Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Bookings are now being taken for online With Words Haiku Courses and Tanka Courses starting in January 2015.

Bookings are now being taken for the next With Words Haiku Course and Tanka Course, both starting in January 2015.

Participants submit 3 times by email over a two-month period and receive detailed feedback from our widely published award-winning poet and experienced tutor Alan Summers.

The cost is £70/US$115, or £60/US$99 'early bird' rate if booking by the end of November.

For enquiries, and for a more detailed course description, please email  

Thank you!

Alan Summers is a Japan Times award-winning writer, and Pushcart Prize nominated poet, with over twenty years of experience with haiku and tanka.


Monday, November 03, 2014

Alan Summers performing haiku and answering questions about this intriguing micro-poetry

Alan Summers has just been booked to perform haiku and answer questions just after 5pm from MC Howard and the audience  about this intriguing micro-verse that is sweeping the world via books, magazines, music, and social media.

Sunday 9 November at 17:00


Park Hill Drive, 
Frome BA112LE

How to find the venue:

Google maps directions for car, train, on foot etc...

From the train station:

It's about a 15 minute walk through town, walk along the riverfor a more pleasant journey. You get to a play park and it's down the small side road at the crossing.  The Welsh Mill Hub and Edventure Frome is based at The Welsh Mill, just above The Bicycle Academy. Look out for blue garage doors, and a glass door to the left.

Growerz Corner presents a one off evening of creative words, poetry, live music and one hour of open mic. 

We are pleased to announce our special guest for the night is Carrie Tree, one of the UKs leading female vocalists.

Carrie will be followed by Kuki and the Bard, another Small World act. This twelve and fifteen year old brother and sister marvel is taking festival world by storm!

With such a popular festival culture in Somerset November is that time of year where we all start to miss that feeling of community.

Growerz Corner has been set up to bring creatives together and supports all those wanting to perform, grow or just be entertained on a Sunday.



5.15 pm - POETS 
- Alan Summers 
(Japan Times award-winning author, and Pushcart Prize nominated poet)
- Helen Moore (eco poet and author), 
- Liv Torc (Radio 4 slam winning stand-up poet ) 
- 'XJX - Local Rhythm and Word performer'
- Jepson - From a galaxy far, far away 

6.45pm - LIVE MUSIC 
- Carrie Tree - amazing vocals 
- Kuki and the Bard - brother and sister only twelve and fifteen years of age.

8pm OPEN MIC - One hour pre-booked open mic acts free style session

9pm - Henry, Stu and Ben the flower pot men 

Open JAM sessions to finish off.

Bring a few pillows or a mat if you want to sit on the floor or make yourself comfy.


It's not easy to get on the stage and do your thing. But Sunday sessions is all about helping people to step up to what they really want to do ! 

- If you have a passion for spoken words email us at - explain exactly what you want to sing or say. Any video or audio links preferred but not essential.

Recommended donations on the door - £3/£5/£8

Under 18's free entry!

There will be a bar available serving a range of drinks.


Soup kitchen comes to Frome. 
Morwenna and friends will be cooking up some lovely soup from 6 till 9pm on Sunday 9th at the Growerz Corner. Its vegan and locally picked at Vallis.
Show starts around 5pm so get there early for a good seat at the front. Bring pillows or a rug for a comfy seat.


Alan does various kinds of haiku workshops (and also tanka - The Japanese Sonnet)

To find out more about what the courses involve and how they run, please email for an information sheet and quotes from participants who have taken the courses over the years.

Many thanks!

Karen at With Words

Friday, October 03, 2014

Special offer ends today on Rooster Moans online internet course The Poem as Portrait with Karen Hoy

This course has now sold out!
Thanks to everyone who was excited about this course, cannot wait for it to start, which is next Monday. 

The Poem as Portrait

The early bird rate is expiring soon for Karen's "The Poem as Portrait" course with The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative.

If you share Karen's fascination with the potential for poems as portraits, and might like to explore this in your own work, then click here for more details:


Gauguin Girl

for Marre

out of the greenhouse,
past the bulbs, on your bicycle,
hair flowing,
and then rowing
on the IJsselmeer.

