Online internet courses by With Words

Are you paying for a With Words course?

Please email if you would like to know more about these and our other courses. You do not need a PayPal account, you can pay with credit or debit card with paypal.

Here's how:

Select your With Words course Paypal button and click Buy Now. Then select the
Pay with my Debit or Credit Card option. Select your Country, and click it. Allow the screen to do its thing so you now have your country appear. Type your card number (the long one). Click onto the card image that matches the card you want to use

And the rest is self-explanatory.

Thanks for selecting courses by With Words (Alan & Karen)

Monday, February 09, 2015

With Words online internet (long distance) courses in haiku, tanka, and shahai (photography course with haiku and tanka)

Paying for Courses by PayPal Buttons

Are you paying for a With Words course?  

You can pay by debit or credit card from any country.  You do not need a PayPal account.

We have our regular monthly online courses:

Haiku £70

Tanka £70

And our new course of photography with haiku or tanka:

Shahai (Haiku or Tanka with Photography) £150

Select a Paypal button for the course you would like to participate in, and click Buy Now.

Scroll down and select the Pay with my Debit or Credit Card option

Select your Country, and click onto it, and then allow the screen to do its thing so you now have your country appear.

Type your card number (the long one)

Click onto the card image that matches the card you want to use

And the rest is self-explanatory.

Thanks for selecting courses by With Words, we all have an amazing time every month!

Please email Karen at: if you would like to know more about these named courses, and our other courses from tailored one-to-one courses, or special courses on haibun, and tanka prose, to name but two.

warmest regards,


Friday, January 23, 2015

Shahai - combining your haiku & your photography (online course)

Early Bird rate extended to February 8th
£140/US$220 if paying by February 8th).
For more information and booking, on this and other forthcoming With Words courses, please email:

Shahai - 
combining your haiku & photography
(an online internet course)

The online course starts March 1st, and finishes 1st week of May 2015

Cost:  £150/US$235 
(early bird £140/US$220 if paying by February 8th).

Shahai, sometimes referred to as "photo-haiga" are a modern twist on the Japanese tradition of combining haiku with artwork. 

Because many haiku writers already enjoy photography as part of their creative expression, shahai is an intensively creative and exciting form to explore. Participants may choose to submit either haiku or tanka as the written element of their artworks.

The feedback received during the course includes:
in-depth feedback on the haiku/tanka element from 
Alan Summers (Japan Times award-winning writer and lead tutor in Japanese poetry forms).
constructive, friendly, inclusive and professional critique on photography from Penney Ellis (Photographer, Artist, and Photography Tutor):

Class size:  5+

Cost:  £150/US$235 
(early bird £140/US$220 if paying by February 8th).

For more information and booking, on this and other forthcoming With Words courses, please email:

Thank you for your interest.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone, and 2015!

Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone!

Wishing you all 
an amazing 2015 fellow humans, and all living creatures!

Kirkstone Pass
a sheepdog gathers
its part of the world

Publication Credit: Muttering Thunder vol. 1, 2014

Kirkstone Pass:

hard frost-
the snail-hammerings
of a song thrush

Publication Credit: Muttering Thunder vol. 1, 2014

after rain midnight dreams a hedgehog

Publication Credit:   brass bell: a haiku journal
curated by Zee Zahava (Monday, September 1, 2014)


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone! Christmas and Winter haiku

Verse by Alan Summers
Artword by Dave Alderslade

Winter bonus
the mailman buys
a hot toddy

Publication Credit:   Asahi Shimbun (December 2014)

how does this swan
         sleep like a diamond
     frosted moon

Publication Credit:   Frozen Butterfly (October 2014)

heat and sunlight
a child starts building
snow castles

Publication Credit: Derafsh-e Mehr Issue#4 Winter & Spring 2014

falling clouds
the snow gathering
bits of moon

Publication Credit:   hedgerow: a journal of small poems (Issue 1, September 2014)

through the blizzard
particles of me

Publications credits:  
The Haiku Calendar 2012 (Snapshot Press); The Humours of Haiku (Iron Press 2012); The In-Between Season (With Words Haiku Pamphlet Series 2012); Cornell University, Mann Library (March 2013); Per Diem Archive: D. Wentworth April 2014, "Transcendence" 

