Ms Jacqui Murray,
a member of HIA in Australia

The Australian association with haiku is now more than 100 years old, but got its latest boost in Australia when Japan Airlines sponsored haiku events and a haiku contest for children during World Expo 88 in Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland. These activities and associated visits by haiku masters generated much interest and publicity giving haiku a new platform from which to move forward. One immediate result was the formation of the PaperWasp haiku group by Jacqui Murray, Ross Clark and John Knight which Janice M. Bostok later joined. With fresh enthusiasm, and support from haijin in Japan, haiku again forged ahead in Australia making great strides in schools in particular.

Haiku OZ (http://users.mullum.com.au/jbird/ahs.html)

"Haiku OZ ", the Australian Haiku Society, is Australiafs one-stop web site address for haiku information. The societyfs mission is to promote haiku within Australia and bring Australian writers to the world haiku community. To that end it has published the First Australian Haiku Anthology showcasing the best of Australia's haiku poets. The site is attracting more than 300 new visitors each month and that number is growing. The society works closely with groups around Australia with an interest in haiku and with magazines and journals which publish and promote haiku including Paper Wasp, Famous Reporter, Yellow Moon and Stylus.

The "Haiku Oz " site lists all the latest happenings in haiku in Australia and publishes national and international haiku news. This includes contests and results, new publications and noteworthy achievements by members. "Haiku Oz " also has information about getting started with haiku and offers one-on-one coaching to non-beginners. As well, the site runs a moderated forum to exchange thoughts about haiku. Membership of "Haiku Oz " is free and any person may be a member.

Paper Wasp

"Paper Wasp " was established in the late 1980s with the assistance of the late Jack Stamm, an American long resident in Japan, and the support of Japanese haijin Kazuo Sato. The original objective of the founding members, Jacqui Murray, Ross Clark and John Knight, was to further haiku eeducationf in Australia. The group was opened to public membership in 1994. Australiafs most prominent and prolific haijin, Janice M. Bostok, joined the group. The launch of Paper Wasp: a journal of haiku followed in 1995. "Paper Wasp " now has members and supporters across the world but remains committed to the philosophy of spreading haiku more widely in Australia and developing a truly Australian haiku ' voice'. To this end individual members are extremely active in literary circles, publishing, and in other organisations and groups associated with haiku. "Paper Wasp " educational activities include seminars, workshops, school visits, public speaking and tutoring. The group meets one Sunday every month at the State Library of Queensland overlooking the city and Brisbane River. It also organises occasional haiku outings and picnics, publishes Paper Wasp, runs the annual Jack Stamm Contest and publishes occasional collections of haiku. "Paper Wasp" can be contacted via the "Haiku Oz "S web site.