Category Archives: Past Events

BHS Annual General Meeting and Winter Gathering – 26 November, 2011

It was a great day for all haiku enthusiasts!

Our Autumn Gathering took place on Saturday, Nov 26th, 10.00am to 4.00pm, 2011, at The Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.

Susan Lee Kerr started us off brilliantly with a talk about developing states of creative awareness which included the thoughts of people ranging from Basho, through Ignatius Loyola to Grayson Perry. Inspired by this we were set a haiku writing exercise and the results were put on a wall display. A great idea to get us writing haiku at the start of the day! Susan’s printed notes will be invaluable to members as a starting point for further reading into the ‘awareness gate’ This was a session which really got people going!

The AGM was a lively session with officers’ reports presented efficiently and lots of positive ideas offered by BHS members for the committee to take up in the near future. We discussed items as varied as: the introduction of ‘Twitter’; developing a members’ area on the website; how Blithe Spirit should respond to the evolution of haiku in Japan; links with the French Haiku Society; our 2012 Spring Gathering; the European Parole Project; our 5 Year Plan; and much more.

David Cobb led a stimulating session to start the afternoon. After a brief talk on how to perform haiku, we were divided into groups who each had the job of creating a performance based on the haiku David had selected for us. Then the groups performed in front of the whole gathering. And what performance talents were revealed in the society! Such top notch stuff, prepared in only twenty minutes. All the performances deserved a wider audience; this is definitely something to build on for the future.

Colin Blundell then ‘took our minds for a walk’ through music, art and the written word. This was an inspirational experience for everyone. WOW .. what resources Colin provided us with: art by Ayzen, Paul Klee, his own work and that by John Parsons. We finished by creating haiku based on inspirational drawings. These we shared in the session.

We finished our day by listening to the adjudication of the informal haiga competition by our judges Lynne Rees and Katherine Gallagher. The joint winners were: Phil Madden and Verity Adams. Congratulations to them and thanks to everyone who brought work in for the competition.

More Photos on our Facebook page.

Japanese and English haiku rendered decoratively onto silk scarves – Late August to Early September, 2011

Friday 26-Tuesday 30 August and Thursday 1-Monday 5 September, 2011, St Pancras Crypt Gallery, London.

Art Communication Ltd of Tokyo present an Exhibition of Japanese and English haiku rendered decoratively onto silk scarves. Note that different items will be displayed in the two exhibition periods. The organisers of this event are being assisted by the British Haiku Society.

BHS London Regional Group – Summer Solstice Event, Leatherhead, 20-21 June 2009

We gathered at one o’clock at Park House in Leatherhead for this ‘expedition for beginners’, organised by Diana Webb. There were fifteen BHS members, one ex-BHS member and sixteen other interested people, in groups designed to have an equal mix. Diana provided a very useful set of notes for everyone. This included quotations helpful in encouraging an openness to and awareness of special ‘moments’. There were also 24 haiku as examples for beginners and some extra notes on generally accepted features of what haiku should be.

Park House, before the walk
Park House, before the walk

Having read these with a bit of discussion we were ably guided by Tony Marcoff on a walk beside the mill pond and around marshy meadows. Tony, like Diana, is a resident of Leatherhead and was able to supply interesting information on the walk and the town. The pace was perfect for walking, talking, jotting and identifying the flora. Then back to Park House for rest, refreshment and further jotting.

The second walk headed over the bridge and along the river Mole. On this stretch there were small weirs and wooded islands reminding me how very green Surrey is. Remarkably, all this is very close to the centre of Leatherhead – a wonderful resource for the inhabitants … and us. Crossing the river we headed back along a road for a short way and then through a magical sloping garden with lavender lanes running down to the river again. One particular spot gave the best view ever along the river with a weeping willow in the distance.

Sign of 'a Wild Walk on the River Mole'
Sign of \’a Wild Walk on the River Mole\’
Bridge and swan
Bridge and swan

In the evening about forty people gathered in the Green Room of Leatherhead Theatre. Firstly eight of us read our own mid summer haiku in turn, interspersed with the sounds of the flute (Steve Mason) and various other musical and percussive instruments. This was followed by a programme of readings from fifteen BHS members including haiku, haibun, renku and tanka.

The evening ended with expressions of pleasure from the audience and some addresses were exchanged. Diana’s organisation and Tony’s sensitive guidance made the afternoon and evening a very pleasurable experience and a great success.

On Sunday seven of us walked to Bockett’s Farm, a place where the public can see the working of a farm more closely and meet the animals. We passed fields of cultivated elder bushes and had good views over the valley. We walked back a different way and after a pleasant time in a pub garden we parted company, well pleased with the weekend.

More participants on the walk
More participants on the walk

Diana informs me that of the 32 people on the afternoon walks, 26 have so far sent her haiku written on, or from the experience of that day. She hopes to put together a small booklet to catch the sense of that particular afternoon on the footpaths around Leatherhead. This would include one haiku per person from everyone who has sent some in.

Report by David Steel, photos by Andrew Shimield