Haiku 2012 Primary Schools Competition 2012

All the usual suspects are involved in this year's Haiku competition: The Clare People, Clare Education Centre, Western Writers' Centre, Killaloe Hedge School, Scéal Eile Bookshop and Ennis Bookclub Festival.

Entries are invited to arrive not later than Friday, February 25th 2012. Send your entries (clearly marked HAIKU) to one of the following:

Clare People Newspaper (clearly marked HAIKU)
Mill Rd.
County Clare.

Clare Education Centre,
Government Buildings,
Kilrush Rd.
County Clare.

E-mail .

A telephone contact number should be supplied with entries, and winning schools will be informed by telephone, and winners invited to read as part of a short-list of entries at the Ennis Bookclub Festival on Sunday 4th March in the Great Hall of the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis.

This year more emphasis will be given to the actual reading of the pieces before an audience. Final adjudication will be made by Anatoly Kudryavitski who gave an introductory workshop for Primary School teachers in the Clare Education Centre on Saturday 28th January. He established the following rules defining the haiku as a three-line poem written in the present tense on some aspect of nature, the poem not to exceed 17 syllables.

Two haiku examples

Cicadas clicking
in the hot Spanish night
Can't find even one

Children throwing stones
Lying in the pool
the sun in pieces

There will be many different prizes ranging from school to class to individual. This year there will also be a specially commissioned Singing Bowl which will become an on-going perpetual trophy for the winning school. Killaloe Hedge School will award a scholarship to the teacher most associated with the winning group for a course of their choosing.

Notes on Haiku

Haiku originated in Japan, but it has become a universal poetic form. It aims at capturing the eternity in the moment, the infinity in the now. As an insight more often in the gift of children than adults it is a form eminently suitable for teaching children the basics of poetry often with the result that children's haiku can be even more successful that those of adults. So, no patronisation; no condescension.

At his workshop, Anatoly recommended this as a working hypothesis: arm each child with a notebook; take a short walk with a group and have each child note images in their notebook; then juxtapose the images in line with the rules.

For more information visit the Irish Haiku Society Site.

By Brian Mooney.