• Kawana, Tsugio, (川名つぎお)

    Kawana TsugioKawana Tsugio (川名つぎお)

    Born 1935 in Tokyo, Japan

    Currently, Secretary of the Modern Haiku Association (Gendaihaikukyôkai), and General Manager of the Yearbook Department. He is a professional screenwriter and playwright. He is the winner of the Okinawa Memorial Day Haiku Prize, 2004. In 1957, he entered Kokugakuin University, and founded the Film Club. That same year he produced the short film, Chîsana gen'ei [The Little Mirage: An Urban Boy’s Dream, 20 min.], the first independent movie produced by a student in Japan (excepting those of the Fine Arts program at Nihon University).

    In 1958, he focused on the problem of education in rural areas, producing the short film, Yama ni ikiru ko ra [The Children Live in a Mountain; 27 min.]. This was his first professional work. In 1965, he founded the Partisan Style Poetry Book Club [Paruchizan shiki shishu no kai], and gathered donations for the publication of his own book of poetry. As a result, Hatachi no gûwa [The Fables of Twenty] was published.

    In 1968, he became deeply involved in significant social movements of the era — anti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-establishment, etc. He published his book of poetry, Seishun no kigen [The Origin of Adolescence], then made a film featuring night-school students in poverty, Dakkan soshite kaihô [Get Back and Liberate It; 87 min.]. This film created newfound enthusiasm among student-movement activists to produce their own works, especially via Zengakuren [the All-Japan Federation of Student Self-Governing Associations]. Moreover, he edited a poetic anthology of a group of young activist-authors, Eikyû kakumei no koiuta [Love Song of Permanent Revolution], published in 1969. His major haiku collections are Tei [Degree] (Modern Haiku Association Press, 1992), Jin [Questions] (Modern Haiku Association Press, 2005), and Ani [However] (Modern Haiku Association Press, 2014).

    Translations into English by Richard Gilbert & Ito Yuki (Gendaihaiku, 2014)


  • Knight, John

    John KnightJohn Knight


    John Knight (a.k.a. John W. Knight; John William Knight) was born on 2 Dec 1935 in Bendigo, Victoria to an evangelist preacher and his New Zealand born wife. After the war, in 1946 the family moved to Queensland travelling between towns and cities where his father ministered. After two years of high school and a variety of jobs, John taught in primary schools in Queensland and NSW. He also studied Theology at Avondale College. He later transferred to secondary teaching, and after completing a Doctorate in the Sociology of Education and Religion in 1977, John lectured in Teacher Education at the Mt Gravatt College of Advanced Education before moving to the University of Queensland, where he became an Associate Professor.

    As well as a number of books on education policy and the sociology of education, John published widely in literary journals and anthologies in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America. He was long time poetry editor of the journal Social Alternatives and of Scope. His first book of verse, From Derrida to Sara Lee, was published in 1994. That was followed by Extracts from the Jerusalem Archives (Sweetwater Press, 1997); the intense and very personal Letters from the Asylum (Sudden Valley Press, 2009). However, it was haiku that gave John the greatest joy.

    John was introduced to haiku in the late 70s after which he sporadically experimented with the form until 1988 when he came under the spell of haiku masters Jack Stamm, Kazuo Sato and Tohta Kaneko who came to Australia for the Brisbane’s Expo 88. In haiku John found a literary form that freed him from the tenets of postmodernist literary criticism and soon he became an accomplished and internationally recognised haijin.

    John Knight was an insistent voice behind the formation of the Brisbane-based Paper Wasp haiku group in 1989 assisted by Jack Stamm, an American, long resident in Japan, and the support of Japanese haijin Kazuo Sato. The original objective of the founding members, Jacqui Murray, Ross Clark and John Knight, was to further haiku education in Australia. The group was opened to public membership in 1994 and soon Australia’s most prominent and prolific haijin, Janice M. Bostok, joined the group. The launch of ‘Paper Wasp: a journal of haiku’ followed in 1995 as John being one of the foundation editor. John’s published haiku include Wattle Winds: an Australian haiku sequence (with Clark, Murray and Jack Stamm, Paper Wasp, 1993) and his own collection big man catching a small wave (Post Pressed, 2006), described by fellow poet Jeffrey Harpeng as a “tender collection of graceful haiku ever hopeful in their sadness and their joy”.

    John was founder and owner of the small publishing house, Post Pressed since 1995. Although Post Pressed never made money, John nursed it along to give a voice in print to around two dozen Australian and New Zealand haiku poets and academics. He believed that despite the technological development, the well preserved printed word would always stand the test of time.

