1. How did you get started with haiku?
I usually write in a variety styles. Before haiku I was writing tanka, but after reading so much haiku in journals I was won over. I wanted to condense my thoughts further; to create little mosaics where readers could dream their own meanings into the words. Now I write in both forms as well as free verse and other longer forms. Writing haiku and reading each day keeps me going. We can’t become good poets without appreciating the craft of others. NaHaiWriMo has kept me on track with its smorgasbord of prompts. I’m also a member of several haiku societies, including the wonderful Australian Haiku Society.
2. Tell us more about yourself.
I’m an Australian poet and musicologist. With a background in performing arts, it lights me up to work with other artists. Recently I completed an ekphrastic haiku collaboration with Painting with Parkinsons artists and two calligraphers, Angela Hillier and Narelle Jones. Now I’m collaborating with a scratch-work artist. You’ll find some examples of my collaborative work on Hazel Hall Australian Poet.
3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?
First, thanks to Michael Dylan Welch for making this site available and inviting me on board. I don’t think I’d be a publishing haiku poet if it were not for NaHaiWriMo. It was the first online haiku site I joined. It has also made me a better all-round poet. A number of poems in my collection Eggshell Sky come straight from NaHaWriMo prompts!
4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?
If you’re new to haiku I would definitely suggest NaHaiWriMo as a way of polishing your practise. You might like to buy a diary with seven days across a double page and devote it to haiku. Take the NaHaiWriMo challenge and write one haiku (or more) daily. A diary space will hold about four drafts. If you can’t think of a poem for the prompt write something else. Keep the diary and all drafts! Even if your work isn’t accepted for publication immediately, it will be full of many embryos waiting to be born later. And don’t forget to read all the other in-depth articles on haiku on the NaHaiWriMo site!
5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.
the laughing kookaburra
air on a g string
the scribbled manuscript
of a grey shrike thrush
carrying his karma
in a barrow