The blog of Alan Summers, Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) and owner of With Words, a UK provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.
For events and workshops for families, children, and schools contact us through our With Words website: With Words.
Online internet courses by Call of the Page
Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku (beginner and intermediate, and advanced). We also run workshops and courses on tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about these and our other courses.
*Rob Scott is a haiku poet from Melbourne, Australia, currently doing his Masters thesis on the history of haiku in Australia.
*Dave 'Serjeantina' Serjeant fires out haiku, senryu and micropoetry thunderbolts at a site called Distant Lightning.
*Rishi Dastidar is a copywriter for ad agency in London and super incredibly brainy.
a man and his dog train
kick around a tin
CONTRIBUTE A FOOTBALL HAIKU (AND HOPEFULLY GET PAID FOR IT) OR DOWNLOAD THE FORTHCOMING EBOOK: HOW THE PROJECT WORKS
The basic idea is very simple.
Firstly, there will be an ongoing ebook of the haiku we receive that can be downloaded. People downloading that ebook can choose to pay any amount that they like, based on the same funding model as the seminal Radiohead album "In Rainbows".
Once we have received a decent number of initial haiku, we can then offer the first version of the ebook for download. So please send your haiku to us as soon as possible.
After that, in the long-term, those haiku can be put together along with specially commissioned illustrations for a book that will be published and available in shops at a set price. We are interested to
hear from artists and designers.
Of the initial money that is received from those donating for the downloadable ebook, 25% will go to the small team orchestrating and editing the ebook.
25% will be paid equally to contributors of haiku that are selected to be part of the project. 25% will be provided as special prizes to the writers of the three haiku that are voted as the best by readers of the ebook.
The remaining 25% will be given to a football-related good cause voted on by contributors and readers of the ebook.
So if you contribute a poem or download the ebook, please also send over the name of the football-related good cause you would like to see money donated to email@example.com.
If you are an individual or organisation that would like to become a partner or patron or supporter of the project, and would be able to contribute financially to it to help us make it happen (no matter how
Saturday 22nd May 2010 3 – 5 p.m. Japanese Renga Group Poem Workshop
Bath Central Library, Library entrance at The Podium Shopping Centre, Level One, Bath
Another successful Shisan Renga session, or as Boris calls them "a renga jam session!"
Comments from previous renga workshops:
"we really enjoyed the renga event...it was a very intensely creative act, and I was really struck by the renga form itself, what it could be capable of...a whole new poetic energy" Mark, University of Winchester
"Thanks again for a wonderful poetry session."
Yu Yan, U.S. citizen currently visiting Bath
"I just wanted to thank you again for such a great event...I want to do some more!"
"Thanks so much for yesterday's renga event - it was fantastic! Really got the creative juices flowing. Let me know when the next one is, I will definitely attend!" Tracey, Bath
"Looks like I missed a fantastic event..I hope to be at the next one."
Caroline, Bristol (she was!)
" More! More! " Libby, Bristol
"It is so tempting to get involved in renku/renga with all the excitement you...generate." Melinda, USA
Boris from Slovenia keeps a watchful eye over the next verse. photo by Alan Summers
The small but pefectly formed Bath Central Library renga crew. photo by Rachel Carvosso
Renga is a type of joint group activity where we all get involved in writing a poem with haikulike verses called ‘links’. Each verse is not so much poetry in the usual sense, but a way to capture snippets of everyday ’ordinary’ plain speech, and language.
It’s really easy, and gaining huge popularity all the time: for instance Alan’s Bath 1000 Verse Renga Project with Bath Libraries (book coming out soon) was so popular with both the public and writers that they actually received more than 1000 verse.
We didn't really need to hold a gun to this poet, as she provided the first line!
We squeezed in at least a couple of titles from Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, and probably inspired by at least another, I'm sure.
Bath Japanese Festival 2010 So many highlights, just a few:
Courtesy of our sister festival International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 we have special guests Masuda Aika（桝田愛佳）a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko（桝田純子）a haiku poet, came over to give a taste of haiku and haiga from Japan.
Lee Coombes shows off one of his Japanese tattoos to the audience. photo by Mike Keville (London)
David Johnson, always popular with audiences, brings his own magic to the event.