A work of post-colonial art,
dreamt up by trade winds,
conceived by jet engine,
root-stock spliced from two continents
and grafted,
in a third -

you are your very own,
sitting in the prow,
brown legs drawn up,
talking office talk
in perfect mid-atlantic.

Karen Hoy

Publication credit:
My Mother Threw Knives: an anthology of poems about women's lives, Second Light Publications, 2006, editors Wendy French, Maggie Sawkins and Dilys Wood.  ISBN:  0-9546934-1-8

Image credit:
Paul Gauguin, Nave Nave Fenua (Delightful Land), 1894/1895 Print.  
Courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington.



Monday, July 14, 2014

The With Words Summer Competition 2014: Haiku Section

 The With Words Summer Haiku Competition      2014-2015 
"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"
The Competition is open to ALL countries worldwide. Let us know what you think is Summer, or something similar, if you live somewhere without a "Summer" such as India or Africa.  We invite you to submit on anything that says Summer to you, or its nearest equivalent.

The competition accepts both published and unpublished haiku 
All approaches to haiku are accepted. 
Additional Prize:
The With Words Summer Haiku Prize for Unpublished Work     £25
NOTE: If an unpublished haiku wins 1st Place or 2nd Place an additional £25 is added to the £75 or £50 prize.

There will also be Highly Commended and Commended haiku.
Writers have until February 2015 to submit haiku and writers notes:
Competition Results:   April 15th 2015
Judge: Alan Summers
Japan Times award-winning writer, and recently Pushcart Prize nominated poet. (Weblink:  Scroll down for bio)
Easy Entry Fees by PAYPAL:
paypal payment email:



Please add ‘Summer Haiku' in the subject line, and include your Paypal Transaction ID number with your haiku entries to:

We will accept multiple submissions of entries during the competition.

The details we'd like you to include with your haiku entries:

All poems will be read, and all participants will be notified of the results by April 15th 2015.

Links to further posts for the competition:
Your own thoughts, comments and observations could win another prize, and be included in The With Words Haiku Book of Summer.
If you add your own notes, memories, thoughts, observations, feelings about Summer, there is a FREE feature where you can win an extra prize

brushstroke©With Words/Alan Summers

Click here for competition rules and legalities:

brushstroke©With Words/Alan Summers

The Summer Books:
Click here to learn a little more about THE BOOKS

Read a little about The With Words Haiku Book of Summer  Please email or drop a comment in that post about a feature you might like to see in the final book.  The book is all about each individual's voice, and how we all experience the Summer season. Click here to learn a little more:

red kite over tractor making hay©Alan Summers Late June

Remember, there is an extra prize-winning Feature which is FREE TO ENTER: 
Click here:

Each entrant to the competition may also submit personal notes on the theme of Summer.  Twelve chosen extracts from writers’ notes will each receive a prize. 

You can send us your notes, observations, thoughts and feelings, anecdotes, or explanations about your individual haiku, or about Summer in particular or in general, or the nearest equivalent to the season if you live in places such as India or Africa.  

You can send these notes either with your haiku submission, or separately at a later time.   

This part of the competition is FREE, and you could win a prize as well as be featured in the Summer books we are planning. 

"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"


ENTRY DETAILS THAT WE’D LIKE for haiku only entries

a swirl of clouds and red kite©Alan Summers
ENTRY DETAILS THAT WE’D LIKE if you are sending haiku only entries:

Remember that we accept both previously published haiku as well as unpublished haiku.

We also accept more than one submission of entries through the  duration of the competition. As you find your more recent haiku published in magazines, or placed in competitions, you can make an extra submission to the competition.

Along with your haiku entry please include in your email:
  1. Your Name
  2. Your place of residence: village or town or city plus county/region/state/Country.
  3. Publication credits of haiku if previously published.
  4. If your haiku is unpublished, just state 'unpublished'.
  5. Finally don't forget to email:
  6. And put "Summer Haiku" in the subject line
  • To know more about Alan as competition judge please scroll further down.

Please also note that we are also very interested to read your Summer anecdotes, memories, and observations as part of the competition. 

