The first Haiku Down Under conference was held via Zoom in October 2022. You can find details of the conference including background on the New Zealand and Australian conference organisers here.
Haiku Down Under was a great success. Registrations, which exceeded 200, included poets from Australia, New Zealand and around the world. To commemorate the event, Carole Harrison and Sue Courtney edited an anthology of haiku written by conference attendees. The collection is titled Poetry from the Edge: Haiku Down Under Anthology 2022.
Poetry from the Edge is wonderful selection of haiku celebrating the culture and environment of New Zealand and Australia. For example, here are some haiku written by poets from New Zealand:
star walk . . .
. . . the Galactic Kiwi
. . . . crests a hill
still there, my childhood fear
of the dark
Those who are unfamiliar with the Galactic Kiwi can get some background here. The Galactic Kiwi is not itself a constellation of stars, rather it’s a prominent feature that results from the spaces and dust clouds between constellations.
And, of course, Aussies and Kiwis love to argue about which country is responsible for inventing the pavlova dessert. We both lay claim to the honour!
Meanwhile, the haiku contributed by Australian poets include:
not every question
needs an answer
the creaking red gums
jumping the queue
for a democracy sausage
I should mention that voting at elections in Australia is quite a social event. Elections are held on Saturday, and polling booths are located in school halls and other public venues where charitable groups often run food stalls to raise funds.
A democracy sausage is a sausage in a slice of bread that can be purchased at one of these events. Some election venues also sell vegetarian sausages, coffee or home-made cakes.
There is even a national democracy sausage website with a map that explains what is on offer at each polling booth so voters can choose where they might wish to vote based on the food and drink options available.
If you spend some time with Poetry from the Edge, you can discover a lot about the plants, animals and people from New Zealand and Australia.
While I’ve featured a number of the ‘local‘ poets appearing in Poetry from the Edge, there are also many haiku written by poets from countries around the world who were good enough to join Haiku Down Under at all hours of the day and night:
I snatch a kigo
from the future
Jennifer Hambrick, USA
Thank you to the organisers and participants of Haiku Down Under 2022 for making the event so enjoyable. And thank you to the Haiku Down Under Anthology editors for putting together a collection of haiku that is thoughtful, enlightening and entertaining.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the Haiku Down Under Anthology, the details can be found here.
Coming Soon: Haiku Down Under 2022
Haiku Down Under 2022 is a three-day Zoom conference being organised to connect poets from Australia, New Zealand and beyond. The event will run from Friday 7 October to Sunday 9 October 2022. The Haiku Down Under website can be found here. The site provides details of the conference programme and background information about the…