Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beverley George - Three Questions

Beverley George is our Haiku - Three Questions guest this week. She is President of the Australian Haiku Society [HaikuOz]. In April 2007, she was invited to present a paper at the 3rd Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Matsuyama, Japan and is currently working on convening the 4th HPR conference.

Between 2000-2006 she edited 12 issues of Yellow Moon, an Australian literary journal which published haiku and related genres for ten years. More recently she founded Eucalypt, the first Australian literary journal dedicated to the Japanese poetic genre of tanka.

Her own collection of haiku, Spinifex, was published by Pardalote Press in December 2006.

Beverley's international First Prizes for Japanese genres include: The Third Ashiya International Festa [Japan] 2004; the British Haiku Society JW Hackett Award 2004; The World Haiku Club Fourth New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Double Kukai 2003/2004; The World Haiku Club RH Blyth Award for Haibun 2004; The Tanka Society of America’s Annual International Contest 2006 and the Chajin [Paris] International Haiku Competition 2007.

Beverley loves the way in which writing haiku has put her in touch with so many astounding and generous-spirited people all around the world.

1. Why do you write haiku?

Writing haiku encourages me to notice things more carefully and to live in present time. I find concise writing aesthetically pleasing. I like the intellectual and emotional spaces in haiku that invite active and interpretive reading.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Most really, although the diminutive genres haiku and tanka have usurped much of the time I once spent reading other types of poetry. Reared on classic English poetry, with Tennyson a firm favourite, it took me a while to come to terms with free verse which is the only other type of poetry I write now. In Yellow Moon, which I edited 2000-2006, haiku, tanka and haibun were always featured, and sometimes haiku or tanka sequences, or Kasen Summer Renga. But I do believe in an open-minded approach to poetry and also published, at different times, odes, sonnets, villanelles, elegies, Chaucerian, limericks, cinquain, tetractys, clerihew, free verse or rhyming nature poetry, and also humorous poetry, which is arguably one of the most difficult genres to write well. As do many people, I think that the discipline of haiku writing can improve the way we write other genres too.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? ( Please provide original publication credits)

train tunnel —
the sudden intimacy
of mirrored faces

voted best of issue by readers Presence #22, 2004; A New Resonance 4 Red Moon Press, 2005; Spinifex Pardalote Press, 2006

lengthening shadow . . .
above her eggs the hen's heart
beats against my arm

equal first place British Haiku Society International Haiku Award 2003 and published in Blithe Spirit 14 (2) 2004; A New Resonance 4 Red Moon Press, 2005; Spinifex Pardalote Press, 2006

sprigs of rosemary
something about the tea urns
makes me cry

from a sequence Village Hall April 25, 2006 (about ANZAC Day). Sequence first published in Blithe Spirit 16 (2) 2006 ; Spinifex Pardalote Press, 2006

Next week, Carolyn Hall responds to Haiku - Three Questions.

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