The Australian poetry community lost one of its true characters this past week…
Foundation editor of haiku journal paper wasp, driving force behind Post Pressed and internationally recognised haijin, John Knight, passed away after a long battle with cancer.
Like his friend and colleague Janice Bostok, John was a great support to me in the early days. At paper wasp gatherings in the old State Library of QLD, John was always there to provide incisive critique and share his wicked wit and love of life.
His published verse includes Wattle Winds: an Australian haiku sequence (Paper Wasp, 1993), From Derrida to Sara Lee (Metro Arts, 1994), Extracts from the Jerusalem Archives (Sweetwater Press, 1997), big man catching a small wave (Post Pressed, 2006) and Letters from the Asylum (Sudden Valley Press, 2009). It is a body of work that I hope continues to be read long into the future.
I will be reading a poem in his honour tonight at Riverbend Books, where I am sure, there will be another star in the sky, shining down on the poets as they gather on the deck.
John, may that last wave carry you forever…
mackerel sky and
now the wild geese are calling
into the sunset
— John Knight (1935 – 2012)
from the collection ‘big man catching a small wave‘