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August 2016                                                              

                                                                                                              Photo: Sandra Simpson

Winter has - apparently - been a bit intermittent this year but come August 1 it seems as though normal service might have been resumed! The temperature's dropped, it rains and then it suns, the wind is gusting ... still, the wood basket is full, there's soup on the stove and cheesy bread in the oven so can't ask for more than that. This month's photo shows wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox 'Luteus'), a gloriously scented blossom that appears on bare twigs in the bleakest months.

I've been promising myself to try haibun since about, oh I dunno, 2012 so maybe now is a good time to have a go. Egging me on is this month's article by Lynne Rees who explores some of the techniques in writing haibun.

Thanks to everyone who sent me snippets while I was away and helped keep Haiku NewZ up to date while I was touring South East Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. I have posted some of my haiku doings on the trip at my haiku blog breath and some of my garden encounters at Sandra's Garden

The biennial Katikati Haiku Contest opens today - head on over to the Contests page for the details of that and other approaching contests. I'll post the results of the NZPS Haiku Contest when they become available (this month), but in the meantime heartiest congratulations to the winner, Quendryth Young of Australia!

If you haven't read it already, don't forget that a history of haiku in New Zealand has been published at The Haiku Foundation, as well as a history of haiku in Australia, and Sharon's Dean's biography of Janice Bostok

And if you're in London this month, do try and go on one of Andrew Stuck's Haiku Walkshops (a ginko by any other name), which you can read more about on the Haiku Happenings page. 

Thanks, as always, to Signify, our website host, and the New Zealand Poetry Society for giving us the space on its site - free of charge. If you'd be good enough to consider joining the NZPS, it would be a small repayment for the hosting and support that we receive out of kindness. For those within New Zealand, your membership fees are tax deductible, as is any donation you make over the top of the annual sub. Read more about joining and membership benefits here, including how to join if you live outside New Zealand.

If you'd like to recommend an article, offer to write something for these pages, or generally have something to say about haiku and its related forms, please feel free to get in touch.

- Sandra