Online internet courses by Call of the Page

Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku; tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.

Please email Karen or Alan at our joint email address:
We will let you know more about these courses.

Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Haiku: The one breath poetry – Bristol Museum and Art Gallery evening event

Photos will go up onto the Call of the Page later this month about our fully booked packed event, as we prepare for our next newsletter update on this exciting event and its ongoing project!

Thursday 5 September 2019

Booking information

£5 adult
£4 concession
Doors open at 6.15pm.
A rare opportunity to discover the sensory nature of haiku in the beautiful surroundings of the museum. A haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that evokes images and feelings.
Discover how to write your own haiku inspired by a visit to our Masters of Japanese Prints: Nature and Seasons exhibition which features the iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.
The event will be facilitated by poetry experts Bertel Martin, Alan Summers and Karen Hoy, and a selection of participants’ haiku will be read aloud on the night.
Booking information:


Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Queens Rd

Opportunity for those overseas or otherwise unable to physically attend!
You can also submit haiku, tanka, senryu online

The poets at the event!

Bertel Martin

Alan Summers
Lead Tutor, Call of the Page
Karen Hoy
Course Director/Tutor,
Call of the Page

Saturday, July 27, 2019

monobun haibun prose+haiku hybrid poems


is somewhere between violet and green—if the colour doesn’t lie—that connects us; we are really not infinity, but you left me, you destroyed my pale heart, and a coffee, left unsaid, and unanswered.
rambling journey
I become a trifold
of my past

after Claude Monet, 
from a letter to Paul Cézanne

fairygrowth©Alan Summers

It's the small things...

that count, and I read that they too will die, the unknown and unseen insects who befriend roses, on the window ledges of prisons.
mosaic rain:
the cul de sac
of shadow

after Sylvia Plath

perspective©Alan Summers

The uncertainity principle...

is something that haunts so many of us just starting out on life, hovering just beyond the periphery of parental constraints, where we fly or fall on a single smile, and…

blustering wind 
does she really love me 

after Heisenberg

3 monobun©Alan Summers
monobun term created by Alan Summers

Three monobun (over two issues) of Human/Kind journal:

Please do leave a comment, we love them!

Haibun - From one-bun to monobun to longer pieces of prose with haiku writing and Journeys 2015 in at no. 7 in Amazon Hot New Releases

Friday, June 21, 2019

new haiku and tanka Summer online courses for 2019!

For those who have written haiku for a while now, these online courses might assist with a useful 2019 revisit:

Intermediate Haiku (Shorter)

Intermediate Haiku Course (Longer Course)

If you have never written haiku before, or want to push yourself to get to another stage of writing:

Introducing... Haiku

We also have an exciting advanced tanka course if you've been writing them for a while:

Tanka - Shape and Sound

We also have regular email one-to-one sessions as well as our popular Skype feedback conversations!

Lead tutor/mentor Alan Summers is a Japan Times award-winning writer, and a Pushcart Prize nominated poet:

For further information or questions please don't hesitate to contact Karen at:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The layering of meaning beyond the immediate: The "now" in monoku

caged clouds photo©Alan Summers 2019

The layering of meaning beyond the immediate 

Underlay has two meanings, the second one being:
“In music, underlay refers to text intended for vocalization – positioned either directly or indirectly under notes on a musical staff.”

Here is my meaning as to haiku:
Underlayment: The layering of meaning beyond the immediate, noticeable meaning.

So although they appear quirky, which is part intended, there are ‘under-meanings’ too: Many poems can have a serious “underlay” alongside the device(s) of humour. 

One line haiku (in English) often carry a number of devices or techniques or approaches, which include aspects of other ways of writing in one line, including a wry sense of humour to deliver another type of message.

coffee refills reminiscing "what if" scenarios

Alan Summers

Publication credit: 
proletaria  politics philosophy phenomena (04 July 2019) 
ed. Elancharan Gunasekaran
proletaria is a journal dedicated to the art of literary one-liners. 

I called this a monostich (a single line  poem) but it could also be a one-line haiku (monoku) and is part of an ongoing Edward Hopper series, mostly but not exclusively around Edward Hopper’s groundbreaking painting ‘Nighthawks’ (1942):

Many writers, and others, enjoy occupying cafés for a long while. Everyone has their reasons.

What are the layers beyond the immediate in this one line ‘prose/poem’?  For a writer it might be what if the plot to the novel I’m writing on develops this way, or another way? A poet, of any kind of genre, might be applying a poetic version to that of the novelist.

But what of another kind of person? Is it simply a day off, or a holiday for one somewhere anonymous? Is the ‘home’ environment too uncomfortable or chaotic? Is this someone laid off, or attempting to work out why a relationship went so disasterously wrong. Perhaps they had too much alcohol to drink, and ended up somewhere else, and barely escaped, crept out of an apartment at 6am in the morning?

The wording and order of those words is straightforward from ‘coffee refills’ which suggests a certain type of coffee house, rather than buying a fresh cup each time, it’s cheap coffee and either a server does the refilling, or there’s a machine. It could be a chain hotel, and waiting for the breakfast room to open up, and there’s thoughtfully a machine or two already prepped. Someone might be on some kind of course or conference, and simply going through the most important pitch of their lives. 

The verb used is reminiscing which usually means going over past experiences that you remember with pleasure. But is that always the case? Or if it is, perhaps a guilty holiday romance, usefully short, and with someone from a different town or city or country?

The concrete image of ‘coffee’ and ‘refills’ has its abstract partner of “scenarios” where we can really launch ourselves in different ideas of what that could mean!

plural noun: scenarios
  1. a written outline of a film, novel, or stage work giving details of the plot and individual scenes.

Definitely a writer here!