Lee Coombes shows his tattoos to Hazel Hammond, at her Japanese Tattoo Corner. photo by Mike Keville (London)
Aika photographs me photographing her mother, Junko.
2010 Bath Japanese Festival Zen United proudly sponsor the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival
Launch Party guests and participants
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
BRLSI Group UNI-VERSE Group proudly hosted The 2010 Bath Japanese Festival Launch Party!
There was something for everyone, from readings from poets and other live word artists plus the Origami Picnic Corner, and Usborne Books for children.
The launch night was both a taster of the festival as a whole, as well as a plethora of mini-exhibitions and activities from
*** ORIGAMI PICNIC CORNER! ***
Fabulous Joanna Tinsley and her "the love of it" magazine team ran an origami animal-making workshop packed full of children and adults alike.
They provided the paper (in a choice of colours, prints and textures), a bunch of clever origami experts and a cosy corner in which to fold. All you needed was a home for your paper creation to go to at the end of the night. Weblink:The Love of It magazine
***HAIGA (haiku painting and calligraphy)***
*Haiga and haiku straight from Japan (Akita, Northern Honshu) with Masuda Aika（桝田愛佳）a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko（桝田純子）a haiku poet, giving a taste of haiga art with haiku. 16 year old Aika, and her mother were a big hit with both the exhibition audience, and in the poetry and liveword room.
Karl Jaeger (Modern Japanese Paintings especially for the launch night) is a BRSLI founding member in 1968, and now Co-founder, Trustee and Chairman of Our Future Planet (OFP)
*** SPECIAL LAUNCH OF JAPANESE VIDEOGAME ANIME IMAGES*** Joe Ryan presented/exhibited Anime artwork (cells) from Zen United, the team behind the European release of Blazblue - Calamity Trigger displaying a selection of concept art which documented the creative process of game development. Blazblue - Calamity Trigger is a hugely popular video game with a very recognizable anime style. The Japanese developers are very proud that the European gaming press have been raving about the quality of not only the gameplay but of the rich artwork.
To compliment the exhibition also supplied the Japanese book binding course with a selection of drawings which will be used in the learning process: http://www.blazbluegame.com/
***Japanese Tattoos - Hazel Hammond***
Hazel had us enter the meanings of dragons, koi carp and cherry blossom with Tattoo Poetry, Live Art and Japanese tattoo motifs: Hazel's The Tattoo Project
This was followed by a joint reading by Alan, and Karen Hoy, of With Words, from one of their recent renga poems from an ongoing NHS MSU project.
Rachel Carvosso of Tokyo Art Beat & Japan Editor for Bristol's The Love of It; and co-organiserof the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival read poems and gave a curatorial talk on the contemporary Japanese book-binding (and workshop) exhibition courtesy of Bath Central Library which With Words are in partnership.
***SPECIAL GUESTS FROM AKITA, NORTHERN HONSHU, JAPAN***
Courtesy of our sister festival The International Haiku Spring Festival 2010, and With Word's guests, Masuda Aika（桝田愛佳）a haiga painter, and her mother, Masuda Junko（桝田純子）a haiku poet, gave a taste of haiku from their hometown Akita. After the break, most of the audience immediately went to their haiga art corner to hear more Japanese haiku as well as have haiku written in calligraphy alongside Aika's paintings she created for each person.
***MINI LECTURE*** Simon Leake (respected Bristol poet and organiser) presented a talk:
'come May / again / white blossom' - The influence of japanese verse on 20th Century American Poetry including readings from the work of William Carlos Williams and Gary Snyder. (Keep checking Area 17 for a full performance early next year.)
One of the very best family friendly festivals in Britain.
Ellie and Mara on their first Favourite Word Fridge Magnets.
Haiku Detectives Ellie and Alan!
Marion and Laura co-write a haiku, and find all the Hidden Haiku throughout the farm too!
Ellie and Mara stayed with us off and on for about three hours, and constantly getting Karen and myself doing the Haiku Detectives Salute!
Bush walking chickens, and geese making a perfect end of a perfect family friendly With Words day at the Swindon Festival of Literature.
With Words highly recommends this festival which has an excellent range of events, and the most friendly atmosphere to all visitors, and probably the safest children's play area with their unique Helicopter Cargo Net game.