On Saturday 2 December 2017 nearly 30 BHS members met for the BHS Winter Gathering and AGM at the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. In the morning we had the AGM and a wonderful workshop led by Diana Webb – Having Fun with Haibun: matching haiku with the haibun prose and writing haibun in groups inspired by “Balloon Girl”(2002) – a mural by graffiti artist Banksy.
This is one of the haibun written by Kate B Hall, Karen Hoy, Debbi Antebi, Frank Williams and Iliyana Stoyanova:
Letting go of her childhood. The weeds at her ankles. Signed by the artist in colour on the grey wall. The wind in her outstretched hand. Both the child and the wall keeping their innocence.
on the South Bank
a girl mesmerized
by a red balloon
In the afternoon we enjoyed a haiku performance by the Green Wood Haiku Group – haiku and haibun reading, accompanied by shakuhachi music and singing, a sequence of urban haiku performed in an experimental way, and an audio visual display. The members of the Green Wood Haiku Group who wrote material and took part were: Martin White, Sue Richards, Lizzie Prudence, Norma Gregson, Sandra Goodfellow, Ann Turnbull, Bethany Rivers, Catherine Redfern, and David Bingham. Afterwards we had a structured discussion about the techniques which can be used when performing haiku.
So all in all we had quite a lively and informative gathering and we are looking forward to the next year!
Write-up: Iliyana Stoyanova
Photos: Frank Williams & Debbi Antebi
On the 30th of September 2017 for the third year running, the BHS had a table at the Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall, London. The Fair was not as busy as last year, however thanks to the BBC documentary quite a few people stopped to talk to us at our stall and took leaflets. In total we made £46.00 from the sale of BHS books, anthologies, and Blithe Spirit copies. The pocket-size 2016 members’ anthology proved to be very popular.
All in all we were successful in the BHS remit to outreach to the public. We hope to return again to the Poetry Fair next year.
Many thanks to helpers, Kate B. Hall, Iliyana Stoyanova, Frank Williams and Mark Gilfillan who took turns in staffing the table throughout the day, and making it a success!
Write-up: Frank Williams & Iliyana Stoyanova
Photos: Frank Williams, Iliyana Stoyanova & Jason Why
This Call for Submissions is now CLOSED.
THE BRITISH HAIKU AWARDS 2017
Comprising three categories: Haiku, Tanka and Haibun
The Competition is OPEN to both members and non-members of the society from all over the world.
This year we are bringing back the haibun section and to honour two incredible poets and long-standing BHS members we are naming it “Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Award”.
Rules of the BHS Haiku, Tanka and Haibun Awards:
1. Submissions must be in English, unpublished and not concurrently entered for any other competition, and remain unpublished until the results are declared. There is no limit on the number of submissions per competitor.
2. Deadline: in the administrator’s e-mail by 31 January, 2018.
3. Entry procedures:
Please note that all UK and non UK entries should be sent by e-mail to: bhsawardsadmin (a) fastmail . co . uk If you don’t have an e-mail, please contact the BHS Administrator Iliyana Stoyanova by post for more details. Her contact details are to be found in the membership list.
Please note that the PayPal payment should be made in £ sterling. This year we are introducing the same fee for all UK and non UK entries which includes an extra 10% to cover the PayPal transfer fee. See the table below.
4. Fees: Payments by PayPal. The entry fee for up to 3 haiku is £5.50 and £1.10 per haiku thereafter (incl.the 10 % fee). The fee for tanka or haibun works the same as for haiku. You will need to make a separate payment for each category you wish to enter (i.e. no mixing for one fee).
If you are uncertain about the payment options or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact the BHS Administrator at the e-mail above.
If you wish to submit haiku, tanka or haibun, please use the form below:
3 haiku/tanka/haibun for £5.50
4 haiku/tanka/haibun for £6.60
5 haiku/tanka/haibun for £7.70
6 haiku/tanka/haibun for £8.80
7 haiku/tanka/haibun for £9.90
8 haiku/tanka/haibun for £11
9 haiku/tanka/haibun for £12.10
10 haiku/tanka/haibun for £13.20
11 haiku/tanka/haibun for £14.30
12 haiku/tanka/haibun for £15.40
13 haiku/tanka/haibun for £16.50
14 haiku/tanka/haibun for £17.60
15 haiku/tanka/haibun for £18.70
16 haiku/tanka/haibun for £19.80
17 haiku/tanka/haibun for £20.90
18 haiku/tanka/haibun for £22
19 haiku/tanka/haibun for £23.10
20 haiku/tanka/haibun for £24.20
5. No current trustee of the British Haiku Society or any of the current judges is eligible to enter.
6. Adjudication process:
BHS will appoint two judges for haiku, two for tanka and one for haibun. Each judge sees all entries submitted in the category assigned to him/her, and without consulting, makes his/her independent choice of best haiku, tanka or haibun – and also chooses one runner-up and up to 3 ‘honourable mentions’. Their choices will be final and no correspondence can be entered into about the results. It is possible for an entrant to win more than one prize.