"A series or development of events which could be anyone this time."
Even though the word feels closely related to those in the writing or creating drama/documentary occupations  (a written plan of the characters and events in a play or film) aren’t we all, if observed by someone else, looking like a character from a television/streaming video/movie scene, and more likely a soap opera?

In Japanese the term (noun or verb) of reminiscing is:


Translated into “Made to remember.” That brings a whole new ‘nuance’ to everything, in my book! 

Enjoy your own versions, don’t feel guilty though. I like to feel it’s a time to be ourselves, enjoying a good coffee and wrapped into its steam, as we go back in time. Perhaps to ‘what if’ but hopefully in a good and enjoyable manner.

a dreaming forest busy as Hitchcock

Alan Summers
weird laburnum ed. Michael O’Brien (May 2019)

This is both a play on Hitchcock’s film Birds, and for of course where Alma Reville was often responsible for the edginess in Alfred Hitchcock films, most famously and allegedly creating the shower scene in Psycho that still makes some of us nervous when alone in our home or elsewhere with a shower curtain obscuring our view, if we hear a noise in the next room, or at the entrance door. A forest is both a dreamlike place, but it is a business for natural residents from birds to four legged animals undertaking what they have to do to survive each day. We are not only destroying forests, and woodlands, but each property development, where with existing buildings or not, have trees unnecessarily destroyed. We don’t seem to respect the homes of other animals, and after all we are but another animal species, aren’t we?

when yellow is round I miss your apostrophe

Alan Summers
weird laburnum ed. Michael O’Brien (May 2019)

Perhaps just for fun and mystery. It’s also part of ongoing giallo/yellow series of haiku and haibun/tanka stories around various themes, including violence in the saffron trade.

trucks in the violin mimicries of D-sharp minor

Alan Summers
Otoliths ed. Mark Young (Feburary 2017)
From “Not when she’s in Kansas” haiku sequence haibun hybrid

The violins piece is about a very dark part of 20th Century history, although it’s been repeated in this one too, but by different people.

each window its own night train

Alan Summers
Award credit:
Honourable mention, 
The British Haiku Society Awards 2018/19 (Haiku Section) judge: Scott Mason

This is from my experience on the Caledonian Sleeper to Scotland. Also watching my wife set off or arriving by train from various meetings etc… each window is a story, each person is a story, each glance is a story. Are we are our own window…on a night train to somewhere?

And I’d like to end on a commentary by highly regarded Scott Mason (author/editor of The Wonder Code) who was the judge for the haiku section.

eye of the song a blackbird touching the void

Alan Summers
Award credit:
Winning haiku, 
The British Haiku Society Awards 2018/19 (Haiku Section) judge: Scott Mason

Judge's commentary by Scott Mason:
“A good haiku can contain and convey a telling moment in just a kernel. A great haiku can implant that kernel in the reader’s or listener’s consciousness, making its moment live on. 
This year’s competition produced many haiku that I would consider “good” by the standard suggested above. A dozen or so approached greatness in my estimation. I am honored to share my five favorites here. As diverse as these poems are, they have one thing in common: they each tantalize. They do not aspire to teach or resolve; instead they leave room to intrigue and involve. In this way they gain our attention, sustain our interest and make the moment last. 
A Rubik’s ku of perception and intuition held together with synaesthesia, the winning one-liner beguiles and haunts me. What and where is the “eye” of a blackbird’s song? How does that eye “touch” the void? What void are we talking about here anyway – some nexus of negative color (blackness), sound (silence) and capability? ... the focus of Emerson’s “transparent eyeball” turned inward? These questions and others draw me into a state of dreamlike reverie, impelled by a creature in equal parts totem and flesh. (The last “literary” bird to transport me like this was a thrush, in Burnt Norton.) 

There are many different ways of looking at this magical blackbird haiku (easily thirteen, if not four and twenty), each with its own rewards.”

Scott Mason: 

See also:
Travelling the single line of haiku


travelling the monorail - one line haiku:

We regularly run courses, and one-to-one email feedback and Skype sessions:

For further information please don't hesitate to contact Karen


Saturday, March 09, 2019

Haiku at Slimbridge Wetland Centre | WWT - a haiku writing walk

SALE: Bring a Friend!! Two places, with the second half price!

flamingo at Slimbridge Wetland photo©Karen Hoy

Booking is now open for Haiku at Slimbridge; a visit to the famous wildlife sanctuary in Gloucestershire, in the south west of England, where Call of the Page will be holding a haiku poetry workshop and ginko on April 6th 2019

More information about the event at Slimbridge Wetland Centre: 

duck photo©Alan Summers

Karen Hoy & Alan Summers, Call of the Page

Monday, February 25, 2019

The 2019 Turtle Light Press HAIKU CHAPBOOK CONTEST

Long awaited manuscript competition from the brilliant 
Turtle Light Press

For submission details go to:

Great publisher, great judge, great opportunity!
Highly recommended, even without having met Rick Black in person, and knowing that Susan Antolin will be fantastic as the contest judge!


Alan Summers
President, United Haiku and Tanka Society
co-founder, Call of the Page

Call of the Page founded by Karen Hoy & Alan Summers runs regular group online courses, and one-to-one email and/or Skype sessions:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Introducing... Haiku - a new online course for continuing our fascination with the haiku genre

An exciting new course for those of you either new to writing haiku, or would like more support on a journey you have already begun.

Evocative exercises will expand our understanding of what these tiny haiku poems are capable of, and encourage our senses of observation, and of the moments we'll capture. 

Feedback is given in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. 

By the end of the course we'll have an inspiring foundation on which to continue to move forward with our writing. 

Start Date: Thursday January 31st 2019

End Date: Thursday March 28th 2019