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Illawong Haiku Group (2017– )

The Illawong Haiku Group takes its name from the suburb of Illawong, south of the center of Sydney, Australia. The group was formed by Carol Reynolds and first met at The Castle, Oatley Park, Sydney, in June 2017. Meetings take place seasonally in a venue that is suitable for a ginkō and typically also include one or two predetermined haiku writing or reading and discussion exercises.

Carol Reynolds formed the Illawong Haiku Group in the Sydney suburb of Illawong, a place name given by the Dharawal first nations people of coastal New South Wales. The name signifies “between two waters,” being the Georges and Woronora Rivers that border the suburbs where most of the group members reside.

The group held its first meeting in June 2017 at The Castle, Oatley Park, Sydney. Meetings are held once each season at a venue that allows a ginkō (observation and haiku-composing walk) when the weather permits, or on occasion at a member’s home. Formal invitations are circulated in advance and include one or two exercises to be completed and brought to the meeting for discussion. A learning element is usually included on varying aspects of Japanese short-form poetry.

Members usually share morning tea and lunch. During lunch, they take turns drawing from the haiku bowl into which each attendee has anonymously placed two haiku for reading aloud and discussion. Because several of the group members are novices, this exercise proves helpful for those who might be apprehensive about sharing their work.

Short reports of group meetings are usually posted on the Australian Haiku Society website.

Past and Current Members of the Illawong Haiku Group

  • Gavin Austin
  • Margaret Mahony
  • Patricia Meredith
  • Alison Miller
  • Ros Pitt
  • Rita Potente
  • Carol Reynolds
  • Barbara Strickland
  • Lana Wayne

Meeting Dates and Venues (all in New South Wales)

  • June 27, 2017, inaugural meeting, The Castle, Oatley Park, Sydney
  • September 26, 2017, E. G. Waterhouse Camellia Gardens, Caringbah
  • Summer 2018 meeting, venue not recorded
  • April 11, 2018, autumn ginkō, Como Pleasure Grounds, Como
  • July 31, 2018, winter ginkō, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gymea
  • October 2, 2018, spring ginkō, Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve, Kareela
  • December 11, 2018, summer (Christmas) meeting, Club York, Sydney
  • March 19, 2019, autumn meeting, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gymea
  • June 25, 2019, winter meeting, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gymea
  • October 2, 2019, spring ginkō, Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve, Kareela
  • January 28, 2020, summer meeting, EG Waterhouse Camellia Gardens, Caringbah (This meeting was later than usual, hence there were two summer meetings in 2020)
  • March 17, 2020, autumn meeting, Oatley Castle
  • June 16, 2020, winter meeting, home of Margaret Mahony, Sutherland
  • September 15, 2020, spring meeting, home of Carol Reynolds, Illawong
  • December 7, 2020  Summer Meeting, Oatley Park
  • Hiatus owing to Covid 19
  • June 15, 2021, winter meeting, home of Roslyn Pitt, Kingsgrove       
  • September 24, 2021, spring meeting at Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve
  • December 8, 2021, Christmas gathering, home of Alison Miller, Panania
  • March 15, 2022, autumn meeting, home of Carol Reynolds, Bangor

All photos from the Australian Haiku Society website

Sources / Further Reading

  • Reynolds, Carol, et al. “Illawong Haiku Group.” Australian Haiku Society website: https://australianhaikusociety.org/2020/03/27/illawong-haiku-group-autumn-2020/#more-12571; Reports of the group’s meetings, 2000–  , are accessible here.

Haiku in Australia

Australian Haiku Society

Author: Carol Reynolds

Updated on September 28, 2023