BRLSI hosts opening night of Bath Japanese Festival

Haiku poet
Masuda Junko, from Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan, reading her work at the
opening night of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival at BRLSI.
BRLSI hosted the opening night of the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival, with an evening of poetry and crafts including guest readers from the UK and Japan. Nikki Bennett, convenor of the BRLSI’s Uni-verse international poetry series, welcomed everyone to the event, while Haiku writer (and festival co-organiser) Alan Summers also gave a short welcome and read some haiku along with his partner Karen Hoy. We also heard from Tokyo-based Festival co-organiser Rachel Carvosso, of Tokyo Art Beat, who is also Japan Editor for Bristol’s The Love of It.
A taste of Japan at the opening night
Special guests from Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan were Masuda Aika, haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko, a haiku poet. There was also a guest appearance by Carrie Etter (Bradford on Avon), Senior Lecturer from Bath Spa University, reading haiku and senryu from her collection in progress since 1987. Other local poets attending included Dru Marland, haiku writer and illustrator of books such as “Wildlife Rescue” and “The Coffee Thrush”, and Bristol poet Simon Leake, who talked about the influence of Japanese verse on 20th Century American Poetry including readings from the work of William Carlos Williams and Gary Snyder.
Also present were David Johnson, ever-popular international and local performance poet from Bristol; Bath and USA, Lee Coombes, veteran of sell-out Bath Fringe Festival events (now working on a pilot TV series), SV Wolfland from Exeter, reading eye-opening poetry, and Hazel Hammond, from Bristol, reading poems from her Tattoo Project: Needlepoint.
The Elwin Room, meanwhile, hosted an exhibition of Japanese creative opportunities. These included Anime artwork (cells), Japanese Tattoos (the meanings of dragons, koi carp and cherry blossom in Tattoo Poetry), an origami animal-making workshop by Joanna Tinsley and her “the love of it” Bristol magazine team, and a display of Usborne books. Sushi and Sake were supplied by Yen Sushi in Bath, and BRLSI member Karl Jaeger provided some magnificent prints for wall display. A big thank you to all these people and to everyone (maybe not mentioned here) who helped make this event such a big success.
– Nikki Bennett

The Anime artwork workshop proved popular at the Bath Japanese Festival opening night.