The Judges for the 2017 British Haiku Awards are:
Haiku – Vanessa Proctor and Robert Moyer
Tanka – A A Marcoff and Carole MacRury
Haibun – Stella Pierides
For haiku, prizes of £125 will be awarded to each of the two best and £50 to each of two runners-up.
For tanka, prizes of £125 will be awarded to each of the two best and £50 to each of two runners-up.
For haibun, prize of £125 will be awarded to one winner and £50 to one runner-up.
8. Publication of results: As soon as results are known and the winners are notified, the results will be published on the BHS website at www.britishhaikusociety.org.uk. All haiku, tanka and haibun selected for awards, along with the judges’ reports, will be published in the May 2018 issue of the BHS journal, Blithe Spirit. All winners, runners-up and ‘honourable mentions’ will receive BHS Awards certificates.
9. For early notification of results, please provide a valid e-mail.
10. Copyright reverts to authors after publication in the BHS journal, Blithe Spirit, but entry for any category signifies agreement to your work being published digitally by the BHS or copied for archival purposes (for example, by the British Library or the Poetry Library, London).
BHS Awards Administrator
On 2nd July 2017, thirteen members of the London Haiku Group ran by Coordinator, Mark Gilfillan assembled for a meeting at the Royal Festival Hall. Each person brought along six poems for critiquing. A few months earlier it was agreed that the Group would produce an Anthology based on the poems brought along for critiquing. The Anthology would be edited by Frank Williams. From each person two poems were chosen by popular vote for inclusion in the project. We also welcomed two new people to the Group. Each person read out their poems and they were commented upon. The quality of work submitted was excellent, and showcased the wide variety of styles being produced, which added an extra interest and sparkle to the discussion. It is hoped that the Anthology will be finalised by the end of 2017. After the meeting a few members retired to the bar for refreshments and a general chat. The next meeting was scheduled for 3 September 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall, meeting at 12.45pm by the ticket office for a 1pm start.
Write-up by Frank Williams
BHS SPRING GATHERING, SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2017 11 AM – 5 PM
ST DENYS HALL, CHURCH STREET, CHISWICK
This year the Spring Gathering of the BHS took place in the St. Denys Hall which is close to the River Thames in Chiswick. There were three parts to the day:
(1) Haiku Today
In the morning session we had a series of lively discussions about some commonly used statements regarding haiku. This exercise, as one might expect, led to the expression of the differing points of view which exist within the society regarding the nature of haiku.
The group then took part in a simulated editing exercise in which two or three haiku had to be selected for publication from the ten which had been submitted. Interestingly, given the divergence of opinion in the first exercise, there was a more general agreement on the haiku which should be published.
We were fortunate in having a sunny afternoon for the ginko (a haiku-writing wander around the riverside area of old Chiswick Parish Church). When we returned we shared and discussed the haiku that had been produced.
Here are some of the haiku which were written on the ginko:
river lapping against
— David Bingham
the constant bob
of each moored boat
— Andrew Shimield
polling day fades
share a snog
— David Jacobs
trapped between the owner
and the dog
— Rose Ades
Beached house boats
side by side
wallow in the mud
— Howard Colyer
combing the river
ripple by ripple
— Debbie Antebi
on the wind
African wedding music
— Kate B Hall
gone to wilderness except
— Susan Lee Kerr
a crucifix stands apart
mobile phones rise and fall
“I do”, she replies
— Mark Floyer
each gravestone set
at a jaunty angle
— Frank Williams
splashes of colour
the artist’s grave
— Mark Gilfillan
(3) Speed Renga
The day finished with a fast-paced, swap-around burst of shared haiku creativity.
Format for all, devised by Frank Williams, is Format: v1 spring, v2 love, v3 summer, v4 autumn or moon, v5 winter, v6 spring. The idea for Speed Renga was devised by David Bingham and Dick Pettit. The conductor was Susan Lee Kerr. The premise is sociable group poetry writing, with the added ‘speed’ element of changing places so that the working groups change and poets get to work together and get to know each other in this fun, fast creativity.
Here is the renga voted favourite by those who participated:
“The Sixth Ice Cream “
hey you, wind
stop tossing and tangling
my plum blossom tree
blown from my hand
the love poem you sent me
at the beach
dad staggers back
with five ice creams
wrestling with nightmares
the full moon awakens me
each one a different colour
on the bare branches
chimes of goldfinches
drowned out by wrens
— Susan Lee Kerr, David Bingham, Frank Williams, Debbi Antebi, Rose Ades, Rose Ades
Overall, it was a splendid day and much enjoyed by all those who attended. Afterwards we adjourned to a local hostelry for a relaxing drink.
Write-up by Dave Bingham and Susan Lee Kerr