    After retiring John continued to mentor a number of doctoral students at QUT and elsewhere. But by December 2011 he had been rendered too weak by the cancer he had been fighting for almost a decade. John Knight died on 24 Feb 2012 in Brisbane, Queensland. But John will always be remembered for his passion for poetry: “I’ve a peculiar passion for poetry. Not just for reading, for writing it. And for working with others who share the same passion. Poetry readings, workshops, seminars, editing sessions. Yes, there are still people out there who read and write poetry. I publish their work. And some of them are my best friends. I learn from and with them. I love and treasure them and they - I hope -me. I’m alive in ways I can’t otherwise be when I’m with them.” (John Knight, ‘A poetry editor’s passions: (or all he’ll safely admit)’, Social Alternatives 20 (2), May 2001, pp. 11-13).

    As a tribute to John Knight’s legacy as poet, writer and haiku mentor in 2013 several Australian and New Zealand haiku writers put together the anthology ‘still heading out’, a unique 78-page collaboration edited by paper wasp members Jacqui Murray and Katherine Samuelowicz.


    • From derrida to sara lee / John Knight, Brisbane : Metro Press, 1994
    • Extracts from the Jerusalem archives & other poems / John Knight, Mt. Gravatt, Qld.: Sweetwater Press, 1997
    • First Australian Haiku Anthology, Janice Bostok and John Bird (Eds.), Jacqui Murry (Print Version Editor), 1999
    • bawdy per verse & irreverent - edited by john knight & katherine samuelowicz, illustrations from the figure by brenda lewis. Post Pressed, Flaxton, 1999
    • In a heron's eye: haiku from the paper wasp jack stamm haiku award 1999, edited by Jacqui Murray, Janice Bostok, Ross Clark & John Knight, paper wasp 2000
    • Boat harbour: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2000, edited by Jacqui Murray, Janice Bostok, Ross Clark & John Knight, paper wasp 2001
    • Spring dawn: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2001, edited by Janice Bostok, Ross Clark, John Knight & Jacqui Murray, paper wasp 2002
    • Distant thunder: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2002, edited by Janice Bostok, Ross Clark, John Knight & Jacqui Murray, paper wasp 2003
    • Late walk: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2003, edited by Janice Bostok, Ross Clark, John Knight & Jacqui Murray, paper wasp 2004
    • Clear water: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2004, edited by Janice Bostok, Ross Clark, John Knight & Jacqui Murray, paper wasp 2005
    • Big man catching a small wave: haiku / John Knight, Teneriffe, Qld. : Post Pressed, 2006
    • Rusted Hinge: the paper wasp jack stamm haiku anthology 2005, edited by Janice Bostok, Ross Clark, John Knight & Jacqui Murray, paper wasp 2006
    • Letters from the asylum / John Knight, Christchurch: Sudden Valley Press, 2009

    Selected work:


    reading your letter  
    and morning coffee  
    warms my hands

    three buttons down  
    white softness  
    of her breasts

    blood draining  
    from a grey sky into  
    this red sea

    This moon  
    dragging the clouds  
    and my shadow

    (1998 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    clouds over the moon
    wind and owl's shadow

    her card in the mail
    camellia buds
    just opening

    her nipples hardening
    under the soft blouse...
    white apple blossom

    (1999 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    summer wine
    in my hand and the curve
    of her throat

    no rain...
    ah but the scent
    of jasmine

    (2000 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    first winter day
    summer's black snake
    too slow for my axe

    (2001 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    once more
    we pass in the corridor
    not speaking

    tossing in my sleep
    the curlew's cry
    from the moor

    she looks at me
    with real love
    after the third glass

    our creaking bed-
    the next room's lovers
    stop whispering

    (2002 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    another year
    still tempted by her breasts
    the fruit falls unpicked

    (2003 issue of paper wasp: an Australian journal of haiku)


    Distant ranges . . .
                          indigo spills
                  under the bright sky

    Old windmill gap-toothed

    brushing her hair tonight the moon is almost full

               at the airport
    wrapped in that last kiss...
               the still blue sky

    swinging old hips
               so beautiful
    when she smiles . . .

    On my hands now,

    House dark
    and the rain hard
    at the door

    winter crow calling
    harsh wind on the flag
    at half mast  

    (“First Australian Haiku Anthology”, ed. by Janice M Bostok and John Bird, 1999)