Haiku for healing... understanding and growth

Presenter: Maurice Nevile

one petal
resists the breeze...
losing her

In this session, Maurice will explore how writing haiku, short poems of just three lines (or fewer), can help you to heal, understand and grow in your life after loss. A haiku is a short simple poem that suggests something significant beyond. For example, haiku can help you to capture an important experience, or an observation, a thought or feeling, even a memory or longing. For example, a haiku could express something special and personal, or something utterly ordinary. It could highlight a great joy or a deep sadness. It might even tell a powerful story, in just three lines.

Using examples of his own published haiku, Maurice will highlight their potential and how to write them: what is a haiku poem?; why write haiku?; who can write haiku? (hint: you); how can you get started?; what can you write about?; what makes a good haiku? what to do with what you’ve written?

Spoiler alert, haiku do not need to have a three-line 5-7-5 syllable structure – indeed, most major modern haiku journals discourage that.

As a group, we’ll revise and try writing a haiku together, or even individually with some prompts. Important: you won’t be asked to share any haiku you’ve written – that writing is just for you.

You’ll leave the session with details on where to read and learn about haiku, a list of ideas and prompts to get going, and possible places to publish if you’re keen.

For all session participants, Maurice will commit to act as a sounding board and editor for your haiku writing over the next months.

spinning a cocoon

About Maurice

Maurice Nevile lives in Canberra and is the father of three adult children. In 2019, the year after losing his wife to brain cancer, he began writing poetry to process and express his thoughts and emotions of loss and grief. Those poems were mostly awful, but then he realised that haiku poetry was the ideal format to capture something simply but powerfully. His haiku have now been widely published in haiku journals and websites in Australia and internationally. In 2022 he produced his first collection of poems, titled Translating loss.

Maurice is now a freelance academic editor, after a career balanced across editing, teaching, and research, working in Australia, Denmark, and Finland. He has presented at over fifty national and international gatherings. As a writing and learning advisor, he has taught and individually supported thousands of university students, and staff. He is the author or editor of around 90 publications, including nine books and monographs.

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