The blog of Alan Summers, Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) and co-founder of Call of the Page, 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 Call of the Page website: Call of the Page.
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 Karen or Alan at our joint email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will let you know more about these courses.
Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)
Monday, February 27, 2017
The Passion of Haibun online course - combining prose and haiku poems into a unique and challenging new medium
Haibun is an alchemy of combining prose with haiku poems to create a unique genre of writing: It’s equally at home in poetry; creative short fiction/flash fiction; and creative non-fiction; as well as journal writing; nature writing; diary writing; and in other forms of art.
Answer the call of the page, the call of the wild! It’s about rewriting/rewiring the world.
- Alan Summers, President, United Haiku and Tanka Society co-founder of Call of the Page.
“We're all there trying to make the story…as good as it can be. It's a constant struggle to get it down, get it clear, and understand that your intentions are the same, whether you're [a beginner] writing a short story or a writer with seven published novels. The continually reassuring thing is that we're all novices when we start a new work.”
Paraphrasing Alice McDermott (Inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame, 2013)
“You have to be passionate about your subject…to write a quality haibun…pieces that kept [you] awake at night… I want to be startled by all the elements of a haibun (title, prose, haiku, tanka). I want haibun that compel me to read them again and again as I strive to learn something new about what it is like to be a human being.”
Paraphrasing Glenn G. Coats, Some Thoughts about Haibun
We are poets always in interesting times, and the haibun mix of prose or even prose poetry combined with the short verses of haiku that are “pockets of now”, and cemented into the present, feels vitally appropriate, and in keeping with our evolving and changing societies. - Alan Summers
"Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... [Write] knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them."—Edwidge Danticat
Is this you? If so, you belong on this course. You don’t think this is you? Then you equally belong on this course.
- Alan Summers
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
As we have entered and gone beyond the second decade of the 21st Century, perhaps it is time to look back, look forward, and never moreso than looking uncritically at everything happening from family to work to social history.
- Alan Summers
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou
If the course is over-subscribed we will create a waiting list for you as it’s too important not to have you as part of The Passion of Haibun. You are too important to be left out.
Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that? —Kurt Vonnegut
Breaking down the invisible(in haibun)
With a slight shift, a momentary aside, a shuffle of cards, legerdemain, the author leaves the main story to dive into side alleys. But how is the ‘real’ narrative still kept when we diverge from the main story? How we do we maintain the momentum, the blood flow?
Blood vessels include arteries, capillaries, and veins which are responsible for transporting blood throughout the body.
Source: Boundless. “Arteries, Veins, and Capillaries.” 26 May. 2016.
The poetry dynamic within haibun is as much about what we think is the main story; it’s those nano-stories or even “broken narratives” that haiku can be, hiding on the sidelines, that just require the torch and touch of prose to bring them alive, and equally in turn they tend to light up the prose in other ways perhaps not possible with a straight linear narrative of prose.
— Breaking down the invisible(in haibun) by Alan Summers
“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” —Margaret Atwood
"Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence." —Alice Walker
"I do what I do, and write what I write, without calculating what is worth what and so on. Fortunately, I am not a banker or an accountant. I feel that there is a time when a political statement needs to be made and I make it."
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
“Know what you write more than write what you know.” Paraphrased from Annie Proulx
Carolyn See said:
“Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.”
Emma Cueto adds:
Because let's face it, the "official version" of the world could do with some revising. (Plus, the world could always do with more good books, whether they're by men or women).
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Do you have the call of the page in your blood, and a passion? Join us on this new online course; haibun needs you, even if you don’t know it yet. - Alan Summers