Free Haiku Workshop by the British Haiku Society

free Workshop

Sun 18 Jul 2021 14:00 - 16:30

Book Before 17:00 Fri 09 Jul 2021

Fee: Free | Platform: Zoom


Writing haiku in English is becoming increasingly popular and the haiku writing community in the UK and internationally is steadily expanding; while at the same time, haiku is finding its place in mainstream English poetry.

What is a haiku?

  • Haiku was originally a Japanese genre of poetry, but it is now written and adapted in many languages worldwide.
  • Traditional haiku in Japanese consist of seventeen sound units (not to be confused with syllables) in a pattern of 5-7-5.
  • Because of differences in language, this rhythm is generally not followed for literary haiku in most other languages.
  • In English, haiku are most often written in three lines.
  • The Japanese, because of their longer history of reading haiku, understand that there are two images in a haiku. The two images are separated by a kireji (the cut). In Japanese this is usually a ‘cutting word’, but in English it is shown by a line break or a hyphen or ellipsis.
  • The kireji may come at the end of the first or second line.
  • The spark which flies from one image to the other creates the ‘aha moment’ … when the reader experiences what the haiku writer experienced.

In this free workshop learners will:

  • explore the characteristics of good contemporary haiku and the techniques employed in writing them.
  • have the opportunity to write contemporary haiku and then share and discuss the haiku they have written.
  • learn about where to follow up the session by sending haiku for publication in haiku journals, magazines and online websites and how to become involved in local and national haiku activities.

For this workshop, you will need to write two haiku and send them in to the instructor in advance of the workshop. The deadline for sending your haiku is Monday 12th July.

Type:                Free Haiku Workshop the British Haiku Society (BHS)
Date:                18th July 2021, Sunday 
Time:               14:00 – 16:30 ( 2.5 hours)
Instructors:      Iliyana Stoyanova and David Bingham from the British Haiku Society (BHS)
Max Number: 20 participants
Online tool:     ZOOM (*link will be sent to you before the workshop)
Precautions:    Over 15 years old.

Book before:    5pm on 9th July 2021 and submit your Haiku to BHS by 12th July 2021.

The workshop will be organised as follows;

1. Preparation in advance

Participants will be provided with examples of haiku ( as see in this page) and a set of guidelines on the characteristics which we would expect to find in a good haiku. Participants will then write two haiku and send them in to David Bingham at the British Haiku Society. The deadline for receiving haiku is Monday 12th July. ( Details will be sent when your sing-up.) Then these will be put in a Power Point presentation for discussion at the workshop.

A haiku should:

  • be short: able to be spoken in one breath
  • in the haiku moment (avoid reference to the past or future)
  • in the present tense
  • with two images separated by a cut (the kireji) which leads to the ‘aha’ moment for the reader
  • in simple everyday words
  • use concrete imagery (avoiding abstract words like: ‘justice’, ‘poverty’ and ‘discrimination’)
  • be from the viewpoint of a neutral observer
  • avoid similes and metaphors
  • avoid adjectives and adverbs
  • include a season reference (kigo) when appropriate
  • be laid out in 3 lines ( may be 5/7/5 syllables; but not essential)

2. At the workshop

  • The tutors will discuss with the group the material which was distributed before the meeting to emphasise what makes a good haiku.
  • One-by-one the tutors will discuss with the group the haiku which have been sent in. These will be presented on a Power Point. They will make suggestions as to how each haiku may be improved.
  • The tutors will talk about the ways in which people may develop their haiku with a view to publication.

3. Follow-up

A small selection of haiku written during the course will be shown on the HYPER JAPAN and British Haiku Society websites.

**If you don’t receive any information one day before the class, please send an email here:

** Please read our Terms and Conditions before you book your tickets: Terms and Conditions for HYPER JAPAN ONLINE EVENTS


The British Haiku Society


The British Haiku Society

The British Haiku Society was founded in 1990. The BHS is pioneering the appreciation and writing of haiku in the UK, and has links also with similar organisations throughout the world. Currently there are around 320 members from all over the world: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.

The British Haiku Society promotes the appreciation and the writing of haiku, haibun, senryu, renku and tanka. We do this by: publishing haiku-related work in our journal, Blithe Spirit, and our regularly published haiku anthologies; organising conferences, tutorials and workshops; assisting teachers in schools and colleges; enabling the advancement of research and the public dissemination of the results of such research; and we also actively develop links with other organisations interested in haiku and related genres.

We are active in promoting the teaching of haiku in schools and colleges, and able to provide readers/course and workshop leaders/speakers for poetry groups, etc. We have also created a haiku teaching/learning kit for schools which could be found in the ‘Teaching Haiku‘ section on our website.

At HYPER JAPAN, the course tutors are:

Iliyana Stoyanova is a poet, editor and translator; holds a PhD in Theology. She is the Living Legacies Editor at the Living Haiku Anthology, Communications Officer and BHS Awards Administrator at the British Haiku Society, Former Secretary of the United Haiku and Tanka Society (2017-2020), Photo Editor in Haikupedia, and also a member of the BHS, Haiku Club-Plovdiv, The London Haiku Group and Tanka Society of America. Her haiku, tanka, haibun and other poems have been included in numerous anthologies and journals and have been translated in Bulgarian, English, Japanese, Croatian, Russian, Italian and other languages. She has received many awards and honours at international competitions.

David Bingham has been writing haiku for over twenty years and is frequently published in leading haiku journals, was the editor of ‘Blithe Spirit’ for two years and is a regular workshop leader in the writing of haiku and related forms in English. He was the winner of the British Haiku Society, Ken and Noragh Jones International Award for Haibun, 2017 and was the editor of ‘Ripening Cherries’ an anthology of haiku, tanka and haibun published by Offa’s Press in October 2019. He also edited the BHS haibun anthology, ‘Stories under Every Rock’ which was published in 2020.

Together, Iliyana and David organised the International Haiku Conference held in St Albans in 2019 and edited the conference anthology, ‘where silence becomes song’.

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