Twelve selected extracts will each win a small prize. 

They should be included in the same email as your haiku entries(see weblink: Writer's Notes

If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to ask Karen who will be happy to help. 
Email Karen:
Back to the main competition page:
"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"
JUDGE: ALAN SUMMERS is a Japan Times award-winning writer as well as a Pushcart Prize nominated poet. He is Director/Lead Tutor of With Words, an international provider of literature, education and literacy projects, as well as With Words online workshops based around the Japanese genres.     
He is a founding editor for Bones Journal (contemporary haiku):, and was Special Feature Editor, Haiku/Haibun, Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts:

Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac
Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years 
The Disjunctive Dragonfly, a New Approach to English-Language Haiku
Haiku 2014, pub. Modern Haiku Press, 2014

Just released Thursday 7th August 2014:
The Red Moon Anthology series is a celebration of the best haiku and related work published in English around the world each calendar year.

Back to the main competition page:


Writer’s Notes for The With Words Summer Competition

Writer’s Notes:
Each entrant to the competition may also submit personal notes on the theme of summer.  Twelve chosen extracts from writers’ notes will each receive a prize. 

We are very keen to publish individual author voices in The With Words Haiku Book of Summer, so please send us your notes, observations, thoughts and feelings, anecdotes, or explanations about your haiku, about Summer, or your nearest equivalent to Summer if you live in a country that has different seasons, either with your haiku submission, or separately at a later time.   

This part of the competition is FREE, and you could win a prize as well as be featured in the Summer books we are planning. 

These may include notes specific to the poems submitted, or about summer in general.  

We will select twelve extracts from writers’ notes for special mention and a prize.

For ideas about what to include in writer’s notes, please consider:
  • Season: what season, or part of the season, festival, special day etc are you writing about … 
  • Seasonal Location: immediate area of your poem[s] plus other geographical details
  • Full Date (time am or pm, day, month, year) of observation 
  • Comments: anecdotes; observations; notes; fieldnotes; asides; or an account of why you personally associate the topic of your haiku with summer.
  • Nature notes including nicknames and common names of species; local, regional and national names for animal; bird; plant; flower; tree; insect and various natural or human made phenomena.
  • Non-nature: name of festival; special days; birthdays; religious or spiritual observances etc…
"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"
You have until next year, February 15th 2015 to send in entries and writer's notes.
Weblink back to the main competition details:


With Words Competition rules and legalities

rainbow cloud and red kite©Alan Summers

Competition rules and legalities

1. Haiku entries must be your own work in English and you must be the sole copyright owner of the work.

2.  Entry implies permission for With Words to non-exclusively publish the prize-winning poems, and extracts from Writers' notes, online and in other With Words publications.  

3. Previously unpublished haiku placed in the Commended or Highly Commended categories will not be published by With Words without the author's separate permission.  

4. We will not use your email address for any other purpose except correspondence relating to this competition, or pass it on to any third parties.

5.  The competition judge is With Words founder Alan Summers.  The judge's decisions are final.   
For details about the judge please click here, and scroll down:

6.  Alan Summers' current and former students may enter the competition.  The rigorousness of the judging process will ensure that their entries are neither at an advantage or disadvantage in this competition. 

7.  With Words will be producing two books of Summer writing.  Entries to this competition will automatically be considered for inclusion.

"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"

Back to the main competition page:



THE BOOKS: The With Words Book of Summer & The With Words Haiku Book of Summer

Buckinghamshire skies with red kite©Alan Summers
We plan to produce a book entitled The With Words Book of Summer (combining poetry, and prose, haibun, tanka prose, and some haiku) and The With Words Haiku Book of Summer.  

The With Words Haiku Book of Summer is planned to be launched on the Summer Solstice of 2015 and The With Words Book of Summer around May 2016.

The With Words Haiku Book of Summer will contain a number of anecdotes or observations from various participating poets as part of the competition, so we can gain an understanding of what Summer means to individual haiku writers around the world.

More about anecdotes, observations etc... at Writer's Notes:

"Capturing the essence of Summer worldwide"
Back to the main competition page: