Book honours late haiku poet

Internationally renowned late-local poet Janice Bostok will be honoured with the launch of a new poetry anthology.
Internationally renowned late-local poet Janice Bostok will be honoured with the launch of a new poetry anthology. supplied

MURWILLUMBAH poet Janice Bostok was publishing haiku poetry in the US during the 1970s, when it was all but unknown here.

She edited and published Australia's first haiku journal, Tweed, was haiku editor for journals Hobo, Paper Wasp, Yellow Moon and Stylus, and for five years she was South Pacific editor for the annual Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku.

She died last year, aged 69.

Ms Bostok was a founding member of Dangerously Poetic Press which is about to launch its 10th anniversary anthology, dedicated to the late-poet, titled Wild Honey: poetry from Byron Bay and Beyond.

President Laura Shore said Ms Bostok was once known as the "haiku missionary", and joined John Bird in his project, the First Australian Haiku Anthology, and the creation of HaikuOz.

"Jan's poems have been translated into seven languages and she has won prestigious awards in Japan," Ms Shore said.

"We are deeply indebted to her pioneering efforts at establishing an Australian haiku canon."

"Dangerously Poetic Press dedicates this book to Janice M Bostok, a founding member of our group.

"Born in Mullumbimby, she and her husband settled in Murwillumbah and farmed for many years.

"Her classes on haiku triggered an outpouring of the form in our region."

Ms Shore said biologist and writer Mary Gardner will open the launch night.

"The two winning poems from the Dangerously Poetic-Byron Bay Poetry Festival Prize are featured with a preface by the judge of the prize, the celebrated poet, Dr Robyn Rowland.

"Some of the poets will read, accompanied by talented Elvina Munir on flute and chimes.

"The Raise the Roof Gospel choir will add a rousing finish followed by champagne and treats.

"All are invited to this free evening of poetry and music.

"Books will be available at the special launch price of $20, or $18 for members."

The anthology features 21 poets on the theme of Nature and peoples' place in it.

The launch will be held on Friday March 9, 7pm to 9pm (NSW) at the Brunswick Heads Primary School Hall.


A poem by Janice Bostok.

dark night

the lighthouse beam

stabbing the water


after you're gone

the jacaranda's blue

lies beneath it


the thump-thump

of the wonga-wonga pigeon

echoes in my head


From sand between the toes, a haiku journey through Byron bay and beyond, DPP 2007.

Topics:  poetry

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