Award credits: 
Winner, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2011 (Snapshot Press)

the french train passes
trees with mistletoe

Publications credits: Blithe Spirit vol.19  no. 1 (2009)

flickering in the silence
corralled horses

Publications credits: Modern Haiku vol. xxvi  no. 3 (1995); Moonlighting  (Intimations Pamphlet Series BHS Profile, 1996); sundog haiku journal: an australian year  (sunfast press 1997 reprinted 1998); California State Library - 1997; First Australian Haiku online Anthology (1999); First Australian Anthology (Paper Wasp 2000); haiku dreaming australia the best haiku & senryu relevant in and to australia (Australia 2006); The Crow Walk haibun (HAIKU HIKE, World Walks, Crossover UK 'Renewability' project 2006)); Stepping Stones:  a way into haiku  (British Haiku Society 2007); Mann Library, Cornell University Daily Haiku (March 2013)

winter timetable-
the late train leaves behind
half a school trip

Publications credits: Blithe Spirit  vol 17 no. 1 (2007)

snow flurry
a child thrusts his anorak
into it

Publications credits: Simply Haiku vol. 1 no. 3 (2003)

field of snow
the horses
back to back

Publications credits: Blithe Spirit vol. 19 no. 1 (2009); Haiku Friends Vol. 3 (Japan 2009)

hot sandwiches
the railing spikes collect
children's gloves

Publications credits: 
Presence 41 (2010) ISSN 1366-5367; Does Fish-God Know (YTBN Press 2012)


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Museum of East Asian Art event with sake tastings: The Musicality of Japanese Poetry: Haiku and Its Rhythm with Alan Summers, Karen Hoy, and Tony McNicol

Nihonshu sake supplied by Sake Samurai:

Museum of East Asian Art
12 Bennett Street 
Bath BA1 2QJ 

Thursday 5 March 2015

19:00 – 21:00

Friends and Students £15

Public £20

For Bookings please contact the Museum:

Tel:  01225 464640

Museum Managers/Staff:

Just off the famous "The Circus"
Museum Directions:

An evening of the very finest quality Nihonshu sake throughout the evening!   Tony McNicol, a Japan expert, will be your sake host, ask him questions in a relaxed informal atmosphere.

About Nihonshu sake:

Along with a relaxed journey into haiku poetry with Japan Times award-winning writer Alan Summers, and his wife Karen Hoy (poet and film-maker).

We can create a few poems in a friendly atmosphere that can be posted onto the Museum website and at Area 17.   

Alan's TEDx Talk about haiku, just dip in and out:

A little about the event itself:

From Karen Hoy and Alan Summers of With Words:

Interspersed with your sake glass being topped up and plenty of opportunities to ask Tony McNicol about sake, we will engage you with the world of haiku, and its own musicality:

“It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play.”  Jazz adage often attributed to Miles Davis

This is a relaxed poetry experience, delving into the techniques that lie at the heart of haiku, and being aware of its own music that it creates, as we try our own hand at writing.

All language has inherent rhythm and pitch: The notes of our voices as we read out loud vary with different reading styles and accents.

There is a core rhythm of spoken English language: Even when we read silently from the page, there is musically as we 'hear' the written word.

Haiku, originating from Japan, is the famous poetry of extreme brevity.  In a relaxed inclusive atmosphere, as part of the exhibition Music in China, we will experience the notes and musicality that are in haiku too.

Haiku, as Miles Davis states with music, has its own equivalent of what is not there i.e. negative space aka white space, creating a larger poem than the sum of its ‘visible’ parts.  

Distilling communication to its barest needs yet maintaining a strong clear message has never been so important.   Using musicality as a catalyst the evening explores what is there and not there, but still there, in haiku.

Japan Times award-winning author and Pushcart Prize nominated poet Alan Summers, and With Words Course Director and Poetry Tutor Karen Hoy, will accompany you on your journey into haiku.

Tony McNicol, Co-Founder of We Do Japan will introduce premier award-winning sake (from Sake Samurai) to our taste buds as well as explain the magic, depth, and notes of Japan's signature drink:

The evening will act as a taster of both sake and haiku in a very friendly, inclusive, and informative atmosphere.

About Sake:

The Musicality of Japanese Poetry: Haiku and Its Rhythm

Thursday 5 March
19:00 – 21:00

Friends and Students £15; Public £20

Haiku is Japanese poetry, famous for its extreme brevity. An excellent accompaniment to Haiku is sake. This event will explore both in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. 

The event is part of the Music in China exhibition programme (January – May 2015). 

Alan Summers, Japan Times award-winning author, will give a brief introduction to the important elements of Haiku and its history, as well as exploring the musicality in this extraordinary form of poetry.

A selection of award-winning sake provided by the Sake Samurai UK will be available for tasting. 

Music in China exhibition

17 January – 31 May 2015

This exhibition explores various aspects of music in China and the importance of music to the different levels of Chinese society. 

Music plays a significant role in Chinese society. 

The ruling class sees refined music as a tool to sustain a harmonious society. The masses enjoy the entertainment of popular music, which appeals to audiences in other parts of the world as well. 

Equally, musical traditions from other cultures also enrich Chinese music and have a huge impact on its development.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Hunter's Moon and the runes of mice haiku

I was delighted to hear that my haiku (above) was published by the Mainichi Shimbun (Japan) on the very first day of December 2014!

My many thanks, and appreciation to Isamu Hashimoto, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Circulation and Distribution of the Mainichi Shimbun

Mainichi Shimbun  

Alan Summers, and With Words, offer regular and popular online courses in haiku; tanka; and other related genres.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Karen at: